Saturday, August 7, 2010

The for-profits hit a nasty speed bump

     As a rule, Americans don’t like to think and they’re not particularly interested in conserving anything. They daily lend their tacit consent and even enthusiastic embrace to anything commerce spits out, no matter how thoroughly it reshuffles the social deck or how irreversibly it sends us into a brave new world of unknown nature.
     In this regard, arguably, so-called “conservatives” are scarier than liberals and progressives, for they happily embrace that loose cannon known as commerce, and they trust the alleged infallible benevolence of the “invisible hand” as though to do so were piety.
     In case you haven’t been paying attention, American education—and especially American higher education—is undergoing a transformation. This is occurring, not because some radical has persuaded us to adopt a new “paradigm,” but because of a confluence of mindless causes, including the failure of the academic world to keep its eye on the point and possibilities of being “educated.” By now, most citizens are academic barbarians. They watch "Three's Company" reruns. They'll tell you where they were educated, but somehow it just didn't take.
     FOR-PROFITS. There’s more to the transformation story, but a big part is the rise of the “for-profits”—the University of Phoenix, Kaplan College, Argosy, etc.—which are quietly taking over college instruction. Meanwhile, by degrees, old academic institutions—the idea of the university and even the idea of the “professor” with academic freedom—are dying, replaced with notions and practices that seem more at home in the world of business. Students are increasingly referred to as "customers." Education is "delivered."
     Clearly, this country—excluding immigrants—is experiencing a kind of decline, a Fall. College students no longer study much. The idea that one must get a good college education to succeed is losing its grip on the population, or at least on the youth. People increasingly occupy their minds with trivia and irrational nonsense and vote as though ignorance and stupidity were a virtue. About half the country has doubts about the President's citizenship and birth. The dullard Sarah Palin is very popular among Republicans. Everybody wants to borrow my Ouija board.
     Because we really are quite stupid and unconservative, there’s no stopping this transformation in education. Our only hope is in all those people from somewhere else—immigrants and their families—who don’t drag decadence over here with ‘em. I see this all the time at the colleges. Increasingly, immigrants are the big achievers among students. They're the student leaders. Meanwhile, Sean and Buffy are at the beach with dad's new Beemer.
     Those immigrant kids are a ray of hope. They really are.
     The for-profits are a cancer and, naturally, because our educational institutions are democratic—America is unusual in its approach to education, leaving big decisions, not with highfalutin distant experts, but with local elected officials—morons and barbarians often oversee our colleges, and they promote their own kind, including for-profits boosters and ardent believers in the latest untested whiz-bangery.
     Hence it was that, overnight, the conniving and ruthless (but distinctly undereducated) Raghu P. Mathur went from being a chemistry teacher to the President of Irvine Valley College. He was picked by a crew of "fiscal conservatives" that had just been elected to the board, owing to a nasty backroom deal with the faculty union. And then, after Mathur experienced two massive votes of “no confidence” among faculty, the board fixed the hiring process to make the creep our Chancellor. He has endlessly promoted “distance ed,” something he can barely pronounce, and he has long been affiliated with the execrable Argosy University, where he still pontificates in evening classes about good management, “new paradigms,” and “team building.” He received his doctorate from Crack Jack Prize University, a.k.a. Nova Southeastern, which is really good at making money selling degrees to morons like Mathur who know that there’s money in higher degrees, no matter how phony or worthless. (Mathur was only recently ousted.)
     This is America, where the business of Americans is business, and nobody knows the name of their Congressperson, and so there’s no stopping the for-profits. They are the future. You should invest in 'em.
* * *
     But, for the time being, they’ve hit a nasty speed bump, ‘cause Democratic legislators have been all over ‘em lately. You see, it turns out that the for-profits rely on turning the heads of the most clueless among us, helping them to get big loans that they can’t pay back. They default on these loans bigtime. And so, what happens? That’s right: the taxpayer pays the bill. People are already calling this a “bubble.” It’s worse than that. It’s a tar bubble. When it pops, everybody will get gooed. We’ll stink. We'll sue BP. BP will prevail. No one will care.
     Yesterday, the New York Times described a small part of the aforementioned “speed bump”:
Kaplan Suspends Enrollment at 2 Campuses

     The Washington Post Company’s Kaplan Inc. unit suspended enrollment on Friday at its campuses in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Riverside, Calif., where undercover investigators for the Government Accountability Office found deceptive practices by admissions officials.
     At a Senate hearing on Wednesday on recruitment at for-profit colleges, a G.A.O. report, accompanied by videos, described deceptive or fraudulent practices at each of 15 campuses visited, two of which were Kaplan campuses. At Kaplan College in Pembroke Pines, for example, an admissions officer told investigators posing as applicants that the college had the same accreditation as Harvard.
     Washington Post stock fell $31.05, or 7.6 percent, to close at $377.56 on Friday, its largest drop in more than a year, after the company said in its quarterly report that proposed United States Department of Education rules could have a “material adverse effect” on Kaplan’s higher-education operations. The higher-education unit’s $212 million operating income for the first half of the year made up almost 80 percent of the company’s overall operating income for the period.
     The Education Department’s proposed rules would tighten regulation of for-profit colleges’ recruiters and rein in programs whose graduates end up with more debt than they can repay.
     Melissa Mack, a Kaplan spokeswoman, said the company suspended enrollment at the two campuses pending an investigation of the G.A.O. findings, and meanwhile was working “to ensure that such incidents are not repeated anywhere at our 75 campuses or among our 16,000 higher-education employees.”
     Kaplan’s higher-education programs enrolled more than 112,000 students as of June 30. 
     Don’t worry. Kaplan will be fine. Washington Post will make lots of money.
     The following article appeared two days ago in the always-excellent Inside Higher Ed. It gives you a pretty good idea what’s going on:


Shellacking the For-Profits
     Senate Democrats made it clear Wednesday that their examination of for-profit higher education has only just begun, and that they plan to pursue legislation aimed at reining what they see as the sector’s dishonest – if not fraudulent – practices.
     At a hearing on the “student recruitment experience” at for-profit colleges that began Wednesday morning and carried on through the mid-afternoon, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, outlined plans to hold more hearings on the sector, to collect broad sets of information from for-profit colleges, and to begin drafting legislation aimed at cleaning up the sector.
     “Education is too important for the future of this country,” he said. “Facing the budget problems we have in the next 10 years, we just can't permit more and more of the taxpayers' dollars that are supposed to go for education and quality education … to be going to pay shareholders or private investors.”
     Much of Harkin’s motivation came from the findings of a Government Accountability Office “secret shopper” investigation of recruiting practices at 15 for-profit campuses, the results of which – including a powerful videotape visible below – were officially released at the start of the hearing. The probe identified “fraudulent, deceptive or otherwise questionable marketing practices” at all 15 institutions, and inducements to commit fraud on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at four institutions. Coupled with a former recruiter’s account of his experience on the job, the evidence presented at the hearing depicted an industry aggressively and universally going after “leads” and “starts” with the institutional objective of securing federal financial aid dollars.
     "GAO's findings make it disturbingly clear that abuses in for-profit recruiting are not limited to a few rogue recruiters or even a few schools with lax oversight,” Harkin said. The evidence was collected from some of the nation's largest for-profit colleges, including the University of Phoenix and Kaplan College.
     Though the U.S. Department of Education is expected to publish regulations intended to guard against abuse of the Title IV financial aid program by Nov. 1, Harkin said he was “not certain regulations will suffice.” Rather, he said, “I believe and I think where we’re headed is very clear cut legislation that can’t be overturned by another administration, that can’t put in ‘safe harbors’ and say it complies, but really tightly designed legislation to correct these practices.”
     Harkin promised more hearings on for-profit colleges in September, November and possibly December – including one on accreditors’ oversight of for-profits – and also announced plans to collect data on sector outcomes and practices. His office will today send requests to 30 for-profit colleges – all of the publicly traded companies, plus a mix of privately held institutions – asking them to provide information about their graduation and loan default rates, plus internal recruiting documents and details about their use of third-party companies, like lead generators that help with recruiting. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of this,” he said.
     Sen. Mike Enzi, of Wyoming, the senior Republican on the panel, acknowledged “aggressive and inappropriate recruiting practices” at the colleges visited by GAO investigators, but said he wanted to see the Senate’s scrutiny of higher education reach to nonprofit institutions as well. “In focusing only on for-profits, we are not being objective and we are ignoring the bigger picture of what is happening across all of higher education.” (That approach seems unlikely so long as Democrats have the majority and nonprofit colleges wield the clout they enjoy among many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.)
     Also on Wednesday, Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) sent letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki asking for detailed data on how tuition assistance money for members of the military and for veterans is being spent.
     “[W]e have heard reports that some for-profit institutions may be aggressively targeting service members and veterans, signing them up for educational programs that may bring little benefit to future employment opportunities, low graduation rates and high default rates,” they said. With the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, they added, “we have heard concerns about excessive tuition being charged at some of these institutions.”
     Democrats Tom Carper (Del.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Russ Feingold (Wisc.) and Harkin also signed on to the letter.

