Federal Government Challenges HLC - AIU

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Randy Miller, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    It's hard to comment on this without knowing why the Dept. of Education is unhappy with the NCA/HLC. That part was redacted from the original document and the HLC's response was coy as well. It seems that some glaring defect was discovered in AIU that the NCA/HLC insisted be changed before accreditation was granted. The feds got wind of it and are apparently insisting that the unstated defect think made AIU unaccreditable and believe that the school shouldn't have been accredited at all. Or something.

    Without knowing what the defect was, it's hard to know whether I want to side with the feds or with AIU and its accreditors. Was AIU caught doing something seriously millish, selling degrees or falsifying student records or something? If so, then I'm inclined to cheer for the feds. Or is the new political regime over at DoEd just going to bat for the faculty unions, perhaps hesitant to mess with rich and litigious U. of Phoenix directly but still hoping to make life more difficult for smaller schools that appear to be emulating its model? I'd be less sure who to cheer for in that case. It would definitely be a shame to see the accreditor caught in the middle of a labor-political grudge-match.

    For most purposes, it probably wouldn't make much difference if the federal government did pull recognition from the NCA/HLC. If employers and other universities continue to recognize the accreditation, then things would continue on exactly like before. The two areas where delisting would hurt would be in students' eligibility for federal loan programs and in federal employment.

    But seriously, does the federal government really want to stop hiring graduates of the U. of Michigan, U. of Chicago, U. of Wisconsin, U. of Illinois, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Purdue, Ohio State... I don't think so. Does it want to hinder students from studying at some of the country's (and the world's) leading universities? Not likely. The feds are bluffing, they are playing chicken, trying to make HLC blink first.

    My own reading of the political tea-leaves is that the feds' hope is that the threat of the NCA/HLC being delisted might alarm the accreditors' membership enough to make them pressure its management to knuckle under to Washington's demands. That might not be an unreasonable expectation if a significant percentage of the membership already agrees with the feds' position on whatever this is about.

    Finally, the NCA/HLC really does seem to have a reputation as the easiest of the accreditors. It isn't just SACS schools that have bailed out of Florida for the warmer climate of Minnesota. We've seen them leaving California too. The U. of Phoenix was the creation of a San Jose State humanities professor (!!!), but WASC apparently didn't like its model so it moved to Phoenix. NCU spun off from the decidedly unspectacular California-approved SCUPS and it found it necessary to cross into Arizona as well. If truth be told, I'm not entirely against Washington leaning on the NCA/HLC to bring up its low-end a bit.
  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Is it really the Federal Govt that filed this lawsuit - it looks to me (a non lawyer) that it was filed by several individiduals (ex employees of AIU) in Federal Court. Maybe someone with a knowledge of the law can comment.
  3. David Boyd

    David Boyd New Member

    You're correct. The government could have filed the lawsuit but elected to pass. This might mean the government felt the case had no merit or they could have been busy with other matters. (Even with the size of our Federal government they can only handle a limited number of cases.)

    The complaint lacks some facts that I would expect to see from a suit filed by insiders such as the most basic - such as exactly how were the recruiters compensated?
  4. Doctor Doctor

    Doctor Doctor New Member

    The federal government filed the complaint on behalf of private parties. Additionally, complaints only need to allege enough facts to state a claim. They do not need to contain every bit of detail.
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Thanks! That was an interesting read.
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Easy. Because some POS with the SACS has a wild hair up his arse about HLC/NCA and some pathetic little grasshopper of an Undersecretary of Education is a willing pawn of SACS.
  7. ITJD

    ITJD Guest

    Paraphrased from others:
    Without knowing what was redacted it's hard to know if there's a real problem.

    There is a real problem if there is a case to speak about. DOE doesn't issue memos on fake problems.

    Paraphrased from others:
    It's hard to know who to side with if we don't know what is redacted.

    No it isn't. If there's an issue present and the accrediting agencies need DOE approval, then you side with DOE.

    This is pretty cut and dry and I carry a degree from a NCA-accredited school. If there's a problem, fix it. If stuff is redacted, it's because it's likely material to a legal case or there are legal reasons why the data can't be shared. While I expect we all know this, I'm going to state it for clarity: No one is redacting information in order to make something look like something it isn't.

