Ashford University - offering severnce packages to employees

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Shawn Ambrose, Jun 20, 2013.

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  1. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

  2. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I like how they mentioned that Ashford gives money to charities. If that money and time was spent on reducing costs maybe they wouldn't have to lay off so many people. When companies divert resources toward socially desirable projects they end up causing more harm than good. "The social responsibility of a company is to increase its profits" Without profits there are no jobs.
     
  3. CavTrooper

    CavTrooper New Member

    I think Bridgepoint is just another example of incompetent business strategy. They had a perfect model which would have been very successful in the long term, but apparently the folks up top failed to properly apply business concepts through the lens of academia. Students are a different type of consumer than in most industries, because you can't just sell the product - you need to ensure it is purchased by a quality consumer who will benefit from that product on a long term and vocational basis. Oh well. I have a feeling they will not receive WASC accreditation, and the entire operation will collapse. They may, however, escape the endeavor with a substantial profit margin, despite their financial woes. I'm just glad I transferred all my Ashford credits to TESC in time to avoid having an unaccredited degree on my resume for the rest of my life (despite the fact that those who earned degrees from them will always technically have an accredited degree, still it would bug me).
     
  4. FJD

    FJD Member

    This is very funny. You really got me on this one. Ashford went wrong by....giving too much money to charity, which never does any good, and actually ends up making things worse. Also, businesses should just be mindless profit gobblers. You know, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you were actually being serious.
     
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    He's not just serious, he's right. Different institutions serve different purposes, and there's nothing wrong with that.
     
  6. FJD

    FJD Member

    Ok, I guess we'll just have to disagree on this. I was making light of what I see as a very cynical (and also naive and mostly untrue) view of businesses as ruthless profit machines that should not or cannot do anything else but earn, earn, and earn. To me this is an extreme view.
     
  7. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    Perhaps, but donating to charity has the benefit of creating goodwill and increasing exposure in a community. To some degree, charitable contributions can be a form of reputation-increasing advertising.
     
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It doesn't mean they need to act amorally. Keeping within the bounds of not defrauding or damaging people is a big deal, some would say it's the point of business ethics. But whenever I see that a corporation makes large charitable donations, I think they're on the wrong track. Despite case law to the contrary, corporations are not people, and they don't need to "give back" -- the people who own them and do well from dividends or capital gains should do that.

    I'm not trying to sound all Ayn Rand here -- I do believe in philanthropy and smaller scale charity on the part of middle class people who can afford it. I'm just saying that for-profit corporations are a deficient vehicle for this.
     
  9. FJD

    FJD Member

    Fair enough. But corporate donations to charity generally increase good will towards a company, and that's probably (to be cynical) their main motivation to doing so. The company gets an increase in the value of one of its important assets, and a tax deduction as well. And you're right, companies aren't "people" in the sense that they have to give back (many, including Harvard Law grad Mitt Romney confuse the concept of "legal personhood" with actual personhood), but they have a general duty to act responsibly. I tend to think that this is distinct from charitable donations because it's a more challenging thing for a company to do because it often invloves choosing a path that does not maximize profit and minimize cost.
     
  10. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

  11. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Ashford is an example of what happens when an institution concentrates solely on growth, without building the infrastructure and services to support and sustain that growth. When you have 10 times the number of personnel dedicated to bring students in than those dedicated to provide the resources and services needed to assist and retain those students, it is a recipe for massive short-term growth and long-term attrition problems. Enrolling a ton of students can only lead to success if you have a mechanism to provide a high level of education and student services to meet student needs. Failure to do that results in Ashford's situation: an institution that loses half of its students.
     
  12. Michael

    Michael Member

    Another problem is their admission of anyone with a pulse, even if the person's IQ is 85 and has fourth grade skills.
     

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