Magazine article Academe

University of Phoenix's Plans for New Jersey Campus Fall Through

Magazine article Academe

University of Phoenix's Plans for New Jersey Campus Fall Through

Article excerpt

THE UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX, THE nation's largest private, for-profit university, has withdrawn its application to open an Essex County, New Jersey, campus. The university, which has nearly fifty thousand students on campuses in more than a dozen states, plans to refile an amended application after it resolves some issues with New Jersey regulators.

The controversial institution's plan to offer six business degree programs was thwarted by New Jersey regulations requiring any licensed college or university to have a library of at least fifty thousand volumes. The "virtual library" offered by the University of Phoenix does not meet that demand.

The state also requires its colleges to have a core of full-time faculty. But the University of Phoenix's trademark is its reliance on part-time instructors, whom it calls "practicing faculty." Jorge Klor de Alva, the former Princeton professor who is now the president of the University of Phoenix, says that the institution is unlikely to compromise on the issue.

The AAUP led the fight to resist the for-profit chain's attempt to establish a beachhead in the northeastern United States. "The resistance to the University of Phoenix's application is a strong indication of the value faculty and students place on classroom interaction and the educational concerns they have about prepackaged curricula," says James T. Richardson, the AAUP's president. While the Association's fundamental objection had to do with the quality of education offered to University of Phoenix students, it also opposed the application because of the university's lack of academic freedom, the absence of a full-time faculty, the inability of faculty to participate in the governance of the institution, the inadequacy of library facilities, and the potentially negative impact the institution could have on other colleges and universities in the state. …

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