The real scandal around Joe Biden’s second wife wanting to be called “Dr. Jill Biden” is not that people like Whoopi Goldberg incorrectly assume that she is a physician and recommend her for the position of surgeon general. The real scandal is that the title is handed out to people who can’t produce scholarly work, as exemplified by the pathetic “dissertation/executive position paper” that Jill Biden “submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education with a major in Educational Leadership.”
The problems with the 33,000-word document begin on the title page with the label “dissertation/executive position paper.” Why the hedging with two labels? Back in the late 1970s, when I researched and wrote my 1978 Ph.D. thesis, I was told that the criterion was an original contribution to scholarly knowledge. (Strangely, I can find no reference to this concept in the latest guidelines published by Harvard for the Ph.D. degree, much less for the Ed.D.) I suppose that calling her essay an “executive position paper” entirely disposes of the requirement of actual production of knowledge.
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