Rainy Circus, Leszek Bujnowski

Instead of responding to our Peščanik and Balkanist article, in which we show that there are serious doubts as to whether he ever obtained a PhD from the University of London (as he claims), Mr. Mića Jovanović today published on the Megatrend website a photograph of his (alleged) London PhD thesis, which also shows his thesis from the University of Maribor. This photo only confirms our analysis, for the following reasons:

First, a photograph of a hardbound thesis is no evidence that a doctorate was awarded. The only evidence of a PhD is an official certificate from the relevant university confirming the award of the degree. We simply haven’t seen that.

Second, the page shown on the photo is the then-letterhead of a department of the London School of Economics. Mr. Jovanović used that piece of paper to type up the title and formal details of his thesis, and then put it in the hardbound copy as the title page of the thesis. This is not an official LSE document.

Third, there is no thesis by Mr. Jovanović in the catalogue of the LSE Library.

Fourth, Professor Stephen Wood, who had a certain role in externally supervising Mr. Jovanović, denies that the thesis was ever defended at the LSE.

Fifth, the title page clearly shows that this is ‘A Dissertation Submitted to the Council for National Academic Awards’ and that the principal, sponsoring institution was the Portsmouth Polytechnic. This is precisely what we claimed in our article, in light of our correspondence with Prof. Wood. As we explained, CNAA was the degree awarding authority for institutions which did not formally have university status, such as the Portsmouth Polytechnic. Therefore, even if this PhD was successfully defended, the doctoral degree would not have been awarded by the LSE or the University of London (as claimed by Mr. Jovanović), but by the CNAA and the Portsmouth Polytechnic. Moreover, the University Records Manager of the University of London confirmed by email that they ‘do not have a record of a PhD from 1983 under this name’ (email by Mr. Kit Good of 6 June 2014).

Sixth, it was precisely Prof. Wood who said that the thesis was submitted, but that it failed its oral defence/viva and that the student was asked to do a major revision and resubmit, which to his knowledge Mr. Jovanović did not do. There is no record of the thesis in any library catalogue in the United Kingdom that we had access to, for all that Mr. Jovanović might have it on his shelf.

Seventh, it is worth pointing out the similarity in the titles of the thesis that Mr. Jovanović submitted in London (‘Work motivation in industrial relations of self-management [the case of Yugoslavia]’) with that of the thesis he defended in Maribor eight years later, the cover of which can be seen on the same photo (Radna motivacija u demokratizovanim industrijskim odnosima, i.e. ‘Work motivation in democratized industrial relations’).

Eighth, we point out to the readers that the Megatrend University library website for distance learning contains the following reference to the London doctorate of Mr. Jovanović “JOVANOVIĆ, Mića (1983), Modern British Management Theories, doktorska disertacija [doctoral dissertation], London University.” The title of this thesis is completely different from the one in the photo, and again this is Megatrend’s own library.

Finally, we are very grateful to Mr. Jovanović for confirming all of our claims and doing so at his own initiative. We reiterate: if he wants to prove that he was awarded a PhD from the University of London, he needs to show the official degree certificate. If he has misplaced it, we would ask him to give us his written authorization and we will get the certificate in London the very same day.

Balkanist, 08.06.2014.

Peščanik.net, 08.06.2014.