Greece’s former State Secretary of Industry, who was in charge of spending billions of euros in the run-up to the country's debt crisis, has an MBA from an unaccredited American university, London's Channel 4 News reported Friday.
George Anastosopoulos’ LinkedIn page says that he earned an MBA in Business in 1990 from the online Chadwick University based in Alabama. Chadwick University, however, never was accredited by any agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and suspended its services indefinitely last year.
The university gained such a reputation that it is illegal to seek employment with a Chadwick University degree in Texas, while Oregon and Michigan classify it as an unacceptable institution for c redentialing for those seeking jobs.
Anastosopoulos, on his LinkedIn page, boasts that he supervised billions of government spending in advance of the debt-crisis in Greece, even representing the country at EU Ministers Council summits.
As an industry minister in 2009, he claims he drew up a “resession [sic] emergency plan for SMEs [small and medium sized enterprises].” The plan included 77,000 Greek businesses receiving European Union development funds totaling 9.5 billion euros over two phases. Anastosopoulos supervised the distribution of 5.5 billion euros.
In his previous position as Secretary of Communications from 2007-2009, Anastosopoulos claims he managed “Digital Development EU projects related to telecoms (300 mils euro).”
In an interview with Channel 4 News, Anastosopoulos said he knew the university was unaccredited, but that he wanted to expand on his knowledge of business issues.
“I didn't have the impression that it was scam, but it was clear from the first moment that it was not an accredited distance learning program,” he said. “If you noticed in my CV I never claimed that it was an accredited program.”
Anastosopoulos earned his unaccredited MBA at the same time he earned a recognized PhD from Northwestern University in Engineering, a degree he recognizes as a business qualification.
While Anastospoulos did not say whether he believes his MBA helped him receive his two government jobs, education experts believe the lack of accrediting is enough proof of lack of quality.
George Gollin, a University of Illinois expert on unaccredited institutions, told Channel 4 News, "The degrees are academically meaningless, though some of Chadwick's customers will no doubt claim to have done some work in addition to forking over the payments required to obtain a Chadwick diploma."