Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Getting a degree from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is NOT the same thing as getting a degree from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).
The latter is what most people think of as the University of Maryland. The former is an adjunct that caters to older and part time students. UMCP has 30,000 or so students and nationally ranked athletics, UMUC has a relative handful of students and no athletic programs at all. UMCP has some real tough admission standards, UMUC lets pretty much anybody in. UMCP has an impressive faculty, UMUC much less so. UMCP actually demands that its students develop proficiency in the subject matter, UMUC, how shall I put it, is known for its easy course work and is where UMCP students go to fill in gaps in their coursework. In other words, attending and graduating and teaching at UMCP is something that counts for something while attending and graduating and teaching at UMUC isn't all that impressive.
So while Vivek Kundra, Obama's Chief Information Officer, having received a master's from UMUC, is technically correct to claim a master's degree from the University of Maryland, he is nonetheless guilty of misleading people. UMCP and UMUC aren't one and the same... and everybody who has attended either of the two knows that.