Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Harrisburg University Hates America

It's bad enough that Harrisburg University can't be honest with students, the general public and an occasional congressman. Apparently, they have decided to just go all in and tell some great big fat ones to the nation's leading scientists, engineers and the President of the United States. I know, sounds ridiculous right?

The Central Penn Business Journal reports "Harrisburg University of Science and Technology was recognized as an effective program to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics undergraduate education by a White House advisory council." You can find the report here. If you go to page 95 of the report you will see this:

Source: Report to the President Engaged to Excel 2011
Notice the last bit? "Source: Based on PCAST Working Group on Undergraduate STEM education discussions with Mel Shiavelli, President, Harrisburg University for Science and Technology, May 2011, and data from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology website."

Oh great! So the recognition that the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology bestowed upon Harrisburg University was based on what Shiavelli told them?! We have already talked about his reliability (see here). And the web site? That's about as reliable as Shiavelli (see here).

Let's take a closer look:

The first paragraph states: "The Harrisburg University for Science and Technology (HU)...has grown from 100 to 722 students since 2005". We have seen how Harrisburg University continues to be deceptive about it's enrollment numbers (see here). Actual student enrollment is less than 400, there has never been 722 students enrolled at Harrisburg University.

Paragraph 2: "Corporate partners advise on course design." What really? Name one course.

Paragraph 3: "An executive search firm helps new students define career paths, and each has a business mentor". Umm yeah, that's another lie. There is no "executive search firm" -- career advisement is done in-house by a single employee.

Also in paragraph 3: "Each student builds an “e-portfolio” that includes performance, comments from faculty, and measures of civic engagement." That sounds cool, too bad students don't do that anymore.

Paragraph 4: "Of its original 100 students, 92 were hired into the fields they studied, with salaries of $50,000 to $60,000 per year, according to Mel Schiavelli, President of HU." That's a WHOPPER! Harrisburg university can't retain students for more than about 10 minutes, so it should be obvious to even a casual reader that that statement is complete crap. Of course, most of those students never came back after the first year and even fewer of them graduated. The retention rate in 2006 was 36%. How could 92 out of a 100 have high paying jobs in their field if they never graduated? Oh and there were 113 students in the inaugural class.

Paragraph 5: "HU is helping to revive downtown Harrisburg, with a new building and dormitory" Oddly, in October of 2011, Schiavelli claimed Harrisburg University had no dorms when he was claiming Harrisburg University was "innovative".  I'll let you decide if there are dorms or not.

So here we are AGAIN being embarrassed and shamed by the behavior of our administration. Apparently, Harrisburg University hates us as much as they hate America.

(And yes, it's hyperbole, mostly.)

[update 2/16] I wrote a letter to ever single member of PCAST objecting to Harrisburg University's inclusion in the PCAST report. As you might expect, I address the questionable nature of the information Harrisburg University supplied to PCAST. The members of PCAST are truly leading scientists, businessmen/women and educators. They include Nobel Laureates, representatives from Google and Microsoft and other individuals from storied institutions. I also sent a letter to the Executive Director of PCAST and uploaded my objections to the PCAST work group. 

[update 2/16] You can  view Harrisburg University's press release here. You'll notice that the press release omits the lies. Sorta' makes you think they know they are lies - doesn't it?


  1. I knew it was to good to be true! And welcome back BTW!

  2. You are still a joke....Is this another attempt to try and bring down the University? If you care about the students then why do you say such terrible things about their future alma mater? You were better gone then here....

    1. I didn't lie to PCAST. Why don't you ask your administration why they are trying to bring down the University? If they acted with honesty and integrity, this blog wouldn't exist.

    2. I'd very much like to understand your attitude. So we should just cover for our school when they aren't telling the truth?

    3. Wa Ching cares more about this University than you or any of your like minded peers. Eventually the 14th floor is going to have to answer for their lies and financial ruin of this school. Welcome back Wa Ching and keep up the good work.

  3. Time and time again we see the same behavior from Mel. It's absolutely shocking! No university president should act in such an untrustworthy fashion. It tarnishes our already sullied reputation. Where is the Board of Trustees? How can this continue to happen? We open ourselves to litigation the longer this goes on.

  4. So what if they exaggerated a little? The recognition is the best thing for the school. Noobody cares about it anyhow.

  5. Eportfolios?
    Aren't the faculty supposed to be endorsing these? Who's job is it to get students to use them?

    I guess why spend effort actually following through with your responsibilities when you can just focus on dragging HU down, right watchinghu?
    No, just rehash the same stuff over and over instead of moving on with your life.

    1. It amuses me that you think HU's untruthfulness is "the same stuff over and over". I'm pretty sure that's the whole point.

  6. I only wish I had found this blog before. I would very much like to see the old posts that were removed. I may be using some of this information in the near future.

  7. Hu is the worst in america