A fake California institution steals identity of University Of Alberta

A fake university in Irvine, Calif. has stolen the University of Alberta’s identity. The now-inactive website for California South University claimed the institution’s campus “consists of 150 buildings covering 50 city blocks.” Similar wording is used on Wikipedia to describe the U of A’s North Campus in Edmonton.

Most of the content on the website was plagiarized from the U of A’s Wikipedia page — not exactly demonstrating the academic integrity post-secondary institutions try to promote.

The CSU website also stated “39,000 students from United States and 150 other countries participate in 400 programs in 19 faculties” — again, just like a description of the U of A on Wikipedia, if you swap the U.S. for Canada.

But those similarities aren’t a coincidence. The information on the CSU website was stolen from the U of A.

So were some of the campus names. The CSU website said the university has “five distributed campuses including, in addition to the North Campus, two auxiliary satellites: Campus Saint-Jean in southeast Edmonton, and Augustana Campus in Camrose.”

The website was taken down Thursday night.

William Grover, an assistant professor in bioengineering at the University of California, Riverside, alerted the U of A to the fictitious university in December.Grover, whose wife graduated from the U of A in 2000, said he realized the university was an imposter when he saw the site mentioned the Butterdome, an Edmonton landmark nicknamed for its butter-yellow colour..

He said he first heard of California South University when the institution emailed him, asking for money to have his research published.