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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 09:17 PM
Original message
The new #2 man in L.A. schools was forced to resign in Maryland over a questionable doctorate.
Edited on Thu Jun-24-10 09:24 PM by madfloridian
When I think of the constant demands for teachers to be accountable, I find this stunning. Apparently administrators don't have to be that accountable after all.

There is no mention in the article of the controversy during his time in Maryland. It is as though it never was.

School reformer named to top LA district job

LOS ANGELESA top official with the country's leading school reform foundation has been named as the No. 2 leader of the nation's second-largest school district. The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday voted to name John Deasy, deputy director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as deputy superintendent, effective Aug. 1.

District Superintendent Ramon Cortines said Deasy's experience as superintendent of three school districts will have "a profound and positive effect on the daily operations of LAUSD."

Prior to his position at the Gates Foundation, Deasy ran the Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland, where he developed a pay-for-performance plan for teachers' salaries.

...He currently oversees the $200 million educational grant program for the Gates Foundation, the nation's biggest player in the school reform movement.


Here is more about his time in Maryland and how his doctorate came to be questioned.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY: This troubled school district thought it was finally going to get a long-term superintendent when they hired John Deasy (BSA 2006) in May 2006, but by September 2008 he was being investigated for having improperly received his doctorate. He resigned in short order and went to work for the Gates Foundation.


The University of Louisville eventually said his doctorate was fine, but in only one semester? Weird circumstances surrounding it.

From 2008 Maryland Gazette

Questions raised about whether Prince George's schools superintendent earned doctorate

The Prince George's County school board is assigning legal counsel to work as a liaison with University of Louisville officials investigating allegations that Superintendent John E. Deasy may have improperly received a doctorate from the school in 2004.

..."Deasy did not speak about the allegations at the meeting, but was quoted in The Washington Post as saying, "If the university made errors in the awarding of the degree, I do hope they rescind it. My responsibility is to do everything I was advised and told to do. If I was advised wrong and given wrong information, the university needs to take responsibility for that. I certainly would not want anything unearned."

The university investigation stems from reports in Kentucky news media that Deasy was awarded a doctorate of philosophy even though he only completed nine credit hours in one semester at the school. According to the university's policies, there is no set number of credits that doctor of philosophy candidates are required to obtain, however, it has been "customary to consider the equivalent of three years of full-time graduate study as minimal."


Interesting paragraph included about the man who oversaw the doctorate.

The university's dean at the time, who reportedly oversaw Deasy's doctoral dissertation, was Robert Felner, who resigned from the university in June and is currently under investigation for allegedly misappropriating a $649,000 grant. Felner has not been charged with a crime.


The University eventually concluded that the one semester doctorate was quite legitimate.

Louisville Says Doctorate Earned in Semester Is Legit

The University of Louisville has concluded that a much-questioned doctorate it awarded for one semester of study was legitimate, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported. The doctorate was awarded to John Deasy in 2004 and appears to violate university rules about residency requirements. Deasy, as a school superintendent, had given money to a research center headed by the then-dean of Louisvilles education college, who then went on to chair Deasys dissertation committee, leading to questions about the legitimacy of the degree. But the university found that the totality of the circumstances indicated an appropriate process.

At the same time, Louisville announced that it is tightening the procedures about exemptions from normal procedures for doctorates. The former dean, Robert Felner, was for years popular with administrators even as he angered many professors. In October, he was indicted on 10 counts of mail fraud, money-laundering and income-tax evasion related to charges that he fraudulently obtained grants for Louisville and the University of Rhode Island. He has denied wrongdoing.


You might need to read that paragraph twice to get the full impact. Here is more about the investigation. Also the Big Education Ape blog points out how the Gates Foundation is getting a huge voice now in Los Angeles schools.

New LA deputy superintendent comes with murky past

A top official involved in pushing for new teacher evaluation procedures and other reforms at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was appointed Tuesday as second in command at the Los Angeles Unified School District.

