Alberta Politics
Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides in his office at the Alberta Legislature Building (Photo: Facebook).

Oddities: online term paper ‘ghostwriter’ site believes impersonator used UCP minister’s name and credentials

Posted on August 17, 2020, 1:21 am
4 mins

An online custom term paper writing service called UnemployedProfessors.com says it now believes a contract writer listed on its website under the name and credentials of Alberta’s minister of advanced education is an impersonator.

After references to the “unemployed professor profile” in the name of Demetrios Nicolaides cropped up on Twitter Saturday, Dr. Nicolaides tweeted that “I appreciate this false information being brought to my attention. I will be contacting the website to flag this fraudulent activity.”

The web page that created a buzz on Twitter this weekend (Screenshot).

The website’s administrator responded to a query from AlbertaPolitics.ca Sunday night saying the site was contacted by two individuals about Dr. Nicolaides’ name and, “so far we believe that the person on the site was impersonating this individual.”

“We requested couple of documents from both parties and so far it looks like the person who was registered on our site as a prof was perhaps impersonating someone else through the credentials he listed,” the message, signed “Admin,” continued.

UnemployedProfessors.com says on its website that “we only hire current and former academics or graduate students who teach their own classes; all with advanced graduate degrees.”

It also promises, “All of our ghost writers’ credentials are objectively verified prior to their acceptance.”

The message said, “we are going to investigate further,” but “for now” the name of the unemployed professor on the page has been changed from Demetrios Nicolaides to “PROF_WILFRED.”

As of last night, though, the page was posted on UnemployedProfessors.com under the new name but was otherwise unchanged and still using Dr. Nicolaides’ credentials.

Whoever the author of the “ghostwritten” papers was, he or she seems to have received mostly good reviews from customers between June 2019 and last week. Only a couple of employed professors seem to have flagged their unhappy students’ offerings as plagiarism.

The service, which says its writers bid on work requests submitted by customers, costs $10 to $25 US per page for term papers, dissertations and other research documents. Needless to say, such an approach to research is frowned upon in academic circles.

Dr. Nicolaides’ credentials are posted on his LinkedIn account.

In addition to his University of Calgary undergraduate degree completed in 2006, he has a Master of Arts degree in peace and conflict studies granted in 2009 by the European Peace University, a private institution in Stadtschlaining, Austria, and a PhD in political science from the University of Cyprus.

In July 2013, according to the European Peace University’s Wikipedia entry, the institution’s private-university accreditation was withdrawn by the Austrian government’s academic accreditation body. A link on the Wikipedia page to a website for the institution indicates it is now operating in Costa Rica.

The University of Cyprus in Nicosia, capital of the island republic in the eastern Mediterranean, is according it its Wikipedia page mostly restricted to Cypriot citizens or those with at least one parent of Cypriot origin. A small number of positions “can be claimed by Greeks of the Diaspora” and others.

Typically, unlike their counterparts on this continent, European doctoral students only write a dissertation and are not normally required to fulfill additional course requirements, pass comprehensive exams, or teach undergraduate students.

7 Comments to: Oddities: online term paper ‘ghostwriter’ site believes impersonator used UCP minister’s name and credentials

  1. Anonymous

    August 17th, 2020

    It is never a dull day in regards to the political world in Alberta, is it? The UCP having any actual credibility, let alone having any clue as to what they are doing, is so laughable. If anyone wants to talk about fraudulent, they might be describing the last provincial election outcome in Alberta to a T. The UCP empire has to come crashing down. The unfortunate thing is that when that happens, Alberta will be left in an economic shambles, that will be extremely difficult to recover from.

    Reply
    • Mike in Edmonton

      August 17th, 2020

      Yeah, that’s what ALWAYS happens when a Con government finally gets kicked out. Then the peons blame the left-wing government for not making them rich instantly.

      Reply
  2. Bill Malcolm

    August 17th, 2020

    I refused to join LinkedIn. It didn’t have a particularly salubrious reputation 15 years ago, though I have no idea about its cred now. Anyway, they now want a person to join to see profiles. Bugger that for a lark, because when you didn’t have to do that, I used to read profiles on people I knew and some had a gloss on then that would make a lipsticked pig blush. Anyone who knew them would laugh their head off at the shameless exaggeration.

