University error led to misprinted doctoral diplomas

Story by Lindsey Coleman, Assistant News Editor

On Sept. 18, thirty-three Murray State doctoral diploma recipients were notified of a printing error. Their diplomas had been printed with the incorrect date.

Wendy Longworth, university graduation registrar, said the error occurred when the file submitted to the printing company included the wrong information.

Within 30 minutes of being notified of the error, the Registrar’s Office ordered the corrected diplomas and notified each of the affected students. Longworth said they only outsource the doctoral diplomas, while associate, bachelor’s, master’s and specialist diplomas are printed on campus.

Jostens, the printing company, has a three week turnaround time for processing and shipping on all of their orders. According to their website, they produce everything from rings and yearbooks to diplomas and graduation robes.

The doctoral diplomas are larger than the other diplomas and would require us to purchase a new, larger printer to accommodate their size,” Longworth said. “After comparing the costs associated with purchasing a larger printer, its maintenance contract, supplies and the larger packaging materials versus the cost to outsource such a small number of diplomas, it was determined that outsourcing is much more efficient for the doctoral diploma.”

Longworth said the Registrar’s Office will be covering the cost of postage, which is approximately $277.  

The misprint only affected August doctoral recipients. No other graduates were issued incorrect diplomas.

Susan Beatty completed the doctorate of education in August.  She said she received an email a day or two before she got the diploma in the mail, which she appreciated.

“I was looking forward to getting the diploma, so it was kind of a let down, but in the whole scheme of things, it isn’t a big deal,” Beatty said. “I was surprised, however, because my first thought was that someone didn’t proofread.”

She said the email she received from the university stated they were working with Jostens to get a correct diploma sent. She hasn’t been asked to pay for anything, and she said she is pleased with how it’s been handled so far.

“I know that things like this happen, and I try to keep them in perspective,” Beatty said. “I’m so grateful to have the degree completed, and I know the diploma is like the icing on the cake.”

While diplomas were affected, Longworth said official transcripts are correct. A transcript is the official document used by graduates for promotions, new jobs, pay raises, licensing boards and admission to other colleges. Those documents were issued and mailed to all doctoral degree recipients in late August.