A Devry Veteran On E-Learning’s Future, Disruption, Starbucks and ‘Bad Apples’

Career College Central Summary:

  • In a recent presentation, DeVry CEO Daniel Hamburger said that turning around DeVry University is his top priority. What happened, and what changes are in the works?
  • Pauldine: Enrollments across all higher education are soft, and we're no exception. There was a correction that started around 2011. We're probably in the third or fourth inning or our turnaround. We've made considerable investment in hiring full-time faculty and adopted a programmatic focus in areas like accounting, health-care administration and entrepreneurship vs. the university as a whole. We're offering favorable pricing and scholarship programs for qualified students, and improving graduation rates. Anybody in my shoes would ask if we're better off than when I arrived. I believe the answer to that is a resounding 'yes.'
  • DeVry stock has more than doubled in less than two years but it still lags its peak in 2010. Is the glass half full or half empty?
  • Pauldine: One of the core strengths of the DeVry education group is diversification. That diversification allows us to perform as a whole even if one or two of the institutions are down. Our medical schools, for example, focus on a much different profile of student. Supply and demand curves are much different.
  • Do you think the for-profit education sector has been unfairly targeted?
  • Pauldine: No, I don't. Performance criteria is not a bad thing. The spirit of it is appropriate. The devil is in the details.
  • Have bad apples spoiled the business for all?
  • Pauldine: I know that's been written. It's hard to speculate. If you take care of the student everything will take care of itself.

Click through to read the edited transcript of the full interview.

CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS

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