On May 19, Michael Frola, a career official of the U.S. Department of Education, sent a letter to the president of the University of Phoenix, which, with a total enrollment of some 90,000 students, is one of the largest higher education institutions in the United States. In the letter, first reported on last Friday and posted by USA Today, Frola said he had questions about the past employment history of the school president, George Burnett, who had joined Phoenix in January 2022.
“According to the Department’s records,” Frola wrote, “you were the Chief Executive Officer of Westwood College from 2006 until 2011.”
Frola recounted in the letter that the Department previously determined that Westwood, from 2002 through 2015, gave prospective students false information about matters including the job prospects of school graduates and students’ ability to transfer Westwood credits to other schools. Frola noted that this conduct violated Department regulations for schools receiving federal aid, as well as other laws, and has caused the Department, to date, to cancel about $130 million in federal loans to former Westwood students.