Report questions Purdue, Kaplan online merger
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A pending deal that would make Purdue University the new owner of the online, for-profit Kaplan University might have its fate sealed.
The Purdue Global deal was in its final stages, but a 61-page report by the Higher Learning Commission lists a number of concerns and questions about how Purdue and Kaplan would make the online university partnership work, the Journal & Courier reported.
A team of Higher Learning Commission staff and peer reviewers visited Purdue in October to help determine whether Purdue Global should be accredited.
The report states the peer-review team wanted to know how Purdue planned to differentiate between what it would mean to be a Purdue student versus being a Purdue Global student to make it clear to online students that the classes they take are different from the ones offered on the university’s campuses. The team also questioned how things would work with two sets of trustees working under the Purdue name.
In a 14-page response, Purdue President Mitch Daniels thanked the commission staff for recognizing the potential for a move that’ll put the university in a position to have an additional 32,000 students, more than 2,400 faculty and 15 campuses now run by Kaplan University.
Daniels and Purdue trustees contend the deal would give the university a chance to extend its land grant mission to a new tier of nontraditional students who haven’t had the opportunity to make it to Purdue’s campuses.
The commission’s report has been sent to the 19 Higher Learning Commission trustees, who oversee the accreditation of about 1,000 colleges and universities in 19 states. A commission spokesman says they’re expected to announce their decision within two weeks.
Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com