Warren National University
Note : After 25 years then closed because of the classic reason " Accreditation ". The question is why the owner of this University not apply for accreditation to the Regional or National Accreditation in the USA?. No one can answer........
|Warren National University|
|Type||Private, distance learning, and unaccredited university|
|Students||30,000 total from 1984 to 2005 |
|Former names||Kennedy-Western University|
Warren National University 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 in 2007. The university had reportedly been economically successful targeting mid-career professionals. It has also been the subject of controversy and criticism due in part to involvement in a U.S. federal government investigation. The Chronicle of Higher Education said, "The university was notable for its slick marketing and for doling out credit for 'life experience.' "
On January 30, 2009, Warren National University announced that their attempt to achieve accreditation had failed and that they would cease operating on March 31, 2009.
Warren National University was established as Kennedy-Western University in California in 1984. Its founder was Paul Saltman. The name was officially changed to Warren National University on January 1, 2007.  According to the institution, the new name was selected in honor of the first governor of Wyoming, Francis E. Warren, and reflects the university's strong ties to the state of Wyoming.  The Encyclopedia of Distributed Learning states, "There are some unaccredited, profit-making online universities that have achieved reported economic success. One example is Kennedy-Western University, which has significant history in serving the corporate education markets."  The financial success is supported by an article in the Cheyenne Herald that contained the financial statement for what may have been a peak revenue year, 2003, about $25,000,000. The article added, "The $25 million estimate was almost dead-on. As was the estimate of using 50% of the revenue to generate the revenue" A Report by Verifile Limited, one of the leading background screening firms in the United Kingdom, is the result of an 18-month research project supported by the East of England Development Agency and Cambridge University stated, "one degree mill alone (known variously as Kennedy-Western University and Warren National University) was revealed to have banked approximately £16m in only one year of operation."
Over the university's history, it has moved its mailing address from California, Hawaii, Idaho, and finally to Wyoming, while keeping headquarters in California until December 2007. As of December 14, 2007, WNU closed its administrative offices in Agoura Hills, California, centralizing its operations in Wyoming.
In 2002 The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that KWU was licensed in California up to 1991, "But Kennedy-Western chose not to renew its license after California enacted the Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education Reform Act, a 1989 law that aimed to rid the state of diploma mills."  In the same article the Chronicle quoted the school's director of admissions as saying the new California regulations would not have permitted KWU "to offer college credit for work experience and a more flexible self-paced model."
In 1998, when the state of Idaho rejected their renewal application for license to operate because of a lack of institutional accreditation, Warren National University moved its mailing address from Idaho to Wyoming.  The Seattle Times noted in a 2005 article, that some believed KWU had an address in Wyoming because "the state has become a haven for diploma mills."
In August 2008, WNU announced that it was suspending new student admissions and reactivation of students in order to focus resources on current students. On January 30, 2009, WNU announced that their attempt to achieve accreditation had failed. Therefore in compliance with Wyoming state law they would cease operations on March 31, 2009. It was also mentioned that future university registrar services would be provided by Preston University. The Cheyenne Herald said, "They were not recommended for eligibility for accreditation and they will now pull the plug on their nefarious operation."
On June 5, 2009 a civil suit was filed by former students alleging that WNU had misrepresented itself to the students. The Cheyenne Herald reported, "it appears probable that WNU and its predecessor in name, Kennedy-Western University, may have committed illegal acts." Continuing, "That is basically what WNU did to numerous former students - they closed their doors before even bogus degrees were provided. In effect, they took deposits and fled from Cheyenne."
In 2002 The Chronicle of Higher Education described Warren National University as a privately held university incorporated in California and Wyoming, with headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California. Principal shareholders named in the article, based on publicly filed papers, were Warren National Chief Executive Officer and President Paul S. Saltman of Westlake Village, California, and Joseph Benjoya. Both the Chronicle article and an earlier article in the USDLA Journal stated that Warren National also claimed to have offices in Moscow, Jakarta, and Singapore. 
 Licensing and accreditation status
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, WNU 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 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, Warren National 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 WNU, 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, WNU was no longer listed by the Higher Learning Commission as "Applying" for accreditation, but instead as "No Status." On January 30, 2009 the WNU website explained that the evaluation visit did not go well and the recommendation was that the accreditation process should be terminated. Therefore, WNU withdrew their accreditation application.
The Chronicle of Higher Education stated in 2002, "Kennedy-Western University has a history of flirting with accreditation but failing to earn it."  In 2001 Warren National 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, the DETC's approval from the U.S. Department of Education does not authorize it to accredit institutions that award doctorates, and WNU did not pursue DETC accreditation.
