Candidate Ammons Questions Her UK Degree, Rep. Jakobsson Backs Opponent
By Jeff Bossert, Scott Cameron and Jim Meadows
A candidate for Illinois’ 103rd House District seat says she’s now questioning the degree she received from an online university based in the United Kingdom.
Democrat and Urbana Alderwoman Carol Ammons issued a statement Wednesday on her campaign website, saying she’s contacted Walsingham University asking them to explain what she called their 'misrepresentation.'
Questions about the school were raised by fellow alderman Eric Jakobsson, husband of retiring 103rd District representative Naomi Jakobsson. He called the school a diploma mill.
Ammons said she completed online and correspondence coursework in business administration and earned a degree in 18 months. She says representatives from Walsingham told her it was fully accredited.
"What they represented to me is obviously something different than what has presented by Mr. Jakobsson," she said. "And I have just have to continue to look into it to see what the matter of the institution is.”
In her statement, Ammons said she hopes to use her experience to raise awareness of predatory higher education institutions.
Meanwhile, Naomi Jakobsson Wednesday endorsed Ammons’ primary opponent, Democrat and attorney Sam Rosenberg of Champaign, saying the first-time candidate has the right ethical standards, and understands how the legislature works.
She said the questions raised by her husband about Ammons’ education also played a role in that decision.
"I do believe that when someone puts out credentials that you can’t figure out where a university is… or does it exist… I think those kind of things play an important role," she said. "It’s just very inappropriate, it’s wrong to say something about yourself that isn’t true.”
Rosenberg Wednesday also picked up the endorsements of Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing and Champaign Mayor Don Gerard.
Kristin Williamson of Urbana is the only Republican in the 103rd House district race.