Contreras essay in the Chronicle

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Contreras essay in the Chronicle

Postby g-gollin » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:07 pm

I'm an Expert. You Can Be One, Too. Alan Contreras, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2007.

I am an expert. Everyone tells me so. They tell me that I am an expert on diploma mills and degree fraud because I have been working professionally in that field for many years. I have become either glorious or notorious, depending on whether the person evaluating me got a degree from a genuine college. I am invited to write book chapters and introductions and give speeches and testimony, owing to my general splendor in that arena. However, I don't have any degrees in higher-education administration or policy.

They tell me that I am an expert on birds because I have published three books about them, including co-editing Birds of Oregon (Oregon State University Press, 2003), a five-pounder whose bibliography contains 4,000 citations. I proved that volume's worth and my expertise when asked, by a person who hadn't seen it, if she could carry it in her pocket in the field. I said, "Sure, if you're a large kangaroo or a small aircraft." I don't have any degrees in ornithology, either.

I may be a nascent expert in a few other subjects — time will tell. Or will it? Who makes those decisions, anyway?

To pick an example that may be unfairly obvious...
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Re: Contreras essay in the Chronicle

Postby Hungry Ghost » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:05 pm

It seems to me that being an 'expert' is something like being 'compassionate' or 'intelligent'. If you have to tell other people that you are, then you probably aren't.
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Re: Contreras essay in the Chronicle

Postby SteveFoerster » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:06 pm

Alan Contreras wrote:I have become either glorious or notorious, depending on whether the person evaluating me got a degree from a genuine college.

Hardly. I am living refutation of the idea that all those with legitimate degrees support Alan's approach.

-=Steve=-
BS, Information Systems concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Educational Technology Leadership, George Washington University
PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
More about me at my site
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Re: Contreras essay in the Chronicle

Postby levicoff » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:22 pm

Hungry Ghost wrote:It seems to me that being an 'expert' is something like being 'compassionate' or 'intelligent'. If you have to tell other people that you are, then you probably aren't.
When I was in Union, one of my adjuncts, a true expert and scholar in his field (and mine), and I were talking about the illustrious John Warwick Montgomery, the noted Lutheran apologist whose ego alienated so many people that - when last heard from - he was working for Trinity (yes, the ugly Trinity of Newburgh) in Europe.

I hit the floor laughing when my adjunct said, in reflection, "Montgomery's problem is that he's as brilliant as he thinks he is. And he is."

One thing I can tell you about Alan - he has a great sense of humor. And if anything, the perception problem here may simply be that Alan is as much an expert as he says he is. But he is. Make no doubt about it.

Over the past few years, I have become an expert in intermodal transportation. The fact that I have no degree in logistics is irrelevant, as is Alan's lack of a degree in nontraditional education or orthonology. And the fact that I call myself an expert in whatever field I choose to be an expert does not, in itself, make my claim false.

Alan has not done as much as, say, John Bear with regard to teaching people about resources. That's not his job - his thing is busting the balls of frauds. And he has become one of the key players at fighting degree mills in this country. Those who object to that notion the most will obviously be those who earned their degrees at the schools that have been "banned for use" in Oregon. Get over it.

And for thos :lol: e who hold legitimate degrees but object to Alan's ego, get over that as well. You'll never be in his league, just as you'll never be in mine.
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Re: Contreras essay in the Chronicle

Postby Carl_Reginstein » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:33 pm

levicoff wrote:
And for thos :lol: e who hold legitimate degrees but object to Alan's ego, get over that as well. You'll never be in his league, just as you'll never be in mine.


Far beyond it, at least in my case.... :twisted:
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Re: Contreras essay in the Chronicle

Postby nosborne48 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:55 am

Whoa! A line has been crossed! Will some moderator delete the previous post? Please?
Una cosa mala nunca muere.
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Re: Contreras essay in the Chronicle

Postby Rich Douglas » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:49 am

Moderators? The lack of them makes this a nicer place sometimes.
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