Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dixiecrats of Higher Ed? and “Under no circumstances would I ever threaten a U.S. senator.”

Three things:
1- we already know about Dianne Feinstein - Mrs UC Regent Blum- and those stories on Mr Blum and his major investments in for profit schools and loans UC has made in support of it...oh yeah, and some concerns raised (and we know about the "unusual partnership" UC has with UC Regent Chair Sherry Lansing venture in on line education.)

2- we already know that Di Fi has friends 'on the other side' like fellow US Senator Olympia Snowe and her husband's major investments in for profit online schools and some troubles on that front...

3- and we already know about the many many Dems who voted in support of less regulation of online for profits...

University Diaries had this post on a story in the New York Times and
the NYT article includes this --it stayed in mind:
"Anita Dunn, a close friend of President Obama and his former White House communications director, worked with Kaplan University, one of the embattled school networks. Jamie Rubin, a major fund-raising bundler for the president’s re-election campaign, met with administration officials about ATI, a college network based in Dallas, in which Mr. Rubin’s private-equity firm has a stake.

(is this the same Jamie Rubin who used to be in the State Dept and who now works for Bloomberg News and is married to ABC News' Christiane Amanpour?)

A who’s who of Democratic lobbyists — including Richard A. Gephardt, the former House majority leader; John Breaux, the former Louisiana senator; and Tony Podesta, whose brother, John, ran Mr. Obama’s transition team — were hired to buttonhole officials.

And politically well-connected investors, including Donald E. Graham, chief executive of the Washington Post Company, which owns Kaplan, and John Sperling, founder of the University of Phoenix and a longtime friend of the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, made impassioned appeals.

In all, industry advocates met more than two dozen times with White House and Education Department officials, including senior officials like Education Secretary Arne Duncan, records show, even as Mr. Obama has vowed to reduce the “outsize” influence of lobbyists and special interests in Washington."

and Clintonista Lanny Davis also has lobbied for less regulation of online for profit higher ed...

Back to the article- now there is this very disturbing section:

"The battle got so testy that Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who has led Congressional hearings into the colleges, got into a heated exchange with Mr. Stein, the Education Corporation investor.

The senator said that during a hallway conversation after lunch in the Senate dining room, Mr. Stein promised to “make life rough for me” if Mr. Harkin kept up his attacks.

“I took it as a threat — it was one of the most blatant comments ever made to me in my years in the Senate,” Mr. Harkin said."

If you support Senator Harkin's efforts you have to pay attention to the ongoing details of this story. The quotes about possible threats made to him over his proposed legislation are disgusting! Dems who voted against these regulations need to come out with their version of legislation that would address their concerns over the whole gainful employment rule - the safeguards for students should be first on their minds, so...
-and they need to make clear that any behavior that Harkin says was threatening was, and will always be, unacceptable.


  1. Former Cal Chancellor Berdahl now interim president at University of Oregon.

  2. anon 4:04
    not a surprise
    but pretty cold...