Purdue University Announced It Has Received Approval from an Accrediting Agency, the Higher Learning Commission, to Complete its Acquisition of For-Profit College Keiser. The two schools will combine to set up a new university in Indianapolis.
Purdue got the OK this week to move forward on its absorption of Keiser and will officially launch the new “Purdue Global” university in Indianapolis next month.
With the move, Purdue now becomes one of the major national players in online college education.
The online university is groundbreaking – as it will combine aspects of public, private nonprofit and for-profit higher education, and is being watched closely by higher education experts around the nation.
Betty Vandenbosch, currently president of Kaplan University, will be the Purdue Global chancellor and will report to Purdue President Mitch Daniels and the new institution’s six-member board of trustees, composed of five Purdue University trustees and one external trustee, Purdue said in a news release. Daniels will be Purdue Global’s president.
About 30,000 students now enrolled at Kaplan will become Purdue Global students, and will be able to complete their programs under current requirements with current instructors. Kaplan’s 2,000 faculty members will also become employees of Purdue Global. Kaplan has about 80 degree programs, and in addition to extensive online learning programs, has 15 campuses around the country.
Over time, new programs are expected to be added to the curriculum.
“We are grateful for the Higher Learning Commission’s decision to approve Purdue University’s conversion of Kaplan University to Indiana’s newest public institution of higher education, Purdue Global,” Daniels said. “It opens a new era for our institution, with the opportunity to expand our land-grant mission to millions of adult students around the country. That opportunity brings with it the responsibility to provide the highest quality online education, not only to our new adult learners, but to all residential and online Boilermaker students.
“Starting today, Purdue University hopes to take a leading role in online learning nationally.”
The move may open the door to several similar moves, Inside Higher Ed reported on Wednesday. The publication cited education analysts and experts in reporting that as many as 12 proposed for-profit conversions or sales are under consideration.
According to Inside Higher Ed, the arrangement comes with a guarantee from Kaplan that Purdue Global will generate at least $10 million a year in new revenue for the first five years. The Kaplan company will be reimbursed for its support activities and will receive a fee of 12.5 percent of the university’s revenue. Purdue Global will not get any state funding from Indiana.