July 28, 2016; Broward Palm Beach New Times
In Florida, the recently converted for-profit to nonprofit Keiser University is very busy proving that nothing much has changed. A class action lawsuit filed against the school under the Telephone Consumers Protection Act alleges that 350 telemarketers machine-dial prospective students multiple times a day, even after they ask that the calls stop.
The suit filed by John Paoletti, 50, alleges that, despite asking repeatedly to be removed from their call list, and placing his name on the do-not-call list, he was contacted by telemarketers from Keiser three times a day, thus proving that it not only functions as a business but a kind of scorched earth business.
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New regulations of for-profit schools imposed by the Obama administration, especially around their coupling of aggressive recruitment tactics and abysmal graduation rates, clearly drove some of those conversions. Keiser converted in 2011, but you would be hard pressed to identify the markers of its nonprofitness, particularly but not only as regards private inurement The university’s chancellor, Arthur Keiser, is paid at a rate comparable to that of most Ivy League presidents, but he also charges $14.6 million in rent from the university for doing business out of buildings he owns, and he makes a pretty penny on the $321 million loan he made to the school to fund its conversion.
These characteristics along with its flouting of federal regulations meant to protect consumers should have long since attracted the attention of the Department of Education and the IRS.——Ruth McCambridge