* Former Chief Academic Officer and Founder of CPU Breaks His Silence
I recently turned 70 years old. I am currently serving as President of Columbia Commonwealth University (CCWU) in Wyoming. CCWU is in the process of making application for North Central Regional Accreditation. Accreditation is a complex endeavor; but it is the number one priority of the CCWU Board and university community. In this respect, like most University presidents, I am spending a considerable amount of time fund-raising worldwide. Accreditation is an expensive process and therefore necessitates infusions of capital to support a University while it is pursuing accreditation.
It has been many moons since the founding of CPU in 1978. I will always be proud of the CPU dedicated staff, its mission, and most significantly the many thousands of graduates who have gone on to distinguish themselves in a broad range of fields and professions. There is absolutely no question in my mind that CPU experienced a gross injustice. As the Chief Academic Officer of CPU, I had the unpleasant experience of being confronted unfairly by a CA state evaluation team that had been briefed by lower-level CA bureaucrats to fail CPU, no matter what team members found. Unlike the many other evaluation teams over 20 years that reported highly positive findings and took several days on site to conduct their objective evaluations of CPU, this so-called evaluation team remained at CPU for no more than a day and a half and did not engage in the usual exit visit with key staff. The extreme bias and “absurdity” of this bogus team was flagrantly displayed in their comments regarding Dr. Crews, the CPU President. The team stated that Dr. Crews (M.D. from Harvard) was not academically qualified to be President since he had an M.D. degree, rather than a Ph.D degree. It is to be noted that one of the most famous and successful college Presidents was the long-time President of Antioch College, Dr. Dixon, who had an M.D. degree.
Dr. Crews, assisted by dedicated staff, put in many years of hard work that resulted in CPU being the early innovative leader that lighted the way for the emergence of distance education-bachelors, masters, doctoral degree programs. Yes, CPU got a bum rap and the CPU graduates need to mobilize their efforts and energies, and join together to resurrect CPU—and right the wrong that has been done to thousands of CPU grads who earned their degrees and did the required work. CPU is a “cold case” that is deserving of being reopened with justice done-this time and finally.
About Les Carr, Phd
After earning his Bachelor of Arts at New York University and his Master of Arts at The New School For Social Research, Dr. Carr completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Special Education at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Over a period of five years he served as Professor, Department Head, Dean, and then Academic Vice President of Salve Regina College, Newport, Rhode Island. He then served for five years as President of Lewis University, a large, multi-campus, career-and community-oriented institution in Lockport, illinois. He has served as mental health consultant to the State of Rhode Island and education consultant to the Sultan of Oman. He has published articles in the fields of social action and mental health. His current research focuses on stress in endurance athletics, and longevity and the aging process. Les remains, at age 70, an accomplished long distance rider.