After discussing the appointment in closed session, the LA Board of Education approved John E. Deasy to become Superintendent Ramon Cortines' deputy thereby filling a post vacant since Cortines ascended to the top position in December 2008.


This blogger states all this far more strongly than I did.

His stint in Maryland became tumultous when allegations surfaced that Deasy may have awarded a $125,000 contract to his academic adviser in exchange for favorable consideration toward his doctorate. The adviser, Robert Felner, former dean of the school of education at the University of Louisville, pleaded guilty to 10 federal charges of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. Deasy's attorney, Scott Cox, insisted his client was innocent and the victim of Felner's bad publicity:

"And Dr. Deasy, as far as we can tell, earned legitimately his Ph.D. And there is so much negative publicity associated with Dr. Felner and anything he's connected with, it really is unfortunate that Dr. Deasy got dragged into this. He didn't do anything wrong except get his Ph.D."


I notice that the LA Board of Education discussed his appointment in closed session. Deasy is another of the many superintendents and school leaders trained in the Broad Superintendents' Academy and placed via the Broad Residency program.

Union leader Randi Weingarten is one of the surprising ones. She was a professor at the academy before she led the unions. Many other names can be found at The Broad Report.

Here is more on the Broad Academy speakers and faculty...guess who got their picture front page.
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Too bad they didn't make Steele resign because he lied about
his lawyer degree. But then maybe by the time the a-hole Ehrlich picked him as Lt. Governor or help him pull all those fraudulent tricks to win the election in Maryland, he probably had one. He failed the test about five or six times. Wonder if he got his republican buds to help him.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Senior education officials should have solid educational backgrounds...imho
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Goes without saying. But apparently it does not work that way.
:shrug:
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-26-10 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
39. In my opinion, too.
Let's start at the top and replace Arne Duncan with an actual educator.
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Silly madfloridian. Accountability's only for teachers.
Superintendents are like CEO's. They're special. They can't be held accountable for anything. That's now how the world works.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Heh heh
That's about right. Silly me. :7
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. Link to Broad Featured Alumni.
http://www.broadacademy.org/fellows/index.html

I have written about some of these folks...some get a lot of money. And they sure do have the power.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. LA Weekly covers this issue. They bring up a controversy about his masters.
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/education/john-deasy-lausd/

"The blog writes that, in 2008, Capital News Service found "two anomalies" in Deasy's resume. One involved stating the wrong date he received a master's degree, and the other was about the listing of a faculty position in the doctoral program of Educational Leadership and Social Justice at Loyola Marymount University from 2003 to present. According to Capital News Service, Loyola's human resources department could not find Deasy listed as a current or past faculty member.

The Griffith Park Wayist also offers up a Baltimore Sun article that goes into how Deasy was caught in another controversy in 2008: He received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Louisville after completing only nine credits.

But among LAUSD board members, who are led by president Monica Garcia, it appears Deasy's completely off the hook for whatever sins he may have previously committed -- with the L.A. Times completely ignoring the controversies in its coverage over the past two days.

The L.A. Times does report that the LAUSD board gave Deasy an annual salary of $275,000 -- $25,000 more than his boss, Ramon Cortines."
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. k&r
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-10 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thanks. I think about you a lot.
And your state. There are not even words anymore for what has happened. We don't talk about it cause we get tears. But we should.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
10. randi, imo, is a plant.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I hope you're wrong
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. randi worked for the Broad Superintendents' Academy. i.e. she was on Broad's payroll.
Edited on Fri Jun-25-10 02:05 AM by Hannah Bell
There have been several things i questioned about her background, & that piece of her resume clinches it for me.

