University of Phoenix has lost half its students

This is important, because this has a huge economic impact on the rest of higher ed.––both for student costs and the amount of money paid to faculty. Mind you, U of P is all about increasing revenue, so that entails the highest student costs they can get away with, but also the lowest expenses they can get away with. When people talk about the rise in adjunct and contingent faculty at universities, there is a widespread response about "the marketplace" dictating wages, but U of P demonstrates how naive that is. U of P and other for profit schools are educational bottom-feeders, getting into their programs as many students as they can without real concern for the respect and credibility of their programs––the kind of concerns that make other universities care about what faculty they hire, etc. So, when they inflate student cost and low-ball faculty wages, it brings the entire academic landscape down a few notches.

The only real way to fight this, IMHO, is through accreditation reform. The issue of credibility among other educational institutions, employers, everyone should be part of the value associated with getting a degree. The accreditation process should take into account the outcomes that schools seek from student attendance. A university should have a null balance sheet––expenses passed onto students should reflect a university that is meeting their needs rather than either inflating non-essential positions within the university (read: administrators of various, unimportant kinds) or creating profit for outside owners or stockholders. When these universities with these kinds of profit-seeking interests are part of an economic system that includes CCs, State and Private universities, etc., it's bad for absolutely everyone: students, faculty, employers looking for well situated recent grads––oh, rather, everyone except the owners/stockholders of U of P.

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