WLC Discovers Support for Motive Claim in DEAC Lawsuit

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by dlady, May 17, 2017.

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  1. dlady

    dlady New Member

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    Motive, Means, and Opportunity. While not a criminal case (yet), providing a motive to the College claims are important.

    Remembering that DEAC is up for its own review this year, the below linked 'article' gushingly praises DEAC as a lead in for its actions against WLC, citing falsification DEAC made in public records as fact mind you. And, just in time, within 60 days, of DEAC's review meeting by NACIQI.


    https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/new-transparency-cracks-open-black-box-accreditation/

    Below is our claim from the public complaint:

    "In short, DEAC fabricated false claims against the College in order to have a pretext to issue a public Show Cause Order. DEAC did this for its own selfish political purposes. Given the pressure placed on accrediting agencies due to abuse in the for-profit education industry, DEAC was under pressure, it thought, to demonstrate that it was “cracking down” on a school. DEAC targeted the College in response to what it perceived to be external pressure given that DEAC is undergoing its own review from the Department of Education. Upon information and belief, DEAC’s charter is coming up for review before the Department of Education in the near future. DEAC felt it needed to demonstrate a toughness but instead of taking action against larger schools which provide greater income to DEAC, it selected a school who’s DEAC dues were only modestly profitable for DEAC against which to take action, though there was no basis whatsoever for the negative action taken by DEAC.

    DEAC accredits other schools which have substantially greater problems…low student retention, great student debt, very poor student outcomes, all of which can be documented and which are known to the industry and have been the subject of published scholarly articles, and for which DEAC has come under criticism. The schools with poor student outcomes, upon information and belief, provide substantial income to DEAC which collects yearly dues based in part on the size of the school and its revenues. Rather than issue show cause letters or refuse to re-accredit lucrative schools with serious problems, DEAC selected a school that provides less income to DEAC that had no actual instances of non-compliance upon which to demonstrate that it does take actions against schools, but while selfishly protecting DEAC operating income."
     
  2. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Yeah, it is ironic that DEAC itself will be up for review soon. Let's see how they do this time under increased scrutiny. The stupid thing is this whole thing could have been easily avoided if DEAC had been more receptive to WLC and it's reasonable requests. :( Boy, at my age I shouldn't be disappointed in certain things, but this is VERY disappointing.)

    I am very troubled because I know that you Dr. Lady have been a huge proponent of bringing higher education to the masses, or the common man if you will. Sorry things worked out this way. I believe one of your phrases is "higher education should not be a luxury". Good phrase, honorable in fact. But in the end, certain things happen for a reason, and you have put a spot light on an area that needed some scrutiny. You still are, and in fact remain a visionary, and it takes courage to do what you are doing. It will be a long arduous path, but hopefully, justice will be served in the long run. Hang in there my brother.
     
  3. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Member

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    As I have known him a long time, he is forthcoming as I know. If there were problems (WLC/DEAC), he is not making this up nor trying to profit. Some good can come from this.
     
  4. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    I concur, Dave is a man of integrity, and I have also known him for a very long time, both on this forum and in real life. If he says there is a problem, there is problem. It's as simple as that. It gives me no great joy to speak ill of DEAC, but there you have it. Time for a shake up.
     
  5. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Member

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    Agreed on all statements. I thought the world of Michael Lambert. He reached out to me more than once ( including phone calls) out of the blue.
     
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    I dropped by the then-DETC office to meet Michael Lambert once. Even though I was "just some guy" he took time out of his day to show me around and answer questions. I liked him.
     
  7. dlady

    dlady New Member

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    Mikes letters used to end pledging agency support to help the school, under the current 'leadership', DEAC letters (when not issuing show cause orders of course) now end with "The Commission appreciates your continuing support of DEAC." taken from exhibits that are in our public filling. What a cultural shift!
     
  8. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart New Member

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    I fear that the DEAC will go under and I'm starting to become suspicious of financial management (I feel that will be a catalyst), both by itself and some of its member schools.

    With two of its top schools being named in a new pressure campaign and being cited for some pretty damning miscues, it's going to take some legal acrobatics from the DEAC's legal team to keep them from burning up in the heat. Not to mention that the current agenda is anti-for profit, and there are only a few DEAC schools that are non-profit.

