Wednesday, December 14, 2005

American University in Dubai to remain accredited :: Emirates Today


Diplomas and credit hours from the American University in Dubai (AUD) will remain accredited despite action taken against the university’s parent body in the United States.

A report in the Chicago Tribune said that the American InterContinental University (AIU) was in danger of losing its accreditation after it was put on probation for two years for not meeting the commission’s requirements, which included filing reports on time.The action was taken by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“Whatever is taking place in the United States with the AIU has nothing to do with Dubai,” said Elias Bousaab, executive vice-president of AUD.

Bousaab said even if the umbrella institute should fail to meet those conditions, certification for the Dubai franchise came from the UAE’s Ministry of Education and would not be affected.

“Regardless of what happens with AIU, we still have separate accreditation, which we submitted to the Southern Association commission a few months ago. It is being processed right now,” Bousaab said, responding to concerns that AUD students may find their education discredited should they shift to America.
UPDATE: The Bermuda Sun provides information from the subscription-only story from the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Doubts raised over U.S. university

An American college that recently held a student recruitment drive in Bermuda has been put on probation by its accrediting body, but the reasons aren’t clear.

According to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education this week, as American InterContinental University (AIU) was being reaccredited in 2002, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) gave it two years to correct a number of problems related to ‘institutional effectiveness’.
. . .
The article quoted bank analyst Jeffrey Silber as saying the school’s problems seem to stem from “noncompliance with certain core requirements, such as programme content, full-time faculty, integrity of students’ academic records, and admissions policies, as well as non-compliance with standards such as governance, and administrative structure, and institutional effectiveness”.

He was citing a discussion he had with a SACS official about AIU.
. . .
AIU has five accredited campuses in the U.S. and two overseas, in addition to online-only programmes.
Total enrolment at the American campuses and online is about 30,000.
More - top investor's criticism:

We are troubled by recent CECO comments about the "excellent" relationship between CECO and one of the industry's top accreditation bodies, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SACS has placed CECO's crown jewel, American InterContinental University (AIU), directly on probationary status, not wasting time on a warning period. CECO's comments were misleading and the stock fell nearly 12% on that news. Everything is definitely not O.K. at CECO these days. Where is the accountability?
More - industry analysis of Career Education Corp.

More - American InterContinental University website states:
American InterContinental University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate, Bachelor's and Master's degrees. This umbrella accreditation includes the following branch campuses of the University: AIU-Buckhead; AIU-Dunwoody; AIU-South Florida; AIU-Houston; AIU-London; AIU-Los Angeles; AIU-Online (originating in Illinois); and American University-Dubai.
Emphasis added.

Later - More. See what Steve Bostik, Career Education Corporation's largest shareholder, wrote in May of 2005:
The irony is that, in less than one year our Company's earnings have continued to grow, but CECO stockholders have suffered a staggering $4 billion decline in market value. I believe that CECO's dismal stock market performance reflects a profound lack of investor confidence in CECO's future. . . . I believe that CECO's Board has allowed management to lose sight of the Company's primary mission of providing quality education services; under these directors, CECO management has sacrificed the quality of student programs, resulting in the severe escalation of student attrition - all for the sake of a "top-line growth strategy" that cannot be sustained. At the same time, our Company has been besieged by regulatory, accreditation and legal problems amid serious allegations related to management's conduct and operation of the business.

Over the past two years, the "black clouds" have persisted, despite CECO's strong earnings performance:
* Complaints to accreditation agencies, including ACCSCT(2) and SACS(2),
some of which have resulted in accreditation warnings and schools placed
on probation;
* Multiple class-action lawsuits against CECO and its senior management,
and derivative lawsuits against the CECO directors;
* SEC and Department of Justice investigations, and EEOC(3) findings of
sexual harassment at CECO schools;
* Negative media coverage of the company, including a "60 Minutes" expose.
Emphasis added.

And, one more thing, from Inside Higher Ed:
in a year in which it faced a court fight over the revocation of the accreditation of Edward Waters College, the accrediting group stopped short of any such actions this time around — which its officials insist had nothing to do with the legal challenge.

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