U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has largely dismantled her department’s team responsible for investigating fraud and abuse at for-profit colleges. In the final months of the Obama administration, that team had about a dozen staffers. Under DeVos, it’s been reduced to three.
The staff reduction has already begun to have an impact on the unit’s work, putting a halt to investigations of Bridgepoint Education, Career Education Corporation and the DeVry Education Group. The smaller team will now focus on student loan forgiveness issues and smaller compliance cases. It is supervised by Julian Schmoke, a former dean at DeVry.
The Obama administration set up the investigative team in 2016 in response to a wave of complaints about predatory practices by for-profit colleges.
Aaron Ament, a former chief of staff to the office of the Education Department’s general counsel, helped create the team and denounced its reduced scope and ambit. “Unfortunately, Secretary DeVos seems to think the colleges need protection from their students,” he said.
CNN, May 14