A New Leaf at Phoenix?

When it comes to marketing and recruiting, the University of Phoenix is turning over a new leaf, or so its executives said at a briefing here Monday.

"We’re doing what we think is right," said Gregory W. Cappelli, the co-chief executive officer of Apollo Group, which owns Phoenix and other for-profit colleges and schools. The company, he said, is shifting "from a recruiting mentality and culture into one of a long-term relationship" between potential students and recruiters, who’ve been renamed "counselors."

The briefing was framed as a discussion about Apollo’s position paper, "Higher Education at a Crossroads," which touts the for-profit sector as playing an essential role in President Obama’s access and completion goals. But the scrutiny facing the sector, and Apollo’s attempts to push back, dominated the hour or so that Capelli, his co-CEO Chas Edelstein and Joseph L. D’Amico, president and chief operating officer — along with a cache of public relations people — spent with a few reporters.

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