The Star Professors of Rushmore University

Over the past few days, I’ve been posting about Rushmore University. The founder of Rushmore has been kind enough to respond to my concerns about his school.

Another aspect of the school that concerns the critics here is the quality of the faculty. The school’s Website has a large number of what are referred to as star professors. The site also lists a page of quotes credited to faculty telling readers what a great place the school is. Originally, when I began this post, I was willing to accept at face value that the school’s faculty were excellent scholars. As founder Michael Cox has said in his comment on my site,

…they are active professionally and some teach at traditional schools. Most have doctorate degrees from major traditionally accredited universities and some have Harvard MBA degrees. You can see this for yourself as we post their resumes at the time they start with us

Now that I have looked through the listings and links of all the ‘star professorsRushmore lists, I feel much less confident. It is not true that their faculty represent conventional certification of business school faculty nor is it true that the school posts meaningful information about all or even most of them on their site. In fact, having read through this, I would say that faculty resembles much that of what I have referred to in the past as a Third World University.

The list of faculty is quite long, but I have tried to list as many of the irregularities as I could find. The problems I have encountered include,

  • many of the faculty have no information or meaningless information posted about them
  • many of the links are dead or lead back to the Rushmore site itself, thus providing no information about the ‘star professor’
  • some faculty were granted their doctorate from Rushmore itself, and at least 1 has a doctorate from a school that is probably a diploma mill.
  • virtually none of the faculty mention their affiliation with Rushmore on personal or professional sites, even when they mention affiliation with other schools they teach at

1. Lee Hargrave, MBA mentions on his resume page that he is a Senior Professor at Rushmore.

2. Dr. Les Livingston makes no mention of his affiliation with Rushmore, even though the page listing his credentials states that he has taught at Ohio State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Babson College.

3. Donald Mitchell makes no mention of Rushmore University, even though he has this to say about his academic affiliation,

Mr. Mitchell has an A.B. degree magna cum laude from Harvard College and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. While studying for his J.D. degree, he attended Harvard Business School and pursued the field of marketing. He is a member of the bar in Massachusetts. He currently serves on the board of Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts. Mr. Mitchell is the former treasurer of the Harvard Law School Association and is a former director of the Harvard Alumni Association.

4.  Tom Lambert makes no mention of Rushmore University. Several sites (1, 2, 3) featuring  his books, make no mention of his affiliation with Rushmore.

5. The link posted for William Rouse, Ph.D. is dead. A link on the bio entitled Enterprise Support Systems described as a, “software solutions, consulting services, and training in strategic planning, market/product planning and organizational change” company leads to a company that offers body-piercing (I’m not joking. Check it yourself.)

6. The link posted for Dr. David Edward Marcinko, FACFAS, MBA, CFP, CMP is dead.

7. Dr. Kermit Zieg makes no mention of his affiliation with Rushmore. This is of particular note given his positive comments about the school on this page of their site. Interestingly, a review of one of his books, A Complete Guide to Point-and-Figure Charting, co-authored with Rushmore PhD student Heinrich Weber (see the bottom of the page), makes no mention at all of their association with Rushmore. It does however mention that Dr. Zeig, “is a Full Professor of Finance and Investments at Florida Institute of Technology’s National Capital Region campus in Alexandria, Virginia.”

8. Eugene Valentijn links only to a Dutch-language page of his company.

9. Every link for Rakesh Sondhi, BSc (Eng), MSc, MBA, MBIM leads back to the Rushmore site itself. This includes the link at the bottom of the bio entitled ‘resume’.

10. Philip Wright, Ph.D. has no links whatsoever on his bio. Information there describes his educational background this way, “His first doctorate (a D. Arts) was from the International Institute of Advanced Studies, which later became Greenwich University.’ The Website has some rather disparaging things to say about a school calling itself Greenwich University. I am not certain if it’s the same school, but you can check for yourself here.

11. Al Hennon, Ph.D. was granted a PhD from Rushmore itself. His bio is linked to his self-description listed on the school’s Webpage.

12. Every link for Ian Chaston, Ph.D. leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

13. Jan Emblemsvåg, Ph.D. leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

14. Philip Crosby (1926-2001) links back to the Website of Rushmore University. The link to his biography is dead.

15. E.W. Brody, Ed.D. and the link called ‘resume’ both lead to a resume listed on the Rushmore Website.

16. Mark Spence, Ph.D.makes no mention of Rushmore University even on his resume that is accessed through a link here entitled ‘Associate Professor of Marketing’. This is particularly interesting considering that he is one of the ‘star professors‘ quoted on the Rushmore Website link entitled What Our Star Professors Say About Rushmore. But in retrospect, this isn’t that surprising. He says almost nothing about the school except some rhetorical statements about the quality of students and a meaningles comment on how good the school is compared with other Internet-based programs.

