The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

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
Local News
  • John Hood A year after 'chaos'

    It happened two hours after John Hood finished his run. Like many, he thought the loud boom was just the sound of cannons going off, something that shook the ground. It was odd, but Hood — a 1989 Clinton High School graduate — tried to make it logical, associating the noise with another good happening at the Boston Marathon.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades Herald Staff Report Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades

    April 19, 2014

  • Theft trial for man charged in Wolfe sisters' murders

    A western Pennsylvania man accused of having robbed and killed his next-door neighbors, two sisters of Iowa Rep. Mary Wolfe, now also faces trial on charges that he stole another woman's wedding ring a year ago.

    State police in Greensburg allege that 43-year-old Allen Wade of East Liberty, Pa., stole the ring while delivering a refrigerator to a home in April 2013. Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Rita Hathaway on Thursday agreed to schedule the case for trial.

    April 18, 2014

  • More felonies added to sex abuse charges CLINTON -- A Clinton man already facing multiple felony charges for allegedly sexually abusing a child is now facing six more felonies for sexual exploitation of a child. Tony D. James, 45, was charged this past weekend with six counts of sexual expl

    April 18, 2014

  • Wildlife service to conduct burnings CLINTON -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct several prescribed burns this spring. The burns will take place on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Carroll and Jo Daviess counties. Sites planned for burning

    April 18, 2014

  • Women jailed on meth charges

    CLINTON -- Two Clinton women are currently being held in the Clinton County jail on $50,000 cash-only bonds for methamphetamine charges. Jessica L. Crabtree, 29, 215 10th Ave. North, and Tera A. Riddle, 27, 611 1/2 S. Seventh St., were arrested last

    April 18, 2014

  • Photo exhibit 2 'Hats Off' Art exhibit covers downtown (With Map & Video)

    CLINTON -- A clown. Clinton High wrestlers. An expecting mother. A young Mozart. These faces and more all peered through downtown storefronts Thursday. They're there again today, too. Looking back at them was photographer Jean Black. They are her way

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Fire alarm evacuation at Eagle Heights

    Students of Eagle Heights Elementary School were evacuated Thursday afternoon after staff smelled something being emitted in the first-grade hallway and main office areas.

    According to a press release from the Clinton Community School District, staff noticed the smell at approximately 1:10 p.m. It was then determined the fire department should be notified, and the fire alarm was pulled. The building was evacuated quickly and the Clinton Fire Department responded immediately.

    April 17, 2014

  • UPDATED: McColley found not guilty of sex abuse

    Relief showed on the faces of Russell McColley and his family Thursday as a verdict of not guilty was read in court.
    "Our prayers were answered, that's all I have to say," Tracy Hook, McColley's sister, said.
    McColley was facing a charge of second-degree sexual abuse. If he had been convicted of the class B felony, he could have faced as much as 25 years in prison.

    April 17, 2014

  • Court denies man's appeal in robbery CLINTON -- The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a conviction of a man who robbed a Clinton pawn shop in 2012. Darrell L. Thomas recently appealed his first-degree robbery conviction to the Iowa Court of Appeals. The court released its decision Wednes

    April 17, 2014

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.