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.