WGU and Conflicting Historical Facts: Tales from the Dissertation Crypt Episode 4

So I’ve run into an interesting dilemma. It may not seem like much, but it is becoming vexing. I am seeking precision in this dissertation. Though I’ve heard many, many, MANY times that “A good dissertation is a finished dissertation,” I’d also like to make sure that the dissertation is as accurate as I can make happen.

We all know – or many of us know – of the history of Western Governors University, a la “created in the late 1990s by a coalition of governors of Western states who saw a need to scale higher education… yadda yadda.”

The imprecision of that generality is aggravating.  Surely there was an actual year in which it was founded.  Well, it appears there were many.  I have found what I would consider to be reliable sources that state it was founded in anywhere from 1995 – 1997, and even the number of governors changes from 19 – 21 depending upon the source.

Feedback and thoughts?  Anyone know of a definitive source?  I hate to go with generalities.  Not that the fact of dates or numbers is going to derail any progress, but I would like to be certain.

Additionally, literature review.  Not quite done.  Rrrrr.



  1. Sasha – I’ve seen these different dates, too. Might be easiest to simply go with the year that they started offering programs – which I believe was 1999; it will be more difficult to pin down the other dates (e.g. when they school got accreditation; when it was first imagined, etc.). Send their communications director a note – I’m sure they’ll be glad to help.

    • Thanks so much for the feedback! Klein-Collins and Laitinen are heavy hitters, so you know when you’ve got three different sources with different dates you’re in trouble! I like your solution though:). Sasha

    • Thanks Ace! That’s one of the things that got me too – their website doesn’t say the same thing as other authors. I think I’ll work around it – Dr. Hampton had a good suggestion. I’ll take any you’ve got!!!

  2. Sasha,
    Have you seen this one:
    Johnstone, C. (2006) Odyssey of an Innovation: The Regional Accreditation of Western Governors University. (The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning) Retrieved from Western Governors University Website: http://www.wgu.edu/wgufiles/cael-article

    P.S. if you have this moderated, obviously only approve one 🙂

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