Tuesday, May 23, 2006

How can AMU give law degrees already?

NAPLES, FLORIDA. (Torgonewswire) Ave Maria University hosted commencement activities recently bestowing honorary degrees upon several, most notably, Joseph Scheidler,
Founder and National Director of Pro-Life League.

Scheidler was also the keynote speaker. Torgo thinks it's a great idea, and that Universities confer honorary degree as regular practice. Among the people obvious to be short listed for such honors from a devotedly pro-life school, Scheidler is an obvious choice.

But that's where the reason stops and the confusion arrives. According to the AMU page, Scheidler:
Joseph Scheidler is the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremonies and receives the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Doctor of Laws?

According to Harvard,
Honorary degree abbreviations are also based on the Latin name. The Latin abbreviations are used by many universities. The honorary degree names and abbreviations are:
LL.D. legum doctor Doctor of Laws

There is a side discussion as to what these degrees may mean. See, e.g., wikipedia on honorary degrees.

But Torgo wonders of what value it means to the recipient of a degree to have been given a Doctor of Laws degree from an institution that has no law faculty?

Is this a slap in the face to Scheidler? (as in, "here, a beautiful piece of paper for which we have no competence to bestow")

Is it a slap in the face to the law school? (but alas, the law school apparently gives honorary degrees without regard to faculty decisions)

What does it mean? Is the University merely that ignorant as to confer an empty honor? Does it not seem that the University ought to at least be capable of conferring the earned degree in order to be able to confer the honorary?

Or, is Ave Maria University taking notes from online diploma houses like this one?

Maybe the better question to ask is whether Scheidler will have an easier time finding a law job than us AMSOL grads... ouy, but that's a whole other mess.

Meanwhile, please comment on what you think it means -- ranging from they don't need to be able to confer earned degrees in order for the honorary to be valid to it's bonafide even though AMU has no law faculty.


At 2:14 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Advocatus Militaris said...

Do you think that they will bestow a Ph.D., honoris causa, in meteorological science on Columcille?

At 2:26 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Torgo said...

Perhaps Monaghan intends to get his law degree this way as well...

Next year, TM receives LL.D from AMU.

Columcille sould get that and Boethius should get a doctorate in international diplomacy and rhetoric for deciphering the Arinze letter ...

At 2:31 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Boko Fittleworth said...

Can they even confer regular degrees (eg- a BA (insert BS joke here))?

It seems to me that if you cannot confer a degree (here, a law degree, although maybe they can't confer any degrees), you can't confer the degree honorarily.

Of course, since when has TM ever not done something because it was inappropriate, unallowed, or just plain crazy?

On a different note, are people really having trouble finding jobs? That sucks! I'll pray to St. Joseph for us all. Nobody I know has really heard much about AMSOL, good or bad. I've found, in the couple of places I've been, that the law jobs go to the people who graduated from the local law schools. No matter what tier. Work hard in your Elderlaw clinic, future AMSoLers!

If AMSoL really wants to be a national law school, it MUST be first tier. Boy, I remember a time when both those goals seemed within reach. But I have full confidence that ... oh never mind, it's just too depressing.

At 3:33 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger E. M. Zanotti said...

Uh...its an honorary Ph.D in the study of laws.

Google something for a change, dude.

If you earn one in real life, you are qualified to teach. J.D.s qualify you to PRACTICE. Goes something like this:

LLB = Bachelor of Laws
LLM = Master of Laws
LLD = Doctor of Laws

Almost all schools confer honorary degrees on their commencement speakers. Most settle for a Ph.D. in the Classics or something cute and esoteric like that. AMU doesn't have much to offer, so it went with the European/Canadian way of doing things, apparently, and gave him a doctor of laws.

At 3:44 PM, May 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boko, in response to your query, it looks like AMU is licensed by the state of Florida to offer degrees and has "pre-accreditation status" from the American Academy for Liberal Education.

According to AMU's 2005-2006 Catalogue (http://www.naples.avemaria.edu/academics/undergraduate_programs/cat.asp),

"Ave Maria University is licensed and authorized by the Commission for Independent Education, State Department of Education, State of Florida, to recruit, admit, and enroll students, as well as offer the degrees described in this catalogue. . . .
The University also enjoys pre-accreditation status with the American Academy for Liberty Education, 1050 17th St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036."

If I remember correctly, at one point AMSL was only licensed by the state of Michigan to confer degrees and was not accredited (provisional or full) by the ABA.

At 4:10 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Torgo said...

E. M. Zanotti said...

Uh...its an honorary Ph.D in the study of laws.

Google something for a change, dude.

If you earn one in real life, you are qualified to teach. J.D.s qualify you to PRACTICE. Goes something like this:

LLB = Bachelor of Laws
LLM = Master of Laws
LLD = Doctor of Laws

From where do you think the Harvard link came, princess?

apparently, you twisted what everyone else says of the degrees into something it isn't.

AMU, and everyone els ein America that confers the honorary degree says, "Doctor of Laws", not "Ph.D in the study of laws"

I think perhaps you either need to google it for yourself or read with a little more comprehension prior to commenting in such a haphazard way.

At 4:11 PM, May 23, 2006, Anonymous Buttercup said...

The last post was mine.

At 5:21 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger mSCIENCE said...

According to the Florida Commission on Independent Education, AMU is authorized to award the following:
- Biology: BA
- Classics & Early Christ. Lit.: BA
- Exceptional Education: MA
- History: BA
- Literature: BA
- Mathematics: BA
- Music: BA
- Philosophy: BA
- Poli. Sci: BA
- Sacred Music: BA
- Theological Studies: MTS
- Theology: BA, MA, PhD

from PDF located here:

So, the only graduate degrees are in Theology and Exceptional Education.

Also, AMU only has pre-accreditation status with AALE through November 2007.

The first question out of every prospective AMU student's mouth should be "What will be the consequences for me, the institution, and the Town if you are not fully accredited."

At 5:37 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Boko Fittleworth said...

No, the first question out of every prospective AMU student's mouth should be "Why the hell am I a prospective AMU student?" The second question, closely following, should be, "What am I, an idjeet?" Then, four years later, he can ask, "How the hell am I going to support a family with a BA in Theology?"


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