Iowa Republican pushing education reform got his degree from Sizzler

Questions are being raised about State Sen.

According to the New York Daily News, the reference has been removed from a government website listing Chelgren's credentials.

But while it's true that professors tend to be liberal, that's not a bias associated with the Forbco Management School, where Chelgren claimed to have received a degree in business management. In a telephone interview with NBC, Chelgren was reportedly vague about Forbco, saying it was near Los Angeles and that he got his business degree "around '88 or '89".

It's a training course offered to employees at Sizzler restaurants. But now it is also an exceptionally amusing one, given that it led to the revelation that Chelgren apparently got his own "business degree" from Sizzler.

Chelgren's Senate File 288 would require that state universities determine the party affiliation of professors and then implement a hiring freeze until there are no more than 10 percent more Democrats than Republicans or vice versa.

A Senate Republican spokesperson tells NBC News the certificate is similar to McDonalds' "Hamburger University".

"This was not an attempt to inflate anything", he remarked.

Those schools include the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. "It's going back a ways so I don't remember". But Forbco isn't listed as an accredited school by the National Center for Education Statistics, and records show the only Forbco in California is a company that once operated a Sizzler steakhouse in Torrance, Calif., according to the report.

When Chelgren did not respond to several requests to provide a copy of a diploma or some other proof that he attended Forbco Management school, NBC News reached out to the Iowa State Senate Majority Leader's office. Instead, I just got a "liberal arts" degree from a bunch of liberal college professors, which obviously makes me far less qualified to weigh in on how to reform the educational system than a guy with a certificate from Sizzler. Chelgren's online bio stated he attended UC Riverside "majoring in astro-physics, geo-physics and mathematics".

Talking to the university, NBC was able to confirm that he did attend and "major in physics" from 1992 all the way to 1993-a span of one year that somehow works out to three, though I'm at a loss to explain it, having neither majored in astrophysics nor tasty appetizers. He earned an associate's degree in science from Riverside Community College, he told the outlet.

  • Larry Hoffman