'Deceptive or Completely Questionable' Practices

     Presenting the findings of the GAO investigation was Gregory D. Kutz, the office’s managing director of forensic audits and special investigations at the Government Accountability Office. In testimony made more powerful by the brief undercover video clips that punctuated it, Kutz detailed “deceptive or completely questionable” practices at all 15 institutions.
     The colleges the GAO visited were not a totally random sample, Kutz said, but they were not institutions where his office or the Education Department were already aware of fraud. “It gives you an indication that this is much more widespread than a few bad actors.”
     Though Kutz’s written testimony didn’t identify the campuses the GAO examined, he did, at Harkin’s request, release a list of the institutions. They included campuses of the University of Phoenix in Arizona and Pennsylvania, Kaplan College in California and Florida, Everest College in Arizona and Texas, as well as privately held institutions including ATI Career Training and Medvance Institute.
     Manny Rivera, a spokesman for Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix, said the company has “strict policies in place to protect students during the enrollment process and throughout their tenure with the university, and when we discover any violation of this policy, we take immediate and decisive disciplinary action up to, and including, termination of the employees involved.”
     Jacquelyn P. Muller, vice president of public relations at Education Management Corporation, which owns Argosy University in Chicago – one of the institutions visited – said that “every employee within our organization is held accountable for upholding the highest moral, ethical, and legal standards at all times.”
     Kutz said that though corporate leaders may try to dismiss his investigation’s findings as problems with individual employees, “I expect anybody who would have walked in... and that was trained a certain way in marketing was going to the same script.” Institutions may say “‘that was a rogue employee,’ but I suspect in some of these cases that is absolutely not true.”
     Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), reinforcing what has become Republicans’ standard way of addressing problems uncovered at for-profit colleges, said: “I know we’ve got people doing bad things, but I know we’ve got a lot of people doing it right and they’re going to be under a cloud unless we begin to separate the wheat from the chaff.”
     Joshua Pruyn, a former recruiter for a Westwood College, who testified at the hearing, said he didn’t think the kind of dishonest behavior that he saw and was encouraged to emulate while working at a Colorado campus resulted from a few “rogue” employees violating his institution’s code of ethics, but rather a pattern of behavior encouraged by corporate leaders.
     Harkin, too, said he believed the encouragement to aggressively and dishonestly pursue students came from higher up. Showing a recruitment training PowerPoint slide from the University of Phoenix with the header “Creating Urgency: Getting Them to Apply NOW."
     Harkin said he thought inducements to recruit aggressively were coming from company executives. “That doesn’t come from some employee,” he said. “That comes from the top.”
     During the HELP committee's June hearing on for-profits, Harkin voiced concern that formerly good actors in the sector had been “lured into the vortex of bad practices” that might, only a few years ago, have been the domain of only some. The findings of the GAO investigation, he said, were “evidence [that] points to a problem that is systemic … to the for-profit industry,” with a “recruitment process specifically designed to do whatever it takes to drive up enrollment numbers, more often than not to the disadvantage of students.”
     The fallout from the hearing isn’t likely to be positive for the for-profits.
     Jerry W. Hartle, senior vice president of government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said he couldn’t “say for sure that it’s the most devastating Congressional hearing I’ve ever seen, but it’s in that league.” Harkin’s statements at the hearing, Hartle said, indicated that he “is fully engaged and is emotionally committed to this issue.” The findings of the GAO investigation, in particular, “seemed to really get Sen. Harkin’s attention.”
     The stocks of most publicly traded for-profits, including those visited by GAO investigators, closed down for the day on Wednesday afternoon.
     You’ve got to hand it to the current crop of GOP leaders. They’re amazing. They represent everything that’s wrong with this country.
     Democratically speaking, that’s good representation.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The old mandolin


Recently, I referred to my grandfather's mandolin, which he played with friends in his home town of Böblingen, Germany. He eventually gave the thing to my mother, who also plays the instrument somewhat.
Today, I asked her about it. I thought she'd have to dig it out of storage, but in fact it was standing in a corner in her bedroom. It looks pretty good, though there is some buckling on its face around the sound hole/pick guard.

The instrument was manufactured by Meinel and Herold, a very old musical instrument maker. The M&H plant was closed in 1973 by the East German government. I guess they weren't into music.


Today, my dad explained that, for a time, Opa played the violin, too, but he was forced to abandon the instrument because the sound it made caused my dad to vomit.
I assume this difficulty arose when dad was a baby.
But I didn't ask.

TigerAnn enjoys the good weather. She endlessly lobbies to be let outside.
Here she is giving me the stink eye earlier today.
She lives for hunting mice and lizards.
What're you gonna do? A cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do.
She catches lots of 'em. Usually, she gives me the thing while it is still alive. At such times, she seems to think that she and I are hunting together. I play along, though my intent is to save the poor thing. I am usually successful.
I feel it is important never to betray one's cat.
I try to disguise the fact that I have rescued the mouse or lizard.
To be a friend to TigerAnn, it is important to be good at sleight of hand.
I think that I have succeeded in disguising my rescues, but in her own way she is suspicious. "Where," she seems to ask, "is my mouse? YOU had it last."
I immediately change the subject.
Women are complicated.

From the archives: Opa the Communist & mandolin picker

I came across some fine photos of my grandfather on my father's side—I always knew him as "Opa." Here he is on his Wanderschaft, a kind of wandering or bumming around that was sometimes expected of young men who had completed their apprenticeship (Opa was a woodworker who soon made models for an airplane manufacturer named Klemm). Opa is at left (c. 1928-30).


Opa's older brother, at the far left, was an ardent Communist. Opa, seen here in a dark coat, was also a member of the party. Here they are in Berlin, I think, with some of their comrades (note the fists: political gestures).


I'm not sure what this is about (c. 1930). Despite the presence of musical instruments, it could be a political gathering. Opa is on the far right. His wife, Louise, my grandmother ("Oma"), is on the far left. They married in 1932; my dad was born in 1933. The two loved to play music with friends in a local band that did traditional tunes. Opa eventually gave his mandolins to my mother, who still has it. I'll dig it up and take some pictures.
(Click on the images to enlarge them.)

Again, don't know what this is about. That's Opa second from left. C. early 30s. He was also active in a wilderness appreciation/protection league/club. My dad has no clue about the activities in many of these old photos. It seems likely that Opa made an effort to hide his former political activities as things grew darker in the 30s. But he couldn't keep his mouth shut and eventually did get into trouble. Friends in town quickly got him into the Wehrmacht, despite his age.