The Fellows received guidance from leaders in business, education and the non-profit sectors. Faculty at the Academy included:

Rod Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education
Henry Cisneros, CEO, American CityVista
William Cox, Managing Director, School Evaluation Services
Chris Cross, Senior Fellow, Center on Education Policy
Chester E. Finn, Jr., President, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Frances Hesselbein, Chairman, The Drucker Foundation
Don McAdams, Founder, Center for Reform of School Systems
Donald Nielsen, President, Hazelton Corporation; Chairman, 2WAY Corporation Hugh B. Price, President and CEO, National Urban League
Paul Ruiz, Principal Partner, Education Trust
Adam Urbanski, Director, Teacher Union Reform Network
Randi Weingarten, President, United Federation of Teachers
February 2002 press release


http://thebroadreport.blogspot.com/2009/09/bsa-class-of-2002.html


No serious unionist would work for, take the money of, & serve the agenda of one of the primary people trying to shut down public education.

I know it's your union & i've gotten the impression you like her, but imo she's sold.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Where did you get the impression I like her?
We have a failure to communicate, my friend :)
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
26. sorry if i was mistaken! :>) my impression from random posts of yours.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. I met her in person a month ago
and now have an informed opinion. :)
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 05:37 AM
Response to Original message
13. I instantly recognized the name Felner from his time in Rhode Island
http://www.projo.com/news/content/ROBERT_D_FELNER_04-11-10_DOHE6K8_v43.3c110b8.html

Robert Felners trail of deceit passed through URI
01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, April 11, 2010
By Katie Mulvaney
Journal Staff Writer
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Ah, interesting.
Heading there to read it.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Shocking article. How can they let a 9 hr doctorate approved by him stand?
And say it is not a problem??

There must be accountability at higher levels. What an odd concept. Right?

Stunned at the outright nerve of the guy.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
17. K & R nt
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
18. The fix is in...
...and education will become the new playground of the privatizers.

It is a tragedy what is happening in this country. That it continues under a Democratic administration makes it doubly tragic.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. When I post about teachers here....there is nothing but criticism.
Now that I am pointing out corruption at the top, it is mostly silent from those who would be shouting out about lazy no-good teachers.

I have been stunned at how this board holds teachers in such contempt the last year.....I wish there was an equal demand for accountability for higher-ups.

So many people have me on ignore because I stand up for public education. It is considered a criticism of this administration which they will not tolerate. It is criticism of his devastating education policies.

Soon it will be too late to stop it. The Broads and Gates and Walmarts will have taken over.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #19
34. I agree with you, it is stunning...
...how many people here have bought into the anti-teacher and anti-union propaganda. I guess it just goes to show that propaganda works.

Also, when I say "the fix is in", from what you have posted here it appears that someone was bound and determined to get this individual appointed to an influential position despite his questionable PhD and the smell of payoff that goes with it. So what that says to me, is his background is not at all questionable to those who want him in place.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
20. That's why I always laugh when some internet hero gets in my face
"I have a doctorate!!111" There are doctorates and doctorates. I should be shocked by this appointment, but evidently this pack of education vikings has been given the keys to the entire store. I did donate money to the woman running against Randi. That put a smile on my face. http://dailycensored.com/2010/06/05/yvette-felarca-must-replace-the-current-american-federation-of-teachers-aft-president-randi-weingarten/
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. I am waiting to hear from the same people who want teachers' heads...
on the chopping block for not being accountable.

I am not hearing any calls for accountability at higher levels.

Just not happening.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. those people don't care about such small details. obviously.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
21. No question about it. If you want to get rich in education
Privatization and adminstration are the fields to concentrate on. I wonder how long it will be before colleges simply state having classes in how to get away with nepotism, graft, and corruption. They could have guest faculty like GWBush, Cheney, Wu, Gonzales, Rice, etc. Oh wait, there are already universities that are rewarding those crooks. I guess it took no time at all.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. LA Times doesn't mention the controversy.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/23/local/la-me-lausd-20100623

"Deasy's contract calls for an annual salary of $275,000 $25,000 more than Supt. Ramon C. Cortines with an 11-month term, starting in August. Like other employees, he'll be docked for seven unpaid furlough days next year. His appointment was approved the same day the district formally approved a budget that will result in several thousand layoffs.

