College President’s Credentials Questioned

(December 12) The academic credentials of recently-appointed San Bernardino Valley College President Gloria Fisher have come under question.
Fisher, who places the term doctor before her name and has served 18 months as interim president, had worked for 22 years as an administration of justice instructor at the college before being elevated to the interim position in June 2013.
According to Frank Peterson, an attorney and San Bernardino Valley College instructor who was on the college’s hiring committee when Fisher was hired in 1991, he recommended against granting Fisher the tenure-track position at that time. After Peterson retired in 2006, he filed a lawsuit against the community college district in which he asserted that the San Joaquin College of Law from which Fisher obtained her juris doctor degree in 1986 was unaccredited. Peterson did not prevail in the case, which was aimed at disqualifying Fisher as an instructor.
Leonard Lopez, an assistant professor in the philosophy department, since this summer has questioned Fisher’s credentials along the same lines laid out by Peterson in the context of her lack of qualification as a college president, a post traditionally held by an established educator with a Ph.D. Fisher does not have a bachelor’s degree and she is not a member of the California Bar..
A juris doctor degree is roughly the equivalent of a master’s degree, which is generally considered a six year degree awarded after two years of study that follow the awarding of a four-year bachelor’s degree. A juris doctor degree carries with it no requirement for the submission of a dissertation, as is required with a Ph.D.
Upon appointing Fisher as full college president on November 13, the college district board conferred upon her a doctorate stipend in addition to her annual salary of $186,000. The board revisit that issue and reconfirmed Fisher’s hiring last night.

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