Academic Background

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Academics / Educational Background


Firpo Carr


I.          Designated Research Grant Recipient (2015)

Grant Title: "The Effect of Educational Intervention on Surgeons' Mental Anguish in Non-Blood Treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses"

Grant Awarded By: University of Phoenix, School of Advanced Studies


II.        Adjunct Faculty Member

(a) Center for Healthcare Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of Phoenix (2014 - present)

(b) University of Phoenix (1994 - present): College of Humanities and Sciences; College of Health Professions (School of Nursing, School of Health Services Administration, and School of Public Health)

(c) University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension (1994)

(d) Mount Saint Mary's College (Los Angeles, Chalon Campus) (2004)


III.       Certified Advanced Facilitator

University of Phoenix

Courses Approved to Teach:

     (a) HCS/482 Health Care Informatics    

     (b) HCS/483 Health Care Information Systems

     (c) HCS/533 Health Information Systems          

     (d) HSN/375 Informatics for Patient-Centered Care      

     (e) HUM/115 Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

     (f)  REL/133 World Religious Traditions I (Eastern Religions)

     (g) REL/134 World Religious Traditions II (Western Religions

Article "Facilitating Classroom Harmony with the R.A.W. Deal" by Firpo Carr featured in December 2015 issue of Phoenix Rising: Faculty Newsletter, College of Humanities and Sciences

Lecture "Determining if Surgeons and Anesthesiologists Experience Anxiety When Considering Non-Blood Treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses" by Firpo Carr, September 2015, University of Phoenix Academic Research Symposium.

Article "Is Blood Transfusion a Dangerously Outdated 'Game'?" by Firpo Carr, June 2015, University of Phoenix, School of Advanced Studies, Center of Healthcare Research.

Lecture "Why 'Online Learning' Needs a New Name: Introducing the I.T.E.A.C.H. Modality" by Firpo Carr, September 2014, University of Phoenix Academic Research Symposium.


IV.       Doctoral Candidate (2016)

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Specialization: Health Psychology

Northcentral University


Doctor of Philosophy 

Specialization: Computer Information Systems

Pacific Western University

Before being purchased by the regionally accredited California Miramar University in San Diego, California, Pacific Western University (PWU), California, was a State Approved institution authorized to grant diplomas. Instead of being a "diploma mill," it met the same rigorous scrutiny of the California Bureau of Private Post-Secondary and Vocational Education as did regionally accredited schools. This classification was acknowledged and validated in a General Accounting Office (GAO) Report to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs Hearings (2004), Washington, D.C. That PWU was a completely legitimate institution of higher learning was entered twice in the Official Record.


When my Ph.D. was issued, PWU was Authorized to Operate by the State of California Superintendent of Public Instruciton in accordance with California Education Code Section: 94310 (c). 

Regional accreditation itself is a voluntary process. No school is required, by law, to become accredited. One of the main reasons schools seek accreditation is to gain access to federal student grants and loans. As Education Services notes, "Almost all accredited schools earn the majority of their tuition dollars (some as high as 90%) from these federal grant and loan programs." PWU elected not to seek accreditation as it had no interest in seeking federal student grants or loans. 

A disturbing piece of misinformation is that a degree from PWU is somehow inferior because it came from a non-accredited school. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The United States Department of Education says "non-accredited institutions are not reviewed against a set of standards to determine the quality of their education and training. This does not necessarily mean that a non-accredited institution is of poor quality."

To ensure that PWU was not a "diploma mill" or "poor quality" institution, the California State Approval process for Pacific Western University included a qualitative review, assessment, and approval of all of the following:

  • Institutional purpose, mission, and objectives.
  • Governance and administration.
  • Curriculum.
  • Instruction.
  • Faculty, including their qualifications.
  • Physical facilities.
  • Administrative personnel.
  • Procedures for keeping educational records.
  • Tuition, fee, and refund schedules.
  • Admissions standards.
  • Financial aid policies and practices.
  • Scholastic regulations and graduation requirements.
  • Ethical principles and practices.
  • Library and other learning resources.
  • Student activities and services.
  • Degrees offered.

