Thursday, October 06, 2011

Yuin University v. Korean Broadcasting System (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 5, 2011)

Maybe they should have put "University" in quotes in the caption of this lawsuit:

"On September 2, 2007, KBS [Korean Broadcasting System] broadcast a segment on its Sunday news program entitled 'Degree Factory Confers Doctorate Degrees even to Persons who Plagiarize.' The broadcast aired during a controversy in Korea over high profile Koreans lying about their academic credentials. The broadcast identified Yuin in Compton, California as a 'suspected . . . degree factory.' The reporters visited the university but 'found no students, teachers and no officials except a signboard that is the only indication showing that this is a university. The reason that the school is left vacant in this way can be verified by a graduate who is working as a professor.' The former graduate told the reporters that he twice stayed one week in Los Angeles to obtain his degree from Yuin but otherwise never came on campus. The reporter concluded that Yuin 'confers degrees to persons who have not properly studied at their place.'

The broadcast further reported that 47 people disclosed to the Korean Research Foundation that they received doctorate degrees from Yuin and 40 dissertations were lodged there. The reporters found some of these graduate theses to be identical and others to be of poor quality. With the exception of the first two pages listing different titles and authors, two of the theses were identical even down to the typographical errors found in the table of contents. The authors were identified as Mr. Young Tae Baik, who received a degree from Yuin in the first semester of 2002, and Mr. Young In Byun, who received a degree from Yuin in the second semester of 2002. Both theses were signed by the same advisor professor. . . . The reporters also stated that two other dissertations for a doctorate in theology were identical, including the typographical errors in the footnotes, and another one appeared to have been copied from articles found on the internet. Another thesis for a doctorate degree in oriental medicine was judged to 'display a shameful level even to be submitted as an undergraduate paper.' 'There was even a thesis for [a] doctorate degree that is said to abstract contents from Internet portal sites.'"

Sounds like good reporting to me.  As well as to the Court of Appeal, which affirms the trial court's rejection of Yuin "University's" resulting libel lawsuit.

Though this does give me an idea.  Maybe my academic career would be assisted by my getting a PhD.  Apparently it's not as difficult as I thought.