Rebel with a Cause: The Entrepreneur Who Created the University of Phoenix and the For-Profit Revolution in Higher Education

Rebel with a Cause: The Entrepreneur Who Created the University of Phoenix and the For-Profit Revolution in Higher Education

Rebel with a Cause: The Entrepreneur Who Created the University of Phoenix and the For-Profit Revolution in Higher Education

Rebel with a Cause: The Entrepreneur Who Created the University of Phoenix and the For-Profit Revolution in Higher Education

Synopsis

"A great life and a great read..."-George Soros

"A remarkably cogent story of a most remarkable man. Sperling's openness about problems and failures inspires and informs the entrepreneurial spirit. Sperling describes the extraordinary power and potential of focused human intensity. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in starting or building a business."-Peter Lewis, Chairman and CEO, The Progressive Corporation

"The University of Phoenix is the largest private university in the United States. It is fully accredited and traded on NASDAQ. Mere mention of its name produces anger, fear, and envy on the nation's college campuses. In the private sector, it has inspired scores of companies to enter the education market. This is the story of the entrepreneur who launched a revolution in higher education."-Arthur Levine, President, Teacher's College, Columbia University

"Education will be one of the key growth sectors of our knowledge-based economy over the next ten years. John Sperling, founder and Chairman of Apollo Group, has been one of the visionary driving forces behind this growth. By developing a unique customer-focused model of higher education, Dr. Sperling has helped to build the largest private university in the United States that continues to be one of the best growth opportunities in education today."-Thomas Weisel, President & CEO, Thomas Weisel Partners, LLC

Excerpt

I have been successful in business—very successful. My essential metier, however, has been, and is, stimulating and enabling personal transformation and social reform. the reason for these interests will become evident as you read about my personal/company history. the typical American success story no longer begins with birth in a backwoods log cabin, but mine does. and that is only the first on a long list of anomalies in my life.

The money I’ve made notwithstanding, I am an unintentional entrepreneur and an accidental ceo. the company I founded in 1972 with $26,000 in hard-earned savings now has a market value close to $3 billion. This stroke of good fortune occurred after a largely misspent youth, dutiful but undistinguished military service, a graduate education that went on far too long simply because I had nothing better to do, and a lackluster academic career (except for the effectiveness of my teaching), that led me to delay finding my calling until the age of 39. Even then, the calling I found was not business—it was union organizing.

I did not become an entrepreneur until the age of 52. I created my first company with no thought for building a business, per se, but merely as a way to preserve an educational innovation from being destroyed by a small-minded bureaucracy. I had designed a program 1 . . .

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