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Lunch bite — the search for Timothy Johnson’s PhD

Timothy Johnson is vice chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. He prominently lists his PhD on every publication and at every speaking engagement. But as early as last summer reporter Bob Geary was questioning whether or not Johnson’s degree is legitimate. At the time Johnson refused to answer questions.

Then the issue died.

Perhaps because Johnson does not seem to have much say in the Republican Party the press decided that it’s not worth pursuing. But it is a pretty simple question: is Johnson’s degree from an accredited institution? If not, should he continue claiming the credential? It’s especially important as he is taking a leadership role in the tea party movement speaking at rallies across the state.

I thought I would check a few facts. It’s easy enough to search for accredited colleges and universities at the U.S. Department of Education. Johnson says his degree is from LaSalle University in Total Quality Management. According to the Department of Education, LaSalle University in Philadelphia is the only accredited LaSalle.

As Geary noted, LaSalle in Pennsylvania does not offer a PhD in Total Quality Management. I asked LaSalle about the issue and a representative in the registrar’s office noted that the university does not offer any PhD programs. It offers an advanced clinical psychology program, but that is a Psy.D., not a PhD. So no one can ligitimately claim a PhD from the accredited LaSalle.

If Johnson does not have an accredited PhD it certainly wouldn’t disqualify him from serving in the Republican Party or running his business, Leadership 101, which is apparently “on notice” from the NC Secretary of State.

But if Johnson has a bogus PhD it certainly raises larger questions about his willingness to misrepresent himself and his qualifications.

9 Comments


  1. BP

    August 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I am by no means a supporter of Mr. Johnson, but being “on-notice” by the Secretary of State doesn’t mean squat. In spite of being up-to-date on all her filings my wife was “on-notice”. This was because of management errors in the Secretary of State’s office. Something to do with the SoS and DoR not communicating properly.

  2. AdamL

    August 11, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for the message. I wondered what exactly that meant.

  3. WILLIAM MURRAT

    August 12, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I’m truly amazed anyone has time to worry about this !

  4. AdamL

    August 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I’m truly amazed anyone has time to worry about us worrying about it.

  5. BillP

    August 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Actually I think he is amazed, not worried. But I’m not sure which takes more time.

  6. BillP

    August 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    In any event, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  7. Chris Hatfer

    August 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Now I know what keeps a Progressive up at night- it’s not the economy, not Afghanistan- it’s those darn Republican credentials !

  8. AdamL

    August 13, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Now I know what keeps a Conservative up at night — it’s not the economy, not Afghanistan, not the misrepresentations of Republicans — it’s what those darn Progressives are saying about Republican credentials!

  9. Joe

    August 16, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Does anyone know who he is, do they care? Vice chair for a state party is not an important position. NC doesn’t have a law against claiming fake degrees just for the hell of it. If he ever tries to go for elected office then they have a big stick to beat him over the head with, but he is a nobody.

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