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Iowa Republican who wants to politicize university hiring lied about his own degree

While Sizzler is a great place to enjoy delicious meats, it's not an accredited institution of higher education


Jeremy Binckes
March 2, 2017 10:17PM (UTC)

When we last saw Iowa state Sen. Mark Chelgren, he was trying to force ideological balance in his state's higher education system by mandating that a person's application for a university job be cross-checked with his or her registration on voter rolls, in order to ensure "partisan balance" for the institution's faculty, staff and administration. But the senator — the brain behind the 2015 proposal to execute undocumented immigrants who try to re-enter the U.S. after deportion for committing a felony — may have beefed up his resume.

He didn't go to a business school. He went to a Sizzler.

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What Chelgren had claimed was a business degree from the "Forbco Management School" is now being described as "a management course he took when he worked for Sizzler, kind of like Hamburger University at McDonald's," an Iowa state GOP spokesman told NBC News. "He got a certificate."

But Chelgren removed his Forbco "degree" from his website, NBC News noted, adding that the only "Forbco Management" it found in California was for "a company that used to operate a Sizzler steakhouse in Torrance, California." Keep in mind that Chelgren is also the genius behind a proposal made earlier this year to let women file lawsuits against doctors who perform the legal medical procedure of abortion if they experience emotional distress.

Critics have said that Chilgren's chewy stance on the state's university system isn't well-done. For example, as Salon noted last week, professors who aren't registered with any political party can simply avoid the litmus test. It might not be rare then for people to simply drop their registration from party rolls before applying.

In an ironic twist to this story, according to Slate, Chelgren was once "best known as 'Chickenman,' a fun-loving character who wore a chicken hat, wielded a super soaker full of beer, and biked naked in Iowa’s famous RAGBRAI bike race."


Jeremy Binckes

Jeremy Binckes is the senior news editor at Salon.com.

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