An Iowa State Senator by the name of Mark Chelgren is pushing for the passage of a controversial bill that would limit the number of Democrats that local colleges can hire as teachers. While lobbying for this bill, Chelgren has talked about his negative experience with “liberal professors” during his university years. As of last week, Chelgren's biography on the Iowa State Republicans homepage listed a business degree from Forbco Management. But now, NBC News discovers that Forbco isn’t a college, but rather a company that ran a Los Angeles-area outpost of Sizzler.
A spokesperson for the Iowa State Republicans tells NBC: "This was a management course he took when he worked for Sizzler, kind of like Hamburger University at McDonald's... He got a certificate." Chelgren did spend some time at an actual university — UC Riverside — but he never graduated. The Iowa State Republicans website no longer mentions his business degree from Sizzler.
When asked about his experience at Forbco, Chelgren remarked: “I don't know if they are still in business or not... The school was created by Forbco Management, and I got a degree in hotel restaurant management." He received training in the salad bar/grill chain’s operating procedures in “‘88 or ‘89,” which was around the time the company released the greatest commercial ever made.
If Forbco is anything like the actual Hamburger University, there’s a good chance Chelgren learned some valuable life and business lessons. But this accomplishment likely won’t impress his fellow politicians, especially as he’s arguing to reform the Iowa State university system.
• Iowa Pol’s Bio Changed After ‘Sizzler U’ Discrepancy Emerges [NBC]
• My Father Graduated From Hamburger University [E]