The Faculty Senate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville said today that it opposes the acquisition of the University of Phoenix by a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University system. from Arkansas, Arkansas time reported.
Stephen E. Caldwell said, “As Chair of our Faculty Senate, it is my duty to represent and voice the concerns of this body on all matters affecting our campus. I can think of no other issue that has so universally united our faculty with a singular voice, and I am proud to represent that voice.
In a letter to the System Board of Trustees, the Faculty Senate said, “While you acknowledge the University of Phoenix’s ‘turbulent past’, we believe you are too quick to dismiss these issues as in the past.” We believe Phoenix’s reputation for history will persist for years to come, and our campus is most at risk of being associated with it. The University of Phoenix has proven, through surprisingly low graduation and retention rates, unable to help students achieve their educational goals, anathema to what we do here on the Hill.
The letter added, “Phoenix’s well-documented history of dishonest and predatory practices with students resulting in poor educational experiences are defining characteristics of the University of Phoenix’s brand, as opposed to ours.”
System spokesperson Nate Hinkel said “the contemplated structure of this potential deal would not use any public funds and the University of Arkansas system is not acquiring the University of Phoenix.” Hinkel said these facts were “widely reported” and “explained in detail”, although he said parts of the letter were “misleading” in this regard. “It’s important to be clear about this so there’s no confusion,” he said.