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2008/08/16

Bogus qualification held by NZ Primary School Principal

Hats off to NZ Herald for this article, which revealed, in a straightforward, no-holds-barred "show and tell" article entitled 10 NZers buy fake online degrees  that, of 9,612 names of people identified in a degree mill scam bust in the US, 10 of them were New Zealanders.
The ten, and their fake "degrees" are as per the table below:
                   NZers exposed as buyers of fake US degrees
                                 from "St Regis University"
               Name                                    Degree/doctorate
                                                                   purchased
1. Scott, Alan T  BA
2. Reid, Donald Erik MEd
3. Ryan, Stephen John  MBA
4. Morton, David John PhD
5. Nambukara, Jagath C  BBA
6. Jie, Li Liang BS
7. Barratt, Mark Raymond PhD
8. Barratt, Shaun Francis BA
9. Beck, Andrew David Patrick PhD
10. Brickland, Daniel ProfFull

Amongst the 10 were a primary school principal, his human resources director brother and a security guard.
The  primary school principal is Mark Barratt, principal of Papatoetoe South School and chair of Auckland Primary Principals Committee on Special Education. He said he'd bought the fake PhD "just for the fun of it", after his brother Shaun, a director at human resources company Salt, bought a bachelor's degree.

Despite Barratt claiming "I've never used it or claimed to have a doctorate, and the doctorate's sitting in a box at home, somewhere.", checks by the Weekend Herald apparently found that the Parent and Family Resource Centre website, of which he is a member, had said:
"his doctorate explores conflict between governance and management within the NZ primary schooling sector", and that "he is currently completing a second doctorate looking at models of governance".
However, following Weekend Herald enquiries, the copy on the website was replaced with:
"Mark is currently researching two thesis that will form the basis of a doctorate."

This is not so much to pick on Barratt (there are probably hundreds more like him, perhaps now fearfully awaiting discovery) but to demonstrate that buying fake degrees and leading people to believe that they are genuine is at best unethical and a sign of moral weakness, dishonesty and unprofessional conduct, and at worst fraudulent - for example, if done for pecuniary or commercial gain, or career advancement.

Where such people are in professional roles - for example, where they are responsible for the education of our children - they should resign or face being discharged for deceit and unprofessional conduct, or fraud - as appropriate.

This parent will watch with interest to see what happens in the case of Mark Barratt, principal of Papatoetoe South School and chair of Auckland Primary Principals Committee on Special Education. One wonders if the Governors of Papatoetoe South School, or members of Auckland Primary Principals Committee on Special Education will have the intestinal fortitude to apply the hard light of scrutiny and clean out their ranks.

("If a business practice cannot stand the hard light of scrutiny, then there is probably something unethical about it" - Sir Adrian Cadbury, in a Harvard Business Review essay on Ethics.)
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