An Iowa state legislator who has been pressing a controversial piece of legislation to limit the number of Democrats that state universities can hire as professors apparently has a bit of an issue with his own alma mater.
State Senator Mark Chelgren, on a government website, claimed that he received a “business degree” from the “Forbco Management school,” according to a report by NBC News.
However, his claimed alma mater is actually a company that operated a Sizzler steakhouse franchise in southern California. A spokesperson for the Iowa State Republicans told NBC News that Chelgren does not, in fact, have a degree.
“This was a management course he took when he worked for Sizzler, king of like Hamburger University at McDonald’s,” Ed Failor, the spokesperson, said, adding that Chelgren “got a certificate.”
When he was asked whether the state senator had a college degree, Failor responded by saying “That’s not accurate.”
The reference to the Forbco Management “business degree” was removed from the senator’s bio on the Iowa State Republicans website shortly after an interview with a reporter.
Chelgren did personally speak with NBC News on Wednesday saying that he was not attempting to inflate his resume. “This was not an attempt to inflate anything,” he said, also claiming that he was not aware of the error on the website until a reporter asked him about it. “I didn’t concern myself about this, honestly.”
However, during an interview last week, Chelgren said that Forbco was located outside of Los Angeles and that he received his business degree “around ’88 or ’89. It’s going back a ways so I don’t remember.”
“I don’t know if they are still in business or not,” the senator said, adding that “The school was created by Forbco Management, and I got a degree in hotel restaurant management.”
His bio on the State Senate web page continues to say that he “attended the University of California at Riverside majoring in astro-physics, geo-physics and mathematics.” The senator told NBC News that he took classes at the university for three years.
However, John Warren, a university spokesperson, said that while Chelgren attended the school, it was only for one year — 1992 to 1993 — “with a major in physics.”
His university attendance — or lack thereof — is particularly relevant to the bill that he is pushing. He has claimed that his own experiences with “liberal professors” is the impetus behind his push for a plan to impose a hiring freeze until such time as the number of registered Republicans and Democrats on university faculties are within 10 percent of each other.