A faculty meeting with Purdue University’s president didn’t go well, and the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed make that clear.
The faculty is upset because Purdue’s president agreed to the purchase of Kaplan University, one of the leading online educators, and did so secretly.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the faculty is especially frustrated because it was never told of the plans to buy Kaplan. The University Senate’s resolution outlined additional concerns.
Faculty members have said they were not informed that the deal was taking place until an hour before it was announced. Being left out of such a major decision involving academic programs was the key point in the resolution the University Senate took up Thursday, which said the Kaplan acquisition violates the central tenets of faculty governance and control over curriculum.
No faculty input was sought before the acquisition decision was made, and no assessment of its impact on Purdue’s academic quality was completed, according to the resolution.
When one professor cited concerns that had been raised in a commentary published in The Chronicle, Mr. Daniels brushed off the question and instead attacked the article’s author, Robert Shireman, claiming incorrectly that he had left the U.S. Department of Education under a cloud.
Mr. Daniels also claimed that Mr. Shireman had been “caught consorting with short sellers” in connection with his work at the department during the early days of the Obama administration, when he helped write regulations that toughened oversight of for-profit colleges. Mr. Shireman’s conduct at the time was the subject of an investigation, prompted by complaints from political supporters of the for-profit-college industry, but no findings or charges were ever issued.
“It’s baloney,” Mr. Shireman said of the allegations revived by Mr. Daniels. He also took to Twitter to ask the Purdue president for an apology and retraction of his comments.