Quote of the Day

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Enrollment Dynamics: UOP & GWU

In DeMille's recent announcement, he mentioned that on-campus enrollment is 50% of what it was last year, and that "over 95% of [non-returning students] cite economic issues as the reason."

Indeed, the economy is in dire straits. And with a surging budget deficit, the future doesn't look rosy.

But hold the phone. This is an interesting case study (or simulation if you will). You see, education is typically countercyclical: in times of economic downturn, enrollment tends to go UP as people seek to improve themselves.

To wit, for-profit educator Apollo Group recently reported record revenue and enrollment. Indeed, "new degreed enrollment of bachelor students grew close to 20% over the prior year." (Ironically, DeMille intends to use the University of Phoenix, one Apollo's schools, as a model going forward.)

When push comes to shove, people tend to communicate with their wallets where they believe true value lies.

If "economic reasons" tend to drive people toward schools in a downturn, not away from them, what could the decline at GW mean? I believe it is an indictment on GW inadvertently handed down by its own students.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What about the donated land in Monticello?

The post heading pretty much says it all. DeMille's announcement that the Monticello campus will be built on a much smaller scale, if it is built at all, begs the question: What about the 400 or so acres donated (in good faith) for the campus? Will the George Wythe Foundation do the right thing and return it? Or will they hold a shotgun class session on it before 2010 to fulfill a technical obligation of the donation, then turn around and sell the acreage to fund the school's new, online operations? Or to fund its endowment? Or something else?

Given the school's history with the Meadeau View Institute (see Deseret News articles in the left sidebar), it appears that history may be repeating itself.

The George Wythe Foundation planned on building 300 homes on 500 acres west of Monticello. It appears those plans, like Meadeau View's planned Mammoth Valley community, will not materialize.

Monday, February 16, 2009

On Second Thought... Monticello, Cedar City Campuses to be Scaled Back

Five months after breaking ground on a 400-acre Monticello Utah campus, DeMille has announced that the campus, if it is ever built, will be dramatically scaled back. Operations at the Cedar City campus will be downsized as well.

According to DeMille, GW enrollment is half what it was one year ago. The on-campus program is losing money, while the distance and extension programs are profitable, as is the Monticello development project.

(I'm not sure how a development project can be profitable, unless profit means donations minus expenses. If that's the case, it appears the GW foundation has been taking in handsome donations for the Monticello campus.)

GW has already made cuts and laid off personnel. The school has no endowment (it looks like no headway has been made on the billion dollar endowment goal). DeMille is kicking himself for not seeing this coming, since he knows all about The Fourth Turning.

According to DeMille, in lieu of previous expansion plans announced by Brooks:
Our plan is to keep the Cedar City on-campus component for students who want an on-site experience for any or all of their college years, and to build a small but excellent campus in Monticello that will grow beyond this recession and provide leadership education far into the future. As we grow this, we plan to supplement the online courses with classes and seminars in metropolitan centers like the University of Phoenix has done.

You can read DeMille's entire letter here.

One other thing to point out. In his message, DeMille says
Personally, I have been skeptical of distance programs and a strong believer that campus learning is much better than distance.

Please read up on DeMille's own education in the Wikipedia article linked at left (and here), because by all accounts, his Coral Ridge Baptist University education was entirely distance learning! (See "The First Fifteen Years" by Shanon Brooks; look on p. 9, ¶ 3.)

Not only was CRBU distance learning, but his diploma mill J.D. was (supposedly) obtained the same way. In fact, the only on-campus education I can find in DeMille's history is the time he spent at BYU. But according to Brooks, "as good as the BYU studies had been, the Coral Ridge learning was truly great, much more challenging than anything [DeMille] had ever done or seen." (Brooks, p. 8, ¶ 3)

That's why I find so rich his statement that campus learning is "much better" than distance learning, and that until just recently he has been skeptical of distance programs. There are many other things to point out in his statement, but I thought I'd grab this low-hanging fruit.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Elevation Follow Up

Just a follow-up to my earlier post about the "elevation" to university status.

Exhibit A on the culture of hyperbole, exaggeration, and outright deceit that tends to permeate nearly all things George Wythe College and Thomas Jefferson Education:

In its September 2008 newsletter, GW makes the following statement:

In early 2008, George Wythe College applied to and met the requirements set forth by the State of Utah and was issued the name "George Wythe University" to be used at the board’s discretion.


REALITY: Shanon Brooks went to the Utah Department of Commerce website, checked the availability of the name "George Wythe University," and then paid $22 to register the name. END OF STORY.

You can check out the process for yourself on page 39 of this document.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Commentary

DeMille wrote the following blurb to promote an upcoming online seminar he's putting on (for only $29!). I am including it here as an example of some fallacious reasoning I see as prevalent in DeMille's writing. My commentary is in brackets:

"History is the story of aristocracy over the masses [false premise]. America broke this pattern, setting up the model for a classless society--and the resulting freedom has lasted over 200 years! [non sequitur]

"That freedom has endured so many challenges that few realize that America is truly at a crossroads. [another non sequitur] With all that our generation will be called upon to face, the greatest battle of our time is between Aristocracy and Freedom. [false dichotomy--DeMille frequently employs this fallacy]

"While our attention is rapt in the drama all around us, our future, the future of Freedom, is being decided here and now. This conflict defines our politics, our economics, our education and the future of our families.

"During this time of crisis, we can no longer suppose that the cycles of history will pass our generation by. Join me as I teach about the traps that lie before us and the solutions that will empower you to ensure that our freedoms will endure!"


The site introduces DeMille as follows:

"For the first time in many [six] months, DeMille will teach publically. He has made good use of his time during his absence from the public stage [was he ever on the public stage? Check newspaper archives -- even local Utah ones -- and you will find virtually no mention of him; he is not a public figure]. His research has brought him to some critical conclusions.

"For years, Oliver DeMille has been researching the classics and the cycles of history to inform his predictions and prescriptions for the coming years [See his book The New World Order: Choosing Between Christ and Satan in the Last Days for an example of his predictions]. His revolutionary synthesis of scholarship and application [the word "revolutionary" implies no one before had made a connection between scholarship and application] both inform and inspire his listeners with information they can use to make a difference.

"Don't miss this new and timely presentation, with live Q&A to follow."


If you're interested, you can sign up for the webinar here: http://thecomingaristocracy.eventbrite.com/