Interestingly, some states require institutions of higher learning that may have regional accreditation to be State Approved before they can grant degrees. As noted above, PWU's "curriculum," "instruction," "admission standards," and "ethical principles and practices" were carefully scrutinized before being State Approved. PWU is considered one of the first (if not the first) institution of higher learning to offer distant learning. My employer at the time, International Business Machines (IBM) recognized the potential of distant learning and paid 100% percent of my tuition. Still, the education industry looked askance at distant learning.  

Illustrating this point is an article from the Independent of Sunday (London) dated July 11, 2004. I was the subject of its cover story in my role of spokesman for the Jackson family during the trial of Michael Jackson. The byline stated in part: “Dr. Firpo Carr, a man with two degrees who felt the need to augment his qualifications with a PhD from an on-line university.” Going into more detail within the article itself, Robert Chalmers, the investigative reporter, wrote:

“Carr’s enemies focus on his doctorate, a qualification in Computing Information Systems from the Californian branch of the Pacific Western University, based in Hawaii, an on-line institution widely critiqued as a ‘diploma-mill’. But when I called the relevant universities to check on his previous degrees (the first, also in computing, from the University of San Francisco, the second a Master’s in management from the University of Redlands, California) both confirmed his CV as genuine. So did his former employers, including the LAPD. Carr currently works part-time for a satellite campus of the University of Phoenix, lecturing in Comparative Religion.”

Pacific Western University was no “diploma-mill.” It was simply decades ahead of its time insofar as distant-learning as an educational approach was concerned. Now, one would be hard pressed to find a regionally accredited university (including the top Ivy League schools) that does not offer either online distant-learning courses or degrees.

This is also true in the UK where Chalmers and the Independent on Sunday can be found. Oxford University offers distant-learning online courses, as does Cambridge University. In fact, Cambridge offers what it calls “MOOCs,” meaning “massive open online courses.”

It cannot be overstated. In offering distant-learning courses and degrees, PWU pioneered the way, and in time the rest of the world followed.

Master's Degree, Management (1986)

University of Redlands.


Bachelor's Degree, Information Systems Management (1982)

University of San Francisco


V.        Student Advisory Board Member (2016)

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychology

Northcentral University


VI.       Student Affiliate Member (2014)

American Psychological Association (APA)


VII.     American Psychological Association (APA)

Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP)

APA Annual Convention in Denver, CO, August 4-August 7, 2016

Assigned Student Monitor (Representing CEP and APA)


     (a) "Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for

           Enhancing Psychological Health"

     (b) "Best Practices in Gifted Assessment"


VIII.     Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Contributions

     (a)  Coauthor of the article "Jehovah's Witnesses"

           in the two-volume encyclopedia set,

           African American Religious Cultures (2009)

     (b)  SOURCE: Publisher's Preface for Publication of

           Leningradensis [Codex Leningrad B19a, or,

           Leningrad Codex] • Released: 1998

"It is a source of pride for the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center, and West Semitic Research, along with the University of Michigan, to offer the world of biblical scholarship this facsimile edition of Leningradensis, the oldest complete Hebrew Bible in the world. A microfilm copy of the Codex which has been used for the printed editions of Biblia Hebraica (1937) and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1967/1977) has existed for over sixty years. A facsimile edition of the Codex using the available films was published by Makor Press in 1970. Even so, it was clear that the Codex should be rephotographed using the latest technology.

"Dr. Harold Scanlin, of the American and United Bible Societies, early in 1988 suggested we mount a project to do just that. Our trusties, Professor David Noel Freedman and Professor Astrid Beck of the University of Michigan, soon thereafter urged us to use our relations with the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library in Leningrad, now The Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, to start conversations with contacts there about rephotographing the Codex.

"We had had acquisitions contacts with officials at the Leningrad library since October of 1981, but entertained little hope of getting their permission to go in and is our understanding that no foreign photographer or team had been allowed to do such work in their collection.

