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University of Idaho to purchase University of Phoenix assets

The Idaho State Board of Education recently met to discuss a request by the University of Idaho to acquire a troubled online education institution.

The U of I wants to acquire the University of Phoenix. News broke about the possible merger on May 18th via a press release issued by the Idaho State Board of Education Communications Director Mike Keckler.

The University of Phoenix has recently faced some regulatory issues to include a 2019 lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission that alleged the online school lured consumers in with ads that touted employment after graduation with national employers.

The University of Idaho has formed a not-for-profit corporation called “NewU, Inc.,” that will buy assets and acquire some operating liabilities of the University of Phoenix and convert it from a for-profit institution to a public not-for-profit institution.

The purchase price will be $550 million.

Green told the board the reasons why this would be a good thing for U of I.

“The University of Phoenix approached us, as you know, and they’re looking to affiliate with a university that shares their desire for student success, innovation, and commitment to its people. A team of advisors thoroughly reviewed the various aspects of the institution from accreditation to reputation,” said Green.

Green said that the two institutions would run independent of each other. Many of the programs the University of Phoenix has are different from U of I.

President Green also spoke about the regulation issues and impacts from the acquisition – none of which “he thinks” would harm Idaho’s only land grant institution. One board member said he’s heard three things that need to be clarified.

“Are we taking on reputational risks if we do this transaction because of some of the missteps the University of Phoenix made that you touched on earlier. Two there have been some letters from faculty, we do have a shared governance model in our institutions, so there have been concerns,” State Board Member – Kurt Liebich.

The third was the public was not given an opportunity to speak about the acquisition.

President Green used the University of Alabama as an example when replying about reputation and “for profit” schools.

Source: KMVT