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ERIC Number: EJ797140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-16
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Cal State-Long Beach Heeds Call to Investigate Professors' Online Biographies
Bartlett, Thomas
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n36 pA12 May 2008
This article reports that an essay by a film professor at California State University at Long Beach that questions the credentials of his colleagues is stirring controversy on the campus--and sparking investigations. The essay, written by Brian Alan Lane, an associate professor of film, accuses three of his colleagues in the department of film and electronic arts of having "outright lies or misleading statements of fact" in their online biographies. Mr. Lane said he was pursuing the matter because the university seemed reluctant to do so. He doesn't name names, but, upon closer inspection, at least one of his colleagues listed credentials that don't seem to check out. In the last week of April, Michael I. Berlin's online university bio listed him as a "graduate from Columbia University's master's program," though it didn't specify which master's program. Two searches of the National Student Clearinghouse database--a service Columbia and many other universities use for degree verification--turned up no Columbia degree for Mr. Berlin. Mr. Berlin's bio also listed him as a psychologist and a member of the American Psychological Association. An official in the membership department of the association, which has 148,000 members, could not find any record of the professor. Mr. Berlin admitted that he was not a member of the association. By May 2, however, Mr. Berlin's online bio was changed. The references to the American Psychological Association and to being a "clinical psychologist" were both removed. As for his Columbia degree, Mr. Berlin's bio now says he "took courses" at Columbia.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California