Paul Sperry has a great article in Reason Online about resume and diploma fraud, particularly among our public servants.

Laura L. Callahan was very proud of her Ph.D. When she received it a few years ago, she promptly rewrote her official biography to highlight the academic accomplishment, referring to it not once or twice but nine times in a single-page summary of her career. And she never let her employees at the Labor Department, where she served as deputy chief information officer, forget it, even demanding that they call her "Doctor." ...

"When she was running around telling people to call her 'Dr. Callahan,' I asked where she got her degree," says Richard Wainwright a computer specialist who worked for Callahan at Labor for two years. "When I found out, I laughed."

It turns out Callahan got her precious sheepskin from Hamilton University. Not Hamilton College, the highly competitive school in Clinton, New York, but Hamilton University, the unaccredited fee-for-degree "distance learning" center in Evanston, Wyoming, right on the Utah border. Such diploma mills frequently use names similar to those of accredited schools.

Unbeknown to Callahan, Wainwright had once lived near the small town of Evanston (population: 10,903) and knew it well. As a student at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he received his bachelor's degree years ago, he had made beer runs to Evanston, less than 60 miles away. He knew there were no universities there, or at least none worth attending. "Evanston doesn't have much but a few motels and liquor stores," he tells me. "I looked up Hamilton University on the Web and saw it was an old Motel 6, and I knew it was bogus."

A few minutes with Google would probably save our government billions of dollars and increase productivity at the same time. This type of fraud isn't new, and it's one of the reasons why I have very little respect for most public sector workers. No evil private corporation would fall for this kind of nonsense -- not without going out of business, anyway.



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