Previously shown picture. Opa is second from left. The flag seems clearly Communist ("We're ready!" with fist emblem). These pictures are likely all pre-Hitler. Communists and Nazis were, of course, mortal enemies and soon faced off in the bloody Spanish Civil War.

Here are my grandmother (left), Opa's sister, and my dad, still a baby, c. late 1933.
The sister's husband died in the war less than ten years later; he was a paratrooper. Young men died like flies. One of my dad's aunts, Frida, lost two husbands during the war! After that, she took up dogs. They lived longer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

College study time: low priority

Declining Study Time Signals Falling Standards, Report Says (Chronicle of Higher Education)


The amount of time spent studying has fallen drastically among full-time students in all demographic groups, whether they work or not, at all types of four-year colleges, according to a report released on Thursday by the American Enterprise Institute. The report, "Leisure College, USA," cites data from various national surveys to show that the average student studied 24 hours a week in 1961 and 14 hours a week in 2003. Colleges' "standards for effort have plummeted" as they cater to students' preferences for leisure, the report says, a shift that may slow economic growth. But there's good news: "College is cheaper than most people think." Modern college students' time savings, the report says, more than compensate for increased tuition.

Graphs from "Leisure College, USA"

We’ve long carped about this particular phenomenon. We last did so two months ago: More absurdo-scandalosity: for-profit universities and credit inflation

The SOCCCD board pulls an agenda switcheroo: IVC dean position approved

     I just realized that the board had at some point revised the agenda for yesterday’s special meeting. The following item had been added:

     I’ve been told that the discussion yesterday was very heated and that, in the end, there were four votes in favor of the dean position (i.e., it was approved). I don't know, but, based on the discussion of the July 26 meeting, it would seem likely that the vote would have been Wagner/Padberg/Jay/Milchiker in favor with Fuentes/Lang/Williams against.
     At last week’s board meeting, the discussion of this item became quite ugly. The item (actually, a portion of a larger item) was tabled. See "I would urge caution".
     Assuming that the board followed the Brown Act, this agenda revision illustrates one of the weaknesses of that law. I had assumed that the originally posted agenda was final. If I had known they were going to discuss the dean position, I would have attended the meeting. Sheesh.

The “student recruitment experience” at for-profit colleges: my, my, my



Shellacking the For-Profits (Inside Higher Ed)
     Senate Democrats made it clear Wednesday that their examination of for-profit higher education has only just begun, and that they plan to pursue legislation aimed at reining what they see as the sector’s dishonest – if not fraudulent – practices.
     At a hearing on the “student recruitment experience” at for-profit colleges that began Wednesday morning and carried on through the mid-afternoon, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, outlined plans to hold more hearings on the sector, to collect broad sets of information from for-profit colleges, and to begin drafting legislation aimed at cleaning up the sector.
     “Education is too important for the future of this country,” he said. “Facing the budget problems we have in the next 10 years, we just can't permit more and more of the taxpayers' dollars that are supposed to go for education and quality education … to be going to pay shareholders or private investors.”
     Much of Harkin’s motivation came from the findings of a Government Accountability Office “secret shopper” investigation of recruiting practices at 15 for-profit campuses, the results of which – including a powerful videotape visible [above] – were officially released at the start of the hearing. The probe identified “fraudulent, deceptive or otherwise questionable marketing practices” at all 15 institutions, and inducements to commit fraud on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at four institutions. Coupled with a former recruiter’s account of his experience on the job, the evidence presented at the hearing depicted an industry aggressively and universally going after “leads” and “starts” with the institutional objective of securing federal financial aid dollars….

Oops


At the OC Fair

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Good

(Image from OC Weekly)

Read the ruling, courtesy of the New York Times.

The Conclusion:

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

(From the OC Register)

Cal State Fullerton raises admission standards for nonlocal community college students

CSUF makes it tougher to gain admission (OC Reg)
     Due to uncertainty in state funding, Cal State Fullerton has required higher admission standards to limit enrollment and decrease its student population.
     The campus will have approximately 1,000 fewer students in the fall than the year before, and around 2,500 fewer students from fall 2008, said Ed Trotter, acting associate vice president for undergraduate programs.
. . .
     For this school year, CSUF has announced that it has received far more applications than it can accommodate and has, therefore, required supplemental applications and higher admission standards for nonlocal applicants to limit enrollment.
. . .
     CSUF received a record 56,132 undergraduate applications for the coming fall, a 32 percent increase from last year.
     For non-local community college students who wanted to transfer to CSUF, their minimum grade point average requirement is 3.7, up from 2.5 last year, [assistant vice president of enrollment services Nancy] Dority said. Traditionally, a 2.0 GPA, which is the minimum required for local applicants, would have sufficed.
. . .
     Because of fewer course offerings and professors, Trotter said CSUF will have more crowded classrooms in the fall than last year.
     CSUF has nearly 200 fewer professors this year than last year, most of whom are part-time faculty or lecturers whose annual contracts were not renewed by the university….

The care and feeding of albatrosses

     Recently, I discussed, and readers asked about, the fate of ATEP, our district’s albatrossian “Advanced Technology and Education Park” in Tustin.
     The SOCCCD Board of Trustees has a special meeting today at 4:00. According to the agenda, the board plans a “Discussion of Plans for the development of" ATEP. (For details, see this post.)
     To peruse ATEP's "long-range" plans and the new "concept 3A" plan, whatever that is, go here.
     Late last month, ATEP issued a press release, declaring that the City of Tustin has approved the “concept plan” for ATEP:
     The Advanced Technology & Education Park (ATEP) received notification today at a City of Tustin Zoning Administration hearing that the Concept 3A Plan for expansion of the ATEP campus has been approved.
     The Concept 3A Plan provides guidelines for future development of the site for up to 305,000 square feet of facilities on 28 of the 68 acres of land in Tustin Legacy. The approval allows the South Orange County Community College District to proceed with planning and site configurations for the expansion of the Advanced Technology & Education Park with maximum flexibility for phasing of the construction. The Concept 3A Plan was approved by the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees in 2009.
     “The City of Tustin’s approval today is an important and critical step in the development the ATEP campus and demonstrates the City’s support and desire for this campus to be successful,” said South Orange County Community College District Acting Chancellor Dixie Bullock. “We look forward to jointly celebrating the groundbreaking with the City by our side.”
     Dr. Randy Peebles, ATEP Provost said, “ATEP is quickly outgrowing its existing facilities. This approval enables us to accelerate partnerships with business, industry and other educational institutions to build a campus that trains workers for high impact, technical jobs in our region.”
     ATEP will provide advanced technology programs and workforce training for students, professionals and business organizations in Orange County.

What does it all mean? Dunno. Perhaps things will become clearer by the next board meeting.

