As often speculated here, official announcement of sale of DeVry University to Cogswell.
49 replies (most recent on top)
I am a DV alumnus and worked at DVU for almost 10 years. I have since moved on and think fondly on the days when DV made a difference. Unfortunately senior leadership's (you know who you are) focus changed, sometime after Hamburger came on board. The endless Projects (remember Unite and Ignite) rotted the foundations of DVU while fattening leaders pocket books and stoking their egos.
The real shame is that a DV education once meant something. It meant you learned by doing. It meant you had real world, practical skills that enabled you to compete. Now it is just a degree. A piece of paper some do not even want to hang on the wall. I have since sanitized my CV. DV is now just an afterthought when it comes to my educational background or body of work. Sadly, I whole-heartily believe the skills I learned in my undergraduate program at DeVry help set me up.
They cannot even give the institution away without a whole host of conditions. DeVry's highest value to learners is when they offered six undergraduate degrees and tuition was comparable to living wages one might make when completing a degree. DV changed its DNA to complete with UOP and others. DeVry's other mistakes where trying to be everything to everyone by expanding their program offerings. They became “me too”. In addition, the endless tuition increases undermined any learner ROI. Moving away from the high school market was simply dumb.
The greatest learning from watching this unfold over the last 20 years is that pigs are fed and hogs are slaughtered. Sadly, DV morphed into another predatory player in the for-profit space like ITT, Corinthian, AIU, and UOP. Not surprising since it was leaders from those institutions that created that culture. TEACH values have a completely new meaning today.
DeVry Should have been sold to an international buyer; they could have paid a better deal than $20 million over then years!
I am a student at Keller in Jacksonville. Since enrolling in late 2015, I have seen onsite class sizes drop from 8-12 students to just two or three. That is, if there is a class onsite. Some terms there are only one or two classes onsite and they keep repeating the same courses. I suppose this is due to robo-scheduling. Our campus dean-of-the-month, five in the last two years, seems powerless in scheduling the courses students are asking for. Our skeletal staff, now down to four people, maybe, is a revolving door. There are only two that have been there over two years. Our "campus" consists of only two or three classrooms on the 2nd floor of a four-story building. Every term Chamberlain claims more territory. Our library has had all books removed over a year ago, there hasn't been any onsite tutors for over a year, and the place is a ghost town at night. A lone security guard mans the front desk.
With the latest revision to the Keller Catalog, many courses have been eliminated, yet they are still scheduled to be taught online in January, March, and May. Entire MBA programs have been deleted or had nearly all of the core courses changed. It also seems the Project Management Certificate is no longer accredited by PMI. I don't think Devry, as it is now, can survive another year. I don't see Cogswell doing anything positive since they haven't even commented on the acquisition (that I have seen). I suppose my degree will become worthless more sooner than later.
Worth noting that my campus has been trying hard to hire adjuncts (sorry, “Visiting Professors”, lol). While they are being picky, there is a noticeable upswing in interviews. Maybe this is somewhat to replace a few faculty who were just laid off. A more sinister though does occur, however: adequate adjunct staffing is needed to get through the Cogswell hand-off, because student levels have to be at a certain point to complete the deal—and faculty of some sort are needed to do that. It doesn’t necessarily have to be full time faculty. Hiring more adjuncts allows for potential upcoming full-time faculty layoffs. Do your part to stall the inevitable by being super critical of adjuncts they try to hire. Refuse anyone who doesn’t walk on water. It may save your job for a few months.
It's all beginning to make sense now. All this harping in the VP huddles about heat badges and nudges, followed hard on its heels by the same presentation at the last Faculty Symposium (which also featured some really bush league, unprofessional, and thuggish behavior by a dean towards two of his subordinates), It's designed as much-it not more- to keep enrollment numbers up so the sale goes through as it is to help students.
According to / the handoff of DeVry to Cogswell is definitely "not a done deal" (para. 24). Enrollments cannot fall below a certain number, and requests for tuition reimbursement from disgruntled students cannot rise (para.10). In other words, the 7.5 million left on the table is an incentive, but Cogswell can back out if enrollments decline or if student complaints are too high. Also, because Cogswell is a very small organization, this deal would not have met acceptable criteria in Obama's administration, but may under the Trump/DeVos version (para 21).
If Adtalem cannot offload DeVry/Keller, its other options are to keep it, cypher though it is, or an "expensive teach out" (para 6).
Reading aking's emails for the last month has been a nauseating experience.
Just bizarre. Could DVU become the orphan NOBODY wants (Item 1.01)?
Cogswell can drop out if enrollments fall below a certain level, and if borrower defense claims go up.
It ain't over til it's over...and it ain't over yet...
, there wasn't much new information. He started out with a history of DeVry and how it goes through a change of ownership every time its parent company changes their strategic direction. Then they tried to convince us that Cogswell is a great company that supports our mission and cares about DeVry's future. So we got a few distinct loads of BS in rapid succession, as per usual.
