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Author Topic: Union Institute & University, Ohio?  (Read 103381 times)
eudaimon
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« Reply #90 on: April 12, 2012, 1:12:17 AM »

Ph.D.  Design and Innovation Management
The Union Institute, Cincinnati - 2000
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jonesey
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« Reply #91 on: April 12, 2012, 7:25:46 AM »

Yes, you are quite right. My communications with the institution and their accreditor indicates that there has only been one Ph.D. So now I am simply trying to understand how many resumes are out there with varying Ph.D. degree titles. I am wondering what others have found. I have turned up some different titles on Google searches.

Once upon a time, Union Insitute & University allowed doctoral "learners" to create their own PhD (they do the same, or used to, with their bachelor's degrees).  They've tightened up their shot group since running into accreditation trouble in 2002.  Their new doctoral degrees are Ph.D's in Interdisciplinary Studies.  Any PhD awarded before 2002 is a grab bag.

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Jonesey, I know you're a being of sensitivity and refinement.

Hanging out at the home of leftist zealotry.
eudaimon
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« Reply #92 on: April 12, 2012, 11:04:45 AM »

That explains a lot. There are just so many Ph.D.s. Nearby Ohio State does not produce such a diversity of Ph.D. degrees. But the question was whether these Ph.D.s are accredited. I know schools, per se, are accredited, not their degrees, but they are accredited to give certain degrees. So what is the status of these Ph.D.s? Does someone with a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies or Psychology from the Union have the same level of legitimacy and accrediation as a person who graduated from an accredited school with actual programs? To put it differently, if what you say is true, was the Union legitimately able to offer those degrees?
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jonesey
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« Reply #93 on: April 12, 2012, 11:15:16 AM »

That explains a lot. There are just so many Ph.D.s. Nearby Ohio State does not produce such a diversity of Ph.D. degrees. But the question was whether these Ph.D.s are accredited. I know schools, per se, are accredited, not their degrees, but they are accredited to give certain degrees. So what is the status of these Ph.D.s? Does someone with a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies or Psychology from the Union have the same level of legitimacy and accrediation as a person who graduated from an accredited school with actual programs? To put it differently, if what you say is true, was the Union legitimately able to offer those degrees?

From everyone's friend, Wikipedia: 
Quote
The Union Institute & University's Ph.D. program came under scrutiny by the Ohio Board of Regents in the late 1990s early 2000s, which scrutiny culminated in its 2002 Reauthorization Report. The Union Graduate School was dissolved and the Ph.D. program was restructured. Formerly it had been a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences. A new Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in good standing was established, and the former Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences is no longer accepting students. The new program offers three areas of concentration.  Since 2002, Roger H. Sublett serves as Union Institute & University’s fifth president. Under Sublett, who was director of the Kellogg Foundation from 1991–2001,[4] The Union has undergone major academic and structural changes, designed to respond to the issues identified during its reauthorization process.

That said, one of UI&I's more, er, famous graduates is Marcus Bachmann, whose Union PhD came under scrutiny here.
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zharkov
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« Reply #94 on: April 12, 2012, 11:29:52 AM »

That explains a lot. There are just so many Ph.D.s. Nearby Ohio State does not produce such a diversity of Ph.D. degrees. But the question was whether these Ph.D.s are accredited. I know schools, per se, are accredited, not their degrees, but they are accredited to give certain degrees. So what is the status of these Ph.D.s? Does someone with a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies or Psychology from the Union have the same level of legitimacy and accrediation as a person who graduated from an accredited school with actual programs? To put it differently, if what you say is true, was the Union legitimately able to offer those degrees?

To answer your specific question, you'd really need to examine the self-study reports, regional accredtor reports, state board of ed reports and minutes, perhaps conferences and papers from Union leadership, and so on.  And it sounds like you'd have to go back to the 80s or 90s to gather the evidence to answer that question.

It may also help to do research on how higher ed has changed over the last 50 years or so, particularly with respect to accreditation.  To put it simply, there was really much more support (even encouragement) for schools to do things "outside the box" back in the 60s, 70s, maybe in to the 80s.  Union called itself the university without walls.  Other experimental schools did away with courses, or credits, or had self designed majors, and on and on.  Or they reconceptualized the idea of majors with interdisciplinary approaches. You name it, you could probably find it in the 60s-80s, and in the context of support or encouragment from the powers that be. Or at least from enough of them for these experimental and progressive schools to gain a foothold.  Fast forward, since the 90s, there has been a  sea change, and accreditation is all about standards and assessments, not about innovation and creativity.  