Why college websites suck

     There’s an interesting piece in this morning’s Inside Higher Ed about college websites and the fact that, mostly, they suck (No Laughing Matter).
     Popular web cartoonist Randall Munroe recently produced a particularly apt cartoon about the typical college website. It's a Venn diagram:


So Munroe’s the kid who’s calling the Emperor naked. But people are noticing this kid:
     …The punch line — that university website designers have no idea what their visitors actually want front and center — has hit close enough to home to create a lot of buzz elsewhere on the Web….
     …“The cartoon is right on target,” wrote Martin Ringle, CIO of Reed College, in an e-mail. “College website design typically focuses on what an institution wants to say, not necessarily what prospective students (and others) want to know.”
. . .
     The … cartoon was particularly apt in skewering three useless but nevertheless common features on a college’s home page, said Mark Greenfield, director of Web services at the State University of New York at Buffalo and an associate consultant at the major higher-ed consulting firm Noel-Levitz. Specifically: the statement of philosophy, the letter from the president or provost, and the campus news feed.
     Having those up there might seem like a good idea to the administrative committees that tend to dictate website content, Greenfield said, but they are rarely useful to the website’s most strategically important kind of visitor: the prospective student….
. . .
     So what accounts for this apparent disconnect between what some colleges choose to include on their home pages and what visitors actually want to find there?
. . .
     …[S]ome colleges' home pages are saturated with features that do not so much reflect guesses at what visitors need, but what various campus interests want. Greenfield said “home page politics” – different departments and personalities jockeying for position – have a strong influence on what an institution’s site ends up looking like. After all, he said, if a president says he wants a letter and a mission statement out front, what Web administrator is going to say no?
. . .
     “Personally, I think an institution’s website is a reflection of the organization,” says Terry Calhoun, director of media relations at the Society for College and University Planning.
     “It’d be interesting to rate them and try to guess who ‘controls’ each one.”
Check out our colleges’ websites and tell us what you think!
Irvine Valley College website
Saddleback College website
ATEP website
See also

For College Newspapers, Prepackaged Online Versions Are Yesterday's News (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An undercover investigation of for-profit colleges' recruiting tactics

• Congress's 'Secret Shopper' (Inside Higher Ed)
     A government report detailing the findings of an undercover investigation of for-profit colleges’ recruiting tactics reveals admissions and financial aid officers engaged in unethical and sometimes illegal practices, all in the interest of persuading students to enroll and obtain federal financial aid.
     The report, along with an accompanying video of undercover footage, is the culmination of a three-month effort by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s investigative wing, to determine whether and to what degree for-profit colleges are engaging in “fraudulent, deceptive or otherwise questionable marketing practices.” A copy of the report is available here.
     Both the report and the video will be released Wednesday morning at the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s second oversight hearing on the for-profit sector, where Gregory D. Kutz, GAO’s managing director of forensic audits and special investigations, is set to testify.
. . .
     Undercover investigators posing as students found that employees at all 15 for-profit colleges visited for the investigations made “deceptive or otherwise questionable statements” to students about accreditation, graduation rates, employment outcomes, program costs or financial aid.
     At four institutions visited, admissions or financial aid officials encouraged students to submit fraudulent financial information in order to qualify for federal aid, the GAO says in its report.
. . .
     …Some institutions were chosen because the Education Department reports that they receive at least 89 percent of their revenues from the Title IV federal student aid programs, while others were chosen based on their location in a state that was among the top 10 recipients of Title IV money.
     Because the investigators visited an admittedly specific group of institutions that were already raising red flags for the Title IV program, advocates for for-profit colleges will almost certainly challenge the report’s findings (as they have done in response to many newspaper reports and other investigations), arguing that the GAO cherry-picked institutions where data from the U.S. Department of Education already hinted at potential improprieties, and that the institutions cited represent “bad actors,” not the sector’s norm.
     The investigators also submitted contact information for four prospective students with fictitious identities to “lead generation” websites that supply colleges with names of interested students, and encountered aggressive behavior, they said. Some students began receiving marketing calls from colleges within five minutes of submitting the information and, over the course of a month, one received more than 180 calls. Some came as late as 11 p.m.
. . .
     More damning than aggressive calls are instances in which college employees encouraged prospective students to commit fraud, or conveyed incomplete or false information about the institution’s costs and student outcomes.
     The GAO sent two prospective students using fictitious identities to each of the 15 colleges it investigated -- one with income and assets low enough to qualify for a Pell Grant and the other with $250,000 in savings and annual income too high to qualify for any aid other than unsubsidized loans.
     At four privately-owned colleges, the agency said, undercover students encountered admissions or financial aid officers who encouraged them to submit false financial information to improve their chances of eligibility for federal financial aid.
. . .
     At all four institutions where college employees encouraged applicants to commit fraud, the applicants reported having just received an inheritance of $250,000 – enough to pay full tuition without any grants or loans – and yet were, in all four instances, encouraged to take out loans and offered assistance in altering their financial information to become eligible for federal grants and subsidized loans. But, the report said, “[I]t was unclear what incentive these colleges had to encourage our undercover applicants to fraudulently fill out financial aid forms given the applicants’ ability to pay for college.”
     Not all colleges encouraged prospective students to commit fraud, but all were found to have made “deceptive or otherwise questionable statements” during the recruitment process, the GAO report said.
. . .
     At all but two of the colleges visited, college employees offered deceptive or questionable information about graduation rates, exaggerated likely earnings, or guaranteed applicants jobs after graduation….
     At six colleges in four states, according to the GAO, admissions representatives told undercover applicants that they could not speak with financial aid officers or find out what aid they qualified for until they completed the college’s enrollment forms and paid a small application fee.
     Two colleges told undercover students they could earn rewards like a gift card or an MP3 player by recruiting other students – a practice that could run afoul of a federal statute on “incentive compensation,” depending on the monetary value of those items….
• See also Undercover Investigation Finds Widespread Deception in Marketing by For-Profit Colleges (Chronicle of Higher Education)

• California Dreamer (Inside Higher Ed)
     Much of the news surrounding the University of California system has involved whether the network of universities will be able to survive its current budgetary crisis without shrinking in size or quality. In that context, it is no surprise that Christopher Edley Jr.’s plan to use online education to expand the university’s footprint “from Kentucky to Kuala Lumpur” has turned some heads – and churned some stomachs.
     Edley, dean of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, has been using his position as co-chair of the education and curriculum working group for the UC Commission on the Future to advocate for an ambitious expansion of the system’s online arm that could eventually include fully-online bachelor's degree programs designed to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars.
     California is not the only state eyeing online education as a way to increase access and cut costs. But while many states are looking to use the popular medium to reach adult learners or save money at non-elite institutions, the University of California is a top-shelf research university that boasts one of the country's most competitive undergraduate programs. If the system does end up offering an online bachelor's degree, it would be a big step for online education.
. . .
     Members of a union representing graduate student-instructors at UC, finding Edley’s plan for “squadrons” of teaching assistants serving on “the frontline of online contact” more than a little dystopic, showed up to a regents’ meeting in May wearing patches that read “Dean Edley = Class(room) Enemy.” Edley’s goals for online education at UC were primarily profit-driven, they argued in a statement, and would “undoubtedly end in the complete implosion of public higher education in the embattled state of California.” Some professors and media outlets have expressed similar concerns.
. . .
     But some UC professors, like the graduate students' union, remain skeptical. The Berkeley Faculty Association — a group of about 300 professors — put out a report in May that did not condemn the pilot but voiced concerns about where Edley wants it to lead.
     The association was particularly unnerved by the idea of graduate student-instructors being the “frontline of contact” with online students, as Edley put it. For some, that sort of talk evokes a model many for-profit institutions have used to keep payroll expenses low and administrative control high: have full-time faculty put together the syllabus, then hire less-expensive adjuncts to deliver it. Faculty resistance to this sort of University of Phoenix-inspired arrangement was a major factor in last year’s implosion of the University of Illinois Global Campus, a similarly ambitious online effort….
     Wendy Brown, a political science professor at Berkeley who co-authored the Faculty Association report, told Inside Higher Ed that she has no qualms with a pilot going forward. What she worries about is the way Edley has been framing it as a first step toward something larger and perhaps more controversial. Inferring from Edley's idea of graduate student-instructors forming the "frontlines of contact" with online students, Brown says she worries the law dean's proposed cyber-campus would contribute to the displacement of full-time faculty members with adjuncts — a perennial concern among traditional faculty everywhere, given the decline of tenure and the popularity of the Phoenix model. “This is absolutely part of a larger set of proposals referred to by the Commission on the Future that describe the necessity of shrinking the letter-rank faculty and increasing part-time faculty,” says Brown….

