Declaring a matter “closed” doesn’t make it so. The University of Pennsylvania may learn that lesson the hard way.
On Thursday the Vice Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Penn resigned. Turns out Doug E. Lynch didn’t have the PhD he claimed to have from Columbia University. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a University spokeswoman said on Wednesday that Lynch was “unaware he didn’t have the degree.” Yeah, it is SO hard to keep track of those things.
The University said they found out about the possible non-doctorate back in March and imposed “sanctions.” But when the media started calling six weeks later and began putting Penn through the third degree, the University suddenly put Lynch on administrative leave in order to “investigate the matter further.” Apparently they are quick studies because the next day Lynch resigned.
According to ABC News, the graduate school spokeswoman, the University president and the Dean of the graduate school all declined to comment and referred reporters to the school’s media relations department which issued a statement saying “the university now considers this matter closed.”
Nice college try, guys, but it doesn’t work that way. If an organization can just fire someone and declare a matter closed — the Secret Service would have tried that a couple weeks ago. Penn needs to climb down from their Ivy tower and explain how an institution entrusted with granting post-graduate degrees can be led by someone without them.