DeVry CEO shake-up follows FTC lawsuit, Veterans Affairs suspension
- DeVry Education Group on Tuesday announced that Lisa Wardell has replaced Daniel Hamburger as CEO.
- Wardell is a member of the for-profit education provider's board of directors and previously served as the RLJ Companies' executive vice president and COO, according to a release from the company, and she will be tasked with ramping up its global diversification efforts.
- The executive shake-up follows a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit against DeVry for allegedly misleading students about job placement outcomes, as well as a suspension from the Veterans Affairs Department's "Principles of Excellence" program, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The FTC lawsuit came four months ago, with the Veterans Affairs suspension following two months later. The Chicago Tribune also notes that the company has seen its stock fall 56% in the past year-and-a-half. These factors likely contributed to Hamburger's departure, as the already strenuous gaze of increased federal for-profit scrutiny under the Obama administration leaves little room for error. You don't have to look further than the shuttered Corinthian Colleges to see the worst-case scenario.
Last week, officials at 23 veterans and military organizations sent letters requesting state and federal action against for-profit colleges by the Veterans Affairs Department due to alleged deceptive recruiting practices in the sector. Apollo Education Group also recently announced that its University of Phoenix and Western International University would no longer include arbitration clauses in student enrollment agreements, making it possible for students to take such claims to court.
This year's presidential election is likely to determine whether the scrutiny subsides or increases, though the road ahead remains rocky for for-profit higher ed regardless of the outcome.
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