Someone asked us about looking into the master degree held by Bill Kaufman, the Assistant City Manger.  They stated, basically, that his degree is from an unaccredited university and isn’t a real master’s degree for the position he holds, or could hold.

Considering he clearly posted the name of the degree and school on LinkedIn, it doesn’t look like he’s being shady with the City of Ocala. We requested the Job Descriptions for both the Assistant City Manager as well as the City Manager job positions. What we see is the Assistant City Manager position does NOT state it requires a degree from an accredited university, BUT the City Manager job position clearly states that it does require a degree from an accredited university.  So as of right now, he does not qualify for the City Manager position on paper to the City of Ocala standards.  However, knowing the City of Ocala, they will just change it to match what they want at the time, if they ever want him to step up into that role.

Here’s the info on the degree and the school as well as some more reading on the differences between accredited and unaccredited degrees at the following link.

Here’s the info on the University he has posted on his LinkedIn profile: Kennedy Western University, Degree Name: Master of Science (M.S.), Field Of Study: Business Administration

Dates attended or expected graduation: 2003 – 2004
(On average, a master’s degree takes 1.5 to 2 years for full-time students to complete. There are many factors, however, that may increase or decrease the exact length of time from enrollment to graduation.)

Here’s the information about the university: Kennedy Western University, founded in 1984, was a post-secondary, distance learning, unaccredited private university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Until December 14, 2007, its administrative offices were located in Agoura Hills, California. The institution was established in California in 1984 under the name Kennedy-Western University, and adopted its new name as Warren National University in 2007. Kennedy-Western University ceased operating on March 31, 2009 .

Licensing and Accreditation Status Kennedy-Western University (renamed as Warren National University) was registered with the Wyoming Department of Education under W.S. 21-2-401 through 21-2-407.

This registration allowed the university to legally conduct business in the state. However, KWU was never accredited by any higher education accreditation body recognized in the United States. As a condition of registration in Wyoming, the institution had to meet standards contained in “Article 4: Private School Licensing.” One such new requirement, which took effect in July 2006, was that a school must either be accredited or be in the process of becoming accredited by a higher education accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to continue operating in Wyoming, Kennedy-Western University applied for accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the recognized regional accreditation agency serving the state. The accreditation process was expected to take several years. According to KWU, the school achieved “eligibility status” for accreditation in December 2007. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Commission scheduled an “initial candidacy” visit by an evaluation team on October 13–15, 2008, another required step toward accreditation. As of January 27, 2009, KWU was no longer listed by the Higher Learning Commission as “Applying” for accreditation, but instead as “No Status.” On January 30, 2009 the KWU explained that the evaluation visit did not go well and the recommendation was that the accreditation process should be terminated. Therefore, KWU withdrew their accreditation application.

In 2001 KWU announced it was considering applying to the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) for accreditation, a legitimate accreditor that is recognized for accrediting distance-learning institutions. However, while DETC’s approval from the U.S. Department of Education does authorize it to accredit institutions that award doctorates, KWU did not pursue DETC accreditation.

Here’s some more info on accredited vs unaccredited degrees that may help some of you!