At Gates, Deasy was deputy director for effective teaching, one of several deputies under the foundation's top education administrator. Deasy managed the process through which school districts and charter schools apply for grants to develop new teacher-evaluation methods that include linking instructors to their students' test scores. He also recommended which school systems should receive the handful of grants.

A group of five Los Angeles charter school management companies won $60 million last November. In other places, the foundation gave the money to the local school district. But L.A. Unified was too large, Deasy said, for the available funding and, at the time, California laws gave charters and not school districts the needed flexibility to pursue teacher evaluation reforms. Over the years, the Gates Foundation has provided minimal funding to L.A. Unified compared to other school systems.

Some observers have characterized the district as resistant, or simply in disagreement with, the sort of reforms that many private foundations are supporting."

Tippy toeing about the issues.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
24. A long list of links as a summary of Deasy and Felner problems.
http://pageonekentucky.com/2010/06/21/remember-john-deasy-of-robert-felner-infamy/

Oh, come on, folks. Where are the calls for accountability? Or do we only reserve them for classroom teachers?
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
25. These charter schools are an invitation to cheat, to steal and to lie.
I'm not saying that they are all corrupt. But then look at the corruption in the private sector. It is absolutely appalling. Too much power, too much money corrupts. No two ways about it.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
28. More thoughts on the U of L degree scandal.....
http://pageonekentucky.com/2009/04/24/thoughts-on-uofls-unfortunate-degree-scandal/

"But notice the Ramsey-Willihnganz statement says THEN-graduate dean. Hes no longer Dean at UofL. And we have some questions about his departure. (Stick with us, its a bit confusing.)

Why was Dean Atlas forced out of his position at the University? From what we can tell (and the best we can gather from interviewing several people), Atlas refused to concede to other Deans primarily Robert Felner and Blaine Hudson as often as they would have liked. There was a power struggle over money and over who had authority over graduate degrees from departments housed within the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Arts and Sciences. And we have tons of documentation to back it up.

So why did Robert Felner and Blaine Hudson force Ron Atlas out? Why was he forced to take a two-year sabbatical after he was stripped of his decanal position? Is he being made a scapegoat in this degree case?

The only thing we can come up with the only reason hed approve a waiver for a Ph.D. was if he was forced to do so under duress and under direct orders of the Provost."
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
29. And the unrecs just keep right on taking it downward.
Must be cause I call for accountability at higher levels.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
30. You buried the lead, madflo. He is a Bill Gates boy
as well as being a fake PhD. Quite frankly, he represents for me the fraud that is the charter school movement.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Talk about money buying power....200 million I think.
Did you see this article that calls Gates a non-profit? Do they mean the Foundation doesn't make a profit? Everyone is a non-profit now....even Imagine Schools, which are not.

http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/06/22/nonprofit-official-named-high-la-schools-post/

"Nonprofit official named to LAUSD's No. 2 post"

"The Los Angeles Board of Education has appointed a top official with the country's leading school reform foundation as the No. 2 leader of the nation's second-largest school district.

The board voted Tuesday to name John Deasy, deputy director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as deputy superintendent.

Deasy currently oversees the $200 million educational grant program for the Gates Foundation, the nation's biggest player in the school reform movement."

The puff piece never mentions his doctorate or MD.

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. The overt lying is unbelievable.
You know I often wondered what the Justice Department investigation of Microsoft was about in the 90s. The only difference it made to consumers is that they now have to buy MSWord separately from their computer. I thought it might actually be a shakedown, but I couldn't figure out for what. Now, I think I know.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
33. kick
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
36. There are no words to describe the contempt I feel for Mr. Deasy.
Edited on Fri Jun-25-10 09:35 PM by Bozita
As far as I know, mister is the only title of address he's earned.

Perhaps his BA/BS was awarded after one of those Friday afternoon brainstorming sessions at some local bar. "Pay the tab; get a degree."

I regret my inability to rec this thread due to time limits.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-25-10 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. A doctorate after just 9 hours?
Unbelievable.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-26-10 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
38. kick
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