Officials who work with international students at universities in the Grand Forks region say several safeguards, well-known in the industry, would have prevented the scandal that rocked Dickinson (N.D.) State University earlier this month.
An audit at DSU, conducted in early February, revealed a diploma mill that awarded degrees and certificates to 400 foreign students who did not earn them and admitted students who couldn’t speak English or did not meet other requirements.
“If it was true, I’m really surprised that it happened,” said Raymond Lagasse, director of international programs for nine years at UND. “There are checks and balances. It’s tight.”
At Bemidji State University, Cherish Hagen-Swanson, director of the International Program Center, said, “The incident at DSU is a rare occurrence, really. The people I know, who do this kind of work, would never do that.”