Forget about academic freedom or even democratic decision making if you work for one of the for-profit gulags they call ‘universities’, or ‘institutes’ or ‘academies’. They are little more than low paid sweat shops where what gets produced are useless diplomas, not education, and the diplomas come at an exorbitant price.
It should be noted that EDMC is being sued by the federal government and the former CEO and the company could be liable for more than $33 billion, that is with a ‘B’ dollars, to the federal government. They are also being pursued by state Attorney Generals.
Change to Win has gone after the company as well for breach of fiduciary duties to its members. Change to win is a shareholder in the company (http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/change-to-win-goes-after-the-educational-management-corporation-for-violations-of-regulations-in-an-effort-to-protect-members-pension-funds/).
Former Maine Gov. John McKernan is currently the chairman of the board of directors of EDMC and former CEO of what is the second-largest owner of for-profit colleges in the country. His wife is Senator Olympia Snowe who announced that she would not run for another term in Maine. Wonder why? She cited bipartisan bickering but her husband could be facing criminal indictments if the company is found to have been involved in fiancial wrongdoing (http://truth-out.org/news/item/8160-why-olympia-snowe-really-resigned). Nothing partisan about that. Best to be out of the limelight when Johny takes the oath and goes on trial.
In the case at hand, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that a professor of animation at the Art Institute of California-Orange County has been forced out of his job because he refused to adopt an e-textbook in his class. He also states that administrators pressured him to select the e-book (http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/for-profit-college-forces-out-arts-professor-for-refusing-to-adopt-e-textbook/47145).
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education:
“Mike Tracy, who had worked at the for-profit college for nearly 12 years, said he considered the $50 text “irrelevant” for his fall-term class, and took his concerns over the administrators’ requests to agencies including the U.S. Education Department” (ibid).
The EDMC outfit’s president, Gregory J. Marick, told Tracy in a letter that if he failed to select “an eBook from the list” for his class, he would be terminated for insubordination. Of course there is no union and so no due process. Even after 12 years Tracy is an ‘at-will’ employee. He either does what he is told or he cleans out his desk.
In this case he cleaned out his desk. Mr. Tracy was ‘pressured’ to resign this week by the Education Management Corporation’s ‘Art Institute’, but the syndicate chose not to respond to the Chronicle’s requests for comment.
Besides the sizeable government law suits against the ‘drive-by college on Friday, April 13, 2012, Courthouse News reported a class-action lawsuit by students filed in federal court against the Art Institute of California and its owner, Educational Management Corporation (EDMC).
It cannot be stated strongly enough: for-profit colleges could not engage in the ongoing exploitation of students and theft of federal money without the direct cooperation and assistance of the federal government in what can only be termed an immoral economy. The same forces that demonize everything government does or attempts to do are busy feeding from the government trough. The hypocrisy is untenable, the federal subsidies unfathomable and the lack of criminal prosecution unconscionable (http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8589-bipartisan-political-elite-implicated-in-for-profit-education-fraud).