Mexico's Juan Miguel Ramirez Sanchez worked 15 years at the University of Guanajuato and rose to be president of one of its campuses - until he was found to have no university degree that would justify that position, academic officials told Efe.

"When we made the discovery we talked to him, the case was presented to him and he chose to resign not only his position but from the university as well," Luis Manuel Orozco, director of legal affairs at the college, told Efe.

Though he resigned last May, the news was not made public until now because the school filed a criminal complaint against Ramirez with the Guanajuato state Attorney General's Office for crimes of falsely assuming a professional position, and was in the process of investigating the matter.

According to Orozco, the university began its investigation after receiving several anonymous tips that Ramirez Sanchez's degree in Economics awarded by the University of Puebla in 1981 was a fake.

"We asked Human Resources for his records, the Distinguished Autonomous University of Puebla, or BUAP, was solicited for a report, and the Education Secretariat was asked to check on the authenticity of his professional certificate. The BUAP replied that no document was found in the school files showing he had ever studied there," Orozco said.

Ramirez Sanchez entered the University of Guanajuato 15 years ago as a professor and in his career was promoted to director of the Accounting and Business Administration School at the Celaya-Salvatierra campus, one of the four campuses the university has, until he became university president there in the year 2008.

When he handed in his resignation, the then-president was a candidate for reelection, since the post has a term of four years.

"We're sad because we have a very valuable staff...and this will have very disagreeable consequences for the institution," Orozco said.

In Mexico the purchase of forged degrees is common, and there are not a few sites on the Internet selling certificates for any profession as well as bachelor's and master's degrees for a fee of as much as 15,000 pesos ($1,555) each.

The total procedure can be backed with the appropriate academic resume, diploma and professional certificate. EFE