Last updated on 2012.05.19
The rest of the press has remained quiet about new DSU interim president David Borofsky's association with troubled Westwood College, his previous employer, which faces a lawsuit by Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan and was found two years ago to use high-pressure sales tactics, deceptive pricing, and fictitious endorsements.
Interim president Borofsky doesn't address these problems in his Westwood College blog posts. He doesn't address much: his Westwood blog posts are typical bland admin-speak.
Having the freedom to get a degree from an online college really levels the playing field for someone who doesn't have the time or resources to attend a traditional college. Giving individuals the freedom to choose is the best of both worlds, for the market and the individual welfare of those who choose to go down this path [David Borofsky, "College Then Vs. Now &ndash Evolution of the University Experience in the Past 100 Years," Westwood College: College and Career Blog, 2011.07.14]
Of course, at a price tag of $71,000 for a useless degree (according to the Illinois AG), Borofsky's former employer wasn't exactly providing an advantage over "an expensive prestigious university."
In a subsequent blog post last July, Borofsky discussed the difference between regional and national accreditation. Westwood's lack of regional accreditation is what left its Illinois graduates with degrees that couldn't get them jobs in Illinois law enforcement. Borofsky avoids this issue, as well as discussion of why Westwood found it just too hard to achieve regional accreditation and withdrew its application for such accreditation in November 2010. In his blog post, Borofsky suggests regional and national accreditation differ only in academic mission and geography, avoiding any mention the major difference that should matter to students, the frequent inability to transfer credits from nationally accredited institutions.
DSU will want to keep Borofsky out of marketing activities for the university. His blog posts lack any clear Westwood boosterism or any specific details of his work or student experiences at Westwood that might make readers think, "Westwood sounds like a happening place; I think I'll check it out!" He also makes the following statement, which should make Admissions and Student Affairs cringe:
According to BusinessWeek, the average annual starting salary of public school grads is about $50,000, which certainly beats working for low hourly wages in retail stores or restaurants. Even so-called "party schools" land their graduates starting salaries of around $46,000, proving you can have your beer and drink it, too [David Borofsky, "The True Value of a College Degree: 5 Essential Facts," Westwood College: College and Career Blog, 2011.08.11].
I haven't met Dr. Borofsky yet. He may be perfectly capable of keeping the lights on until the Regents can find a new permanent president. But his association with a for-profit college with a record of deceptive practices, along with his online commentary, do not inspire confidence.