17. Laurence Leigh, Ph.D. has no meaningful links other than his on-line Rushmore resume. In his positive words about the school contained here, he describes his exposure to the school as “brief”.

18. Alan Guinn, MBA does mention he is affiliated with Rushmore, but his site makes no mention of where his own is MBA was awarded. I have no special reason to believe so, but I wonder if it was awarded by Rushmore.

19. The bio for Dr. O. P. Kharbanda only has links leading to his books. There is no resume link.

20. Wayne McManus, J.D., LL.M., CFA, MBA, CPA leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

21. Mark Taylor, MBA leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website. It is interesting that Mr. Taylor’s entire education comes from the University of Phoenix.

22. Gary J. Smith. MBA leads to a site that makes no mention of Rushmore University. The Webpage he uses to promote his book and professional status makes no mention of Rushmore University. He even makes no mention of this on the page that lists his professional credentials.

23. Rolf Hemmerling, MA leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

24. Patrick (Pat) Robinson, MBA, Ph.D. leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website. This site is linked to the Marketing Science Institute and claims that Dr. Robinson is Research Director. The page listing the staff of the MSI makes no mention of him. It is not clear from his bio whether or not he is still supposed to be working there.

25. Henry Zhao, Ph.D. makes no mention of Rushmore University. It is interesting that his name is not mentioned on the management team list of the company of KPMG Consulting where Rushmore claims he is a director.

26. Richard Priestly, DBA received his DBA from Rushmore. His bio has no meaningful links other than his Rushmore bio.

27. Saul Gellerman, Ph.D makes no mention of Rushmore University. This bio claims he is the former Dean of the Graduate School of Management at the University of Dallas.

28. Ralph J. Melaragno, Ph.D. leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

29. Elizabeth (Beth) Stetson, J.D., CPA leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

30. Manek Kirpalani, D.Sc. leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

31. Andrew Goodman, LLB leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

32. Eduardo Abud-Mendoza, MBA, Ph.D. leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

33. Bernard L. Beatty leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website. He is also listed as a developer of the Certified MBA Exam. I found it strange for a person working at a place that claims it is rebel against qualification.

34. Mike Loh leads to a resume posted on the Rushmore University Website.

35. The Webpage of Dan Poynter is linked back to the Rushmore website.

36. The links for Dr. Janis McFaul link either to a dead page or to a Rushmore resume. Interestingly, she is listed as the co-authour of a book called Things We Learned in Organizations along with Keith Grant. The Amazon page this links to lists Mr. Grant’s occupation as “General Motors University- Manager Adjunct Professor University of Phoenix, Capella University” and Dr. McFaul as “VSSM Manager General Motors”. No mention is made of her affiliation with Rushmore.

37. Kazuaki Takamatsu, Ph.D. only provides information through his Rushmore resume.

38. While most Rushmore resumes don’t list Rushmore, that of John McManus, MBA does.

39. Craig Lawrence, MME may be on sabbatical from Rushmore, but that doesn’t explain why the only source of information about his work is from the school. But even based on information from Rushmore, it would appear that Mr. Lawrence has not published anything.

40. Larry A. Bauman, Ph.D. is listed as the authour of 3 books, but all the links on his bio lead back to the Rushmore site. This Webpage I found of his professional work with IMC lists the book, but makes no mention of his work with Rushmore. This site from the Institute of Management Consultants also fails to mention his affiliation with Rushmore. In fact, it does not appear that his books are available through any of the regular channels of books distribution, such as Amazon. I also found this Webpage which appears to be the outline for a course he teaches.

41. Rob Frankel loops back to the Rushmore Website. Even the link that states it will take you to his personal Website is dead. The site that promotes his book makes no mention of his affiliation with Rushmore.

42. Azusa Yamamoto, Ph.D. only has a Rushmore resume.

43. Kyoko Oka was awarded her DBA from Rushmore.

44. 45. Hirohiko Tsuji, MBA and Mutsuyuki Hayashi, CPA  have no links posted to their bios.

46. Louis “Deke” Heyward (1920-2002) links back to a Rushmore bio.

There is nothing notable about almost any of Rushmore’s faculty. In fact, the most notable thing about its faculty is the way in which they seem to hide their affiliation with the school. The only reference to their affiliation with Rushmore is on the school’s Website. If Rushmore didn’t make the claim, it would be hard to verify the fact. It makes you wonder what all those fantastic quotations about the school from its faculty really mean.

