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January 21, 2005

Get your doctorate - we'll keep the lights on for ya!

Here's an interesting, true tale of a woman named Laura L. Callahan who got her doctorate from a "diploma mill" in Wyoming.

To earn her DOCTORATE, she had to go through the following vigorous course of study:

To get her Ph.D., Callahan merely had to thumb through a workbook and take an open-book exam. The whole correspondence course—which includes instruction on business ethics—takes about five hours to complete. A 2,000-word paper (shorter than this article) counts as a dissertation.

The "university" she earned her pseudo-degree from was housed in an old Motel 6 in Evanston, Wyoming.

Indeed, the old motel lobby is clearly visible in a photo of the main entrance to Hamilton posted on the home page of the school's Web site at hamilton-university.edu. Click on "Campus," and you'll find more photos of the converted motel, as well as another small building on the campus, shot from a sharp angle to make it appear large and august.

If the other building looks like a church, that's no illusion. It is a church—sort of. Callahan's alma mater is run by the Faith in the Order of Nature (FION) Fellowship Church, also in Evanston. In fact, the church is headquartered at the same address as Hamilton, which was organized as a "nonprofit theocentric institution of higher learning" in 1976 and claims a religious tax exemption.

I only bring it up because she turned that worthless scrap of paper into the Deputy Chief Information Officer position in The Department of Homeland Security, pulling down a cool $128,000 - $175,000 salary until her poor treatment of employees caused one of them to check out her creds.

Neat.

Read all about it here. And here's her government bio. See if you can count the times she's called "Dr. Callahan."

Posted by Dan at January 21, 2005 08:20 AM

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Comments

Life is complete. I now have another use for the word "august".

"Indeed, the old motel lobby is clearly visible in a photo of the main entrance to Hamilton posted on the home page of the school's Web site at hamilton-university.edu. Click on "Campus," and you'll find more photos of the converted motel, as well as another small building on the campus, shot from a sharp angle to make it appear large and august."

Posted by: Doug at January 21, 2005 10:02 AM

Glad I could give you something to do while you're at work, Doug!

Posted by: Big Dan at January 21, 2005 10:06 AM

Woo! Looks like it's time to get me a government job.

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 21, 2005 03:59 PM

Silly Joel! If they eventually caught her fake Ph.D., they'll probably eventually catch your fake elementary school diploma!

Posted by: Nathan at January 21, 2005 04:17 PM

Nathan,

Epic burn.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 21, 2005 04:45 PM

Ouch, Nathan.

That's it, I'm going to stick you with a knife the next time you're over.

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 21, 2005 10:09 PM

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