In Partnership with 74

Analysis: Hudley-Hayes resume raises more than red flags

Jamie Alter Lynton | March 17, 2014

Your donation will help us produce journalism like this. Please give today.

Genethia Hudley-Hayes

Genethia Hudley-Hayes

Rather than jump to conclusions in the case of allegations first reported here earlier this month, that a LA Unified School Board candidate, Genethia Hudley-Hayes, has numerous inaccuracies in her resume, we at LA School Report embarked on our own due-diligence.

What we found were a series of repeated conflicts and inconsistencies over a number of years, without any apparent attempt to publicly set the record straight, thus posing serious questions about her candidacy for LA Unified school board race on June 3.

The controversy first came to light when campaign staff for Alex Johnson, one of her opponents, approached the Hudley-Hayes campaign before the filing deadline, recommending she drop out quietly for what his campaign calls “a pattern of pattern of academic falsification.” (See story here). Instead, Hudley-Hayes, a longtime civic leader and public servant, responded publicly that she would not be “bullied” out of the race. (See story here).

To get to the bottom, our own reporters have done their best to verify, independently, the accuracy of her current resume and her past biographies. Here are the inconsistencies LA School Report has found:

1. Hudley-Hayes’ current resume states that in 1972 she received a “M.Ed Pepperdine University, Malibu California.”

According to the public relations office of the graduate school for education and psychology at Pepperdine University, “Genethia Hudley-Hayes graduated in 8/1978 with an M.S. in ECE- Early Childhood Ed.”


That date conflicts with the date listed on her current resume by six years.


2.  Hudley-Hayes’ current resume states that in 1976 she received an “MBA, emphasis on non-profit management California State University, San Jose and The Center for Nonprofit Management.” Hudley Hayes told LA School Report that the degree was issued by the Center for Nonprofit Management to a class of 18 people that year.

According to the public relations office at SJSU (as it is now known) it has “no record of a person by this name obtaining a degree from San Jose State.”

While there is a Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles, it was founded in 1979 and does not award degrees. We requested degree documentation from the Hudley-Hayes’ campaign, which responded the candidate “can not find the certificate in her belongings” from 38 years ago.


We can find no independent verification of this degree.


3. Hudley-Hayes’ current resume states that in 1994 she became a “Certified Mediator, State of California.”

While training programs do offer degrees and certificates, according to the Southern California Mediators Association the state does not certify mediators. They told LA School Report,


“A reference to a “state certified” a mediator would not be accurate.”


In addition to discrepancies on her current resume, Hudley-Hayes also faces serious additional issues on past biographies including reference to a doctorate from American University.

  • On the LAUSD website a biography from her term on the LA Unfied School Board states that, “she was awarded a doctorate in education in May of 2000, with a specialization in public policy.”
  • In a biography on the L.A. Fire Department website from 2005 when Hudley-Hayes was appointed to the Fire Commission, states that in “in 2000, she was awarded a doctorate in Political Science/Public Policy.”
  • In a 2010 a biography announcing her appointment as special trustee for the Compton Community College District Hudley-Hayes is referred to as “Dr. Hudley-Hayes” with “a doctorate in education with a specialization in public policy from American University.”
  • In the announcement in 2010 for re-appointment to the Fire Commission the press release states that, “in 2000, she was awarded a doctorate from American University in Public Policy.”

Hudley-Hayes’ campaign spokesman told LA School Report she received an honorary doctorate from American World University in 2000, not American University, and described the mistake “a typo.” Hudley-Hayes says she no longer includes it on her resume although it appeared in a press release from 2010.

American World University is an unaccredited degree program which is considered a “fraudulent or substandard degree” by at least two states. The phone number listed on its website is not working.


Independent confirmation of an honorary doctorate could not be confirmed.


In addition, Hudley-Hayes failed to clarify the impression given to the public over a number of years that her degree was awarded by a highly regarded academic institution, rather than through a unaccredited online program.


How many resume errors can voters tolerate? That remains to be seen. Let us know what you think.

Read Next