Cheating term-paper-for-pay businesses recruited customers through subsidized on-campus parties

Companies like Edubirdie offer platforms for academic cheating, connecting freelance essay-writers with desperate students who pay hundreds of dollars to have their academic papers ghostwritten for them. Edubirdie has recruited customers with on-campus "epic parties" which offered organizers $250, along with branded cups and a standee with the company's mascot, in exchange for posting five or more photos of students posed with the standee and hashtagged with #EduBirdieParty. The organizer whose party that received the most attention would get $3,000 and a 2-hour DJ set. Read the rest

Koch-funded "academic freedom" grifters run into trouble at Wellesley

Reactionaries of every stripe have latched onto "academic freedom" for self-promotion as speakers on college campuses, but Wellesley College's Koch-funded Freedom Project came under scrutiny thanks to student activists and journalists. Now the program's head is taking a year off to teach "elsewhere." Read the rest

Arduino's new CEO has spent years pretending to have an MIT PhD and an NYU MBA

Federico Musto is the new CEO of Arduino; he is the partner of one of the original five founders, Gianluca Martino, who created a scandal when it was revealed that he'd secretly secured an Italian trademark on the name "Arduino," behind his partners' backs. Read the rest

New principal resigns after high school student newspaper challenges credentials

Amy Robertson was set to be the $93,000-a-year principal of Pittsburg High School in Kansas. But she quit before her first day after the student newspaper found that her Masters' degree and Ph. D. were from a diploma mill.

“She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials,” said Trina Paul, a senior and an editor of the Booster Redux, the school newspaper. “We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials.” ...

Pittsburg journalism adviser Emily Smith said she is “very proud” of her students. “They were not out to get anyone to resign or to get anyone fired. They worked very hard to uncover the truth.”

Students journalists published a story Friday questioning the legitimacy of the private college — Corllins University — where Robertson got her master’s and doctorate degrees years ago. 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.

Robertson insisted "all three of my degrees have been authenticated by the US government," whatever that means, and that she would not respond to students' questions about he credentials "because their concerns are not based on facts.”

You'd think "look them up on Google" would be part of the hiring process, but no! Read the rest