Inspectors from the Communist Party Unit in the northern province of Phu Tho have told a high-ranking official to omit his dubious doctorate degree from his CV, Vietnamnet reported Wednesday.
The inspectors made the move after Nguyen Ngoc An, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, was suspected of dishonestly earning a doctorate degree from the US-owned Southern Pacific University.
An may lose his edge in future promotional opportunities as a result.
Media reports in June raised questions about the quality of the university, which was ordered to halt its operations in 2003 after Hawaiian authorities found the school had violated higher education regulations.
Some online reports suggested that SPU has since shifted its base of operations to Malaysia.
However, In its latest conclusion, the Phu Tho Inspectorate Commission said SPU was established legally in the state of Delaware, citing information provided by the Vietnamese Embassy in San Francisco and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to Vietnamnet.
The school, where An studied and defended his doctoral thesis between December 2008 and September 2009, has been operating legally, it stressed.
The inspectors further charged that the university generates much of its income from training Asian students who can't study in US, Vietnamnet reported.
In an interview with local newspaper Saigon Tiep Thi, Bui Minh Chau, Chief of the Commission, said his agency lacks the resources to assess the quality of An's diploma, much less to confirm whether or not SPU is operating in US.
While all the expenses and tuition fees were paid by An, who told the press that he had spent US$17,000 on the course, the official failed to frequently report his studying results to his superiors, the inspecors ruled.
In July, Nguyen Van Ngoc, Deputy Chief of the Yen Bai Provincial Party Unit was also investigated following accusations that he had dubiously earned a doctorate degree from SPU.