A finalist to be Omaha’s police chief is defending his résumé, which includes degrees from an unaccredited school.
Former Stockton, Calif., police chief Blair Ulring included degrees from “La Salle University” on his resume. The degrees were the only academic institution listed that did not include a city.
Ulring has confirmed that the bachelor’s and master’s degrees came not from La Salle University of Philadelphia, but rather LaSalle University of Louisiana, which the FBI identified as a diploma mill and shut down, according to a Stockton Record article.
Ulring withdrew as a finalist for the chief’s spot in Spokane, Wash., after news emerged about the unaccredited school.
Ulring has not returned repeated calls from The World-Herald for comment. But he told the Stockton Record he was up front during interviews about his work from an unaccredited college.
He also said he completed work for the degrees.
“This was not a ‘buy a degree’ program where you send $2,000 and they send you a degree two months later,” Ulring told the Record. “I was doing a tremendous amount of work there.”
Omaha police union President John Wells said the incident may be reason to explore changing Omaha’s hiring procedure.
Candidates for police chief are scored based on an objective scale, then the top four candidates become finalists. Any of the top four could be selected as chief.
Even if Ulring withdrew or was eliminated from consideration, none of the other applicants would be considered.
For that reason, background checks would make sense before the field is narrowed to four finalists, he said.
“If you have a group of serious candidates, why not?” Wells said.
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