Quick Takes (Update): Major Shift in For-Profit Higher Ed, Out Before He Started, Gender and Students' Online Habits, Union Institute Sells Vermont Campus, Education Wind Technicians, Wonkery as Poetry
Submitted by Scott Jaschik on June 25, 2008 - 4:00am
The Apollo Group is the king of for-profit higher education, parent of the University of Phoenix. By comparison, Grand Canyon University, another for-profit college in Phoenix, is David to Apollo's Goliath. But that's obviously not quite how Brian Mueller sees it. Mueller, the president of the Apollo Group and the driving force behind the University of Phoenix's highly successful online division, is betting that Grand Canyon's future is brighter -- or perhaps more profitable -- than Apollo's. The two companies announced this morning that Mueller is giving up his position at Apollo to help lead Grand Canyon into its recently announced initial public offering, which was initially valued at $230 million. Compared to Apollo, which educates hundreds of thousands of students and is 35 years old, Grand Canyon is comparatively a toddler. Since 2004, when it was purchased by a team of investors, it has been transformed from a struggling nonprofit Christian college with fewer than 1,000 into a thriving institution that has about 20,000 students, most of them online. A full report on these striking developments will be available on our Web site Thursday morning.
Robert Felner, the incoming chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside resigned Tuesday -- shortly before he was to take over the position. Felner quit after it was revealed that federal authorities are investigating possible wrongdoing at the University of Louisville education college, where he is dean.
A study on gender and sharing creative work online has found that two-thirds of male students and only half of female students do so. The study found that male and female students are equally creative in producing material that could be shared online, but differ in their willingness to do so. The analysis was based on freshmen at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the research was done by Eszter Hargittai, director of Northwestern University's Web Use Project, and Gina Walejko, a Northwestern researcher.
Union Institute & University, which is based in Ohio, on Tuesday announced the sale of its Montpelier, Vt. campus and three M.F.A. programs to the new Vermont College of Fine Arts. Union will continue to operate other programs from the campus, renting space from the college.
The growth in wind turbine towers, fueled in part by the interest in alternative energy sources, has created a growing demand for technicians to work in those towers, and that in turn has many community colleges starting new programs, the Associated Press reported. Graduates of "wind tech" programs are getting speedy job offers, the AP found.
Educational wonkery as...poetry? Inside Higher Ed columnist Wick Sloane has accepted an invitation to read from his work 7 p.m., Friday, June 27, 2008, at La Luna Caffe, Cambridge (where else?) as part of the acclaimed City Nights Reading Series. Wick will read from his column, "The Devil's Workshop," including selections from Common Sense or The Bachelor's Degree Is Obsolete?, the pamphlet published by Inside Higher Ed in May. Copies of the pamphlet are downloadable free at IHE or hardcopy at the Harvard Bookstore, where owner Frank Kramer, has confirmed that Common Sense is not only on sale but also selling.