Here’s a fun timeline:
• From 2008 until 2012, a gentleman named Julian Schmoke worked as an associate dean at a for-profit college called DeVry University.
• In 2016, DeVry paid $100 million (!) to settle a federal lawsuit that charged it with making misleading and fraudulent claims about the employment statuses of its graduates. The charges covered activities that took place while Schmoke worked for DeVry.
• In 2017, Betsy DeVos named Schmoke to lead the Department of Education’s Student Aid Enforcement Unit, which investigated claims of large-scale fraud involving student loans.
What do you guys think happened next??? Spoiler: It’s not that Julian Schmoke proudly continued to carry out the unit’s mission of cracking down on predatory advertising and admissions practices in the for-profit sector. In fact, according to Monday’s New York Times, what happened is that the Student Aid Enforcement Unit was downscaled into a three-person operation that has cancelled investigations into two major for-profit entities, Bridgepoint Education and Career Education Corporation. And, in a fun bonus, DeVos has also hired three former employees of those two companies to work at DOE.
Another thing we all know and love about the Trump administration, of course, is that the president himself has agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims against of fraud brought by former students of his “university” whom were told that they’d be receiving a world-class business education in seminars that turned out to be “taught” by a cast of random low-level motivational speakers that included the manager of a Buffalo Wild Wings.
DeVos and Schmoke both refused to comment when contacted by the Times.