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New Leader for University of Phoenix

January 28, 2022

The University of Phoenix, which has shrunk significantly—and in recent years purposefully—from its peak of 470,000 students and 1,700 programs, has hired a new president to lead the institution into its next phase.

George A. Burnett, who led the private nonprofit Northcentral University and most recently served as executive vice chairman of Academic Partnerships, an online program management company, will succeed Peter Cohen as Phoenix’s president next month. Previously Burnett led Alta Colleges, a for-profit chain, and worked at communications and technology companies.

Under Cohen, who will become president emeritus, Phoenix sought to return to its roots as an institution focused on helping adults complete bachelor’s degrees and advance their careers. That followed a period of significant growth, followed by intensified regulation and turmoil for Phoenix and most of for-profit higher education.

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