Dear Commons Community,
Politico, Buzzfeed, and The Chronicle of Higher Education are reporting that the United States Education Department has hired Julian Schmoke, a former dean at the for-profit DeVry University, to a position that investigates fraud by colleges. As reported by The Chronicle:
“Schmoke’s appointment has raised anxiety among some at the Education Department who work on fraud inquiries. BuzzFeed reports that Devry paid more than $100 million to settle accusations of false advertising and other misleading practices.
As a dean, Mr. Schmoke wasn’t close to DeVry’s corporate work and wasn’t involved in the various settlements the company reached with the Federal Trade Commission, the Education Department, and the New York attorney general over allegations that it misled students about graduates’ employment opportunities. Still, some in the Education Department remain concerned that Mr. Schmoke won’t be tough enough on for-profit colleges. ”
A Buzzfeed article comments that:
“Schmoke will oversee the unit that is actively looking into DeVry’s operations, according to two people with knowledge of the enforcement unit’s work. And he will help determine the fate of more than 1,875 former DeVry students who filed claims saying they were defrauded by the university. Those students filed so-called “borrower defense” claims, saying that they were defrauded by DeVry and are entitled to have their student loans forgiven.”
Schmoke and the Education Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Democrats were immediately outraged by DeVos’s decision. “This is a joke, right?” tweeted Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy. “Basically akin to nominating influenza to be the Surgeon General.”