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Wis. Governor Kills For-Profit Oversight Agency

September 26, 2017

After years of attempts, Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican governor, has successfully eliminated the state's Education Approval Board as an independent agency tasked with overseeing for-profit colleges.

Walker's partial veto last week of a budget bill accelerated the timetable for folding the board into the state's safety and professional services department, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. With the veto, the EAB's independent governing board has been nixed, and the agency's six employees have been laid off. They may be able to reapply for their jobs.

Advocates for the for-profit sector have questioned whether an independent agency in Wisconsin was necessary, given that 29 for-profit institutions in the state have closed in recent years. But David Dies, the EAB's executive secretary, told Inside Higher Ed last month that the small agency still oversees 218 colleges.

Critics of Walker's veto include Michael Rosen, a retired economics instructor at a Wisconsin community college and a former faculty union leader.

"Thousands of economically disadvantaged young people, single mothers, veterans and students of color, will be hurt by this veto," Rosen said in a written statement. "Wisconsin is now open for business for the predatory businesses that are educational institutions in name only."

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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