The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Ashford

June 13, 2013

UPDATE: More than Ashford faculty exempt from voluntary resignation program

CLINTON — Ashford University employees in Clinton have been given the option to voluntarily resign as the organization reduces its workforce.  

Many Ashford University employees in Clinton, with the exception of faculty and those in certain other departments, were told they could voluntarily resign, according to Shari Winet Rodriguez, vice president of public relations for Ashford's parent company, Bridgepoint Education.

Information provided earlier by Ashford officials incorrectly stated that only faculty personnel would be exempt from the voluntary resignation package. The other departments exempt in Clinton were not released by officials.

The for-profit university employs approximately 400 people in Clinton, including faculty and those in the other exempt departments. Ashford officials would not comment on how many employees they aim to cut.

Ashford employees in California and Colorado other than faculty and those in admissions, institutional research, assessment and evaluation, and planning, also were offered the chance to volunteer their resignations in phase one of the university’s two phase reduction in workforce program.

Employees were notified Wednesday and given a short period to volunteer for the program. Those resigning will receive three months of their base salary in severance. Benefits also will be available to resigning employees who are currently enrolled through Aug. 31.   

Clinton Regional Development Corp. Vice Chairman Steve Howes would like to believe the employment reduction will not have a permanent impact.

"Loss of jobs is always a hard thing for any community," Howes said. "Hopefully this is a short-term loss that we can make up in the future."  

Ashford officials said the reduction in workforce program was designed around a strong commitment to academic quality, student success and operational results, while optimizing the institution for a lower total student enrollment.     

"The bottom line is that this is needed to better align Ashford’s personnel resources with its enrollment activity," Rodriguez wrote in an e-mail to the Herald.  

Total student enrollment at Bridgepoint Education's academic institutions, Ashford University and University of the Rockies, was 78,782 students on March 31, 2013, compared with 94,863 students at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

New student enrollments for the first quarter of 2013 at Bridgepoint Education's academic institutions were approximately 13,300 compared with combined new student enrollments of approximately 24,275 for the same period in 2012, according to Bridgepoint's first quarter earning report.

Ashford experienced a $28 million dip in revenue during the first quarter of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012, falling from $250.4 million to $222 million.

This round of workforce reductions is not the first of the university's efforts to cut staff. Clinton employees were unaffected in September when Ashford cut 450 employees from the San Diego, Calif., and Denver offices.  

The San Diego-based university has been under scrutiny from its accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, since being denied initial accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges last June.

WASC officials noted, among other items, that 31 percent of Ashford's spending is allocated to student recruitment, which they noted was relatively high when compared to resources dedicated to support academic quality and student success.  

The university is currently on notice with the HLC because it does not have a majority of its operations in the 19-state region under the HLC's jurisdiction, which includes Iowa.

Ashford officials re-applied and are waiting for an accreditation decision from the WASC, the regional accrediting body that covers institutions in California where Ashford maintains a substantial administrative and executive presence and where a majority of the institution's students are based.

If denied accreditation by the WASC, Ashford would need to move the bulk of its operations into HLC territory in order to maintain accreditation.  

 

1
Text Only
Ashford
  • Grand View sweeps Ashford aside CLINTON - Grand View took advantage of Ashford's inability to bring runners home Tuesday, beating the Saints 6-4 and 8-0 in a non-conference college baseball doubleheader at Ashford University Field. The Ashford offense recorded 18 hits on the aftern

    April 16, 2014

  • Errors prove costly for Ashford MORRISON, Ill. - Ashford was generous on defense Saturday, committing 12 errors and losing twice at the Ashford University Spring Jamboree in college softball. Ashford's comeback bid came up just short in a 5-4 loss to Judson (Ill.). In the afternoon

    April 14, 2014

  • Saints split vs. AIB DES MOINES - Ashford split with AIB College of Business and Mother Nature over the weekend, with each of the three coming out on top once. After dropping the opening game of Saturday's baseball doubleheader 4-1, the Saints outlasted the Eagles in the

    April 14, 2014

  • Trolls top Ashford PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. - The Ashford University continued their nine-game road trip on Wednesday afternoon, as they looked to continue their recent two-game winning streak against the Trolls of Trinity Christian College. But the short winning streak cam

    April 11, 2014

  • Heels for Her secondary Not an easy walk CLINTON -- Ashford University's bravest men on Tuesday strutted their stuff in 6-inch, stiletto heels to raise awareness for victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Students, faculty and staff took part in the second installment of the "Heels for Her"

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ashford's LaRue is meet medalist RIVERSIDE - Ashford junior Jonathan LaRue made his return to the lineup in a big way for the Ashford University men's golf team Saturday and Sunday at the Blue Top Ridge Invitational. Not only did the junior help his team to a third-place finish with

    April 7, 2014

  • St. Xavier shuts down Saints CLINTON - The Ashford University softball team returned home to River Queen Field on Sunday afternoon, dropping two games to fourth-ranked Saint Xavier University (Ill.). The Saints' offense struggled against the team with the second-lowest earned-ru

    April 7, 2014

  • Weekend split for Ashford PEOSTA - Backed by a pair of dominant pitching performances, the Ashford University baseball team earned a weekend split with Clarke University, sweeping Sunday's doubleheader. Senior McKinley Portice tossed his first career complete game and three S

    April 7, 2014

  • Malone paces AU CLINTON - In its lone home meet of the year, Ashford won four event titles Saturday at the third annual Ashford Spring Classic track and field meet. The AU men picked up 90 points and a third-place finish. The AU women earned 79.5 points to finish fo

    April 7, 2014

  • Ashford merciless on AIB CLINTON - River Queen Field was a hitter's paradise for the Ashford University softball team on Wednesday night, as the Saints put on an offensive clinic against the Eagles of AIB. Juniors Shelby Hobelman and Alex Bitto each connected for two home ru

    April 3, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.