Fair disclosure, I lean toward innovation and creativity, don't expect to see a return of that in my lifetime.  But I could imagine a college without walls, credits, courses, terms, and so on.  Maybe I'd call it the academy or lyceum.  Or maybe not.
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Adapting Zharkov a bit to this situation, ignorance and confusion can explain a lot.
aandsdean
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« Reply #95 on: April 12, 2012, 12:30:21 PM »

That explains a lot. There are just so many Ph.D.s. Nearby Ohio State does not produce such a diversity of Ph.D. degrees. But the question was whether these Ph.D.s are accredited. I know schools, per se, are accredited, not their degrees, but they are accredited to give certain degrees. So what is the status of these Ph.D.s? Does someone with a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies or Psychology from the Union have the same level of legitimacy and accrediation as a person who graduated from an accredited school with actual programs? To put it differently, if what you say is true, was the Union legitimately able to offer those degrees?

To answer your specific question, you'd really need to examine the self-study reports, regional accredtor reports, state board of ed reports and minutes, perhaps conferences and papers from Union leadership, and so on.  And it sounds like you'd have to go back to the 80s or 90s to gather the evidence to answer that question.

It may also help to do research on how higher ed has changed over the last 50 years or so, particularly with respect to accreditation.  To put it simply, there was really much more support (even encouragement) for schools to do things "outside the box" back in the 60s, 70s, maybe in to the 80s.  Union called itself the university without walls.  Other experimental schools did away with courses, or credits, or had self designed majors, and on and on.  Or they reconceptualized the idea of majors with interdisciplinary approaches. You name it, you could probably find it in the 60s-80s, and in the context of support or encouragment from the powers that be. Or at least from enough of them for these experimental and progressive schools to gain a foothold.  Fast forward, since the 90s, there has been a  sea change, and accreditation is all about standards and assessments, not about innovation and creativity.  

Fair disclosure, I lean toward innovation and creativity, don't expect to see a return of that in my lifetime.  But I could imagine a college without walls, credits, courses, terms, and so on.  Maybe I'd call it the academy or lyceum.  Or maybe not.

The main tragedy of the "assessment and accountability" movement, I think (aside from the endless chronicle of wasted time, but this is not the place for that discussion), is that, just when we really need innovation in education--delivery, programming, scheduling, curriculum, etc.--that movement has driven us back to the lowest common denominator and placed everyone on the Procrustean bed.

This is not to say that I advocate irresponsible or unethical institutional operations, but at the moment the barriers and disincentives to genuine innovation are dauntingly high.
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eudaimon
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« Reply #96 on: April 12, 2012, 1:30:21 PM »

Good points all. I see differences in the post regarding educational philosophies, which I respect. My question is really about what was and may still be going on. Was the Union legitimately able to offer so many degree Ph.D. degree titles? Should they be considered to be accredited or legitimate now? Do people representing themselves as having certain Ph.D. really have those degrees? Are people hiring them or promoting them aware of the differences? It is fine to reject mainstream academic standards or institutions, but are the learners representing themselves has having degrees that are not mainstream or are they misleading others as to the nature of their degrees?
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eudaimon
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« Reply #97 on: April 12, 2012, 1:37:17 PM »

zharkov.
As usual you make an number of good points and provide helpful advice. I have been going back.
What I am noticing, however, is many of the Ph.D. titles I am seeing are from the late 90s and early 2000s. So I am detecting a shift from an open educational philosophy to a business model of providing Ph.D. titles that would be marketable in academia or outside. For example, Ph.D.s in IT, business, etc. are hardly the sort that animated the 60s counter-cultural movement, but they are represent a number of the Ph.D. titles that I have seen.
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zharkov
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« Reply #98 on: April 12, 2012, 3:37:36 PM »

Good points all. I see differences in the post regarding educational philosophies, which I respect. My question is really about what was and may still be going on. Was the Union legitimately able to offer so many degree Ph.D. degree titles? Should they be considered to be accredited or legitimate now? Do people representing themselves as having certain Ph.D. really have those degrees? Are people hiring them or promoting them aware of the differences? It is fine to reject mainstream academic standards or institutions, but are the learners representing themselves has having degrees that are not mainstream or are they misleading others as to the nature of their degrees?


