Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Epic [Fail] of Guergis...[update x 2]

Blogger A BCer in Toronto today posted an item regarding a claim on embattled Minister Helena Guergis’s official website that she holds an MBA from the University of Alberta. Apparently last year a community paper looked into the matter and after a little pressing a Guergis staffer testily admitted the Minister of State for Status of Women has “put on hold” her “aspirations” to attain a graduate degree.
Now go read A BCer in Toronto for more, including the smoking screenshots.

Something tells me her chances of completing an MBA - or apparently even an undergrad degree - at my university or any other (that doesn't involve an offer through email spam) are now less than zero. This is serious misrepresentation and at least an academic high crime.

If Harper keeps her on, then we know there's some serious dirt under the Conservative rug.

UPDATE (16 Mar 2010, 16:43 MST): Elizabeth Thompson at Eye on the Hill notes that:
A quick call to the University of Alberta confirms that Ms. Guergis is indeed the proud possessor of an MBA degree from that august institution - Class of 2009.
I've never made a "quick call" to any university and I study and work at the one in question. That aside, multiple internet searches of the University of Alberta website for any reference to Helena Guergis (alone or incombination with MBA, 2009, alumna, alumni, convocation, etc) only turns up three links: one to a PhD thesis, a reference to keynote speech in a 2008 China Institute newsletter, and an UofA in-the-press notice where she is indirectly mentioned. No reference to her receiving the MBA is mentioned in any of my searches - try for yourself. Nor does the Wikipedia list of notable UofA alumni include reference to Guergis, although her colleague Rona Ambrose is both there and on the UofA site. One would think that some mention of such a high profile graduate would exist somewhere in the intertubes, but this does not appear to be the case.

Further, allowing for the possibility that Guergis gained acceptance to the UofA MBA programme, the issue of where the Member and Secretary of State for the Status of Women would find the time to complete an MBA that does not seem to offer a distance education option, remains unaddressed. Nor has anything been brought forward to refute the reported claims from her staff that she had suspended her MBA studies.

So what we have are statements in her webpages, and the hearsay in a few lines from one reporter who claimed to call the UofA versus several conflicting and circumstantial news reports and credible conjecture. Lots of room in there.

Pending new and better information, I remain sceptical but completely willing to concede that she managed to earn an MBA. Although that in turn may raise an eyebrow about circumstances of her award.

minor UPPERDATE: It occurred to me that it might worthwhile to collect screen shots of member bios and sleuth out their credentials a little. Could be fun to see what turns up.

PLOT THICKENS: Via Holly commenting at BCL we find a note claiming that Guergis' MBA was attained prior to her political career:
Before her career in politics, Helena attained an MBA from the University of Alberta and owned a small business for seven years.

Was she "Class of 2009" or some other year before 2004, when she was first elected, or something else entirely? I suspect the Doctor may be involved.

(h/t BCL, and hearty well done to A BCer!)

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