James Allan Matte received his doctoral degree from Columbia Pacific University in 1989. At that time CPU had received Full Institutional Approval as a California Degree-Granting Institution by the California State Department of Education, after the Superintendent of Public Instruction impaneled a qualified visiting committee and conducted a comprehensive on-site qualitative review and assessment of the institution and all programs offered.
Full Institution Approval pursuant to California Education Code Section 94310(b) means:
(1) The Institution has facilities, financial resources, administrative capabilities, faculty, and other necessary educational expertise and resources to afford students, and require of students, the completion of a program of education which will prepare them for the attainment of a professional, technological, or educational objective, including but not limited to a degree;
(2) The curriculum is consistent in quality with curricula offered by appropriate established accredited institutions which are recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Committee of Bar Examiners for the State of California and issue the appropriate degree upon satisfactory completion of specific qualitative academic programs; and
(3) The course for which the degree is granted achieves its professed or claimed academic objective for higher education, with verifiable evidence of academic achievement comparable to that required of graduates of other recognized schools accredited by an appropriate accrediting commission recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Committee of Bar Examiners for the State of California.
Dr. Ronald M. Reuss, Professor at Buffalo State College, State University of New York who was also adjunct faculty at Columbia Pacific University was assigned as James Allan Matte’s mentor and faculty advisor for the entire period of his matriculation at CPU and in that capacity conferred directly by meeting several times weekly to discuss and evaluate his progress in fulfilling his academic contracts with CPU. The academic program at CPU was similar in structure to that of Empire State College, State University of New York where Dr. Reuss also served as mentor and faculty advisor. Matte’s 220-page dissertation "Validation Study on the Quadri-Zone Comparison Technique" was published by University Microfilm International (UMI) Research Abstract, LD 01452, Volume 1502, and was also published as three separate studies in Polygraph, Journal of the American Polygraph Association, which were subsequently cited in the National Research Council of the National Academies’ 2003 Report on The Polygraph and Lie Detection. The NRC of the National Academies accepted only 7 field research studies as meeting their criteria and one of them was from Matte’s doctoral dissertation published in Polygraph.
At the time of Matte’s matriculation at Columbia Pacific University, Bear’s Guide to Non-Traditional College Degrees 9th Edition in its evaluation of Columbia Pacific University stated that: "Columbia Pacific is the largest university in the United States and one of the largest in the world offering non-resident Bachelor’s Master’s and Doctorates. Despite the size, students report an extremely high level of personal attention from the faculty and staff. The faculty numbers more than 400, nearly all with traditional Doctorates. Two former presidents of major accredited universities serve as two of the deans of Columbia Pacific, and their president Richard Crews, is a prominent psychiatrist with his medical degree from Harvard. No other non-resident Doctorate-granting institution has the staff with the credentials, reputation, and experience of Columbia Pacific. Many major universities, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton have expressed a willingness to accept C.P.U. degrees."
Unfortunately, a decade later, Columbia Pacific University allowed itself to deteriorate to the extent that it lost its Full Institutional Approval and license to practice in the State of California and in October 2000, the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education’s denial of CPU’s re-approval application was upheld and affirmed by the California Supreme Court. However, the court and the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education stated and decreed that CPU degrees awarded before June 25, 1997 are legally valid.
Nevertheless, due to the controversy over the closing of CPU which could divert a court’s attention from Matte’s compelling and impressive resume as an expert in forensic psychophysiology, he elected to exclude the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from his title.