    If there isn't an issue, we'll find out in a few years. In the meantime, study.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2009
  8. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I don't just automatically assume that Washington officials' judgement on accreditation matters is better than the accreditors'.

    In practice, I'll side with the Dept of Education if their reasons for jerking the NCA/HLC around justify my doing so. If not, then I'll probably side with the NCA/HLC.

    It's difficult to form an intelligent opinion about what's happening until the details are finally revealed.
  9. ITJD

    ITJD Guest

    Yeah, but what I'm getting at is this.

    Who are we to even bother forming an opinion on this?

    1. No one's asking our opinion, except maybe the OP.

    2. The DOE obviously has the power to "jerk around the NCA" or this wouldn't even be news. Washington's "opinion" has more power and in this specific case that power has the ability to logically influence majority opinion. If you choose to have a differing opinion, that's your right.

    3. The DOE has the ability to put the NCA on a lower tier of accreditors obviously and that will affect financial aid for all of the schools in the NCA, not just the online ones. University of Notre Dame has just as much to lose as WGU.

    We're making this too complicated. DOE is concerned. They have evidence. It will be bantered and handled. If it's legit, NCA will be slapped. If it isn't we go on. As of right now the lesson is "Wow, AIU, need to get me away from that place."

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2009
  10. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    The U.S. DOE is the self-imposed regulator of American educational standards

    If the United States Department of Education (U.S. DOE) were to cease to exist, the United States educational system would continue to thrive and exist, just as it did prior to the egregious creation of the U.S. DOE. However, the federal dollars that are used to support the U.S. DOE aren't even constitutionally justified. It's a states rights issue. The U.S. DOE has become nothing more than another bloated federal agency that will never cease to exist (now that it's been created). Once a federal agency is created, it's nearly impossible to abolish it and each of the U.S. DOE employees now possess eternal job security in an agency that should not even exist.

    As each decade passes, the U.S. DOE continues to:
    - gain political clout
    - grow in economic power
    - and continues to issue its federal edicts upon state and regional educational institutions, from k-12 all the way through the university systems. There appears to be a goal to federally standardize education across the U.S., instead of allowing each state (or region) to have its owns states rights standard.

    Prior to the creation of the U.S. DOE, American colleges and universities that were regionally accredited had outstanding standards. The U.S. DOE will assuredly continue to downgrade those standards. As one example, with one stroke of non-elected administrator's pen at the U.S. DOE, the federal DOE has forced the recognition of DETC degrees upon the FBI and upon every other federal agency, which has simply muddied the waters and confused the public i.e. "If the U.S. DOE says that this doctoral degree is properly accredited, then it must be academically sound." This will further confuse foreign governments and there will undoubtedly be a political, economic and academic fallout in about another 15 years, when the confusion comes to a head. And guess who will clear up this issue? Non-other than he who created it e.g. the U.S. DOE! :rolleyes:

    The U.S. DOE will eventually seize all educational regulatory power, although it may take another 40 years for this behemoth federal agency to accomplish this. It will happen. To know the future, one must simply look at the past e.g. look at how much educational regulatory power the U.S. DOE has seized since its creation in the middle of the 20th Century.

    He who controls the purse strings has the power and the U.S. DOE definitely controls the disbursement of Title 5 federal monies, which further establishes and fuels the growth of this ever-growing, bloated federal bureaucracy. The U.S. DOE will eventually be established as the king of United States education because that's the only thing that foreign governments and most American citizens understand. It's coming, regardless of the constitutionality of it and the trumped-up justification will be the interstate commerce clause.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2009
  11. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    No, David's right. The federal government is not a party to this lawsuit. No federal government attorneys are representing the plantiffs.

    You can see by going to the website of the law firm that the complaint was probably posted for publicity purposes. While Doctor Doctor is right in stating that there's no legal requirement to provide every detail, it makes for a better press release if specific wrongdoing is made public.
  12. jek2839

    jek2839 New Member

    So sad, but true!
  13. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Title 5, which is strictly a federal educational welfare program, should be severely curtailed. How many states offer this kind of taxpayer educational welefare dollars? ;) The U.S. DOE is encouraging the spending of excessive taxpayer dollars through this program.
  14. Doctor Doctor

    Doctor Doctor New Member

    Nevermind. Not worth it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2009
  15. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Click here to read the full story!

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