OSU President F. King Alexander’s family business is running the “Oxford International Round Table Symposiums [sic]” scam

Every professor I know gets spam like this about fake academic conferences with prestigious sounding names, held in popular holiday locations. They accept all papers, have a similarly unreviewed “journal”, and I assume some people try to get reimbursement for them, or try to use them to pad their c.v. – which would be laughable at any reputable university.

What a scam. A scam run by OSU’s new President and his family. You’ve got to wonder what else the OSU Board of Trustees and Witt/Kieffer search consultants Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Suzanne Teer and Kim Brettschneider missed – or ignored.

There’s a website that keeps track of scams like this, which notes:

Who or what is behind these efforts? They appear to be organized far from Oxford by the International Round Table Symposiums, which is said (6/2/17) to have have a “location in Oxford” at the Harris Manchester College. But a webpage on its history — which does not indicate when and where this group was founded — reveals that

The Round Table is, thus, not an academic programme conducted by the umbrella University. Harris Manchester College is the venue, the situs, location of the Round Table. The colleges, themselves, in their private corporate capacity, traditionally host an array of academic conferences assisted by Conference Oxford. The Round Table is one such conference. Harris Manchester College was selected as the location for the meeting because of its reputation, its location in the heart of Oxford, and because of its congenial working relationship with the members of the Round Table Programme Committee and Advisory Board.

I have not located the names of any members of the committee or advisory board. The history webpage ponderously advises that

The International Round Table Symposium is an international educational organization whose purpose is to promote education, art, science, religion and charity … effectuated by the conduct of interdisciplinary symposia and the publication of meritorious manuscripts emanating therefrom. …

The lack of sponsorship by Oxford University is a virtue because it advances “Academic Independence”:

Academic Independence is an important aspect of the Round Table. As a private charitable educational organization, the Round Table is not under the control of the hosting Oxford colleges, most of which are established as endowed sectarian foundations, nor is it in anyway under the aegis, restraint or sanctions of the University of Oxford; rather, the Round Table is free-standing, apolitical and non-denominational.

When accused by an Oxford faculty member of deceptive advertising, the group sued her. The domain name oxford-population-and-environment-symposium.com is registered to Shenette Alexander, London Education Research Symposium, Sand Dune Aly, Saint Augustine, Florida 32080, telephone: (562) 676-6382, email: internationallawsymposia@gmail.com. Shenette describes herself as “Dedicated Wife, Loving Mother, Assistant to Oxford Round Table.” Her husband, Fieldon King Alexander, is the chancellor of Louisiana State University and A&M College and president of the LSU system. The group, which has existed under various names and corporate charters (mostly in the US) is a creation of the Alexander family.

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11 Responses to OSU President F. King Alexander’s family business is running the “Oxford International Round Table Symposiums [sic]” scam

  1. honest Uncle Gangsta says:

    effin’ A! is going to cost multiple Gottfredsons!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is horrifying

  3. Former UO faculty member says:

    I like to imagine how OSU will refuse to reimburse travel to these bogus conferences when their president’s family runs them.

  4. FormerOregonPresidents says:

    Seems to be an Oregon theme here. Oregon Tech faculty just voted unanimously requesting the president to resign.

    https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/oit-faculty-senate-calls-on-naganathan-to-resign/article_435bc5f1-c715-54c7-9d63-50dd931c2d21.html

  5. Anonymous says:

    You sent this to Kenny? Seems like something USA Today would want to cover.

  6. Environmental necessity says:

    Agree with others about the egregiousness of this but choose to take this as a great sign that UOMatters lacks targets at home, at least for the moment.

  7. Coach Vernon Dozier says:

    Amazing research from UO Matters. Deserves a much wider audience …

  8. Disgusted says:

    This hire embarrassing but not surprising. It is the logical end result of the corporate take-over of higher education. Growing and bloated administrations, more “student life” directors than a cruise ship, Teaching Engagement Programs that publishes “cheat sheet for critical thinking,” (https://tep.uoregon.edu/moving-instruction-online-teaching-ideas), categorizing research and teaching by “outcomes”” and “deliverables,” and of course, outsourcing searches to firms that have no connection to the institution.

    Meanwhile, burgeoning student debt has funded this search, and will fund the severance package and inevitable lawsuits that will come out of this hire. As the cost of higher education has become (for the moment) something our politicians care about, I agree with the other comments here calling for a deep investigation into this hire. A journalist with a strong stomach can probe the connections among university administrations, the cost of college, the diminishing ROI students are facing, and the demise of the professorate.

    • Fishwrapper says:

      You talk about the costs of higher education – you’re still behind the F.King curve, Disgusted. It’s not about costs, it’s about maximizing revenues. Don’t believe me? It’s all laid out thanks to a F.King a co-editor in the aptly named (and rather thin) Maximizing Revenue in Higher Education: Universities, Public Policy, and Revenue Production. The reviews aren’t great on Amazon – I’m waiting for it to show up at the Valley Library so I can inform my own opinion…

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