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Purdue Senate Passes Resolution Against Kaplan Deal

Purdue Senate Chair David Sanders (left) and Purdue President Mitch Daniels (right) held where faculty and staff questioned the purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue.

Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

Purdue Senate Chair David Sanders (left) and Purdue President Mitch Daniels (right) held where faculty and staff questioned the purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels Thursday attempted, to the Purdue Senate, to defend his school’s decision to buy online education provider Kaplan.

Daniels says much of the reporting of the merger has been fraught with inaccuracies, including that Kaplan University is currently subject to student lawsuits.

Daniels took questions from the faculty and says success for the merger means thousands more degrees are awarded in the next 5-10 years and the deal becomes a significant revenue source for Purdue.

But some, such as anthropology professor Evelyn Blackwood, worried openly to Daniels that the Purdue brand would be diluted by the deal and students would be left with degrees that are worth less than Purdue diplomas currently are.

“We really need to put a stop to this, because if we allow this to continue, we really need to ask ourselves what’s going to be next.”

—Alberto Rodriguez, Senate Vice Chairman

“Well, that’s exactly what they said about the land grants,” Daniels responded. “Listen, you’re probably right. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve whatever quality we can possibly get to them.”

Senate Vice Chairman Alberto Rodriguez calls it the third time he can remember that necessary faculty input was foregone and says it’s a disturbing trend.

“We really need to put a stop to this, because if we allow this to continue, we really need to ask ourselves what’s going to be next,” Rodriguez says.

Daniels sought to discredit news articles, in the Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere, which cast doubt on the motives of the deal and its lack of transparency.

Faculty questioned Purdue legal counsel Steve Schultz on why the so-called “New University” will not be subject to public records requests, as much of Purdue is.

Schultz says the incorporation of “New U” as a public benefit corporation, rather than a state university, exempts it under Indiana law.

At the end of the two-hour meeting, the Senate passed a mostly symbolic resolution condemning the school’s Board of Trustees for entering into the deal with little faculty input included and asking for all such decisions to be rescinded.

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  • Max

    “That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve whatever quality we can possibly get to them.”

    And charge a hefty sum. And profit off the public with zero public accountability. Who’s this deal good for…?

  • lastcamp2

    That’s Mitch for you. And it could have been predicted. After all, he is in the forefront of privatizing everything in sight. Remember the Toll Road deal which really turned into a fiasco? Many predicted he would move Purdue away from education and toward making it an institution that would serve business interests, and also make it an diploma factory.
    Of course the Purdue board isn’t any check on him. After all, he packed the board with his own appointees, who then turned around and hired him in a move that is glaringly undemocratic. You can be sure his appointees on the board will continue to be at his beck and call.
    Well, I’ve never been much a Purdue fan anyway. Now I can enjoy watching Purdue’s reputation for education dwindle even further at it moves to turn into a Trump University. I guess we can now start calling it Mitch University as it moves toward the same fate as the Trumpster’s phony school.

  • Bob Eckert

    This is the end of Purdue. Just call me New Nostradamus

  • Cormac Ó Mídhe

    Purdue faculty should have been voting “No Confidence” from day 1.

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