AAUP@FHSU


Reclaim Online Education from Corporate Control

Faculty across the country are experiencing a major trend toward privatization of higher education. For-profit online education corporations like Academic Partnerships, Kaplan, Wiley, and Pearson contract with institutions to provide digital platforms for educational content, recruit students, manage enrollment, facilitate the development of course materials, and more. According to a Century Foundation report, the vast majority of US public colleges and universities that offer online education programs or courses now rely on external companies.

While the use of digital platforms and online teaching tools can enrich higher education, the for-profit nature of these contracts can compromise educational quality, student privacy, the reputation of the institution, and faculty governance.

AAUP chapters across the country are building a movement to challenge corporate control of online education. Will you help by answering a few brief questions about for-profit online education contracts on your campus?

AAUP faculty have been successfully building power against for-profit online education for years. In 2013, the Rutgers AAUP/AFT chapter successfully challenged the institution’s partnership with Pearson and organized colleagues to opt-out of Pearson-run courses that compromised educational quality and academic freedom.

Now faculty at Purdue University, Eastern Michigan University, and others are taking on for-profit online education deals that compromise educational quality, faculty governance, and the reputation of the institution. Just last week Purdue faculty and the Indiana AAUP scored a huge victory in the campaign to bring an end to required nondisclosure agreements at Purdue University Global, the new Kaplan-run online branch of Purdue University.

AAUP faculty are joining together to reclaim online higher education from corporate control, and we need your help. Answer a few brief questions about for-profit online education contracts on your campus here.

Together we can reclaim faculty power and online education from corporate control.

Monica Owens
Political Organizer, AAUP


They’re Privatizing Purdue

In five days the Higher Learning Commission, Purdue’s regional accrediting body, will vote on the final step toward privatization. If the HLC votes in favor, online courses at public land-grant Purdue University will be produced and run by for-profit higher ed corporation Kaplan.

The Indiana conference of the AAUP, along with the Purdue Social Justice Coalition, Hoosiers for Action, UnKoch My Campus, In the Public Interest, American Federation of Teachers, and elected officials across the state of Indiana have mounted a bold coalition-based resistance to this privatization deal. But we need your help.

Stand with us in urging the Higher Learning Commission to vote against accrediting Kaplan’s online program at Purdue until issues of transparency, student welfare, and academic quality are resolved. Sign our #KeepPurduePublic petition.

Additionally, if you’re a community leader, serving as a local elected official or at the helm of an organization, sign our Leader Sign-on Letter.

Kaplan is notorious. And the lack of transparency with which the Purdue-Kaplan deal has been advanced is troubling — even more so when considering Kaplan’s record of unaccountability to their students.

As Senators Dick Durbin and Sherrod Brown point out in their September 2017 letter cautioning Purdue University President Mitch Daniels: “Like nearly every major for-profit college, Kaplan has been the subject of numerous state and federal investigations and lawsuits. In 2014, the company reached a settlement with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to settle allegations that it made misleading marketing claims to Florida students. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey reached a settlement with Kaplan in 2015 related to inflated job placement numbers and unfair recruiting practices. Also in 2015, the company agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice more than $1 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit.”

Tell the Higher Learning Commission to #KeepPurduePublic and say #NoKaplan.

Or if you’re a community leader, sign here.

This is just one piece of a bold coalition-based movement we’re building to keep privatization out of public higher education. We hope you’ll join us.

In Solidarity,
David P. Nalbone, PhD
Purdue University Northwest
Vice President, Indiana Conference of the AAUP


P.S. Here’s even more background information on the Purdue-Kaplan deal to share with friends and colleagues: