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Former Argosy student with serious concerns...

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by NVNative, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. NVNative

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    ... about the teach out situation with TCS. I know TCS doesn't have any better a reputation than Argosy, or worse until the last few months, but this isn't about TCS. I checked the other Argosy threads and I didn't see this talked about so forgive me if this is a redundant thread but I need to ask some questions of those more in the know/not so close to the fire as I have been.

    Argosy Orange County is now TCS-Irvine, same faculty and everything. TCS is just coming in and taking over, literally nothing will change, however this is at least just a teach out. I assume it is the same with Argosy Chicago and Argosy D.C./Virginia.

    This issue that has nothing to do with TCS is that Argosy faculty have been getting paid with stolen student financial aid all year, and they've known it since the end of January and even if they want to say they didn't know it then, it is absurd to think they didn't know it was stolen money by the last paycheck they received the week before all the campuses closed. This applies to all campuses so no, Arizona and others that are not teach out locations are not innocent in this in any way.

    So the teach out option for those students at teach out campuses is to continue being taught by the very faculty that accepted our stolen financial aid money in their paychecks, knew it was stolen, and tried to get us to be okay with it as the scam played out.

    That is the option I and other Argosy students have if we want to continue in the PsyD program and I just don't get how any state board or the APA can sign off on this. These people shouldn't even have licenses to practice anymore and surely shouldn't be in positions of authority over students in training.
     
  2. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    I'm sorry about your situation, but those are some strong words. What are your alternatives? No teach out? Had the students gotten that money and the faculty not been paid, there would be no program anyway as there would be no faculty. This is an issue between Argosy and the Dept of Education. The only persons guilty are the ones that filed the fraudulent papers to the Dept of Ed. Had they not done that, the school would have just collapsed earlier when it ran out of money and students still would not have received financial aid (Argosy was required to front students the money and they did not have it). APA and state boards do not look at financial matters, so they don't have a say in it anyway.
     
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  3. OP
    OP
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    TCS is letting Argosy students transfer in and taking at a minimum 75% of their credits so there are options that don't involve having people who knowingly stole from at least the DoE if not you yourself having authority over you. I'm fascinated that you think the only guilty party here is Dream. It's like saying the only guilty member of the mob is the mob boss and not the underlings that take knowingly stolen money and helped in the scam itself. Faculty had been lying to us right up to the day they closed. One of my friends withdrew the day before it all ended and was berated for her "impulsive" decision, yet these people are blameless?

    And when did simple factual statements become "strong words." I have lurked around here for some time and the bashing of students at these schools is incessant, yet the faculty are innocent saints... even after they knowingly accepted stolen money? Let's be real here.
     
  4. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    No one said they are innocent saints, but they are not the ones that committed the crime. You use your analogy, yes you go after the mob boss or others in the mafia. You don't go after the waiter that works in the mob owned restaurant. They may know where the money comes from, but they are just a waiter at the end of the day and that is not a crime. You can transfer to TCS and I am sure many of those same professors will be hired by TCS to teach all the extra students. At the end of the day, employees of an institution. They are not Chief Financial Officer. If the check clears, they continue to work there. Same with the admissions and marketing people. At the end of the day, they all lost their jobs because they chose to work at a company with a less than stellar reputation. There are bigger fish in the sea.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
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    Not even close. They were not merely waiters at the mob owned restaurant, they actively participated in the scam and lied to use literally up to the day they closed, all the while cashing checks they knew were stolen money. For the life of me I don't understand how you see them as so innocent and yes, that is how you see them given your waiter analogy. They are not and they should not have licenses let alone jobs as faculty overseeing the training of the truly innocent victims in all this.

    And yes, state boards and the APA do have authority over licensees who commit crimes, which is what accepting knowingly stolen money is... a crime.
     
  6. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    So enlighten me, what law have they broken?
     
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  7. OP
    OP
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    All states and the federal government in the U.S. have receiving stolen property laws. You really thought it was perfectly legal to accept knowingly stolen property? You cannot be serious.
     
  8. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    It wasn't your property, so why do you care? It is was Dept of Education money and you have no idea where/how it was spent. Even if it was considered a crime, students would have no standing with regard to the money.
     
