State Health Plan Executive Administrator Jack Walker continues to mislead public about his PhD

Even though it is a misdemeanor in several states to list Columbia Pacific University on an employment application, Jack Walker continues to insist that his PhD from the short-lived, never accredited correspondence school is legit.

As evidence, Walker offered this to the N&O:

He said his dissertation on health care administration was strong enough to be published by the University of Michigan.

That would be impressive indeed. It would mean that Walker’s dissertation was accepted for publication by a prestigious academic press, that he worked for years with an editor who has subject matter expertise to refine his work, and that he spent months poring over page proofs.

Alas, like the PhD itself, Walker’s publishing claim is bogus. The University of Michigan did not publish his dissertation. The N&O is especially generous in noting that the dissertation is stored by ProQuest/UMI, a private company that microfilms nearly every single thesis or dissertation ever produced, and that people often confuse UMI with the University of Michigan because they are both located in Ann Arbor.

I would add that some researchers and average people might think that UMI is located at the University of Michigan. But I doubt that anyone has ever confused the storage of their dissertation at UMI with being published by the University of Michigan. That would be like confusing attendance at a Major League Baseball game with playing in a Major League Baseball game.

A quick search of the ProQuest database shows that Walker’s dissertation is not available. In fact, only one dissertation ever written at Columbia Pacific University appears in the gigantic ProQuest database. My guess is that ProQuest expunged its database of Columbia Pacific University dissertations when it discovered the nature of the school. But I’m waiting for confirmation of that.

The new line at the State Health Plan is that the executive administrator does not need a PhD, which is true enough and also beside the point.

During this time when the General Assembly is proposing major changes to the State Health Plan that will cause some people in our state to lose insurance coverage, the executive administrator must be someone with impeachable credibility and expertise.

When I discovered that Walker was misrepresenting his credentials it raised serious questions about his expertise and credibility. When Walker responded to questions about his PhD with more misrepresentations it diminished his credibility even more.

It will be a major mistake with lasting consequences if the General Assembly rushes ahead with changes proposed by the State Health Plan leadership while Jack Walker is at the helm. We can, and should, do better by state employees.


  1. Healthcare Now

    March 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    wow, if the hospitals arent paid by the State health Plan how are they going to make their bond payments. Mostof them are overleveraged from the borrwing spree of the 90s and early 00s. There is a possibility Moo0dy’s and Fitch’s will DOWNGRADE.

  2. Paul Hartal

    April 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    For the real facts on Columbia Pacific University, please consult these websites:
    http://netnotes.altcpualumni.org, or http://www.altcpualumni.org,

    CPU was never a diploma mill but a pioneer of distance education. Its closure resulted from the dirty politics of higher education in California, not from genuine pedagogical considerations. CPU was supervised and accredited (”approved”) by the State of California. More than 7000 graduates earned well-deserved academic degrees from CPU between 1978 and 1997.

    For a short list of distinguished CPU alumni, please, go to:


    The court that closed CPU in 2000 also ruled that CPU degrees are legally valid. Today CPU degrees are internationally recognized and they continue to be legally valid in most parts of the US. Because CPU grads worked hard for their degrees and gained a most valuable educational experience, it is the shame of states like Texas and Oregon that they persecute people for their scholarly accomplishments. Moreover, these states act unconstitutionally because they don’t recognize the authority of California to grant academic degrees. In fact, the Texas law also implies that California is a “fraudulent” state.

    Nowadays many universities follow CPU’s pioneering distance learning programs, including Columbia, Harvard and the University of Phoenix. Furthermore, many schools speacialize in total distance learning, among them, Capella, Nova and Walden.

  3. […] your child is attending “full-time” has better credentials than “Columbia Pacific University“. Share and […]

  4. Paul Hartal

    August 6, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Here are some comments on Columbia Pacific University published on Wikipedia (Discussion on CPU):

    Columbia Pacific University was given Full Institutional Approval by the California State Board of Education – which, by the very nature and meaning of the work. . .means ‘accredited”.

    Also, most lay folks are always about 20 years behind relating to cutting edge higher education. This unawareness allowed, for many year, At-A-Distance universities to be made fun of by certain groups of people who didn’t really know what they were talking about. Now, it seems enough years have passed, and enough investigations have taken place that it just doesn’t make much difference what anyone wants to say negative about the so-called ‘correspondence’ schools.

    The latest conclusion information released by both the federal government research on higher education and all private investigation groups that took up the challenge strongly indicate what most in the field have known for decades: students who obtain their bachelor, graduate and/or doctor level education by no classroom at-a-distance learning, obtain a more quality education in every major, meaningful area. They learn faster, retain longer, spend less money and less time and are better qualified for the ‘real’ world.

    Thank you for your patience,

    Bill Rogers, Ph.D. Director, Behavioral Medicine Southwest Behavior Research Institute

  5. Paul Hartal

    August 6, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Albert Einstein was one of the rare brilliant minds who realized that imagination is more important for progress than knowledge.

    Columbia Pacific University continues to inspire those who are not afraid of progress, of new and innovative ideas. For example, the Amos Bronson Alcott Center for Educational Research at European-American University integrates “Competency Education” by Columbia Pacific University:


  6. Paul Hartal

    August 6, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    The closing of CPU resulted not from valid educational considerations but from the dirty politics of higher education in California. Mind you, the judicial system is often not about truth and justice but about power and money. Miscarriage of justice is a common phenomenon. CPU was closed on the basis of a fabricated report full of factual errors and insubstantial allegations. For example, it absurdly claimed that Harvard-trained psychiatrist Dr. Richard Crews was unfit to serve as the President of CPU because he was an MD and not a PhD. Another preposterous and prejudiced assertion was directed against the black deans of CPU holding PhDs from well-known European universities. The deans in question were Dr. Ketsela, graduate of the University of Wales, and Dr. Tolossa, graduate of the University of Bremen. The report falsely alleged that these European universities are unaccredited. There were over 80 errors of fact in the report rendering it completely worthless.

    Error of Fact Number 28, for example, has become quite famous and mentioned in a variety of media articles. It concerns a Spanish dissertation that allegedly was approved by faculty who did not speak Spanish. In reality, the CPU faculty mentor who supervised the dissertation worked with the student in Spanish and the doctoral thesis provided Table of Contents, Summary and additional information in English. Moreover, CPU policy changed in early 1995, so that dissertations could be submitted only in English. Documented refutation of all the false claims against CPU has been published on line in “The Chronicles of Columbia Pacific University”. Please, note that CPU graduates earned their degrees through competency and hard work. Thousands of them teach at accredited schools or work in research, civil service, business and industry. .

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