We think the whole thing was mostly a flimsy and unconvincing pep-talk to keep us from bailing out before the deal is finalized, because Cogswell still has the right to back out at this point.
There was a tense moment as he looked at our at the crowd through the digital lens. The air was electric, and the excitement palpable across the airwaves as he narrowed one eyebrow, giving a look that was something between a sneer and a smirk as he said but a single word, the barely contained contempt acid on his tongue:
All at once, in a unified voice, the faculty and staff returned the glare and disdain, looking down their noses through the WexEx screen as is even the contempt of contempt itself for this man was beneath them as they intoned a half-spat, single bitter word of recognition:
Enh, just kidding. Didn’t go because I was busy filling out job applications.
So what did jb say in the Town Hall?
More of the same and even worse is on the way for those foolish enough to continue to work for DeVry: />
Hey. Can you smell that? It’s your wake up call.
Oh, is that what it is? I thought that it was the fetid stench of corporate manipulation and deception, coupled with the rotting corpse of the former DeVry Institute.
Hey. Can you smell that? It’s your wake up call.
I was an long-time DeVry employee having starts in the early 90’s. Worked my way up and had a nice paying position until 2013 when it all came crashing down. I had several opportunities to ‘get out’ of DeVry over the years, but stayed. Probably because it was easy and stable.
If you are still working for DeVry and don’t have an updated resumè you are a fool. Your other option is to just ride it out and wait for your severance. You’ll get a severance in accordance with the written policy in the employee manual. If I were you I would review it and calculate your payout. If you think it’s worth it, stay and wait for the check. But keep in mind you will be unemployed for several months or even years. Perhaps you should get a head start and look for a job while you still have a job. Rid yourself of any further pain and suffering. At the very best, DeVry will be a shell if itself by this time next year. And odds are high YOU will not be there. You can make the choice or let the new owners make the choice for you.
Cogswell - DeVry - Zenith. If you want to know the long-term fate of DeVry just look at Zenith. 2 years(or less)...DeVry and all its employees....gone. Cogswell...purchasing (as $0, the curriculum, and online platform). They don't want the locations or the employees. Sorry.
The VCs that own Cogswell also run several other career colleges, but those are smaller and only have one or a few campuses each. That's likely the future for DVU. Reduce locations and try to grow online. That should work if the online offering gets 5X better. Otherwise the competition will happily take our students into their fancy new accelerated affordable competency programs.
Clearly you’ve never worked for DeVry or you would understand the soul crushing pain we all are rushing to get away from. It’s not a question of “winners” and “losers” (you sound, by the way, like Charlie sheen on a bender. Got any Tiger Blood?) It just simple DeVry-Mathics: while employees > 0, layoff employees. We are all already losers for getting stuck there too long while managers drove the place into the ground. If not already then when the next round of layoffs hits.
Yes there are exciting new possibilities to save a revised version of part of what used to be DeVry. It’s a small comfort. I’m glad it’s not dying completely though we will all be haunted by the ghost of Herman projected on a building in that last tv commercial, looking for all the world like Emmanuel Goldstein from Orwell. Yes we will be glad to be rid of Lisa Lisa, the crummy offshore medical schools, and hopefully the shackles of a wrecked brand. But we still have Newman from Seinfeld as president, and as COO he helped drive down enrollments by killing thriving clas cohorts with that stupid scheduling robot. Sorry, but you’re stupid if you think that this isn’t going to result in layoffs, and a lot of them. You don’t know DeVry. There isn’t going to be much left to Re-Vry when all is said and done. It’s just the DeVry way. Cogswell would be equally dumb to keep operating centers where there are too few students to run classes. All signs would indicate that another crunch is coming sooner rather than later, and it’s just going to wreck whatever shreds of self-worth remain for all involved. We are tired, tattered, and wrecked a thousand times over. We were literally just thrown away by our own parent company, like garbage.
Well if cogswell was smart, the would close all the campuses except in Chicago, New York and maybe Arizona or have one open in California. Offer a discount to those stud nets to go online, re brand and rename the institution. And build an empire from the ground up and go back to the core roots that allowed DeVry to be the cornerstone of a publicity traded company. Put your resources into developing the online platform and market the hell out of it. That’s what I would do. The accreditation is still good for DeVry so it still holds value and if there is a way to rename the school so the pending complaints and lawsuits go away, then this could be a great opportunity for them.
No it just means Cogswell wouldn't take Carrington for nothing.
Apparently lw thinks they could still make Carrington profitable which was not part of the " transfer of ownership"?
So what happens to Chamberlain now? Are they still a part of Adtalem or are they spinning off on their own?
Wow - what a bunch of losers! You're not happy when they don't change anything to make DeVry better, then when something big happens, rather than take the opportunity to wait and see what might come of it, you pounce and say your not happy because they changed things. Any winner would advise everyone on this string who is actually working at DVU (not many) to look at this time of change for opportunities for self growth rather than contributing to and then wallowing in negative vitriol!
Honestly, some centers and campuses should have been closed long ago, as they are like ghost towns with skeleton crews. Yes, I would expect an almost immediate massive layoff when Cogswell takes ownership. They might even do it before the transfer so that our new masters don’t have their hands dirty— I suspect that they are going through resumes right now to tell AdTaters who to fire. We are still stuck with the COO who implemented the automated scheduling system that hammered the last nails in to the coffin. Except now he’s our president. I’m sure that his big grin comes from how much money he’s personally going to make for chopping the company in half and walking away with a golden parachute. That’s my estimate of what they will chop down to: 50% of current operating size starting with deadwood centers and their staff. That’s what I would do. There are still valuable pieces—some faculty, the course content, the licensing and acceditation, and especially the online system. I predict 75 enrollment for class like Ashford. If Cogswell is smart, They will rebrand us immediately. They said separate operations, but they will need to trash the DeVry name ASAP to get any value out of even a prolonged shutdown/teachout. So they won’t rebrand us as Cogswell. Thank God. But Hamburger, Paul, and the FTC crew killed DeVry as a brand name. They should rebrand and give all the alumni new diplomas.
Cogswell appears to be a historical mirror image of DeVry/DeForest Technical School, up to a point. Devry was founded in 1931. Cogswell became a technical institute in 1930. The major difference is DeVry grew with the burgeoning field of electronics, while Cogswell seems to have remained small. Not sure why. Being small means you can react to changing technology quickly, and their curriculum mirrors local industry needs (?) with the emphasis being gaming and animation. and gaming being their only online offering. Sounds like a regional focus to me, but DeVry lost its regional focus decades ago. What will happen to the curriculum?
Surely Cogswell knows that DVU is nothing but a drain. I expect that they will take the capital, make a half-hearted attempt to turn things around, and then liquidate everything DVU has so they can keep what's left of the money. That may be the only way this deal could be at all profitable.
I wonder what the sale/hand off of DeVry means for those campuses currently open, but with low enrollments. It would not shock me to find everyone fired, with a wan offer to apply with Cogswell for a position of reduced salary or worse, as an adjunct.
Cogswell is private and for profit, owned by a venture capital fund. They've been offered sort of a no-risk deal with this 'transfer of ownership': DVU comes with cash, and payment to ATGE is only required on 'success' (which is kind of unlikely). I don't think we'll see any material difference in MO here. Enrollment will continue to decline (no reason for it not to). ATGE is spinning off DVU to remove the negative profit from its income statement. That negative will move to Cogswell, which isn't going to be very nice about how its resolved. If we thought there was no loyalty to us before, it'll look pretty good, not too long from now.
JB to give a town hall in the next 2 days. Another one of those I'm confident and excited messaging town hall. More layoffs to come of course in 2018. Colleagues are restricted to apply for Adtalem positions but Adtalem colleagues can apply for DeVry positions. Who would be dump enough to apply for a DeVry position. So for those of you who want to apply for any Adtalem positions you're out of luck as of when they announced on 12/4. For those of you looking to get out of DeVry, which is everyone I know, I wish you the best in finding a job!
1ywz - Who gives away a dead rat? Seriously, I hope you are not my secret Santa.
Not sure where you guys are getting your info from, but Cogswell is definitely a FOR-profit college--and their reputation isn't much better than DeVry's.
Sneaky way to avoid severances.
Prediction that there will be layoffs in summe...and without the corporate umbrella good luck with any new employee handbook/agreements.
They had to search far and wide for a taker with a dumber name than AdTalem. Mission accomplished. Well...Cogswell that ends well. Now we are all just cogs in a different machine. DeVry is the used conned-‘em into which Lisa Lisa spilled all of the market hate for her company garnered from the FTC fallout of bad marketing and the dumb idea that we were ever anything more than a technical school. Well now we can turn it inside out and shake it up. All the evil capitalists with their crappy offshore medical schools want to be rid of us...awesome! Now we can maybe get back to academic control of our classes and stop treating this place like a factory.
Gosh, it looks like Adtalem had to pay Cogswell to take it:
"Adtalem has also committed to delivering DeVry with a minimum working capital balance, further supporting DeVry’s future success."
That's pretty desperate--am I over-interpreting that?
Now that DeVry is being given to a private not-for-profit school, what axe will Camden be able to grind? His whole world must be falling apart right now. :(
I believe there are only 200 full-time faculty left at DeVry, and fewer administrators. I looked at Cogswell College--it has a very limited curriculum, and does not seem to have any Humanities, English, or Composition courses. It has 3 English faculty (an Associate, an Assistant, and an Adjunct professor)...So, it seems very small. Undoubtedly, it is seeking to grow, so that may bode well for DeVry faculty...
The words going through my mind about Lisa Wardell can't be published. Of course, why should she care, she has her millions to keep her warm!