George Mason University this month held a two-day conference with higher ed leaders, business executives and industry media to discuss the impact of public-private partnerships on higher education. The event drew presidents, provosts and senior leaders from more than 100 colleges and universities and included an inside look at the most talked about partnership in higher education, the Purdue University-Kaplan merger.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Don Graham, chairman of the Graham Holdings Company that previously owned Kaplan University, discussed how the deal came to be and the challenges they faced in forming Purdue University Global. The panel was moderated by Tony Miller, former Deputy Secretary of Education with the Obama administration and founding partner and chief operating officer for The Vistria Group.
Graham said both organizations “wanted the same thing for the same reasons at the same time.”
“We thought the best way to serve our students was with a partnership,” he said, “and when Mitch expressed interest, the music stopped.”
The conference touched on a broad range of topics, including potential financial and reputational risks, as well as the many inherent logistical challenges in areas such as housing and infrastructure, marketing and enrollment.
Read the entire article in The George.
In “The New Era of Public-Private Partnership in Higher Education,” Michelle Marks and James Sparkman discuss the evolution and future of these partnerships.