False Credentials Prompt GSE Vice Dean’s Exit  

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GSE’s Lynch resigns over false credentials

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Doug Lynch, the vice dean of the Graduate School of Education since 2004, resigned his position in April following revelations that two academic degrees listed on his resume did not match his educational transcripts at Columbia University.

Lynch falsely claimed to have earned a doctoral degree from the Teachers College of Columbia, which had in fact not awarded him one, though it had granted Lynch an extension until the spring of 2012 to complete its requirements. Lynch’s resume also misrepresented a master’s degree from the same institution, listing it as having been earned in 2005. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, whose reporting led to Lynch’s abrupt suspension and resignation, Columbia confirmed that Lynch had earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 2010.

Lynch, who declined to comment for this story, was not a member of Penn’s faculty. His position did not strictly require a doctoral degree. However, some University faculty voiced concern that he served on dissertation committees despite lacking a doctorate. 

The University released the following statement on April 26: “The precise details surrounding Mr. Lynch’s credentials were not known until this week, and yesterday Mr. Lynch was immediately placed on administrative leave. Today, his resignation was accepted. The University considers the matter closed.”

Lynch made waves at GSE with his heterodox approach to educational innovation and reform [“(Fund/Copy/Steal/Sell) This Education,” Jan|Feb 2011]. The discrepancies over his degrees initially surfaced at GSE in March, according to the Inquirer, which obtained an internal email stating that the matter had been “reviewed at all relevant levels of the university and sanctions were imposed.” When the newspaper pressed for further information, the University placed Lynch on administrative leave pending an investigation. —T.P.
©2012 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 07/03/12