Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

How to Deal with Fraudulent Credential Claims


Here is a piece in The Baffler that provides a sharp dissent on the way Harvard went after one Adam Wheeler, who claimed to have earned a Harvard degree: criminal prosecution.

I am inclined to think that false claims of educational credentials ought to be dealt with in civil court. If the plaintiff (either the school or the party that hired the individual making the claim) can show damage, the defendant ought to pay. Could Harvard show that it had been damaged because Mr. Wheeler said he had a Harvard degree when he really didn’t? I doubt it. Turning cases like this into criminal offenses seems like using a howitzer to kill a fly.


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