I had no idea there was a cottage industry helping grad students obtain their PhDs:
… students paid between euro4,000 to euro20,000 ($5,700 to $28,500) to the company [Institute for Scientific Consulting], which promised to help them get their doctorate degrees through its extensive contacts within university faculties … the company paid professors between euro2,000 to euro5,000 when their clients had successfully received their PhDs. It was not clear whether the students knew that bribes were being paid. … evidence points to the involvement of about 100 professors across the country spanning “numerous disciplines” … [and] involved universities in Frankfurt, Tuebingen, Leipzig, Rostock, Jena, Bayreuth, Ingolstadt, Hamburg, Hannover, Bielefeld, Hagen, Cologne and Berlin.
Now, the only prosecuted case thus far in this massive scandal is a Hanover law professor, “who helped students obtain a degree in exchange for financial or sexual favors” (for which he was sentenced to 3 years in prison). The AP reports that this professor “confessed in court to accepting nearly euro200,000 [$264,000] to serve as a faculty adviser to more than 60 doctorate students between 1998 and 2005. The professor said he needed the money to renovate his Hamburg mansion.”
Don’t we all.