Mom in Germany: c. 1940-1950

Mom, walking with friends, c. 1949 (that's her on the right)
Mom left Germany for Canada, alone, in 1951, at age 17.
(Click on photos to enlarge them)

Yes, people really do sunbathe on the beach in Germany.
Mom c. 1950
UPDATE: she tells me that she often took her vacations at a coastal resort town north of Hamburg, on the Baltic Sea (Timmendorfer Strand). She usually went with some girlfriends, and sometimes with some old boy friends (i.e., town friends who happened to be boys and who regarded her virtually as a sister). It was all very innocent, she insists. They slept in tents at the beach. They had virtually no money. Mom seemed to know how to have fun.

Visiting the grave of her stepfather, c. 1941

I don't know what this is about. I'll ask!
UPDATE: mom tells me that, starting at age 14, she started training to become a kind of county clerk--a bureaucratic government worker. Her four classmates were all boys. Needless to say, she was popular with them and with the teacher. She was only three weeks away from completing her training when she set out for Canada in 1951. "The boys were all good at math," she says, "but not me. But they were always very willing to help me with that."

Monday, August 2, 2010

The era of über-cluelessness: most voters have no clue how clueless they are

     In my view, the moral of the “Bell” scandal isn’t that greedy and unscrupulous creeps have bilked the taxpayer; the more important lesson here is that most citizens wrongly imagine that, if evil or corruption or mismanagement is afoot in government, the “system” will detect it and take steps to deal with it. And so people are stunned by this crazy Bell fubar.
     They shouldn’t be. Our system is now such that shit happens in their city, county, state and federal government all of the time about which they haven’t a solitary clue. It's still pretty easy to get clued in. But people don't make the effort. They don't think they need to. They even think they are knowledgeable.
     They're deeply, f*cking clueless. They're über-clueless!
     The prevailing cluelessness of voters—admittedly, also encouraged by the decline of local newsreporting—is well illustrated by the SOCCCD. Our seven elected trustees oversee the expenditure of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Do people understand this? Do they know who these trustees are and how they conduct themselves? Clearly not. Over and over again, trustee incumbents are reelected, even when they act badly and irresponsibly. Several of them have done so. For years.
     The SOCCCD comprises three campuses: Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, and ATEP (the Advanced Technical and Education Park), in Tustin. Very big things have been promised at ATEP for many years—it’s the SOCCCD’s endlessly promised but albatrossian “Great Park”—and, despite the expenditure of many millions of dollars, all we have there so far is a dinky cluster of tin buildings, a few bewildered administrators, and a few hundred students.
     The board has been divided about ATEP, but its champions have generally prevailed, in part because of the ardent advocacy of former Chancellor Raghu Mathur, who saw the facility as his Mt. Rushmore. It seems to me that it was not unreasonable for trustees, all those many years ago, to pursue the property, which was part of the old Tustin Marine Corps Air Station, and to try to do something special with it. But, in part owing to some bad luck, things haven’t worked out.
     For several years now, it has seemed to many observers that we’re throwing good money after bad. In the meantime, money gets tighter and tighter, and important college services have been cut back or worse.
     Do citizens have any idea about this? Don’t think so.


* * *
     As it happens, one of our trustees, John Williams, is also the county’s Public Guardian/Public Administrator, a job that he has royally screwed up, or so said two Grand Jury reports and lots of unhappy people who work or have worked with the fellow.
     Williams eventually faced a kind of “day of reckoning” before the OC Board of Supervisors, but at least four of the five Supes are politically affiliated with Williams. Three of them decided essentially to leave Williams and his combined offices alone, despite the top-heavy management, the irregularities and unprofessionalism, the growing costs. It was outrageous and inexplicable (well, no, it was way explicable, I’m afraid).
     Does the community understand any of this? Clearly not. In the recent election, despite those “scathing” Grand Jury reports, Williams was reelected.
* * *
     Two important issues have come up in county politics very recently: redistricting and campaign finance restrictions. Things could have gone very badly, but that hasn’t happened yet. Do you think your neighbors know about this?
     Journalists do report these things. We’ve still got some excellent news media in this county. For instance, the Voice of OC seems so far to be doing a good job reporting on important local issues in politics. I've been a big fan from the start.
     Check out editor-in-chief Norberto Santana’s recent appearance on the Real Orange (KOCE). Again, important decisions are being made—or, more recently, have failed to be made—in county government. Santana lays it out.
     And don’t forget to read The Voice of OC online!

Clueless feds, clueless youth—clueless freakin' everybody

Puppies do not plagiarize; nor do they offer poor theistic arguments

FBI Admits It Tracked Howard Zinn (Inside Higher Ed)
     The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday admitted that it tracked Howard Zinn, the noted historian and political activist who died in January, from 1949 to 1974, and the bureau released 423 pages of records from the monitoring of Zinn. Salon noted that this monitoring took place "despite having apparently no evidence that he ever committed a crime." And TPM noted that the records indicate that a senior official at Boston University, where Zinn taught, tried to have him fired in 1970. (If you are wondering if that official might have been John Silber, the long-time BU president with whom Zinn had many disagreements, it wasn't, as Silber hadn't been hired at the time.)
Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age (Trip Gabriel, New York Times)
     At Rhode Island College, a freshman copied and pasted from a Web site’s frequently asked questions page about homelessness — and did not think he needed to credit a source in his assignment because the page did not include author information.
     At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.
     And at the University of Maryland, a student reprimanded for copying from Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression said he thought its entries — unsigned and collectively written — did not need to be credited since they counted, essentially, as common knowledge.
. . .
     [T]hese cases — typical ones, according to writing tutors and officials responsible for discipline at the three schools who described the plagiarism — suggest that many students simply do not grasp that using words they did not write is a serious misdeed.
. . .
     “Now we have a whole generation of students who’ve grown up with information that just seems to be hanging out there in cyberspace and doesn’t seem to have an author,” said Teresa Fishman, director of the Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University. “It’s possible to believe this information is just out there for anyone to take.”
. . .
     …[Th]e number who believed that copying from the Web constitutes “serious cheating” is declining — to 29 percent on average in recent surveys from 34 percent earlier in the decade.
. . .
     A University of Notre Dame anthropologist, Susan D. Blum, disturbed by the high rates of reported plagiarism, set out to understand how students view authorship and the written word, or “texts” in Ms. Blum’s academic language.
     She conducted her ethnographic research among 234 Notre Dame undergraduates.
     “Today’s students stand at the crossroads of a new way of conceiving texts and the people who create them and who quote them,” she wrote last year in the book “My Word!: Plagiarism and College Culture,” published by Cornell University Press.
     Ms. Blum argued that student writing exhibits some of the same qualities of pastiche that drive other creative endeavors today — TV shows that constantly reference other shows or rap music that samples from earlier songs.
     In an interview, she said the idea of an author whose singular effort creates an original work is rooted in Enlightenment ideas of the individual. It is buttressed by the Western concept of intellectual property rights as secured by copyright law. But both traditions are being challenged.
     “Our notion of authorship and originality was born, it flourished, and it may be waning,” Ms. Blum said.
. . .
     At the University of California, Davis, of the 196 plagiarism cases referred to the disciplinary office last year, a majority did not involve students ignorant of the need to credit the writing of others.
     Many times, said Donald J. Dudley, who oversees the discipline office on the campus of 32,000, it was students who intentionally copied — knowing it was wrong — who were “unwilling to engage the writing process.”….
Philosophy and Faith (Gary Gutting, New York Times)
     …The standard view is that philosophers’ disagreements over arguments about God make their views irrelevant to the faith of ordinary believers and non-believers. The claim seems obvious: if we professionals can’t agree among ourselves, what can we have to offer to non-professionals? An appeal to experts requires consensus among those experts, which philosophers don’t have.
     This line of thought ignores the fact that when philosophers’ disagree it is only about specific aspects of the most subtle and sophisticated versions of arguments for and against God’s existence…. There is no disagreement among philosophers about the more popular arguments to which theists and atheists typically appeal: as formulated, they do not prove (that is, logically derive from uncontroversial premises) what they claim to prove. They are clearly inadequate in the judgment of qualified professionals. Further, there are no more sophisticated formulations that theists or atheists can accept — the way we do scientific claims — on the authority of expert consensus.
     In these popular debates about God’s existence, the winners are neither theists nor atheists, but agnostics — the neglected step-children of religious controversy, who rightly point out that neither side in the debate has made its case. This is the position supported by the consensus of expert philosophical opinion.
     This conclusion should particularly discomfit popular proponents of atheism, such as Richard Dawkins, whose position is entirely based on demonstrably faulty arguments. Believers, of course, can fall back on the logically less rigorous support that they characterize as faith. But then they need to reflect on just what sort of support faith can give to religious belief. How are my students’ warm feelings of certainty as they hug one another at Sunday Mass in their dorm really any different from the trust they might experience while under the spell of a really plausible salesperson?
     What sort of religious experience could support the claim that Jesus Christ was God incarnate and not just a great moral teacher?. . .
     But how can religious experience sustain faith in a specific salvation narrative, particularly given the stark differences among the accounts of the great religious traditions? What sort of religious experience could support the claim that Jesus Christ was God incarnate and not just a great moral teacher? Or that the Bible rather than the Koran is the revelation of God’s own words? Believers may have strong feelings of certainty, but each religion rejects the certainty of all the others, which leaves us asking why they privilege their own faith….

Sunday, August 1, 2010

From the archives

Mammoth Mountain
(Click on photos to enlarge them)


Sunny Girl and her two kittens (Kathie took this one)


North of Morro Rock


Bishop sunset


Felix, cat ("Fat Thing")


Santiago Oaks Park


My good pal Buster, cat


The magnificent Ildy Pie


Sunny Girl again

The elderly, wonderful Ildy

Not so fast! Rethinking fall opening

Today's report  — up again USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes LA Times  ...

Invited to IVC—this time a notorious admitted HOMOPHOBE

—Conservative radio host, Michael Reagan


Here at IVC, natch, we have an Accounting Department. It happens to support something called the Guaranteed Accounting Program: GAP4+1.

According to the department website,

This unique pathway program — a partnership between Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) — will enable you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree with one more additional year (thus GAP4+1).

Among the Master's degrees available through the program, we're told, are "Accountancy and Finance; Taxation; or Accountancy."


We're also told that "The number of students accepted into this program in any one year is limited so be sure to apply early."


Great. The early bird gets the worm.


Evidently, the good people of the GAP4+1 program have recently seen fit to invite someone to speak at Irvine Valley College (in late April): Michael Reagan.




The Republican Party of OC just loves IVC (from their website)

That's right. They've invited Reagan family embarrassment Michael, a man of, let's face it, little or no distinction.


He was expelled from his High School and he washed-out of college. Eventually, he went into clothing sales.


In those early years, he made some curious friends:

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would phone his son to discreetly discontinue the association. (From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

[“F.B.I. agents in Phoenix made an unexpected discovery: According to records, ‘the son of Ronald Reagan was associating with the son of Joe Bonnano [sic].’ That is, Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and Ms. Wyman, was consorting with Bonanno’s son, Joseph Jr. The teenagers had bonded over their shared love of fast cars and acting tough.” ... "Joseph Jr. was not involved in organized crime, but he was spending time at his father’s home... [I]n October 1964, he had been arrested in connection with the beating of a Scottsdale, Ariz., coffee shop manager. ... Following routine procedure, F.B.I. agents in Phoenix asked agents in Los Angeles to interview Ronald Reagan for any information he might have gleaned from his son. The investigation, after all, was a top priority. But Hoover blocked them from questioning Reagan, thus sparing him potentially unfavorable publicity. Declaring it 'unlikely that Ronald Reagan would have any information of significance,' Hoover instead ordered agents to warn him about his son’s worrisome friendship." - New York Times]

Later, there were legal problems:

In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year. [“The investigators said they became interested in Michael Reagan after being informed that he had steered customers to Mr. Carey {Richard Francis Carey, who "was selling worthless stock,"} had accepted a $4,000 check from one investor, and that, in at least one meeting of potential investors, his relationship to Ronald Reagan had apparently been exploited as a promotional tool for the stock.” - New York Times]
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
(From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

Michael tended to smash things (cars, etc.) in his youth. Well into his 40s, he tells us, he was full of "rage" (owing, he explains, to having been molested) and he treated his family badly.


Then, natch, he found the Lord.


Plus, owing to his relationship to his pop, President Ronald Reagan, Michael grabbed the brass ring and became a talk-show host on one or two right-wing radio networks. Blah, blah, blah, he said.


In his latter-day career as mediocre right-wing bloviater and Pious Christian, Michael Reagan has said some unfortunate things:

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder.

. . . In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".

. . . He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State. (Wikipedia)

Golly. It's pretty clear that Michael Reagan is just another "former total fuck-up, now reborn and pious."


Intellectually, he's a low-rent Limbaugh, and that's pretty low.


I mean, when he gets here, just what is he gonna say? That liberals are evil? That his dad was a saint? That freedom and democracy are good? That you oughta put your life in the hands of the Lord? That you don't need to go to college? That homosexuality is a sin?


Only in Bizarro World would Michael Reagan be judged a good speaker to invite to a college.


* * *

Meanwhile, IVC's Guaranteed Accounting Program folks have only wonderful things to say about the fellow:


Michael Reagan

The eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers, Michael Reagan’s commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy. Michael serves as chairman and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency. Michael’s career includes hosting a national conservative radio talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, championing his father’s values and principles in the public policy forum, commentating and appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day LA, CNN, and Fox News, and contributing to Newsmax Television. Also an accomplished author, Michael has many successful books including On the Outside Looking In, Twice Adopted, and his latest book, Lessons My Father Taught Me.

Well, sure. But he's also the worst kind of insubstantial, opportunistic "celebrity." And he's not an intellectual; he's a propagandist. He's a minor player in our sad era of noisy and loutish conservative anti-intellectualism and demagoguery.


—And he's a homophobe, among other things. Or so he says.


WAY TO GO, GLENN


IVC Prez Roquemore shares Reagan's enthusiasm for the Pussy-grabber-in-chief.

Recent columns by Michael Reagan


ALL IS FAIR IN THE WAR ON TRUMP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, December 13, 2018

…Hillary continues to skate free, unbothered by the FBI or any federal agency for the dirty things she and the Obama administration’s injustice department did during the 2016 election to try to defeat Donald Trump.

But not General Flynn.

His life was ruined by the FBI bosses who set out to nail him – and did….

TRUMP VS THE CRAZIES (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, January 11, 2019

…Some of the country’s most desperate liberals in the media actually argued that the president’s televised pitch to the country for congressional funding for a stronger border fence should not be carried live by the networks.

Why? Because they said the president lies too much and they wanted to be able to fact-check his speech beforehand….

TRUMP SAYS ‘ADIOS’ TO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, November 1, 2018

…Ending birthright citizenship, better known as dropping the anchor baby, is the most significant illegal immigration reform the President Trump has announced. With a single executive order, he unplugs a beacon that attracts scammers from the world over. He also attacks a visible manifestation of the “foreigners first” mindset that has infected the State Department, and the rest of the federal bureaucracy, since the 1960s….

THE PARTY OF EVIL (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, October 11, 2018

…Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil….

About Michael Reagan:


A separate peace* (LA Times, August 31, 2004) – by Anne-Marie O'Connor

For years, Michael Reagan, the older son of Ronald Reagan, felt unloved and unwanted. His parents divorced when he was 3. Two years later he was packed off to a boarding school where, he says, he was so lonely he cried himself to sleep. Sexually abused at age 7, he felt shame and self-loathing, compounded by Bible passages that convinced him he would never go to heaven.