Because WNU lacked accreditation, its degrees and credits might not be acceptable to some employers or other institutions. For example, WNU graduates were not qualified for faculty positions at WNU, at least not based on their WNU degrees. According to the Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning, "There truly is no simple answer to the accredited vs. unaccredited issue, other than to say that one can rarely go wrong with a properly accredited degree. We hear from a moderate number of people who have made good use of an unaccredited (but totally legitimate) degree, but we hear from many more who have had significant problems with such degrees, in terms of acceptance by employers, admission to other schools, or simply bad publicity." 
The use of unaccredited WNU degree titles may be legally restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions. Jurisdictions that have restricted or made illegal the use of credentials from unaccredited schools include Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Korea. WNU was also restricted from accepting students from Oregon, California, or Utah. As an example of a law that may restrict WNU degree use, the use of a degree in Nevada that is based upon more than 10 percent life experience is defined as use of a fake or misleading degree and is subject to a fine up to $5,000 or up to six months in jail or both. Note that it would require analysis on a case by case basis to evaluate whether or not the amount of life experience bestowed was greater than 10%. Many other states are also considering restrictions on the use of degrees from unaccredited institutions. 
 Better Business Bureau
Warren National became a member of the Mountain States Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 1996 and formerly had a satisfactory record with the BBB , but on March 26, 2008, BBB's board of directors revoked WNU's accreditation because WNU had not responded to complaints against it within the BBB's required timeframe.
Warren National University offered bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration, computer science, management information systems, and health administration, as well as a Doctor of Business Administration degree.
According to a 2004 article in the Laramie County Community College student newspaper, in the KWU program in 2004 the average time for graduation was 2.4 years; the average student age was 42, with an average of eight years of work experience in their field of study.
At the 2005 Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Warren National University faculty members gave a presentation on the method used to deliver academic courses. Andree Swanson and Keren Meier-Emerich offered the following abstract for their presentation.
"This is an example of one course, out of 500 courses offered, which demonstrates the delivery model used by Kennedy-Western University. Courses are designed using a modular format, which includes multiple self-assessment opportunities. Offered as open-entry, a student may be the only one taking the course at a given time or may be one of many enrolled at the same time. The model allows for anytime, any pace, and any place learning."
In the "Understanding New Media" book's section on virtual universities, author Kim Veltman mentions, "By leveraging the power of the internet, Kennedy-Western has refined the academic process and opened up countless opportunities to adult learners. And they used Jones e-Global Library." 
In a Chronicle of Higher Education article, Kennedy-Western faculty members stated students, "...often use the same textbooks and take exams as rigorous as those offered in professors' traditional classes."
In 2007 a Warren National official told a reporter that the institution had between 135 and 150 faculty members. According to WNU spokesmen and the school's website, 80% of the academic faculty hold doctoral degrees from accredited institutions and the remainder hold master's degrees from accredited institutions.  In 2002 The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that WNU would not disclose the number of faculty, the method of compensation, the proportion of faculty that is full-time or the ownership of the institution. However, WNU stated that half of the faculty were full-time faculty members in other institutions, and the Chronicle determined that at least 22 WNU instructors were full-time faculty at other state and private academic institutions, primarily associate and assistant professors in business, computer science, or engineering at state universities. According to the Chronicle, these part-time WNU faculty were paid on a piecework basis, reportedly receiving "$25 to grade a paper, a couple of hundred dollars to develop a course, and $40 an hour to answer students' questions." Some of these faculty were unwilling to talk openly about their work for WNU due to concern that their regular employers or their colleagues would disapprove of their work for an unaccredited institution "that many educators hold ... in low regard."
 GAO investigation
"From July 2003 through February 2004", an investigation was conducted by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) to determine whether the federal government had paid for degrees from diploma mills and other unaccredited postsecondary schools. Investigators determined that the federal government employed 463 individuals with degrees from unaccredited institutions including Kennedy-Western University. Senator Collins presented the GAO report to the Committee on Governmental Affairs, of which she was the Chair and ranking Republican. 
Witness testimony was provided during the same hearing by Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Claudia Gelzer, who was assigned as a staff aide to the committee, testified that Kennedy Western gave her life experience credit towards a master's in environmental engineering. Kennedy Western waived 43% of the course credit required for the degree based only on her application and descriptions of prior coursework and military training. She testified that Kennedy Western didn't check any of her claimed work experience. With 16 hours of effort she was able to earn 40% of the total remaining coursework required for her master's.  "As for my first-hand experience with Kennedy-Western courses and passing the tests, I found that basic familiarity with the textbook was all I needed. I was able to find exam answers without having read a single chapter of the text... As for what I learned, the answer is very little."