One thing that struck me as I was reading through the faculty listings was that most of them are listed as running businesses. I have no problem with this fact, but I do wonder how they find the time to supervise graduate students. Faculty at every school I have ever attended or worked at find it hard to find time to do this – and it’s part of our job. Where on Earth would a senior manager at a major corporation or the owner of a small business find the time? Perhaps they don’t.

I simply do not believe that the faculty of Rushmore have much to offer to students. The quality of some of them is highly questionable, and I doubt that some of them would have any knowledge to share with students at the graduate level. Of the faculty that do have this knowledge, I question whether or not they would have the time. Most significantly, I wonder what someone who hides their affiliation with the school could possibly be doing for their students.

One last thing; I found this notice on the Webpage titled ‘Books and Articles Published by Rushmore Students/Associate Professors‘. It makes me wonder what exactly it means to be a professor there.

After you graduate from your program, you may be eligible for an appointment to the position of Rushmore University Associate Professor.


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LOL. Fantastic work, Scott. Really thorough. I hope every link to Rushmore brings the searcher here!


I’d be very curious what the contract with their professors actually looks like. I wonder if any of their faculty would be willing to share the details? (Anonymously, of course.)

Scott, nice try but you have found nothing that even dents our credibility. (however thanks for pointing out dead or incorrect links however that we will fix). I do appreciate that I can respond directly to your comments.

Did you try to contact any of our professors? If you do call or email them you find out that they either have worked with Rushmore students or signed up to be professor in one of two ways, either to help students through their the books they have written, or to advise students as they do a course or both as most of our professor are authors. What the professors are willing to do is disclosed on the professor’s page. Not all professors are actively advising at any given time. There are a few who have not had a student yet – since students choose who they work with it sometimes takes a long time for a professor to get their first student.

Also our students are very happy that are professors have their own business. If you want to know how are professors have time to do this then contact them. This experience is what they have to offer students. Our students to not want tired over the hill tenured professors without any recent experience in the business world.

Your mention that Rushmore University is not on faculty’s résumé’s or on their website has not relation to our credibility. We do not require professors to link back to us. It of course is normal practice for links on a website to point to other pages on a website. Your point about this is very strange and shows how desperate you are to find something to make us look bad. You should be ashamed at making such a baseless charge that they are hiding their affiliation with Rushmore.

Also most of our faculty have Ph.D.s or MBAs from major universities like Stanford, Harvard etc. You are incorrect in this regard.. Most of the are authors of leading business books.

Our Associate Professors have only recently been appointed. They only advise students who want to study a book or other material that they have written. They are a very talented group however.

What is true is that our students have written many books and published articles. You put this down and continue to defend the failed programs of the traditional business schools by attacking us instead of offering suggestion to them on how they can improve (eliminating tenure would be a good start).

It remains that we give students a choice – we give them control of their business school experience. The traditional schools and their tenured professors who control them do not. They continue to force students to take worthless courses – see Stanford Professor Pfeffer’s article linked to the top of our HomePage.

Our students take advantage of their freedom to publish, earn promotions and raises, and find new jobs or start businesses.

Why don’t you contact some of our student authors about their experience and their relationship with their professors?

You could start with the Capstone Papers at

I have just discovered that as of today, more than half of all the links to ‘star professor’ bios are down. This does not include all the bios that initially had no links.

Rushmore is junk. It must have been excruciating going through all these profs; like picking through garbage. Looking at the Rushmore University website just gave me a sick feeling.

Thanks Mark!

Your thorough critique on Rushmore has been really helpful, as I was at the point to deciding whether or not I should a Rushmore or ‘Rushmore-like’ program.


Thanks again!

So how this university listed in Business Week ?

I was admitted to Rushmore University yesterday. I was amazed at the speed at which this was done!!! I only applied last Friday. Whereas I was impressed by their efficiency in that regard, I was also a bit worried that they didn’t invest any time in verifying the information I submitted.

I agree with the general principles of the university: we should, especially at graduate level, acquire education which is relevant and that is one of the things which attracted me to the university.

Serious question – how many universities, aside from Rushmore University and the like, would admit a student in just 4 days (that four day total includes a weekend too!)? How the hell can any documentation be verified in that time? What kind of entrance policy do they have other than an applicant having a band account? This in itself is an explicite expression of RU’s lack of standards.


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