As I noted above, many of your questions can only be answered by researching accreditation documents that are 20 or 30 years old.  (Thus probably not online.)  It is probably unlikely that any readers of these forums were faculty there back in the day.  In any case, do some people game the system?  Like Bachmann mentioned above?  Sure, it happens.  How common is it?  Probably impossible to collect such data.  But all colleges I know require transcripts from faculty, and if we got a transcript that did not reflect the application material, it could mean trouble.  Would be withdraw an offer if the candidate listed PhD Basketweaving on the CV and the transcript listed PhD Cultural Studies in Basketweaving?  Hard one, but probably not.

About your mention of IT, that actually seems like an interdisciplinary field to me, a blend of management, logistics, and computer science, or maybe software engineering.  But IT is not my field, so just a thought.


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__________
Zharkov's Razor:
Adapting Zharkov a bit to this situation, ignorance and confusion can explain a lot.
eudaimon
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« Reply #99 on: April 12, 2012, 4:01:23 PM »

Yes, you are right about the immensity of the research task. Corrupton loves opacity.
I have gotten some information from the accreditation agency. It tilts toward the view that the proper Ph.D. title pre-2002 should be Arts and Sciences; anything else should be listed as a concentration.
A Ph.D. in IT would imply extensive work in programing, networking, etc., with classes in programming laguages, project management, security, etc., etc.
Someone hiring such a Ph.D. would expect that certain kinds of course work would have been done. Now, if I get a Ph.D. in History, but concentrate in the History of IT, a different set of skills would be presupposed. Anyone hiring me with the hope of securing their network against cyber-theft would be making a mistake. Hopefully I will not have acted in such a way as to facilitate that mistake.
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eudaimon
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« Reply #100 on: April 14, 2012, 1:53:53 AM »

"if we got a transcript that did not reflect the application material, it could mean trouble. "
This remark set me to thinking, what did the Union materials say?
I found the cover sheet for the post and pre-2002 cohort. Here is what they say respectively:
Post-2002

Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies
with a Concentration in XXXX
and a Specialization in XXXX

Pre-2002

Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
with a Concentration in XXXX
and a Specialization in XXXX

Now, the latter is quite ambiguous. A Ph.D. means Philosophy Doctor. So, followed by the concentration, and indicated by 'in', it would be read as a Ph.D. in the field. The more current titling makes it clear that the Ph.D. is in Interdisciplinary Studies, which is a field. So the concentration language is unambiguous.

The Pre2002 form should say Doctor of Philosophy in Arts and Sciences, since that was the degree, but that is omitted. Also, even if it said it, there is usually a college within a university, so there might still be an ambiguity. Union's graduate school was called the Union Graduate School (I believe).

So the question arises whether union materials would have lent themselves to misinterpretation.
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eudaimon
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« Reply #101 on: April 14, 2012, 1:58:25 AM »

"do some people game the system?  Like Bachmann mentioned above?  Sure, it happens.  How common is it?  Probably impossible to collect such data."
This point also raises the question, what percentage of the Ph.D.s out there game the system? More importantly, what is Union's role if its Ph.D.s gamed the system?
I have found some Ph.D. titles that make it clear that the degree is in Interdisciplinary Studies, but the majority I have found do the opposite.
 
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eudaimon
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« Reply #102 on: April 14, 2012, 2:05:11 AM »

Just got these from posted resumes. How should they be interpreted?

Ph.D. in women's studies from The Union Institute
Ph.D. Union Institute (Acoustic Ecology)
Ph.D. Anthropology, Union Institute and University
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aandsdean
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« Reply #103 on: April 14, 2012, 2:30:07 PM »

I recommend that you read Moby Dick and learn what happened to Captain Ahab. 

You might also think about the Ancient Mariner.



Hint:  Not pretty.
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #104 on: April 14, 2012, 2:32:07 PM »

"Acoustic Ecology" is interesting.  I would like to earn a Ph.D. in that.
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