Jerk du jour: Matt Arnold, Republican liar for CU regent

Matt Arnold, grandiose liar

Via the Denver Post, an outstanding example of the kind of person who believes he should hold governing authority over higher education in my state:

A Republican running to sit on the governing board at the University of Colorado has erroneously told voters he has a master’s degree in international economics from [Johns Hopkins University.]

Called on it by critics, Matt Arnold mocked advanced degrees Thursday, explaining he completed the coursework but not his thesis.

“I was more interested in getting on with my life than trying to, quite frankly, waste more time in pursuit of academic BS that no one cares about,” he said.

Right.  “Academic BS that no one cares about” probably wouldn’t make it onto resumes and into campaign literature, then, right?  But somehow, it did in your case, Matt.  Arnold continued: 

“I think that’s one of the big problems, quite frankly, with education these days. We’re graduating a bunch of people who hang letters after their names, but they have no useful skills.”

As opposed to people like you, who hang fraudulent and unearned letters after their names, and have no “useful skills!”

Arnold is best known as the director of Clear the Bench, a group aimed at unseating what it sees as activist judges. He is one of two Republicans running for the at-large regent post at CU. He faces Brian Davidson in the June 26 primary in the only statewide race on the ballot.

Activist judges almost always have “letters after their names,” after all.  Student plagiarists and cheaters rejoice!  Arnold reassures us that lying about academic achievement is no big deal.  What’s important are his big ideas, after all:

“This is minutiae,” Arnold said when asked about his degree. “What we ought to be talking about is who has the better ideas for reforming higher education in Colorado, and, quite frankly, I’m the only one who has put forward any ideas.”

Here’s a great idea:  how about cracking down on resume fraud, so that the people in the state of Colorado who legitimately earn college and graduate degrees don’t see the value of their hard work degraded by d!ckheads like you, Matt Arnold?

17 thoughts on “Jerk du jour: Matt Arnold, Republican liar for CU regent

  1. The Post article:

    He said after finishing his courses, he was working on his thesis — one of the degree’s most significant requirements — when his computer crashed, and he lost much of his material. He said he couldn’t afford to fly back to Germany to recoup his research.

    “I had to get a job,” he said.

    Just when did he have his revelation that graduate work is all BS–after his computer supposedly crashed? Sounds like the updated version of a “dog ate my homework” ploy.

    And one wonders whether he would consult a physician who hadn’t the requisite degrees (evidence) and board certifications. Cuz that’ only “minutiae.”


  2. Ha! History Maven, that’s great. Even if his story is true, do we want someone a) who doesn’t have the common sense to do backups of his thesis files, and b) whose response to major crisis is to throw in the towel.


  3. Absolutely my #1 requirement for High Education Czar is complete contempt for higher education, its purpose and goals. The quitting and the lying are just bonuses!


  4. Aside from fraud, we are already governed by the ethically challenged, intelligence handicapped, simple minded and mean spirited of the type of Arnold.

    These people are threatened by education and the rule of law and do their best to destroy both systems. While education is still a viable and energetic system, our justice system, from top to bottom, resembles Mussolini’s justice system.

    Tuesday in Wisconsin and the coast to coast successful attack on pensions show that Arnold is winning and we are losing badly.


  5. Why not just send Alfred Packer up there to Boulder to eat three more Democrats and retire the trophy? My plan here in the East is to invoke a secret clause in the Articles of Confederation (which may have been overlaid, but didn’t get repealed) and begin re-territorializing some of these arid places. That’ll give these guys something to chew on, and hopefully to choke on…


  6. Sadly, I know someone else, not in any sort of prominent position, who also received an MA from JHU without completing hir thesis. Though I think resume fraud is terrible, I think I would be concerned that this may not be especially uncommon in the policy and professional MA programs at JHU.


  7. But–this guy didn’t get his M.A. degree because (at least in part) he didn’t finish his thesis. He has a certificate from the program, but not an actual degree, according to the linked Denver Post article.

    I don’t blame JHU. I blame business culture at large, which frequently looks the other way (if not outright rewards) resume fraud and inflated credentials. These people have contempt for academic achievement, even as they try to convince everyone that they have academic achievements. I say fine with me if you have contempt for credentials–but then don’t go laying claim to the credentials you allegedly hold in contempt!


  8. The Denver Post has a strong editorial in today’s paper, recommending against him for the fake degree and for suggesting that he had the CO Republican Party’s endorsement (its a non-partisan position). I’m pasting part of it below. My favorite part is the final paragraph:

    … recent disclosures involving Arnold have caused us to question his judgment and fitness to become a University of Colorado regent, an office he is seeking.

    First of all, Arnold seems to have been deceptively imprecise in describing academic credentials he got from Johns Hopkins University.

    In addition, somehow an e-mail implying the Arapahoe County Republican Party endorsed Arnold in this month’s primary was sent from an e-mail address known to belong to the candidate.

    The trouble is, the party scrupulously avoids taking sides in primaries. It’s against party bylaws and state law.

    Arnold denies sending the e-mail — instead blaming a supporter — but he does admit to having “input” into the content, which is enough of an indictment in itself. Voters should have seen enough by now to know they don’t want this guy having a hand in running the University of Colorado.

    In a story earlier this month, Denver Post reporter Tim Hoover described the e-mail sent to Republicans in Arapahoe County, which contained the subject line “Get out the vote!”

    The message contained the Republican Party logo and concluded with the words “Arapahoe County Republicans.” It’s clear that the missive was intended to sound like it was from the party.

    Party officials contacted Arnold and asked that another e-mail be sent out retracting the prior message. And while a second e-mail did go out, it wasn’t a clear retraction and the party felt compelled to send its own message saying the “Captain Arapahoe” e-mails were not from the party.

    In the controversy regarding academic credentials, The Post’s Lynn Bartels reported that Arnold has erroneously told voters he has a master’s degree in international economics from Johns Hopkins.

    He does not. He has what a university spokeswoman called a “graduate-level certificate.” Arnold termed the discrepency “minutiae.”

    We think someone who wants to sit on the governing board of Colorado’s flagship university system ought to have a better appreciation for the differences in those credentials.

    The full piece is: Editorial: CU regent hopeful Matt Arnold lacks credibility – The Denver Post


  9. Thanks, grumpyscholar–I just read that in my home delivered print version of the DP. Kind of an obvious call, in my view! There was another article on p. 2 detailing the three endorsements that Arnold has lost, including former Senate President John Andrews, an infamous right-wing crank, but no idiot. Even he recognized that Arnold is too dodgy to be supported.


  10. Pingback: Student evaluations of online courses: rife with hostility? : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present

  11. I missed the other article, but I agree – the editorial vote of no confidence was an obvious call, but the DP still took a pretty strong line. I’m on an honor code subcommittee at my school, and one thing we’ve talked about recently are all the real-world examples – like this one – of how cheating and lying in the end really do not pay. So: I can’t stand Arnold’s self-righteous claims, but I’m glad to have them as an example to talk over with students.


  12. It’s a dark day when the Denver Post has to go against any Republican, on (*choke* *sputter*) general principle. It’s as if someone has to start the Model A of their conscience with the Hulk’s elbow grease, a Formula One-quality lube pit and Kenneth Strickfaden’s electric apparata.


  13. Pingback: Student evaluations of online courses: rife with hostility? | Historiann

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