George Wythe University, a tiny, unaccredited institution in Utah that is known for its unorthodox curriculum and its ties to several conservative state lawmakers, will shut its doors after reaching a settlement with the state’s consumer-protection division, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
In its 23 years of existence, the university has awarded nearly 300 degrees. An internal audit identified dozens awarded during the institution’s early years that were given out in violation of state rules. Its leaders are working to invalidate the degrees identified as fraudulent and to attract a partner institution with which to merge, so that its graduates could have a better chance of continuing their education. The institution now has 30 students enrolled.
University administrators are also proposing legislation that would classify giving out a fraudulent degree as a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, and require unaccredited colleges to make sure that at least three other institutions would accept their transfer credits.