Behind the Fight Against For-Profit Schools (article)
The “for profit vs. non-profit” fight has gotten a little bit uglier this month. I’ve mentioned it on the forums but I’ve decided to do a little more digging before blogging on this particular news article. In a nutshell, Keiser University (a for profit school) finds out about a collaborative effort between Florida State College Jacksonville (a non-profit school), the Institute for College Access and Success (a connected lobby group which is anti “for profit” schools), Gilchrist Bert (founder of the Water Street Capital hedge fund and famous for short selling) and of course Steve Eisman (a hedge fund analyst also famous for short selling) conspiring to drive Keiser University out of Jacksonville.
So who are all of these actors and how does this play out? Why would they do this? Is this a crusade to protect the interests of students?
Florida State College Jacksonville, generally a community college in Jacksonville who allegedly believes that Keiser University would steal enrollment dollars and decrease the demand for the college’s services. The conspirators acting on behalf of FSCJ were Steven Wallace the president of the college and Susan Lehr, the vice president of government relations.
The Institute for College Access and Success (ICAS) is a lobby group who has a primary agenda of placing restrictions on for profit schools placing them at a competitive disadvantage to non-profits. This organization is most famous recently for producing Robert Shireman who became the Deputy Undersecretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education. It was Shireman who started the ball rolling in changing the U.S. Department of Education’s official stance from neutral to hostile towards for profit education as a whole. More on himhttp://www2.ed.gov/news/staff/bios/rshireman.html
Gilchrist Bert founded the billion dollar, Jacksonville based hedge fund Water Street Capital. Gilchrist is famous for turning massive profits short selling.
Steve Eisman is a portfolio manager for FrontPoint Financial Services, a connected hedge fund, who is also very famous for making big bucks short selling, especially in this last mortgage crisis the nation underwent.