The Corner


Will Combining Purdue and Kaplan Improve Higher Education?

Mitch Daniels was an excellent governor, keeping Indiana in the black and avoiding the ruinous spending and regulation that are dragging down many other states. After leaving office, he took over the presidency of Purdue University, which he has also been successfully managing. (One measure of that is the silence — we are not hearing about idiotic protests and craven administrative moves to pacify the SJW types at Purdue.)

Now Daniels has done something really outside the norm for college presidents — he arranged a deal to purchase online, for-profit, Kaplan University. In today’s Martin Center article, Jane Shaw examines the deal and its possible implications.

One big result will be that students who pursue their degrees through the old Kaplan (for now called “NewU”) will be able to get undergraduate degrees for about half the cost that students who go to Purdue will face. How will that affect the traditional Purdue, especially the faculty? Nobody really knows.

It seems, however, that the deal will probably cause some distress for Purdue faculty, judged by the reaction of the AAUP. Shaw notes that it has gone to DEFCON 5 over the deal, declaring that it must be stopped because it’s supposedly terrible to mix nonprofit and for-profit education. That’s utter baloney, but the AAUP is sure to pull out all the stops in trying to prevent NewU from getting off the ground.

If this venture succeeds, it will, Shaw writes, “send shock waves through academia.” Let’s hope it does, because nothing in America more needs to receive some shock waves than our higher-education system.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.