SAN BERNARDINO - As CEO of the Public Safety Academy, Michael Dickinson often boasted to others at the charter school about his degrees from various colleges, according to current and former academy staff.
Dickinson claimed to have earned a doctorate from the University of Phoenix, a master's degree from the University of La Verne and a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley.
And he is alleged to have used his reported doctorate as leverage against any teacher or staff member who dared question his choices or tactics.
"He frequently used the statement, `Are you questioning me? I have a doctorate in education, you know,"' said Kathy Toy, the former principal at the charter school. "It happened throughout the year. It was not something that was random. It was on a pretty regular basis."
The three colleges where Dickinson has claimed to have earned undergraduate or advanced degrees, however, have no record of him ever attending or being awarded degrees.
A search at each school's registrar's office turned up no record of Dickinson, officials at all three schools said...
On at least three professional networking or people directory websites, including Linked-In and XING, Dickinson indicated he attended the University of Phoenix from 2004 to 2007 and had earned a doctorate in education from the school. He also said he attended the University of La Verne from 2007 until 2009, earning a master's degree in "leadership."
In the hierarchy of higher learning, one typically has to have a master's degree before qualifying for a doctorate program.
Dickinson did not respond to multiple telephone calls and emails asking he clarify his educational background. But within two hours of the first email inquiry, all the educational background information Dickinson had posted on the websites had been removed...
The news comes at a time when the Public Safety Academy has fallen into a crisis of leadership. Allegations of fiscal mismanagement and a hostile work environment have culminated in a legal battle between Dickinson and the charter school's board of trustees over control of the academy and its finances.
Dickinson and the academy's corporate board of directors took action to dissolve the board of trustees on May 26, alleging members of the board of trustees were attempting to destroy the reputation of the charter school and its leaders.
The action came one week before the board of trustees was set to vote on a recommendation to fire Dickinson's wife, Susan Dickinson, a teacher who, it was determined, cheated on a state standardized test, and hiring an outside company to manage the charter school's finances...
Public Safety Academy
“School leader's new woe: No records found to validate education claimsof CEO.” Redlands Daily Facts (CA) 02 Jul 2011