Sunday, March 6, 2011 | 2 a.m.
Last year, Republican Elizabeth Halseth competed in a fierce campaign for state Senate.
Her opponent was Benny Yerushalmi, a Democrat who worked in his family’s jewelry stores and had a law degree from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA.
Halseth, a mother of three who helped her husband run their small business, was asked by a Las Vegas Sun reporter about her education. She said she was taking a break from pursuing an MBA from a small Christian college in Oregon, where she said she had received a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Although Halseth, now a state senator, may have plans to pursue that MBA, she doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree.
The registrar’s office at Corban University confirmed Halseth was enrolled in the accredited college’s adult-degree program in which students can earn bachelor’s degrees online or by taking classes one night a week on campus in Salem, Ore.
Halseth has completed three semesters of course work and declared no major, according to the registrar.
Asked last week by a Sun reporter whether she attended or graduated from Corban, Halseth said she attended.
Asked why she originally said she had a degree, Halseth turned defensive: “Why are you asking these questions? Why is this important?” she said, adding that she didn’t remember telling a reporter she had a degree.
In a follow-up e-mail, however, Halseth admitted she wasn’t clear in her conversation with the reporter during the campaign.
“When I met with the reporter who wrote the initial story, we spent some time talking about Corban University and the fact that I was taking a break and the fact that I planned to pursue an MBA,” she wrote. “I suppose I didn’t clarify that the break was during the undergraduate work rather than during master’s work. In hindsight, I regret that I both missed the story and didn’t spend more time thinking about that conversation.”