Ashford U for sale

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    I wish I had the money to buy it.
     
  3. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Read to link! They’re somewhat being pushed into the sale by regulators for questionable practices, and possibly wanting avoid a continuation of for-profit status. They’re also looking into a technology service contract with the acquirer...

    ....guess there’s different ways to interpret that!
     
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  5. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    It's been a long time since I've said this, but it seems like this is an appropriate occasion . . .

    BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! :emoji_sunglasses:
     
  6. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I think it is cheaper to start up your own vocation school than purchasing a profit college. It seems profit colleges/universities are dying.
     
  7. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Nobody should buy that complete piece of shit. It deserves to die.
     
  8. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    "Ashford University has an exciting 2020 ahead! Our plans to separate AU from Zovio (formerly Bridgepoint Education) are one step closer! Later this year, we will become an independent nonprofit university. Led by Dr. Craig Swenson, we will continue to focus on providing accessible, innovative, and affordable programs. Have questions? Let us know in the comments below. Read more: http://bit.ly/2QUW3gz "
     
  9. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    There's some great talk about this on faculty websites, it's widely recognized as a shameful attempt to get around some of the upcoming regulations. It's also being viewed as the same deceptive practice that other for-profits have attempted, and has recently been shut down by the regulators.
     
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    For one thing, if the regulations were really meant to protect students, they'd apply to all institutions regardless of tax status. For another, there's nothing "shameful" or "deceptive" about an organization's executives changing its tax status based on changing conditions. To be honest, to me the objections sound like this:

    Haters: "For-profit institutions are evil!"
    For-profit institutions: "Fine, we'll become non-profit."
    Haters: "Nooooooooooo!"
     
    chrisjm18 and heirophant like this.
  11. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    I've never been a hater of for-profit institutions or for-profit educational institutions, to be specific. Personally, I'm fairly moderate in my belief in balancing capitalism in a sustainable manner with regulation, that tends to be beneficial to society as a whole. That being said, I'll be honest in stating that I'm initially cautious with regards to for-profit educational institutions, based on personal experience and professional interactions.

    The notion of regulation being only protective if it applies to all institutions, regardless of tax status, is one that I would object too though. While there are certainly respectable and even prestigious for-profit education institutions, there is also unfortunately a long history of fraud within many of the institutions that dwarf their market segment. When dealing with limited resources, the goal should be to focus on the trouble areas. Everyone hates when an employer punishes everyone for the actions of a few, do we not? Is there politics involved in all of this? Probably, that is life.

    Unfortunately, I am highly suspicious of the for-profit to non-profit conversion in the educational realm. While a fairly recent trend, it does have a history of not going smoothly to the benefit of the students. Even back in 2016, per U.S Education Secretary John King's denial of a for-profit to non-profit conversion; “This should send a clear message to anyone who thinks converting to non-profit status is a way to avoid oversight while hanging onto the financial benefits: Don’t waste your time”. There's even been a number of interesting IRS versus Department of Education determinations on the conversion of for-profit educational institutions to non-profit. Even recently there was the surprise denial of Grand Canyon University, which generally seems to have a respectable history, being denied the conversion due to blatant conflicts of interest with these educational management holding companies strategies. I'm sure that there are a few for-profit institutions which have successfully transitioned to non-profit status to the benefit of their stakeholders, students, faculty, staff, and community. Unfortunately, there is a long history of blatant attempts to skirt regulations, attempt to obtain the benefits of a non-profit status, while essentially forcing them to be beholden to a forced long-term and generally egregious contract to an educational management holding company. Yes, I find that deceptive and shameful. Personally, while I know of Ashford, I am very unfamiliar with their operations and reputation. They very well could be a fine school that does well for their students, I hope that is the case. Unfortunately, in the very address from their President, they've also stated that they're doing this in an almost identical to a number of conversions by other schools, that were riddled with fraud and eventually rejected. I commend them for stating that they would have an independent negotiating team with Zovio, but that is also something everyone would be expected to state. Will they be able to pull it off? Will they receive approval? Will this truly be for the benefit of their students, staff, faculty, and community? I don't know, I hope that is the case, unfortunately history is not on their side.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020 at 4:09 AM
  12. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Well, isn't that special . . .

