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Omaha’s former Kaplan University will close, plans merger

September 18, 2018

Omaha’s former Kaplan University, now called Purdue University Global, will close at the end of May next year and merge with Purdue Global’s Lincoln site.

The university has informed the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education that most of the 263 students who study through the Omaha campus are in online programs and won’t be affected.

Of the 76 others, the majority will graduate over the next eight months. But 36 nursing students will have to do their work through the Lincoln campus. Purdue Global says it will reimburse students who must travel to Lincoln.

Purdue Global has operated out of a cream-colored building in a residential-industrial area in northwest Omaha.

Ryan Villwok, director of the Omaha site, referred most questions to a national spokesman.

“We’re merging into our Lincoln location,” Villwok said Monday. He said those at the Omaha site, at 5425 N. 103rd St., had been informed of the development.

Purdue Global spokesman Pete Tosches said last week in a written statement: “There will be no academic or financial impact to students as a result of this action. Purdue Global will ensure that the quality of program oversight and instructional quality remains consistent throughout the process.”

Kaplan University was a widely known for-profit institution that was acquired by Purdue University last year. Purdue University Global, which is part of Purdue University, started this year. Purdue Global is a public, not-for-profit institution.

Tosches said three staff positions will be eliminated, two this fall and one when the school closes. The employees have been offered severance packages, he said.

A letter to the Coordinating Commission written in late August says there will be “minimal impact to the faculty” because most of the instruction is online.

But four full-time faculty members will be given bonuses to stay on through May. As new full-time positions become available, those faculty members “may be candidates” for those jobs, a letter to the Coordinating Commission says.

Purdue University Global in Lincoln is at 1821 K St.

Kathleen Fimple, academic programs officer with the Coordinating Commission, said Purdue acquired Kaplan largely to beef up its online infrastructure.

In its letter to Fimple, Purdue Global called closure of the Omaha location a “difficult decision.” The letter says the lease for that spot ends May 31, 2019, and the decision has been made not to renew the lease.

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