***STORY UPDATED BELOW ORGINAL ARTICLE & ORIGINAL POST TITLE AMENDED***
Now I’m beginning to see why Eddie Long donated $1M to his alma mater. In addition to pimping God’s sheep, it appears as though Eddie Long hosted a non-accredited extension of his alma mater at his megachurch, and now the “graduates” of the school have garbage degrees:
By CHRISTOPHER QUINN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/11/08
Twenty-five students who attended a satellite program of North Carolina Central University at Bishop Eddie Long’s Lithonia megachurch earned bachelor’s degrees that are not recognized by the school’s accrediting agency. A school spokeswoman said 39 other students were in the program earlier this year when it was shut down. Long and the school, in Durham, started the satellite campus four years ago. They closed it in June after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools learned of it, reviewed the program and refused to sanction it. All extension programs have to be approved by SACS for degrees to be recognized.
Tom Benberg, chief of staff at the Commission on Colleges at SACS, said any degrees earned in the program at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, “would not be a degree from an accredited operation.” Long released a statement saying the church has partnered with various education programs to hold classes at the church. “Regrettably, the university did not seek appropriate approvals at that time prior to launching the program. Last month [SACS] denied approval for NCCU to continue the program offerings at the New Birth site.”
What was Eddie and his colleagues trying to do, start their own Friend International Christian University (a/k/a “Pimp U”)?
What a minute…Hmmm…what a coincidence. Eddie announces that he’s “giving” $1M (in direct violation of Matthew 6:1-4) on a Friday, and the newspaper writes this investigative report on a Monday. Of course, Eddie had no idea that this report was coming out – and he gave that money from his heart right?
Later in the article, we see (my emphasis in bold):
A SACS report said the program did not prove that faculty was qualified or that it had adequate library and learning resources. The program was unable to measure whether students were adequately leaning the subject matters and it did not provide an adequate financial statement from the program.
No financial statements from the program? Yup, that sounds like an Eddie Long “business arrangement” to me.
Click the title to read the article in it’s entirety and pray that the Lord would restore the students who were scammed by their association (even indirectly) with Pimp Long.
Let this be a continued lesson that Eddie Long is a snake pulpit pimp – and he should be avoided at all costs.
***UPDATED 8/12/08 – 9:30AM EST***
The Raleigh News has a more extensive look at this NCCU & New Birth deal, and the details seem to support Long’s claim of ignorance relating to the accreditation for NCCU’s extension at his church:
UNC system never approved branch run near Atlanta
, Staff Writer
DURHAM – For four years, N.C. Central University operated a small satellite campus at a suburban Atlanta megachurch run by a university trustee, offering a series of programs that were never properly approved by university system officials.
The program folded this summer after running afoul of the university’s accrediting agency, and campus officials are now trying to figure out how to take care of about 50 students whose college careers have been interrupted.
With the demise of the small campus, dubbed the New L.I.F.E. College Program and housed at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., questions arise why a North Carolina public university created an out-of-state branch campus 400 miles away.
“I can think of no justifiable reason why the former NCCU leadership would have completely ignored and failed to abide by the appropriate approval process in creating this program,” UNC system President Erskine Bowles said late last week in a statement e-mailed to The News & Observer. “Such action is contrary to all university policy. To say the least, it is very disappointing. We are working closely with Chancellor [Charlie] Nelms and his new leadership team to examine the various academic, legal, and financial questions associated with this Georgia-based program.”
So, the state university system is trying to rectify the situation. Click the title to read the article in entirety, and you’ll see how the former Chancellor (James Ammons, who is now running things over at Florida A&M) isn’t responding to inquiries – and is hiding. The article also states that the degrees earned through New Birth’s extension of NCCU are valid and will be recognized. That’s good news for the students who earned them.
Also, it looks like Pimp Eddie has some cover on this one:
Long’s role in the creation of the NCCU campus at his church is not clear. It is not clear whether NCCU’s Board of Trustees was ever told about or voted to approve the New Birth program. There is no mention of the program in the minutes of any trustee meeting in 2003 or 2004.
Kay Thomas, the board’s current chairwoman, said recently she has no recollection of being briefed or voting on the program, but added that her board doesn’t routinely approve specific distance education programs.
“I see no problem with it,” Thomas said. “The idea is to get people certified for jobs, even if they’re not North Carolinians.”
Also, we learn through the article that the faculty had reservations about the extension program, but it was pushed through anyway:
A UNC-system official said the program should have been vetted.
“It should have been presented to the [UNC system's] Board of Governors as a distance learning program,” said Alan Mabe, the UNC system’s vice president for academic planning and university-school programs. “We don’t have any records of it being presented.”
It was discussed, at least briefly, by NCCU’s Faculty Senate. The debate was contentious, recalled Kofi Amoateng, a finance professor who headed the faculty in 2004.
“It was not an easy approval; it was a close fight,” he said of a faculty vote on the program, adding that the relationship NCCU would have with a church gave some faculty members pause. “I was not very happy. We never thought it through. We needed time to study, but it got pushed through.”
We also learn that New Birth (and Eddie Long) didn’t make a lot (if any) money on the deal:
It doesn’t appear that the church reaped any windfall. Students paid $888.57 per three-credit course, which was more than the going rate for an in-state student at NCCU but less than a nonresident would traditionally pay, Phifer-McGhee said.
From those revenues, NCCU paid the church $120 per student per course taught, Phifer-McGhee said. UNC system officials confirmed that is the proper way to administer an out-of-state program. The church provided classrooms, equipment, offices and administrative support, helped recruit students and instructors and, on occasion, videotaped courses and sent them to NCCU for evaluation, according to the 2006 memorandum between NCCU and the church.
So what we have is a perfect storm of inept university administrators, a program held together with toothpicks and bubble gum, and an ego-driven “bishop” who is determined to make his church the “spiritual epicenter of the world” (I’ve heard him say that on many occasion when I was a member of Club New Birth).
So I concede the point on this story – Pimp Eddie gets a pass because he wasn’t (apparently) trying to scam anyone. His reputation as a scripture-twisting pimp does make him suspect in most things that he is involved with, however, and he should still be avoided.