Chron obsesses over tired story

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The Chronicle devotes yet more column space to the story of Councilmember Carol Alvarado’s strange indifference towards actually obtaining her college degree, and the University of Houston’s unusual speed in approving her waiver and granting her a degree after her political opponent pointed out her degree claims were inaccurate:

Within a few hours on Oct. 21, Alvarado obtained the bachelor of arts degree, retroactive to December 1992, after her District I opponent, attorney John Parras, distributed UH documents showing Alvarado had not been awarded the degree she had claimed for years.

UH officials said she had failed to complete a writing proficiency exam required to graduate in December 1992, when Alvarado completed her course work.

The writing proficiency requirement since has been dropped, and students who completed all other requirements can receive degrees, [UH Communications Director Eric] Gerber said.


Requests for waivers typically are submitted on forms filed by students, but they can be submitted by advisers on behalf of students or simply noted on various documents, said Gerber.

“There is a general approval for the waiver to be granted,” he said.

In the case of Alvarado, the waiver was noted last Friday on what is called a graduation certification check list after an audit of her course work.

“Turnaround time can vary widely, ranging from as little as one day to as long as two or three weeks, depending on the complexity of the request being made and the academic records involved,” Gerber said.

Gerber said Alvarado’s case was straightforward enough to be quickly resolved.

Many of us who have dealt with the University of Houston know from experience that Councilmember Alvarado’s experience in getting this matter resolved so quickly is hardly the norm. One can understand that the university would like to accommodate a high-profile local pol as quickly as possible as it’s in the university’s interest to do so, but it strains credulity for anyone to suggest that the rapid disposition of Councilmember Alvarado’s matter is the norm.

That said, this story really is over. Voters surely have enough information by now to decide whether this is anything but a trivial matter, and the Chronicle surely can find some local news that needs to be reported.

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