Remember that “Dr. Hampton” who was so worthy of honor that we’d scrub the name of former governor Mills Godwin off the side of one of our public buildings in order to honor him? All because Godwin, who had been supported by the NAACP and upset segregationists so badly that the KKK burned a cross on his front lawn, and wasn’t acceptable to liberal Democrats on the School Board?
Well, turns out “Dr. Hampton,” the guy who claims it’s “his turn” to have a school named after him, is a fraud.
An official at the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education said the agency had no official record of University of Central Arizona’s existence, aside from one 1982 letter to the state Board of Regents warning of the school’s illegitimacy.
The Arizona Republic reported on the school as well in 1980, and they weren’t impressed either:
The University of Central Arizona is a Tempe-based institution accused of fraud. It has issued 23 doctorate degrees during its 4-year existence. Most of the doctorate recipients were educators who parlayed the degrees into higher pay and other financial benefits.
The school was operated from a leased office at 500 W. Broadway by Wright and Charles L. Palermo, who were accused of fraud by the state in a 1977 lawsuit. The two men, without admitting any wrongdoing, agreed to a consent judgment in order to end the legal battle over the suit, which alleges multiple violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. As part of the judgment, Wright and Palermo agreed to stop issuing doctoral degrees and to stop using the word “university.”
The judgment was approved last month by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Perry. It could not be determined whether the school would remain in business.
Court records show that the school was not accredited nor a candidate for accreditation. Its degree recipients, mostly high school and community college teachers, live in Pennsylvania, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia, New York, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico and Iowa.
I have a hard time believing that someone who would stoop to buying a fake degree from a fake university in order to appear more important than they actually are has a resume that is otherwise impeccable, and no doubt over the next days and weeks we’re going to learn a lot more about “Dr. George Hampton” who according to some of our elected officials on the school board is more worthy of public recognition than a governor who fought against segregation. You don’t capstone a solid resume with a massive stinking fiction like this. That’s utterly stupid.
I’d urge you to contact School Board member Justin Wilks for his opinion on all this, seeing as he’s the architect of this dubious legacy trade. He’s been awfully busy on facebook lately, that is up until today when he deleted his account. I’ll have more to tell you all about that soon, but in the meantime there’s probably some sort of platform out there you can use to contact him that hasn’t been quickly erased for some reason, sort of like the trustworthiness of his friend’s professional credentials.
UPDATE: There’s apparently a cell phone message to all the five Democrats on the School Board from PWCDC Chairman Harry Wiggins right before the school board meeting on this demanding that they stick together and make sure Hampton gets a school named after him. A request from Chairman Sawyers to Assistant Superintendent David Cline a week before the vote about the cost of renaming Godwin Elementary indicates this was hardly something that was miraculously thought up right before the meeting as Board Member Justin Wilk has told the public. This entire episode, clearly a planned political stunt from the beginning and coordinated by the Chairman of the local Democratic Party is not what we have been lead to believe. Should anyone doubt this, Cline’s response to the Sawyers, with a cc to Justin Wilk just showed up in the board packets last Friday. Funny how you can just think up some crazy idea out of thin air while riding in your car one week after you asked school staff about that very same idea.
UPDATE 2: In attempting to validate “Dr. Hampton’s” role in the Marine Corps Leadership and Human Relations Institute as project director during the institute’s formation and co-chairman at the time of it’s inception, no mention was found of an entity bearing that name, but a Marine Corps Human Relations Institute was found. The following was discovered regarding the founding of that entity in the book “Blacks In The Marine Corps” posted on marines.mil:
In their attempts to solve the racial problems of the Marine Corps, Generals Chapman and Cushman called upon the advice of a Commandant’s Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs. Originally, General Chapman asked Mr. Hobart Taylor, Jr., a prominent black attorney in Washington, to investigate the racial situation in the Marine Corps After two fact-finding trips as the Commandant’s representative, one to Camp Lejeune on 22—23 June 1970 and another to Okinawa from 15—22 November, Mr. Taylor recommended that an advisory committee of interested and concerned civilians be formed.44 His suggestion was approved by the Commandant on 6 January 1971. A list of potential members was submitted for consideration on 12 April by the Equal Opportunity Branch and the final list of original members was approved in June. The first meeting of the committee was held on 6 August 1971.
Mr. Taylor served as committee chairman and the initial members included Richard A. Beaumont, W. Leonard Evans, Jr., Jose C. Gomez, Robert R. Gros, E. T. Guerrero, E. Frederick Marrow, A. B. Trowbridge, and Richard L. Vaughn. The committee was later enlarged by the addition of Dr. Lewis C. Dowdy. The members included lawyers, bankers, educators, blacks and whites, many of whom had held responsible positions in government.
The comniittee’s basic charter was “to advise on ways to bring effectively the true policy of the Marine Corps for equal opportunity to minority’ groups, ease racial tensions, and improve minority relations.”
This fairly exhaustive listing of people involved in the formation of the Marine Corps Human Relations Institute seems to lack any mention to a George W. Hampton. One would imagine that if he was as instrumental in the foundation of this organization as his biography suggests, they’d at least mention his name.
UPDATE 3: The Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona at the time of this prosecution has weighed in here, confirming the research so far.
The State of Arizona filed a civil consumer fraud lawsuit against the University of Central Arizona in the late 1970s. In the final judgment, the court prohibited the defendants from using the term “university” and from representing that degree recipients had completed doctoral level programs. The final judgment concluded that the University of Central Arizona was a two-person proprietary organization awarding doctoral degrees that “did not signify completion of a doctoral program under any recognized standards.”
The case received some national publicity. It was discussed on a Phil Donahue show devoted to diploma mills, and it was referenced in the Newsweek article attached below.
Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the consent judgment, nor the more lengthy motion for summary judgment (which laid out details of the fraud case.) You may be able to obtain both from the Clerk’s Office of Maricopa County Superior Court.
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