Kennedy-Western was not invited to testify before the Senate committee. The university's Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. David Gering, stated to The Oregonian, "We clearly believe that we are not a diploma mill and have an academically rigorous program."  Mr. Lewis M. Phelps, a spokesman for Kennedy-Western University, said the online university was unfairly tarnished in the report. "The basic equation GAO seems to have come up with is 'no accreditation, no good,' " Phelps said. "We don't think that's valid." 
 Oregon lawsuit
In July 2004, Warren National University filed a lawsuit on behalf of three former students, challenging an Oregon law that made it illegal for résumés used in connection with employment (including job applications) in the state to list degrees from institutions that are not accredited or recognized by the state as legitimate. In the suit, WNU asserted that the Oregon law violated its graduates' constitutional rights. In December 2004, Warren National and Oregon reached an out-of-court settlement in the case. Under the terms of the settlement, Oregon agreed to revise its law, allowing graduates of unaccredited and unapproved schools to list an unaccredited degree on a résumé as long as they note the school's unaccredited status in the résumé. The official required wording being, "does not have accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and has not been approved by the [Oregon] Office of Degree Authorization". The statutory revision was enacted in 2005.  In the settlement, the Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) also agreed to refrain from referring to the school as a "diploma mill" and the state attorney general's office agreed to provide ODA personnel with a training session on law related to defamation. However, Oregon still does not allow WNU degrees to be used for governmental employment or for professional licenses  because the ODA determined that the institution does not meet standard academic requirements as specified by Oregon statute ORS 348.609(1).
 See also
- Diploma mills in the United States
- Distance education
- Educational accreditation
- Electronic learning
- List of unaccredited institutions of higher learning
- Virtual university
- ^ a b Lesley Lipska, Private institutions offer opportunities for students, Wingspan (Laramie County Community College student newspaper), November 2004.
- ^ Online Extra: Inside diploma mills by Wilson P. Dizard III, Government Computer News, May 17, 2004
- ^ a b http://www.wnuedu.com/aboutwnu-offices.asp (accessed January 2, 2008)
- ^ a b Encyclopedia of Distributed Learning, by Dr. Kjell Erik Rudestam, SAGE Publications, ISBN 978-0-7619-2451-7, November 6, 2003
- ^ a b Warren National U., Formerly Known as Kennedy-Western U., to Shut Down, by Thomas Bartlett, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 2, 2009
- ^ a b c WNU website (accessed January 30, 2009)
- ^ a b New Name for Unaccredited University Salutes Wyoming Governor, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 30, 2006
- ^ a b Kennedy-Western University is changing its name to Warren National University, Former KWU website
- ^ Kennedy-Western University was a gold mine. A veritable gold mine. And its students were the canaries., by Dave Featherly, Cheyenne Herald, March 6, 2009
- ^ Accredibase Report exposes international fake degree fraud, Friday's Media Group, 20 January 2010
- ^ a b c d e Regulating Kennedy-Western -- or Not by Andrea L. Foster, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 12, 2002
- ^ a b c d e f g Moonlighting for an Unaccredited University by Andrea L. Foster, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 12, 2002
- ^ Alleged "diploma mills" flocking to Wyoming By Mead Gruver, Seattle Times, February 09, 2005
- ^ A Mysterious Silence Emanates From Warren National U, by Thomas Bartlett, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 25, 2008
- ^ a b Warren National University (formerly Kennedy-Western University) to close., by Dave Featherly, Cheyenne Herald, February 2, 2009
- ^ Legal document filed in the Wyoming court CheyenneHerald.com Retrieved June 23, 2009
- ^ "Former students sue Warren National University". KTVQ-TV. Jun 5, 2009. http://www.ktvq.com/Global/story.asp?S=10486660. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- ^ WNU principals should face criminal charges, by Dave Featherly, Cheyenne Herald,November 17,2009
- ^ A Virtual Revolution:Trends in the Expansion of Distance Education, United States Distance Learning Association, November 2001.
