When Drew Johansen starts his job in July as diving coach at Indiana University, he will arrive with a raft of credentials: six Atlantic Coast Conference titles at Duke University and four Olympic medals as coach of the 2012 U.S. team in London.
But he also arrives with a puzzling and some say troubling entry on his resume: a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Rochville University — widely described as a diploma mill that issues bogus degrees through the mail for a few hundred dollars.
Johansen’s decision to include Rochville on his resume for a job that required a bachelor’s degree — and IU’s decision to overlook it — is being criticized by some who believe a bogus degree from a diploma mill sends a bad message to students and should possibly have disqualified Johansen as a candidate, irrespective of his international coaching acclaim.
IU’s athletic director, Fred Glass, said the university discovered Rochville is not accredited early in the hiring process and ran the situation past the university’s human resources department, which gave him the OK to be flexible on the degree requirement. Ultimately, Glass determined Johansen’s coaching strengths outweighed any concerns.
“He’s an innovator in the sport,” said Glass. “He has some training techniques that are cutting edge.” . . .I completely understand the university's desire to hire Johansen given the depth of his coaching experience. What I don't understand is why the the university didn't just wave the bachelor's degree requirement if it wanted to hire someone who quite clearly doesn't have a real bachelor's degree. The university seems to be diminishing the value of receiving a higher education from accredited universities by allowing the use of phony degrees to fill positions by persons it employs. Jeff Taylor makes an astute observation in the comments section of the story on the Star's website: "If a bachelor's degree is a requirement, then that is the requirement and Rochville does NOT count. For this guy to place this on his resume shows questionable character and once again IU has sent the message that there is a 2nd set of rules for those who win. Can anyone say Kelvin Sampson?"