"Then came Soviet Chairman Gorbachev's policy of Glasnost and the window of opportunity we needed. A colleague at Claremont, Professor Fred Warner Neal, a sovietologist at the Claremont Graduate School, who frequently travels to that part of the world, approached the authorities at the Leningrad library on our behalf and initiated conversations about the possibility and feasibility of such a project. Professor Michael Klein of the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, who is editor of the Cairo Geniza fragments of the Palestinian Targum, knew the academic and library situation in Moscow and Leningrad and was a great help to us in mapping strategy.

"Firpo Carr of IBM, who had worked with Bruce Zuckerman on a couple of projects and knew Leningrad and the Library, made a friend of the Director of Oriental Manuscripts in the Library, Dr. Victor Lebedev, and talked with him about our intentions. Carr returned to assure us that there was lively interest in the project and provided us with valuable insights into the needs and situation of the Library."

National and International Conferences
Sponsoring Organization: Social Sciences Research Council and the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Program Theme: "Workshop on the Medieval East Slavic Culture"
Lecture Title: "Recent Developments in Archeography" by Firpo Carr
Date: Sunday, June 3, 1990
Location: UCLA Campus, Los Angeles, California
Other Participants: Henrik Birnbaum (UCLA); Paul Bushkovitch (Yale); Daniel Collins (UCLA); Jame Cracraft (Illinois/Chicago); Robert Crummey (UC Davis); Michael Flier (UCLA); Christian Hannick (Trier); Paul Hollingsworth (Falls Church); Norman Ingham (Chicago); Edward Keenan (Harvard); Michael Khodarkovsky (Kalamazoo); Valerie Kivelson (Michigan); Boris Kloss (ANSSSR/Moscow); Nancy Kollmann (Stanford); Gail Lenhoff (UCLA); Jakov Luria (ANSSSR/Leningrad); Robert Mathiesen (Brown); Georg Michels (Harvard); Eduard Muhle (Mainz); Hugh Olmsted (Harvard); Donald Ostrowski (Harvard); Daniel Rowland (Kentucky); Nancy Sevcenko (Cambridge, Mass.); Olga Strakhov (Harvard); Nina Ulff-Moller (Copenhagen); William Veder (Amsterdam); Daniel Waugh (Washington)
Sponsoring Organization: The Intercollegiate Department of
Black Studies of the Claremont Colleges Annual Conference
Program Theme: "Outing Whiteness-Conference"
Lecture Title: "Racism and the Written Word" by Firpo Carr
Date: Saturday, February 7, 1998
Location: Pomona College, Seaver Theater, Claremont California
Other Participants/Panelists: Ann duCille, Department of Literature (UCSD); Robert Bernasconi, Department of Philosophy (The University of Memphis); Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, Department of Philosophy (Bucknell University); Darrell Moore, Department of Philosophy (DePaul University); Greg Foster-Rice, Department of Art History (Northwestern University); Steven Nelson, Department of Art and Art History (Tufts University); Joel Eisinger, Department of Art History (University of Minnesota, Morris); Carl E. Briscoe, Jr., Ethnic Studies Program (California State University, Fresno); Kelly S. Ervin, Department of Comparative, American Cultures (Washington State University); Olufemi Taiwo, Department of Philosophy (Loyola University of Chicago); Sarah Susannah Willie, Department of Sociology and Anthropology (Swarthmore College); P. Gabrielle Foreman, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies (Occidental College); Elspeth Kydd, Department of Theatre, Film, & Video (University of Toledo); Frank K Saragosa, Department of English, Literature (Swarthmore College); Eve Oishi, Women's Studies (California State University, Long Beach).
Sponsoring Organization: Rotary International
Lecture Title: "Racism in the Dictionary?" by Firpo Carr
Date: Wednesday, November 5, 1997
Location: Van Rotary Club, Van Nuys, California
(Special note: A letter to Dr. Firpo Carr, dated December 5, 1997, from Judi Rose of the Rotary Club said in part: "Thank you so much for coming to speak at the Van Nuys Rotary Club. I'm sure you could tell that your presentation was very well received and excited a lot of comment. I got very good reviews from several of my fellow Rotarians and all were sorry that there was not more time for your presentation....Thank you again.")



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