Deasy's Resume Shows Questions, Doctorate Remains Under Investigation - Southern Maryland Headline News

Deasy's Resume Shows Questions, Doctorate Remains Under Investigation


WASHINGTON (Sept. 24, 2008)—Prince George's County Schools Superintendent John E. Deasy has two anomalies on his resume, according to a review of the document by Capital News Service.

Deasy is already under scrutiny for receiving a doctorate from the University of Louisville with only nine credit hours. He was awarded his doctorate two years after giving the research company owned by his adviser, Robert Felner, a three-year, $375,000 contract. Felner is under federal investigation for misappropriation of funds.

Deasy listed a faculty position in the doctoral program of Educational Leadership and Social Justice at Loyola Marymount University, Calif., from 2003 to present. The university's human resources department could not find him listed as a current or former faculty member.

There also was a date discrepancy on the resume he had on file in the Prince George's Schools office of the superintendent.

Deasy received his master's degree on May 21, 1989, according to Providence College records. However, his resume says he received the degree in 1987, the same time he became director of personnel at Coventry Public Schools, R.I.

Deasy did not claim to have his master's when applying for the personnel director position, according to Coventry Public School records.

University of Louisville recently impaneled a six-member, blue ribbon committee to investigate Deasy's doctoral degree.

In a letter to the university's accrediting agency, University of Louisville President James Ramsey said the blue-ribbon panel found no violations of the accreditation agency's residency requirements for Deasy's degree, said John Drees, a university spokesman.

The committee met Wednesday to investigate other aspects of Deasy's degree, Drees said. The meetings are confidential.

Deasy declined to comment by phone or e-mail. In a news release he said he will accept the university's decision regarding his doctorate.

Deasy was elected unanimously in February 2006. He is the county's fifth superintendent in 10 years.

Deasy has worked for progressively larger school districts: Coventry Public Schools has 5,600 students, Santa Monica-Malibu (Calif.) Unified School District has 12,800 students and, most recently, Prince George's, which contains 133,000 students.

Deasy was chosen to lead the Prince George's school system over two candidates with experience in larger counties. According to an article by The Washington Post, Deasy ran for superintendent claiming he was "free of ethical taint."

"I am proud of all of the credits I earned to achieve my doctorate," Deasy said in the news release. "However, I am most proud of the phenomenal achievements of Prince George's County public school students since I joined this community two years ago."

The release also mentioned the Alumni Fellow Award Deasy received in 2007 from Louisville.

The county is not investigating Deasy because a national search firm did a resume check during his candidacy for superintendent, said John White, spokesman for the county.

"The requirements for superintendent were a master's degree and the doctorate was preferred, so it was not a requirement," said White. "As far as Dr. Deasy is concerned, he feels like he did the work required of him so we have to see if the university did not follow its own procedures."

Rising test scores and a closing achievement gap may cause the board of education to overlook Deasy's doctorate.

"The Board of Education stands united behind our superintendent in his leadership of Prince George's County Public Schools," said Verjeana M. Jacobs, chair of the school board, in a press release. Jacobs and the other board members declined to comment by phone or e-mail.

The release states the board will continue to work with the university, but its focus "remains on the most important work of closing achievement gaps for all students."

Capital News Service contributed to this report.

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