Purdue faculty senate issues rebuke over plans to acquire Kaplan U
- Faculty at Purdue University issued a resolution rebuking the university's acquisition of for-profit Kaplan University, demanding the agreement be rescinded.
- At a faculty senate meeting Thursday, the deal was decried as "a violation of common-sense educational practice and respect for Purdue faculty," Inside Higher Ed reports.
- The deal is still subject to the approval of the university's accrediting body, and faculty are hoping their resolution will capture the attention of the Higher Learning Commission and nullify the agreement.
There is a lot to unpack about Purdue's acquisition of Kaplan's educational arm, but the $1 price tag and long-term arrangement to keep Kaplan involved in the administrative affairs of the institution — not to mention the financial responsibilities and benefits associated with the deal — have raised a lot of eyebrows. On one hand, acquiring a mostly online university geared toward adult learners is a great asset to Purdue and the state. But on the other, questions about the integrity of the move and the exclusion of faculty from discussions is enough to lead to faculty condemnation.
The major takeaway here is one we have seen play out on campuses across the country on a variety of issues: One of shared governance and faculty inclusion in key decisions surrounding the university. While, on many campuses, there is a misconception around what shared governance actually is and who is actually driving the cart, there is a general belief that faculty should be consulted on major plans involving the academic direction of the institution. And since they are the ones who will be most impacted by changes to the academic direction, it is probably a good idea to get faculty input. As one president recently pointed out, faculty sometimes understand data better than administrators and can interrogate it in ways campus leaders may not have already done.
- Inside Higher Ed Purdue faculty questions Kaplan deal
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