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DoD Puts University Of Phoenix On Probation Following Investigation Into Recruiting Practices
On Oct. 8, the Department of Defense quietly announced the suspension of University of Phoenix from its tuition assistance programs, barring school officials from recruiting at military facilities, including job fairs. The suspension comes following an investigation by Reveal, which shed light on the university’s use of improper recruiting and marketing practices.
Reveal’s investigation, released in June, found University of Phoenix side stepping a 2012 executive order by President Barack Obama to connect with service members and veterans by sponsoring concerts and other events on military bases, attending veteran-specific job fairs, unrolling robust marketing campaigns, and even evoking the seals of the military branches on a University of Phoenix challenge coin.
On Thursday, DoD changed the status of all University of Phoenix campuses to “Probation - DoD” on its website of participating institutions. According to Reveal News, the university received $20 million in military tuition assistance from DoD in 2014 alone.
Dawn Bilodeau, the chief of the Defense Department’s voluntary education program, told Reveal in a written statement that University of Phoenix “will not be authorized access to DoD installations for the purposes of participating in any recruitment-type activities, including but not limited to job training, and career events and fairs. Further, no new or transfer students at the institution will be permitted to receive DoD tuition assistance.”
However, students already receiving tuition assistance will be permitted to complete courses with the university.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a leading voice calling for an investigation into the recruiting practices of University of Phoenix, released a statement lauding DoD’s decision, also saying he will call on the departments of Education and Veterans Affairs to review the findings and take action to protect Title IV students and vets using G.I. Bill benefits.
As previously argued on Task & Purpose, the problem with veterans spending their G.I. Bill money on for-profit universities like University of Phoenix is that these institutions are owned by and run as businesses with a top priority to make money. This money — which comes almost entirely from taypayer dollars — is then largely reinvested into marketing and recruiting, rather than into improving the quality of the education for enrolled students. As revealed in a 2012 Senate report, the results are often high rates of loan default, low retention rates, aggressive and manipulative recruiting practices, higher than average tuition, and poor career placement services.
University of Phoenix has received more than $1.2 billion in G.I. Bill money since 2009.
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he and the Pentagon will comply with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry subpoena, but it'll be on their own schedule.
"We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note — as we typically do in these situations — to ensure documents are retained."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.