Schools and Ontario government respond to Marketplace investigation
Marketplace finds Toronto college professor has a phoney master's degree
Here's a look at Dubravko Zgrablic's timeline of employment, according to his LinkedIn profile, and the responses from the schools where he says he's worked, as well as the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
Centennial College (2003-2014):
"When Mr. Zgrablic was hired in 2003 the college had a credential verification process in place, which in this instance included a Comparative Education Service letter, dated June 2000, stating that his diploma from the University of Zagreb in Croatia corresponds "to the standard of competency necessary for a four-year Bachelor's degree, in Electrical Engineering, from a reputable Canadian University." It was on the basis of this documentation – as well as a review of his industry work experience – that Mr. Zgrablic was hired. Almeda University was not a factor in the hiring decision."
*Centennial said Zgrablic worked there from 2003 to 2010
Ryerson University (2005-2008):
"Ryerson University prides itself on hiring highly qualified academics for the delivery of its various degrees and programs. Candidates must provide a CV which includes their specific academic credentials, the degree granting institutions and dates of degree conferral.
As a condition of employment, Ryerson requires that the candidate arrange for their degree granting institution to send their transcripts directly to the university. The University will not accept copies of transcripts or originals provided by the candidate to the supervisor, those must come from their degree granting institution. If questions regarding the legitimacy of the degree granting institution arise, it will be referred to the University's Registrar for further verification."
University of Toronto (2007-2015):
"I can confirm that this individual was employed by U of T's School of Continuing Studies between 2007 and 2012, given that publicly-available materials – including past course pages on the SCS website and a past course calendar – would have made that employment history accessible to the public.
While privacy laws would prevent us from making any further comment on Mr. Zgrablic's employment, Maureen MacDonald, the dean of the School of Continuing Studies, would be happy to discuss the School's current practices for hiring and vetting instructors."
Seneca College (2007-present)
"We can't comment on individual personnel matters for privacy reasons. We take our hiring practices very seriously and like most postsecondary institutions, we take many factors into consideration, including unique industry experience when hiring. Seneca employs close to 5,000 people and we have a process for verifying and vetting academic credentials."
Deb Matthews, Ontario minister of advanced education and skills development:
"It's important to recognize that the core issue at hand is that of academic dishonesty. University and colleges across the province employ capable and talented instructors, many of whom are hired on the merit of their experience or skills rather than graduate degrees. It is acceptable for institutions to knowingly hire instructors without masters' or PhD degrees, who instead bring other expertise into the classroom. However, it is not acceptable that they would hire an instructor with a falsified or misleading degree as a result of inadequate vetting. Students are working hard in the pursuit of a degree or diploma; the value of that effort and the integrity of their accreditation should not be undermined by those who teach them."
On the ministry's role:
"Colleges and universities are responsible for their own hiring practices and decisions. As with all other human resources or personnel concerns, we entrust institutions to enforce their policies to address wrongdoing. With that being said, I am asking institutions to be vigilant in enforcing these policies to prevent the use of misleading or false credentials"