Dear Commons Community,
The University of Arkansas System’s Board of Trustees vote, 5-4, on Monday to reject a resolution supporting a future affiliation with the University of Phoenix.
In question was whether trustees would endorse Arkansas’s 70,000-student system entering into a formal agreement with Transformative Education Services, Inc. — a nonprofit looking to acquire the for-profit University of Phoenix and transition it to nonprofit status — for the purpose of sharing expertise, research, and technology. With roughly 65,000 full-time students and 140,000 students taking courses annually, Phoenix serves mostly online, adult learners, and is one of the largest for-profit colleges in the U.S. As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The board’s stamp of approval was not required, as the UA system itself would not be purchasing Phoenix. Still, the UA system president, Donald R. Bobbitt, had wanted the board’s weigh-in — and, optimally, its blessing — for a decision of this magnitude.
While Monday’s vote isn’t a death knell for a future partnership, “Dr. Bobbitt has previously said it would be difficult to move forward without support from the Board for this project. That statement remains true,” Nate Hinkel, director of communications for the UA system, wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “He is certainly disappointed in the outcome of the meeting.”
Interesting decision! I thought the Arkansas system would definitely move to enter the partnership given the support of the UA System President Bobbitt.