A high school principal in Pittsburg, Kansas, resigned from her position this week after student sleuths looked into her past and found questionable credentials.
The school district hired Amy Robertson to be the principal at Pittsburg High School on March 6 for $93,000 a year and she was to start her position in August. But when young journalists with the student newspaper began researching her background, they quickly discovered that some of her credentials were fake.
— John Pollock (@john_jpollock) April 5, 2017
“She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials,” Trina Paul told The Kansas City Star. “We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials.”
That is putting it mildly.
Her alma mater is a diploma mill, where people buy fake degrees. Corllins University, where Robertson allegedly received her master’s and doctorate degrees, is not accredited and has no known physical address. Its website is an obvious sham, as is its Facebook page, where you can read comments from a lot of unhappy customers, many of whom come from foreign countries.
“Be careful of those scammers…they have cheated a friend, and they received more than 2000$ for his certificates, and after he had sent the money, he got nothing” cautioned one man. He wrote [unedited]:
when he called them back they asked him for another 6000$ otherwise they will not send the certificate…he told the. He had no money..he doesn’t want the certificate and his money back.there answer was that they will solve this problem…when he tried to get in contact back again with them……nobody replied or even chat with him… Be careful and don’t deal with such fake offices..
Another dupe complained: “I’ve been scammed of $6000. What kind of university is this? butchers not advisors.”
Still another one wrote: “So why and how to get hold of these people and take them to court. I want my money back and wasted time. Wrecked my life!”
There was one happy customer:
“I am so proud to be a Corllins graduate – with six summa cum laude doctorates, with Awards of Excellence and Distinction in Religious Studies,” wrote Victoria Howard. “They even had it authenticated by the government. If only I could get more degrees – but six is the limit! With Great Esteem, an alumna.”Here’s a picture of CU’s “Vice Prsident” [sic]—allegedly:
A consumer watchdog website claims that Corllins University “is nothing more than a web site owned by the “Organization for Global Learning Education,” a scam started by a crook called Salem Kureshi in Pakistan.”
He operates a number of so-called universities calling themselves Belford, Northern Port, Panworld, Headway, Ashwood, Rochville, MUST, OLWA, McFord and Corllins.
As they began their online research, the Pittsburg students found articles showing that Dubai’s education authority suspended Robertson’s clearance to teach at Dubai American Scientific School, accusing her of not being authorized to be a principal.
Robertson had lived in Dubai on and off for 19 years.
“That raised a red flag,” told Maddie Baden, a 17-year-old junior at the school. “If students could uncover this, I want to know why the adults couldn’t find this.”
Intrigued, student journalists at the school’s newspaper, a team of six students — five juniors and one senior, turned up the switch to only now come up with even more inconsistencies.
The student journalists published their story questioning the legitimacy of the college on Friday.
U.S. Department of Education officials, contacted by The Star, confirmed student reports; the federal agency could not find evidence of Corllins in operation. The school wasn’t included among the agency’s list of schools closed since 1986. Robertson earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa.
Students found and The Star confirmed the existence of several articles referring to Corllins as a diploma mill — where people can buy a degree, diploma or certificates. And searches on the school’s website go nowhere. No one from the university responded to emails sent by The Star this week.
Contacted by email Friday, Robertson, who has lived off and on for 19 years in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said, “The current status of Corllins University is not relevant because when I received my MA in 1994 and my PhD in 2010, there was no issue.”
She also said, “All three of my degrees have been authenticated by the US government.” Robertson declined to comment directly on students’ questions about her credentials, saying, “I have no comment in response to the questions posed by PHS students regarding my credentials because their concerns are not based on facts.”
Pittsburg Community Schools Board of Education board president Al Mendez announced Robertson’s resignation on Tuesday.
“In light of the issues that arose, Dr. Robertson felt it was in the best interest of the district to resign her position,” Superintendent Destry Brown said in a statement. ‘The Board has agreed to accept her resignation.”
Brown said that he felt responsible for what happened. “As superintendent, I feel like I let the teachers and the students down. I publicly admit that,” he said.
Brown went on to concede that the district would probably be making changes to its vetting process. How or why the vetting process existed in its current format is yet to be necessarily understood….
Emily Smith, the high school’s journalism adviser, said she was proud of the students.
Told Smith, “They were not out to get anyone to resign or to get anyone fired. They worked very hard to uncover the truth.”
According to the Washington Post, Robertson is currently in Dubai, where she claims she most recently worked as the chief executive of an education consulting firm known as Atticus I S Consultants. Allegedly.