He grew up so angry he smashed a childhood bicycle and later took a sledgehammer to his new car. Well into his 40s, his "rage came to a full boil," and he often yelled at his wife and young son.

Then, he says, he found salvation through the love of his family and his "adoption" by God. He embraced conservative values and became a syndicated talk-radio host who today tells listeners: "I am homophobic."….

Roquemore and U of Phoenix

From Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy DtB, 8-26-14

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."

Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.

The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.

No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.

Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature"

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature" May 21, 2013

Delivering factoids for

Turkish anti-feminists

Here’s a curious factoid. I came across the following press release, evidently dating back to April of 2008. It was posted by the “Pacifica Institute,” which has a dozen or so offices, including one in Orange County (Irvine):


Glenn R. Roquemore-Irvine Valley College President Speaks at PI - Orange County

Today Pacifica Institute hosted Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore. Before this luncheon forum in Irvine , New Zealand Consul General Rob Taylor and Irvine Mayor Beth Krom were the keynote speakers. Consul General Rob Taylor spoke about Welcoming Diversity as a Path to Peace and Mayor Beth Krom’s topic was How to Create a Balanced Community. Dr Glenn Roquemore’s topic is the Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education.

Dr. Glenn Roquemore is President of Irvine Valley College….

Dr Roquemore gave very important statistics of the Community Colleges in California….

You’ll recall that, in the past, we’ve kidded Roquemore over his tendency to approach speaking always as an occasion to dispense the merest of statistics as though they were astonishing jewels. "Two percent of our students," he'll say, "sport a vestigial tail." Huh?

What’s the matter with ‘im? Dunno.

But just who are these “Pacifica Institute” people?

According to PI’s website,

Pacifica Institute was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by a group of Turkish-Americans. Pacifica Institute designs and executes projects covering social welfare, education, poverty, and conflict resolution issues in collaboration with scholars, activists, artists, politicians, and religious leaders-communities….

. . .

The Institute seeks to …[engage] in a variety of civic activities and [seeks to invite] others to generate and share insights, thereby removing barriers to confidence-building and trust….

Gosh, it sounds as though that illiterate pseudo-educator, Raghu Mathur, may have had a hand in writing this stuff.

Elsewhere, PI presents “Frequently Asked Questions about Pacifica Institute and Fethullah Gülen.”

One naturally assumes, then, that Mr. Fethullah Gülen and his ideas are important to PI. Sure enough, in the Q&A, Gülen and his movement are central:

Fethullah Gülen

Q: How is the Pacifica Institute involved with the Gülen movement?

A: Some of the founders and donors of Pacifica Institute are participants of the so-called Gülen, or Hizmet movement. Pacifica Institute was inspired by the movement’s philosophy and goals….

. . .

The Gülen/Hizmet movement is a values-driven social movement and following a philosophy that advances interfaith dialog, education and community service as tools to build a better and more harmonious society. The movement was inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar, author and advocate….

. . .

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen?

A: Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish scholar, preacher, thinker, author, opinion leader, education activist, and peace advocate who is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential religious thinkers. He is regarded as the initiator and inspirer of the worldwide civil society movement, the Gülen Movement, which is committed to education, dialogue, peace, social justice, and social harmony….

Well, I’ve done a little looking, and this Gülen fella is mighty controversial, in some circles at least.

I skimmed a couple of sites, which suggested that Gulen is, among other things, a conservative and a vocal opponent of feminism (although I ask that readers judge for themselves based on his writings--and the writings of his mouthpieces).

So I went to the Fethullah Gülen website. There, I searched the term “feminism” and that brought me to a page with links to various relevant essays, evidently by Mr. Gülen, including The Gülen Movement: Gender and Practice.

I clicked on that. That essay includes this passage:

Although he promotes equality between the sexes, Fethullah Gülen's views on gender can indeed be described as complementary. He sees women and men as having equal value but inheriting different roles and characteristics due to physical and psychological differences. He classifies men as "physically stronger and apt to bear hardship" and women as "more compassionate, more delicate, more self sacrificing" (Gülen 2006: 1). Although he does state that women can be involved in any field of work he idealizes the mother as the pure educator (Gülen 2006: 2) implicitly implying that the man should be the family provider. This may open up for critique on behalf of Western feminists or scholars of religion and gender. According to this relatively new academic discipline[,] gender is a social construction. Human beings are born with different sexes, but social roles and expectations of fulfillment of these are constructed and emphasized by the norms that prevail in society.

Another link takes one to an essay entitled Women Confined and Mistreated. Here are some excerpts:

As a reaction to all the injustice done to women … a movement to claim women's rights emerged, particularly in the West. Even though this movement is considered an awakening of women, it occurred as a reaction and was doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements and ended up in extremism. Although the starting point was to defend women, in time it deviated from the original aim to the degree of being full of hatred towards men and to feeling a grudge against them. The movement named feminism, which was born from the idea of protecting women and providing them with rights equal to those of men, has only left behind longing, sorrow, and wreckage as a movement of discontentment….

. . .

According to Islam, women's role in this world is not only restricted to doing the housework and raising children. In fact, as long as it does not conflict with her primordial nature or with observing religious requirements, she is responsible for carrying out the duties that befall her in every area of society and making up for shortcomings where men fall short in social life. However, this reality was ignored in time, even among Muslims; rough understandings and crude thinking upset this system based on women and men's mutual assistance. After this upset, both family life and the social order were also upset. Different peoples' perception of their own historical heritage as a part of Islam, their seeing and reflecting their folklore and traditions as essentials of religion, and making judgments pertaining to this issue at certain periods all resulted in the usurpation of women's rights; they were pushed into a more restricted area day by day, and in some places they were totally isolated from life without consideration of where this issue leads. However, the source of mistaken thoughts and deviations in this matter is not Islam whatsoever. The mistakes belong to those who misinterpret and misapply the religion. Such mistakes in practice must definitely be corrected.

On the other hand, while correcting these mistakes, approaching the issue from a feminist standpoint will upset the balance again and an opposite extremism will replace the former. For instance, just as it is very ugly to see women as merely child-bearing objects and is insolence towards them, it is equally unbecoming and unnatural to build a society where women are unable to bear and bring up the children they wish for, or for a woman to feel a need to rebel against marrying and to avoid bearing children in order to show that she is not a machine. As a woman is not a dirty dish, her place at home is not confined to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. However, a woman who claims to have no household responsibilities and thereby turns her home to a quarters for eating and sleeping is far from being a good mother, a good teacher, and a good spiritual guide to her children.

Besides all this, it is another form of oppression to make women work under difficult conditions, such as mining and road-building. It contradicts human nature to push women into heavy tasks like agricultural manual labor, or military field operations, and other harsh pursuits, just for the sake of proving their equality with men; it is nothing but cruel torture. It shows ignorance of women's qualities and conflicts with their primordial nature. Therefore, just as an understanding which imprisons women at home and takes them completely away from social life is absolutely incorrect according to Islam, likewise, depriving women of financial support, preventing them from bearing and raising children in security, and forcing women into the labor force to do uncongenial work is also oppressive. A woman, like a man, can have a certain job as far as her (and his) physiology and psychology are taken into consideration; but both women and men should know that a good life consists of sharing and division of labor. Each should assist the other by doing tasks in compliance with their nature.

Yikes.

I’m in no position to judge this “take” on feminism relative to the various Muslim communities (e.g., in Turkey) and the possibility of discourse within them. But it’s pretty plain that Gülen’s philosophy, as expressed here, is antithetical to some of the core tenets of Western feminism, broadly understood. It seems clear that Gülen is not likely to gain many adherents or followers among contemporary Westerners, with their commitment to the ideal of equality, as they understand it at least, between the sexes.

