WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Purdue University Board of Trustees unanimously passed a new initiative that acquires Kaplan University.
The plan, which has been five months in the making, passed on a vote 9-0 in favor of acquiring all Kaplan’s assets. Those include 15 campuses and learning centers, which educate 32,000 students and staff 3,000 employees.
The initiative is meant to address two goals: The increasing need for postsecondary education in working adults or others unsuited for campus study, and the growth of online education.
The new university will transition and use the Purdue name in some fashion not yet identified.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels said it’s all about expanding higher education.
“[We] realize that online programs are a huge part of the future, and we are not equipped for that future,” Daniels said.
He later stated, “Nearly 150 years ago, Purdue proudly accepted the land-grant mission to expand higher education beyond the wealthy and the elites of society. We cannot honor our land-grant mission in the 21st century without reaching out to the 36 million working adults … who started but did not complete a college degree.”
Daniels said of those 36 million adults, 750,000 of them are from Indiana.
“Purdue takes its land-grant mission very seriously, and I’m deeply impressed by this great university’s commitment to meeting the needs of non-traditional students,” said Donald Graham, chairman of Graham Holdings Company – the parent company of Kaplan Inc. and Kaplan University.
Both Purdue and Kaplan are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The new university will formally begin operations pending approval from the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission later this year.
Andy Rosen, Kaplan’s chairman and chief executive officer, said Purdue’s “tradition of excellence” made it an ideal choice.
“We’re proud to pass the baton to this esteemed university,” he said.