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.