The Wikipedia article on Gülen is alarming—if, that is, it can be trusted. It asserts that

...Gülen's views are vulnerable to the charge of misogyny. As noted by Berna Turam, Gülen has argued:

"the man is used to more demanding jobs . . . but a woman must be excluded during certain days during the month. After giving birth, she sometimes cannot be active for two months. She cannot take part in different segments of the society all the time. She cannot travel without her husband, father, or brother . . . the superiority of men compared to women cannot be denied." [35]

Berna Turam, Northeastern

Wikipedia is quoting Berna Turam, a serious academic at Northeastern U. She herself seems to cite a work from 1996 entitled Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi ile ufuk turu (Aktuel kitaplar dizisi). It is written in Turkish.

One should be careful to note that the superiority that Gülen is discussing is physical, not moral, or at least that's how I read it. Even so, his remarks are mighty offensive, at least to these Western ears.


Gosh Glenn, you really oughta be more careful who you hang out with. Philosophically, these Gülenites are a problem, at least relative to most of our community on these shores.

I'll see if I can shed more light on the Pacifica Institute and what it means for the likes of Glenn Roquemore and Beth Krom (a Democrat) to be hanging out with 'em.

Votes of "no confidence" - 1999

from the Dissenter's Dictionary, Dec. 3, 1999


MATHUR, RAGHU P.



In April of 1997, in an action later judged a violation of the Open Meetings law, the Board Majority appointed chemistry teacher and campus joke Raghu P. Mathur as Interim President of Irvine Valley College. At the time, Mathur had no experience as a full-time administrator. Five months later, through a process that violated board policy, and amid strong faculty opposition, the BM appointed Mathur permanent president. That action, too, was later voided owing to violations of the Brown Act. Two years later, despite his miserable record, which included a vote of no confidence and the palpable contempt of nearly all IVC faculty and staff, the board majority renewed Mathur's contract, giving him a raise and a $200 a month "security stipend."

Mathur was hired as an instructor in 1979, and he quickly established a reputation as a schemer and liar who would stoop to anything in order to secure an administrative position. Owing to his manifest unsavoriness, however, that ambition was consistently thwarted both inside and outside the district.

His intrigues soon gained him the hatred of Ed Hart, IVC's first president. In 1986, Hart retired, and the college adopted a "faculty chair" model, partly for fiscal reasons. Soon, Mathur "ruled" the tiny school of Physical Sciences as its chair. During the "chair" era, he was, without doubt, the chief abuser of that office, engaging in endless machinations while arranging a lucrative schedule that netted him a salary far in excess of the college president's ($124,000 in 1996-7).

During this period, Mathur continued to seek administrative positions. When he was passed over, he played the race card, charging everyone in sight with "discrimination," apparently on the sole grounds that he had not been selected.

Mathur's habit, as chair, of circumventing the governance process eventually yielded an official censure of him by IVC's "Instructional Council' in April of 1994. Earlier, the IC membership had all agreed not to go outside the process--particularly with regard to the selection of the IVC presidential search committee chair. During an IC meeting in March (of 94), Mathur was asked whether, despite the agreement, he had presented a petition, urging the selection of a particular faculty member, to the chancellor. He answered that he had "not forwarded" a petition to the chancellor or anyone. In fact, he had and, apparently on that basis, the chancellor did appoint the faculty member as (co)chair.

When this came to light in April, Mathur was censured. According to the minutes of the April 5 meeting, "Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council...[One member] made a motion to censur Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty...Raghu Mathur stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi...Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation...The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions."

Classified employees, too, have at times found it necessary to complain about of Mathur's conduct. For instance, in August of 1995, IVC administration received a letter from Leann Cribb, Executive Secretary (and formerly secretary for the School of Physical Sciences), in which she wrote: "Mr. Mathur routinely revises facts and manufactures innuendo to suit his objectives." During the January '98 Board meeting, classified employee Julie Ben-Yeoshua explained that Mathur was the reason she was seeking employment elsewhere: "Since you first appointed Raghu Mathur as the interim president, the atmosphere at IVC has changed drastically; morale is in the gutter...[Mathur's] inability to tell the truth is so natural that I have come to gauge everything he says and writes by believing the complete opposite...."

By the mid-90s, Mathur had come to regard Terry Burgess, then-VP of Instruction, as his nemesis, and, in 1996, he tried to discredit Burgess with the board. In the spring of '96, a student sought to enroll in a chemistry course without enrolling in the concurrent lab, and the matter came before the chair--Mathur. Though the student provided documentation proving that she had done the equivalent work at UCI, Mathur denied the request, whereupon the student asked for a review of the decision by the Office of Instruction. Mathur agreed to go along with the Office's decision.

Later, however, he accused Burgess of signing the student's admittance card despite non-approval by the instructor. Mathur convinced his school to send a resolution of complaint to the board (and also to the senate and the union), appending the student's transcripts, without her permission, an action that violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policies. When then-IVC president Dan Larios learned of this, he requested an opinion from the district's attorneys regarding the legality of Mathur's action. The opinion, dated March 18, 1996, indicates that Mathur acted improperly, violating FERPA and board policy 5619. Larios was fed up.

Realizing that Larios now planned to deny approval of him as chair of his school, Mathur, as per usual, scrambled to lobby board members for support. On March 29, Larios met with Mathur; he explained that he had lost confidence in Mathur and that Mathur had better "change." In the end, Larios wrote a memo (May 14) expressing his serious reservations about Mathur's leadership, owing to his repeated circumventing of established processes and his violations of board policy, and placed him on probation. If there were any further violations of process, wrote Larios, Mathur would be removed as chair.

In the meantime, Mathur asked the senate to censure Burgess. It declined to do so, citing Mathur's misdescription of crucial facts. Larios, troubled by Mathur's misrepresentations, sent out a memo explaining that Burgess had in no sense acted improperly.

In December of '96, the Board Majority era began, and Larios sensed that it was time to move on. Normally, the VP of Instruction—Terry Burgess--would serve as interim president, but the BM blocked his selection, and, in March, Lombardi was chosen as a sort of compromise. But in April, Frogue presented another one of Mathur's petitions--this time, an “anonymous” petition urging Mathur's selection as president. On that basis, Mathur became IVC president.

Mathur's outrages while president are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that in the early months of 1998, the IVC academic senate instituted a Special Inquiry into “abuses of power.” By April, it became necessary to abandon the investigation, owing to the number and the complexity of the charges against Mathur. Said the committee’s chair: “It’s like bailing water out of the Titanic with a tea cup…Every time we put an allegation to bed, another one jumps up” (Voice, 5/7/98). Soon thereafter, Mathur received a 74% vote of no confidence by his faculty.

Mathur has sought to rule through intimidation, punishing his critics in every way available to him. In early November of 1999, the IVC academic senate released the results of a survey of full-time faculty (78% participated). 90% disagreed with the statement, "I can express my opinion about issues at the college without fear of retribution or retaliation." The 90% figure will likely go up soon, for Mathur intends to fire an untenured instructor--a critic--for his involvement in the act of naming the plot of dirt next to the Life Sciences greenhouse. It was named the "Terry Burgess garden."


Huge Vote Against College Chief (LA Times, May 18, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb)

Faculty in the South Orange County Community College District overwhelmingly voted no confidence Monday in Chancellor Raghu Mathur.
Of the full-time professors at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges who cast ballots, 93.5% voted in favor of no confidence, and 6% were against the union-sponsored measure. One person abstained.
Out of 318 faculty eligible, 246 -- 77% -- voted, according to the district faculty association….

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy - August 26, 2014

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

○ Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

○ IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

○ Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

○ You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

○ Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix