‘Dr. Shanklin’ Now ‘Ms. Shanklin’

Margaret Sultan passes along the story of East St. Louis Senior High School principal Ethel Shanklin, who has been referring to herself as “Dr. Shanklin” for two years.  It turns out, she only completed a two-year “education specialist” degree which she thought was a doctorate.

Shanklin said, “I don’t have a piece of paper stating that I have a doctorate,” but insisted during a telephone interview last week that what she received from SIUE allows her to refer to herself as “doctor.” She said her salary is not based on having a doctorate.

[District 189 Superintendent Theresa] Saunders said after investigating, she believes Shanklin was confused and did not intend to deceive.  “There was no intended deception,” Saunders said, and, referring to imprisoned multibillion dollar swindler Bernard Madoff, “There was not deception like Madoff. Nothing like that.”

I would submit that someone who spent that many years obtaining degrees from a college of education claiming that they don’t understand that a certificate program isn’t a doctorate is either too stupid or too corrupt to be a high school principal.  Your mileage may vary.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Sadly this is not uncommon. I know of similar cases in my once and future home of Huntsville, Alabama. I’m glad to see them getting more press, though.

  2. Drew says:

    Gee, I’ve got a BS and MS in engineering……and an MBA………and now here y’all tellin’ me I can no longer refer to myself as Dr. Drew????

    Who knew????

  3. Bithead says:

    I would submit that someone who spent that many years obtaining degrees from a college of education claiming that they don’t understand that a certificate program isn’t a doctorate is either too stupid or too corrupt to be a high school principal.

    A stupid / corrupt government worker?
    Gee. Never saw THAT one coming. I’d better be careful though. They have unions, ya know.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    It’s an increasing problem in the public sector where credentials equal higher pay. From cops to school administrators diploma mills fill the bill to higher levels of compensation. The problem is they are neither truly educated or better at their jobs.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    A stupid / corrupt government worker?

    Yes, of course…because certainly no stupid and/or corrupt individuals work in the private sector…

  6. Bithead says:

    They tend not to last as long in the private sector. Unless of course, there a union involved. At whch point you’d have hell to pay, getting rid of them.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    re: Bithead | April 21, 2009 | 08:59 am

    Oh please…so the only stupid and/or corrupt people in the private sector are involved in unions? Hmm…I wonder what the local is for all those financial-sector CEOs…