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The University of Moncton is examining the academic credentials of Louis LaPierre after questions were raised by a Radio-Canada report.

An online American university that awarded Louis LaPierre a PhD in the 1980s says it was not a science degree as the University of Moncton professor has long-claimed.

It was actually an education degree, according to Tamara Chumley, spokeswoman for Walden University in Minnesota.

"Louis LaPierre received his PhD in education with a concentration in environmental from Walden University on July 19, 1985," Chumley told CBC News.

"His dissertation title was The Evaluation of Environmental Education Programs Within Canadian Universities and Colleges as Operant Models of Social Change," she said.

LaPierre, who has been a professor at the University of Moncton for 30 years and an environmental adviser to provincial and federal governments, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

His office says he is out of the country for several days and unable to return messages.

Questions about academic biography

report by Radio-Canada last week raised questions about LaPierre's academic history. For years, the prominent professor's biography has claimed he holds a PhD in ecology from the University of Maine.

The University of Maine confirmed LaPierre does have a master's degree in science education, but does not have a master's degree in wildlife ecology. The university also confirmed LaPierre does not have a doctorate from the institute.

LaPierre told Radio-Canada last week there was a mix up in his academic biography. He said his professor at the University of Maine moved to Minnesota, so LaPierre followed him to do his degree.

He said the PhD was in association with the University of Maine and Walden University back in 1985. The University of Maine confirmed with Radio-Canada that there was never any agreement for co-operation with Walden University.

The University of Moncton's vice-president academic is examining LaPierre's academic credentials and is expected to report this week.

The university says the first it heard of any questions about LaPierre's academic biography was late on Sept. 4.

LaPierre was appointed by the provincial government last spring to develop proposals on how New Brunswick might safely develop oil and gas resources, explaining at the time LaPierre had a doctorate in biology.