    It doesn't change the notion that Ashford is sleazy. Am I a "hater?" Of course not - I don't hate anyone. I just call it as it is. And as Wikipedia calls it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashford_University#Lawsuits_and_controversies

    As they say in the law, res ipsa loquitur. :rolleyes:

    As for Steve F. trying to justify Ashford, I can understand that - he envisions himself an "entrepreneur." And I have also called entrepreneurs who start so-called universities generally sleazy. Like, say, the so-called New World University Steve started in Domenica, despite the fact that he doesn't even have a doctorate (presumably, yet). Unfortunately, he's also a nice guy, so I tend to let him slide a lot of the time when it comes to New World. (Of course, David Lady was also called a nice guy by many on this board, and look what happened to him and his um-college.)

    The key issue to address when evaluating a profit-to-nonprofit changeover is whether the selling entity is going to continue managing the new institution's programs and learning activities - in other words, whether the for-profit will continue to profit from the non-profit even though they may no longer have ownership. That, too, is downright sleazy - there is simply no other word for it.

    By the way, did I mention that for-profit institutions are evil? Yep, the spawn of Satan - that be them. :D
     
  13. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Say what? There are prestigious for-profit educational institutions? Let's be clear, I have nothing against FP colleges. In fact, I attended one for my undergraduate and completed my first doctoral course at another. However, I'm curious to know about these prestigious FP schools.
     
  14. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Pretty funny . . . I don't think it would be inaccurate to say that the phrase prestigious for-profit qualifies as an oxymoron. :D
     
  15. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    I really detest the 10 minute edit window that we have here. I edited that statement, and was in the process of editing it again when it timed out. So like a gangster... I recently won my college's annual award, for essentially practicing kindness. Which is where I was going with that statement. Personally, my thoughts are that it is prestigious to compete in NCAA Division 1 sports, and we now have a for-profit doing so. While that's not necessarily a declaration of academic prestige, I'll stand by the notion that it carries weight, and I'd rather not go down the snarky route.
     
  16. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Going by what you said, I graduated from a prestigious university (Lamar) and will graduate from another prestigious university (Liberty)... Harvard and UPenn ain't got nothing on me :D
     
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I can't help but feel like you could have made the same point without calling Steve "sleazy." Nor do I see a defense of Ashford anywhere here, just an observation that if for-profit structures are so evil then we should be welcoming the conversion to non-profit. A restructuring, by the way, which invites significantly more IRS oversight and far more ways to run afoul of the law than a private for-profit entity.
     
  18. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Westcliff University, a for-profit, also could be mentioned in the sports situation. They're not a D1 school, but they play D1 schools.
     
  19. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    As you can see from my original statement, which I reprinted here, I took some pain not to specifically call Steve sleazy. I stated that I generally consider entrepreneurs sleazy, and that Steve calls himself an entrepreneur. Now, you can infer what you like, but kindly don't say that I specifically called him sleazy - I didn't.

    On the other hand, if a=b and b=c, then . . . you know the rest. In the case of New World University (http://newworld.ac), we have a college that (1) offers only one degree, in "international business leadership," (2) advertises it as a three-year bachelor of science degree, (3) does not identify any of its administrators or faculty on its web site, (4) was started by a guy who does not even have a doctorate (as noted previously, yet), and (5) has the temerity to call itself a university. The school, in my opinion, is blatantly both a joke and a degree mill. The only identification that it was started by Steve is on his own web site, in which he calls it his latest "project" - you can find a link to his site in the sig file of his posts here at DI.

    As I've said many times in the past, starting a university is more than one or two or three people getting together and saying, "Hey, kids, let's start a university!" (In the case of New World, one of the other guys allegedly at the helm was one of our own moderators here at DI, who last posted almost four years ago and was last on the forum in November 2019. An adjunct in several online programs, he has, for the past couple of years, also downplayed his role at New World.)
    I stand by my statement. Non-profits can, of course, be as morally corrupt as for-profits, especially when they are for-profits that retroactively become non-profit to take advantage of the loopholes. Which, perhaps, is why DoEd and other federal entities have denied permission to for-profits (notably, such as Argosy) to make that change in status.

    I do not, in general, trash non-profits. I do, in general, trash for-profits. But I'm happy to say that I now also trash, in general, for-profits that become non-profits. Y'all may remember that I predicted the fly-by-night closure of Argosy - the only thing I didn't get is how fast and how soon it would happen.

    By the way. this will be my last word on New World University. I have no desire to get into a war with Steve and have now, in my opinion, made my position on NWU crystal clear. I wish him the best, nonetheless, although I hope his entrepreneurial educational endeavor in Domenica tanks - unless he gives it a more responsible nomenclature. (Which is a kind way of saying, "University, my ass.") :D
     
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think I'm alone in wishing that you would work harder at not presenting yourself as an asshole. I'd rather not resort to editing your posts.
     

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