Penn education graduate school vice dean Doug Lynch resigns over questions about his doctoral credentials
The Philadelphia Inquirer
April 27, 2012
The vice dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania resigned Thursday, one day after he was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into his false claim to have a doctoral degree.
Penn announced the resignation of Doug E. Lynch, who has been a top official in the education program since 2004, after The Inquirer raised questions about his academic background Wednesday.
Lynch said on his resumé that he received the degree from Columbia University. A faculty website repeatedly referred to him as Dr. Lynch. But Columbia confirmed that while he is enrolled in a doctoral program, he has not received his degree.
A spokeswoman for the graduate school said on Wednesday that Lynch, 47, a specialist in nontraditional education, was unaware he didn't have the degree.
"He mistakenly believed that it was complete," graduate school spokeswoman Kat Stein said.
She said that unspecified sanctions had been taken but that he was allowed to remain in his leadership role.
But later Wednesday, within an hour after The Inquirer had placed a call to Penn president Amy Gutmann, Lynch was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
Lynch did not return a call for comment.
His departure is a blow to one of the most respected graduate education programs in the country, as Andrew Porter, dean of the graduate school, acknowledged in an e-mail to students and staff.
"I am confident that [the graduate program] will be able to move through this challenging time," he said in the e-mail. "My door is wide open during this period of transition for questions or thoughts."