- ^  Wyoming Department of Education Private School Registration, accessed February 29, 2008
- ^ Wyoming Private school licensing-amendments, Joint Education Interim Committee
- ^ Wyoming Department of Education, Registered Private Degree Granting Post-Secondary Education Institutions
- ^ Wyoming Toughens Up on Unaccredited, "Inside Higher Education", March 20, 2006
- ^ a b New law prompts online school changes, Jackson Hole Star Tribune, 2006
- ^ Schools try to end unaccredited status, Billings Gazette, July 1, 2006. The article quoted Lady Branham, deputy to the association's executive director, as saying: "Accreditation generally involves an intensive review, including inspection visits by teams from the accrediting agency. After today's deadline to apply for accreditation, the law gives schools five years to achieve it. With North Central, that's a tight schedule. Just being accepted as an accreditation candidate with North Central is a process in itself. They could be candidates within four to five years. It's unlikely that it would be sooner. And then accreditation is usually four years after candidacy begins. And it's not automatic. It assumes that the institution actually completely fulfills all the criteria."
- ^ Public Accreditation Notice and Call for Third Party Comment, WNU website, accessed July 19, 2008
- ^ Comprehensive Visit List, The Higher Learning Commission website, accessed July 19, 2008
- ^ 
- ^ a b Warren National University Faculty, Warren National University website
- ^ Chapter 9 - Accredited versus Unaccredited: How Does One Decide?, Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning, p63 of the 15th edition.
- ^ Diploma Mills and Accreditation, U.S. Department of Education
- ^ a b c d e f g h Unaccredited Colleges, Oregon Office of Degree Authorization
- ^ Accredited and Non-Accredited Colleges and Universities, Maine’s List of Non-Accredited Post-Secondary Schools
- ^ Colleges and Universities not accredited by CHEA, Michigan Education and Children's Services
- ^ a b Use of False or Misleading Degrees Nevada statute NRS 394.700
- ^ Disputed degrees spur state changes, The New Jersey Star-Ledger, September 4, 2008
- ^ a b c d e f State mulls online learning by the Associated Press, Billings Gazette, January 30, 2005
- ^ Institutions Whose Degrees are Illegal to Use in Texas, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
- ^ Two less doctors in the house - Hebert, Wilson back away from Ph.D.'s issued by ‘diploma mills', by Stephen Palkot, Fort Bend Herald, September 28, 2007
- ^ Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, Washington Consumer Information
- ^ Guide to teaching English in Korea Koreapot.com
- ^ a b c Warren National University
- ^ Is Oregon the only state that disallows use of unaccredited degrees? Oregon Office of Degree Authorization
- ^ Mountain States Better Business Bureau, "BBB Reliability Report for Warren National University," August 27, 2007
- ^ Mountain States Better Business Bureau, ""BBB Reliability Report for Warren National University," March 26, 2008
- ^ Warren National University Areas of Study Warren National University website
- ^ Asynchronous delivery of an open-entry course, Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, 2005
- ^ Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge and Culture, University of Calgary Press, ISBN 978-1-55238-154-0, July 30, 2006.
- ^ a b Lawmakers consider legislation to close diploma-mill loophole, By David McGlinchey, Government Executive, May 12, 2004
- ^ a b Senator Collins Unveils GAO Report Showing Federal Agencies Purchased Bogus Degrees with Taxpayer Dollars: GAO Uncovers over $170,000 in Federal Payments to Two Unaccredited Schools, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee press release, May 11, 2004
- ^ Statement of Lieutenant Commander Claudia Gelzer, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, "Bogus Degrees and Unmet Expectations: Are Taxpayer Dollars Subsidizing Diploma Mills? (Day 2)", May 12, 2004
- ^ Wyo university sues Oregon to defend its diplomas, Star Tribune, August 5, 2004
- ^ Public Paid for Bogus Degrees, Washington Post, May 12, 2004.
- ^ States Struggle to Regulate Online Colleges That Lack Accreditation, by Sarah Carr and Andrea L. Foster, The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2001.
- ^ a b c d Oregon settles with unaccredited university, Portland Business Journal, December 22, 2004.
- ^ a b Oregon Settles Federal Lawsuit Filed by Kennedy-Western University; State Officials Will Seek Changes to State Law Regulating the Use of Degrees from Unaccredited Universities, Kennedy-Western press release by David Gering, Businesswire, December 21, 2004
- ^ Conference Committee on SB 1039, 73rd Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2005 Regular Session, Measure: SB 1039 A*, June 22, 2005.
- ^ Scarlet Letter, Inside Higher Education, July 7, 2005
- Warren National University - official website
- Kennedy Western University Student Handbook 03v1
- Warren National University (Kennedy-Western) Chief Academic Officer talks with the Herald, March 3, 2009, Opinion - Commentary by Dave Featherly of the Cheyenne Herald regarding internal view of WNU while trying to become accredited
- Provides more from the K-WU financial statements, March 18, 2009, by Dave Featherly of the Cheyenne Herald
- Discussion on utility of WNU degrees, March 2, 2010, by Dave Featherly of the Cheyenne Herald