There exists, to my delight and/or amazement, a Wikipedia page called “List of animals with fraudulent diplomas.” The gist of the matter:
Animals are often used as a device to clearly demonstrate the lax standards of the awarding institutions. In one case, a cat’s degree helped lead to a successful fraud prosecution against the institution that had issued it.
The “standards” most often in use, one might assume, derive from the question “Did the check clear?”
The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office … sued an online university for allegedly selling bogus academic degrees — including an MBA awarded to a cat.
Trinity Southern University in Texas, a cellular company and the two brothers who ran them are accused of misappropriating Internet addresses of the state Senate and more than 60 Pennsylvania businesses to sell fake degrees and prescription drugs by spam e-mail, according to the lawsuit.
Investigators paid $299 for a bachelor’s degree for Colby Nolan — a deputy attorney general’s 6-year-old black cat — claiming he had experience including baby-sitting and retail management.
The school, which offers no classes, allegedly determined Colby Nolan’s resume entitled him to a master of business administration degree; a transcript listed the cat’s course work and 3.5 grade-point average.
Obtaining the transcript, incidentally, cost an additional $99.
Texas subsequently froze all the assets of “TSU” and its operators, and enjoined them from further mischief; trinitysouthernuniversity.org is up for sale by the Chinese domain-parking operation that currently owns it.
(Via Jen Myers.)