    Reminds me of some of the people I used to interview for my department (in conjunction with HR) who seemed to assume they were somehow qualified for posted positions, because they were so clueless they thought they could do a job without having the first idea what it was about. The situation was worse with internal employees, because HR had a policy of hiring from within. I had to have a deep chat with the director afer a few years to stop allowing his minions to proffer me candidates like admin assistants applying for technologist positions, for example. Somehow these people and the HR interviewers seemed to believe that they could learn on the job, take some night courses on the company dime perhaps, when there were objective provincial standards for technologists and technicians which such posted positions demanded, and were right there on the job posting. You have to wonder at the fuzzy brain and lack of common sense and general knowledge a person has to have to possess the gall to apply in the first place. They don’t understand what it is they don’t understand but are sure they can do the job, with an unjustified sense of self-worth and ability. Beyond my ken.

    This whole business of writing termpapers for a fee per page has been going on for ages. We live in the age of lies and liars — no wonder people vote for Trump. Unemployed Profs has “objectively verified” their ghostwriters’ credentials? Tell me another one. They probably read the LinkedIn page — does that say the same thing about the undergraduate degree? I looked at your Unemployed Professors screencap here on “DemetriosNicolaides” and his undergraduate degree is listed as a BSc in Information Technology, with specialization in European Union, Military/Diplomatic and European history, which is beyond weird. But his Alberta legislature bio says he got a BA in International Relations from U of C which is a known program.

    In addition, I have seen little objective difference in the quality of science/engineering PhD degrees between Europe and North America in practice, and had a chuckle after reading your linked page with its none-too-subtle inference that the US is superior. Sure, and no Americans attend the LSE because it’s lousy. Known too many pretty darn bright people with UK PhDs who are no fools. German Herr Doktor Professors have been known to be quite capable on the odd occasion as well. Of course, the “quality” of the university issuing the degree is of first importance, just as it is here, and there are unknown universities with no track record of academic excellence all over the place. And places that will grant useless degrees for a few hundred bucks or tens of thousands like Trump U used to. The University of Cyprus seems perfectly legitimate.

    Towards the end of my career, I used to have otherwise seemingly suitable external candidates write a short essay on what they envisioned the position to be, and how they thought their experience would assist them. Yup, right there on the spot in a side room. That sorted out the bluffers from the real people in double quick time. HR was suitably horrified at that stratagem, but then I wasn’t looking to hire incompetents. My budget, my people, my ultimate responsibility.

    Overall, Mr Climenhaga, I’m not sure what this post is ultimately driving at. Is Dr Nicolaides being subtly dunned as Advanced Education Minister for having little or no experience as a lecturer because European PhD programs don’t use candidates as slave labour Teaching Assistants and lets them have a life? What exactly are you driving at, pray tell? Beyond the obvious that anything to do with CV’s on the internet is usually overblown, I mean.

    Reply
  3. Abs

    August 17th, 2020

    So if someone impersonates someone else and commits fraud, they are allowed to stay and use their false credentials, but must use a new pseudonym thereafter? Surely the real “DN” would not be pleased with this resolution. One would think this type of operation would want to avoid bad publicity and potential lawsuits. Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable. It’s all sketchy from start to finish.

    Reply
  4. Dave in Sask

    August 17th, 2020

    This one has me stumped. Not sure how it ties into Alberta politics or if it relates to this government.

    Reply
    • Abs

      August 18th, 2020

      How odd that this website randomly picked the Alberta Minister of Post-Secondary Education as the name for one of its post-secondary education essay cheats. And even more odd that with all of the issues managers this government employs to troll the internet day and night, not a single one of them managed to stumble across this website. And even more odd that these bellicose blusterers waited until it was pointed out to them, and did not make a single peep even then. Yes, this is an oddity of odd proportions.

      Reply
      • David Climenhaga

        August 18th, 2020

        Odd indeed. DJC

        Reply

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