    Doesn't look good.
     
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    While I find myself subconsciously rooting for WLC, even though I have no particular ill feelings toward DEAC, I would also urge folks to be a bit reasonable with their doomsaying.

    The initial petition on virtually every lawsuit makes the situation "not look good" for the defendant. One can hardly imagine how they could wriggle from under it. And yet, a good many do exactly that. We haven't seen a response from DEAC. Nor can we count on DEAC being as forthcoming as Dr. Lady about the facts of the case from their side.

    WLC might prevail. There might be a settlement. It might fizzle. We don't know. It could be transformative or just another day at the office for DEAC. We have to wait and see. And we simply don't know what DEAC might have in its bag of tricks. It may, in fact, have quite a bit of evidence to sufficiently see this suit dismissed in summary judgment. Have to wait and see.

    Even the email chain. I acknowledge that Dr. Matthews seems to have lawyered up rather easily. But different orgs have different triggers. For my company, it's whenever someone even alludes to suing us (often in the context of a termination). Tell me you're hiring a lawyer/thinking of hiring a lawyer/"gonna sue" or that you'll "see me in court" and I can no longer speak to you. I have to refer you to the general counsel. I have no choice. The phone call must be ended. The letter must go unanswered. If you're in my office I have to escort you to the CLO's office to continue your sentence.

    I'm just saying that many organizations see petitions just like this that make it sound like the organization was complicit in war crimes and many of those suits just don't materialize into anything. I look forward to seeing it unfold. I want the best for all parties involved. I hope that WLC and Dr. Lady recover from this show cause in a matter satisfactory to them both. But I'm not going to place any bets on the outcome of the court case.
     
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    There are (many) people on this board with more legal knowledge than me. That wouldn't be hard. One thing I think I know is that anyone can sue anyone over anything. It doesn't take much to file a suit or even get started in court. Winning is another matter. Maybe in some ways it's like a sporting event. Even a clear mismatch can end in a loss for the team initially seen as being the favorite. It's always a bad idea to go into any game with an over confident attitude as the end result is never clear. The old expression, "That's why they play the game." comes to mind with the idea being that virtually anything can happen in the process. I see WLC as being the underdog in this case and like a true American I like to root for the underdog. I also have a totally negative prejudice against large, bureaucratic organizations and I am unreasonably willing to believe any/all bad things about them. David, on the other hand, has always been a likable guy on this board and I believe he has helped many people toward their educational goals. On the face of it he seems to have a good case and I hope he succeeds. I am sorry that his name is out there in a negative context and would hope for some remedy to that situation.
     
  11. dlady

    dlady New Member

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    Just for context, she was identified in the email they sent me as my point of contact for questions. I had hundreds maybe thousands of questions. The first set I asked, they refer to to their external legal team in a fairly threatening way.

    I am not aware of any DEAC process that identified external DEAC lawyers as a schools primary point of contact for public show cause questions. It is counter to their processes and counter to the direct information they provided me in the letter.

    Further, the executive director states that this is now an unspecified timeline. There is no DEAC policy that puts responding to schools questions on unspecified timelines. We were on a very specific timeline that they provided me. It was an illegal one, they are required to give me 30 days they gave me 28, but still totally specified.

    Ergo breach of contract and violation of federal regulations that they are required by law to follow.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2017
  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    I get what you're saying. I really do.

    All I'm saying is that there are certain triggers that, once tripped, prompt the matter to be referred to a legal department.

    It seems that, for DEAC, stating that the dates were "falsified" was one of those triggers. She felt she was being accused of misconduct and forwarded it to their legal department.

    I'm not saying whether that is right or wrong. The main reason is that I've had to "lawyer up" as a result of a seemingly innocuous statement as well.

    When dealing with an organization, particularly when they have an in-house legal team and you don't have to worry about billable hours, the general rule is "if in doubt, ask legal." And in-house legal folks will almost always tell you to disengage earlier than you otherwise might have.

    Part of it has to do with discovery. Internal communications can be obtained during discovery. If, however, they retain counsel early on then many of those communications can be shielded by attorney client privilege. Dashing off an email to your in-house counsel is something that can be discovered. That e-mail that your in-house counsel sends to a retained law firm to deal with that matter? That has a greater level of protection.

