Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Pancho Campo: CIE Marbella and The precursor of The Wine Academy (part 1) of Spain

Claims of a non-existent affiliation with Middlesex University 

CIE Marbella: Middlesex University – 'A University Transfer Program that Works!!'

Following his flight from Dubai around February 2003, leaving behind his Chilean passport as a surety with the court, Pancho Campo settled in Marbella. Looking around for a fresh start the fugitive future MW and his wife, Melissa Butler, decided in conjunction with Melissa's father, James Butler, to establish The Centre for International Education of Marbella (CIEM). James Butler is the founder and past president of the American College of Dubai (ACD), which he set up in 1990.  Butler has long had a home in Marbella.

ACD was originally called the Center for American Education, its change of name to the American College of Dubai was approved in May 2003* by the Commission on Accreditation in the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the United Arab Emirates. One of the focuses of ACD is its university transfer programme 'that allows students to complete the lower division portion of their undergraduate program followed by a transfer to universities and colleges in the US, Canada, the UAE and elsewhere'.  See report here
(*: Coincidentally and ironically this was shortly before son-in-law Campo was convicted in absentia at a Dubai court on 1st June 2003.) 

The intention was that CIE Marbella would offer a range of courses, particularly catering for the growing foreign community in the area. In a article entitled Teaching à la carte by Joaquina Dueñas published in the Costa del Sol News in late April 2004 Campo outlined the project:

'To meet these needs, the Centre of International Education (CIE) in Marbella will open at the beginning of the next school year, but to the surprise of its director, Pancho Campo, 50 per cent of the applicants are Spanish, attracted by the prestige of earning a foreign degree.

At CIE Marbella, students can do the first two years of a foreign degree course without leaving Spain and then go on to complete the course at a university with which the CIE has an agreement, such as Middlesex University in the UK, or Broward University and Southern New Hampshire University in the US. The degrees obtained in this way are recognised in Spain, with the exception of Public Administration, for which a Spanish degree is required.'

Campo would appear to be shooting from the hip here or, at least, getting ahead of himself. There was an agreement with Broward University, Fort Lauderdale but it wasn't actually signed until the following month as David Moore AVP for International Education at Broward College confirmed in November 2009:

'On May 26, 2004, our Board of Trustees approved an agreement with the Centre for International Education, Marbella, Spain institution to provide an American College level program (first two years only) in Spain.  The Business manager of this school was Francisco Campo.'
However, there was never an agreement with Middlesex University in the UK, although there were inconclusive discussions about a possible articulation agreement as Lucy Jones, press officer for Middlesex University confirmed on 20th November 2009.

'Further to our conversation yesterday (Thursday 19th), my colleague has confirmed that, as you suspected, the arrangement mentioned in the 2004 web article did not actually happen.

Middlesex University were in discussions with CIE Marbella around 5 Years ago (2004) with a view to setting up an articulation agreement between the two institutions. However, CIE Marbella postponed the launch of their academic programmes indefinitely and so the proposals did not come to fruition.'

This lack of agreement with Middlesex did not stop Campo claiming in June 2004 that CIE Marbella is 'affiliated and recognized by prestigious universities in the United States and Britain as such as Middlesex University in London:

' CIE Marbella es el primer Centro de Estudios Universitario privado de la Costa del Sol, afiliado y reconocido por universidades de gran prestigio en los Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña como: Middlesex University en Londres o Broward en Florida..'
(Extract from Page 23 of the First International Wine Symposium held in Marbella on 4th and 5th June 2004.)

 Fantasy claims from publicity for CIE Marbella (extract from publicity leaflet at head of post)

No agreement with Middlesex but still completely unfounded claims made in this leaflet: 'has an affiliation with Middlesex. At the end of of my two Years in Marbella I will transfer into the 2nd year of Middlesex' Three-Year Honours Degree in Management' and 'CIE Marbella also provides all the help required for my Middlesex admission and transfer. Best of all, I don't need A levels to begin my studies.' Open for registration/Course Start September 004.

I researched Campo's sortie into academia back in the autumn 2009 and although it does appear on my Pancho Campo MW Timeline it was not published elsewhere. I found details of CIE Marbella on a website called Andalucias Net run by Didier Alarcón, who designed materials for CIE Marbella. Although these brochures and publicity material had been generally available on the net since 2004/5 both Alarcón and Melissa Butler claimed in November 2009 that these materials were proofs and never published. While this may be correct, it is obvious that a designer only works with the information they are given. Furthermore the false claims made in relation to an affiliation with Middlesex University in the publicity material are fully backed up claims made by Pancho Campo himself during 2004.

Part 2 on other claims made by CIE Marbella and The Wine Academy will be posted soon.




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