The primary trade group for the for-profit sector, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), said last week that it will appeal a federal court ruling over the Obama administration-led gainful employment rules, which went into effect this month.
A federal court in 2012 largely invalidated a previous version of the regulations. But last month a federal judge rejected a legal challenge by the for-profit group to the new rules, which require vocational programs at for-profits (and nondegree programs at community colleges) to meet minimum thresholds with the debt-to-income rates of graduates. A different federal court also upheld the rules in response to a legal challenge by a for-profit association in New York.
APSCU said it would appeal, arguing that gainful employment “needlessly complicates the efforts of new traditional students to achieve a career-focused education that helps them get jobs, and we will continue to fight to keep opportunities open for students who are often struggling to juggle family, work and school.”
The Chicago Tribune had to sue to get records of the expenses of Robert Breuder, who is currently on leave as president of the College of DuPage, a community college outside Chicago. The documents that were released show considerable spending that theoretically was about building relationships with donors, but frequently didn't involve donors so much as senior administrators, trustees and vendors.
For example, for one outing to a private fish and game reserve with three others, including the college lawyer and a vendor, Breuder spent $1,292 in college foundation funds -- on two bottles of red wine purchased in advance, a lunch, gun rental and ammunition. Thirty pheasants were shot. Other uses of foundation funds include $1,450 for four days of dining in California wine country, and $683 for a "unique" wine pairings event at a liquor store.
Foundation officials have defended spending as necessary to build relationships and cultivate donors. Breuder was unavailable for comment.
John Wiley & Sons, a publisher, this week announced a partnership with InsideTrack, a student coaching company, that will bring career coaching directly to students. InsideTrack also recently partnered up with Chegg, an online textbook rental company, to offer a similar service. They will get free, introductory career-related videos. Paid subscribers will get access to InsideTrack's web and mobile-enabled platform. InsideTrack's career coaches will work with students to assess their career readiness, to develop their skills and to help them plan their job search.
Community Care College, a small institution located in Tulsa, Okla., that offers certificates and associate degrees in health care and business education, shifted to nonprofit from for-profit status on Wednesday, the Tulsa Worldreported.
The college is now called Community HigherEd. Its founder, Teresa Knox, told the newspaper that she wants the college to continue being evaluated on student outcomes, graduation rates, job placement rates and student loan default rates. The so-called gainful employment regulations, which do just that, and apply primarily to for-profits, took effect the day Community Care College made the switch.
“‘For-profit is periphery to our primary mission and purpose and minimizes our long-term goal,” Knox said in a written statement. “Our strategy is to increase the number and amount of scholarships offered to students in order to reduce student loan debt and expand educational and career opportunities to those that need it most."
Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, took home $1.8 million in compensation in 2013, USA Todayreported. Emmert's compensation included $1.37 million in base pay, up 8 percent from the year before, plus a mix of deferred and other reportable compensation, according to the newspaper's review of the NCAA's federal tax form.
The nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting this week published an article alleging that the University of Phoenix “sidesteps” an executive order by the White House that seeks to prevent for-profit colleges from paying for preferential recruiting of students who are recipients of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The article said Phoenix has paid the U.S. military $250,000 over the last three years to sponsor 89 recruiting events, including concerts, a chocolate festival and a fashion show.
Officials with the Apollo Education Group, which owns Phoenix, said the center portrayed the university unfairly. In a written statement, the company said it supports and has "devoted significant resources to ensure compliance" with the executive order. It also defended its outreach to veterans, saying the "work of the university and Hiring our Heroes, including its presentations, stand above reproach and should serve as an example of exactly the type of information and services our nation’s war heroes need as they transition into the civilian workforce."