    The "trigger" is an organization's way of lowering the cone of silence. Suddenly, internal emails aren't being sent about a topic at all. Meetings are done in person, without minutes, and whatever scant paper trail exists is between attorneys.

    It's doing what lawyers do. If lawyers had their way no one would ever put anything in writing, outside of formal contracts, or say anything that might be construed as binding.

    Again, not saying whether it is right or wrong, just that it is and it doesn't appear as abnormal to people who work in a corporate setting as it might to people who never encounter this sort of thing.
     
  13. dlady

    dlady New Member

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    It will be an interesting case, and of course all I can do is repeat public info and relay my personal experiences and opinions at this point, so I can't really debate it now.

    A central question will be, can a regulatory agency that has contractual oversight of an organization falsify data in official public reports, and then take negative public action harming the organization, and then claim that any inquiry into the reports by the harmed party is grounds for immediately lawyering up. The good news is that we are all about to find out :)
     
  14. heirophant

    heirophant Member

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    Threats of law suits are often used as bullying and intimidation. I just viscerally dislike that aspect of tort law. I'm not convinced that WLC is the underdog. It's ostensibly a higher education institution and DEAC is just an office that I'd guess isn't very large. I would guess that WLC has a larger staff and a larger annual budget than DEAC.

    I see an educational institution that got into accreditation trouble trying to bully and bluster itself out of those difficulties instead of trying to address the accreditor's concerns.

    We saw something similar with City College of San Francisco. It failed repeatedly to meet a number of WASC accreditation standards. WASC put it on show-cause, nothing improved and WASC eventually pulled its accreditation. That action was met by a blizzard of lawsuits from the city, the state and the teachers unions. The Obama administration put its thumb on the scale (Nancy Pelosi is congresswoman-for-life from San Francisco), threatening to de-recognize WASC. So WASC caved. Today CCSF advertises itself as "fully accredited" despite not meeting accreditation standards.

    So that's where I'm coming from and the lens through which I see this latest DEAC thing.

    I have a totally negative prejudice against schools trying to evade their responsibility to meet accreditation standards by threatening to destroy their accreditor in court. I have an even stronger prejudice against the harm that a WLC victory would do to all the other schools that DEAC accredits, to their students and to their alums.

    And I have a totally negative prejudice against jury duty. But when I'm forced into it, I try to do it well. Dave seems to be trying to litigate this thing here on Degreeinfo and in order for me to function as a juror, I need to hear DEAC's response to Dave's and his attorney's allegations.
     
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    No one is forcing you to do anything. Read or don't read, whichever you like.
     
  16. Jan

    Jan Member

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    I have no idea how this current situation will play out. However, it's my impression that DEAC is a "small time" accrediting agency attempting to appear on par with their regionally accreditating counterparts. The infrastructure and qualitative level of staffing of DEAC does not appear to be commensurate with RA agencies. In addition, I question their level of objectivity processing student complaints pertaining to certain schools under their aegis.
     
  17. dlady

    dlady New Member

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    Sure no worries. However, your perspective on history can be largely reliant on where you choose to enter it. This is our response to their claims. They went public first, we followed. What are they going to do, make up new stuff they forgot to put in the show cause letter.

    This forum is one of the only voices I have. They have a loud voice, we are a whisper on the wind.

    I believe in doing the right thing, the right way. Anyone can take a punch, the measure of a person is the willingness to stand back up and look your attacker in the eye one more time.

    And for the record, we are not evading anything. We're not asking a court to overrule them, we have lost faith in them. We demand justice.

    However it end, no regrets.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2017
  18. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    I think any insinuation that you are filing a frivolous lawsuit or are just looking to get rich is just plain stupid. Everyone knows that if you are doing this, you have good cause. I admire you, it takes some big cajones to do what you are doing.

    All the best mi amigo Dr. Lady. If anyone can take a punch, you can. And I know sure as hell that you can punch back pretty damn good as well. :) The pen is mightier than the sword.
     
  19. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Member

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    For Dave:

    “Life's not about how hard of a hit you can give... it's about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”
     
  20. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    Big box drums? I'm not sure the judge will allow that. ;-)
     

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