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Kansas IT boss found faking CV resigns

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The new head of Kansas' state IT department has resigned after he was found to have put a degree from a fake university on his CV.

Jim Mann, 58, former CIO of Lawson Products Inc and The Havi Group claimed he had a degree in Business Administration from the University of Devonshire on his CV but this was revealed to be a buy-off-the-internet deal from an infamous Diploma Mill. The University of Devonshire is not accredited by any US or UK authorities and the name has been involved with other fake-diploma scandals. Mann resigned from the $150,000-a-year role just days after he was appointed to it.

Governor Sam Brownback defended the IT bod saying that he had been hired for his business experience, not his academic qualifications. "The education was not a factor in his hiring," Brownback said at a news conference reported by the Topeka Capital-Journal.

IT hotshots didn't always need degrees, added Brownback, saying that his technology specialist at his last job as Kansas agriculture secretary had done a fine job without one, elaborating – "My IT guy was a former meat-cutter."

Despite the spirited defence of the governor, Mann said he had to resign: "The questions surrounding my qualifications to perform and deliver in this position have compromised confidence in me and in my integrity," his letter said. "As such, I am no longer an asset to your team and your IT mission."

The job of Kansas's new IT head was to lead an "aggressive centralisation of technology systems in the state government" – cutting costs and improving performance. It is being re-advertised. ®

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