… you know you’re a for-profit.
That’s what the guy who runs Phoenix University made last year. And who cares? He can give himself whatever he wants, even if graduation and student loan repayment and job placement rates are shit. Even if his entire industry is under major legal and federal government scrutiny for squalid recruitment practices and false claims.
In January 2009, a commenter at Insider Higher Ed – the thread is in response to an interview with Harold Shapiro, once president of Princeton and now chair of DeVry, another for-profit outfit – wrote this about horrid snooty non-profit universities and refreshingly egalitarian for-profits:
Consideration for and impeccable service to the customer is gradually becoming the market’s expectation in higher education. [H]igher education’s customers are losing their tolerance for prissy Mandarins.
And, you know, you hear this rhetoric a lot among the for-profits… Those non-profit snobs… Yet doesn’t $6.5 mil sound way more Mandarin than the few hundred thou Harvard’s Drew Faust takes in? Especially considering that she’s not too above it all to make sure she graduates almost every one of the people who pay her university’s tuition?
I mean we are not kidding around here! When Kaplan’s last CEO resigned in 2008, he “receive[d] his base salary, which was not disclosed, and incentives, in addition to $46 million related to the Kaplan stock option plan. Honoring the noncompete clause of his contract will net [him] an additional $30 million by November 2011.”
Anyway. As with the pharmaceutical industry, when it’s all about money, unsavory things can happen. Unattractive compromises tend to get made. Here are two recent examples.
UD‘s friend Jonathan sends her this Barron’s piece (scroll down) about the Washington Post’s relationship to Kaplan.
Even more striking, Stephen Burd at New America Foundation just went after the Chronicle of Higher Education for soft-pedaling its coverage of the for-profits, from some of whom it receives not only significant advertising revenue, but also conference sponsorship.
Burt tells his reader stuff about the for-profits that the Chronicle fails to mention.