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  9. OP
    OP
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    Right... no ethical violations in having committed the crime of receiving stolen property because it was only stolen from the DoE... good gawd, at this point just tell us what Argosy campus you were a faculty member of because this has gotten beyond ridiculous.

    And yes, we do know the money was used for payroll, this has been widely reported.

    Seriously, what campus are you formerly a faculty member of? Or is it a current TCS faculty member at an Argosy teach out campus?

    What would I care that actual criminals who lied right to my face for weeks and weeks are now my only teach out option... you should be stand up comedian.
     
  10. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    Ethical violations are different from crimes. In order to charge anyone from receiving stolen property, you would need to know where every single dollar went. This will never happen as I am sure it was co-mingled with legal funds and the money went various places. I have no ties to Argosy whether you want to believe it or not. I simply disagree with your premise about the faculty. At the end of the day, Argosy leadership have some questions to answer and I am sure leadership were more concerned with keeping the money flowing into their own pockets and less concerned with faculty. I don't see faculty as any more culpable than the students who chose to attend their programs.
     
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  11. GradStudent2020

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    I think the “why do you care” is a very flawed argument, especially with a student being significantly impacted by this mess.
     
  12. OP
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    Not in this case they are not. The crime of receiving stolen property would be an ethical violation of any state board, let alone receiving that stolen property from the very students you are in a position of authority over-because yes, those were student loan funds they stole so yes they did steal from me. Your reasoning is so flawed and childish I cannot but assume you are associated with Argosy. How else could anyone think actual criminals are no more guilty than those they stole from?

    As far as your defense attorney apologetics... save it. I don't care how this would play out in court, these people are criminals and that's that.
     
  13. OP
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    He's associated with Argosy, no other way to explain his bizarre apologetics, down to defense lawyer nonsense. Sounds like he's already had himself a legal consultation about all this and has just been playing dumb.

    But I'm going to do something else with the rest of my evening. Good luck with him.
     
  14. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
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    :corny:

    All these argosy spies...
     
  15. GradStudent2020

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    I don’t think he is.

    This is obviously a terrible situation for current students, and I hate that right now your options feel like lose/lose.
     
  16. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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    He's a VA staff psychologist, and is quite open about it on here.
     
  17. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    You got me. I'm a secret double agent that has maintained a persona on here over a decade telling people going to Argosy is a bad idea in order to spy and find those that have committed treason against the all mighty Argosy. However, all along I have been a Dept of Education spy. Does that make me a triple agent?

    You tell people not to go there, you get bashed as being bias. You say not everyone employed there is a criminal, you get bashed as being bias. I am really going to miss Argosy.
     
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  18. Ollie123

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    Am I the only one who finds it refreshing to finally have Argosy students posting about how their institutions are not legit after years of us trying to make this case to prospective students?

    Seriously, while I empathize with the concerns and questioned the ethics of faculty affiliated with places like Argosy long before this evolved, its a massive stretch to claim they are legally culpable. Most people do not have direct control over their paychecks. I would wager money the vast majority of faculty had no idea their paychecks came from the stolen loan money any earlier than the students did. Urging students to remain enrolled is perhaps misguided optimism, but probably doesn't arise to a criminal act. That said, I get that students may be put off by having to work with anyone affiliated with the place.

    <---- 10+ year ardent critic of Argosy, current faculty at a major academic medical center, zero history of any affiliation with Argosy
     
  19. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    Yes and no for me. It is a bit refreshing to hear this, but it is also just the same old blaming external forces and defending their choices. The man is holding them down and going to an APA internship and getting a good education is just an elitist mentality. Now the same people that were all about bending the rules so that they could take advantage of the system are angry when it blows up in their face. Next the person the other week that was calling taxpayers suckers for covering his/her debt relief through PSLF will be calling the government evildoers if PSLF is taken away. Nah, that is just karma.
     
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  20. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician
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    If I were the OP, I think I’d be ****ing thanking Jesus that another school is going to accept 75% of my credits instead of having to start totally over, that my student loan from spring 2019 was effectively wiped out and I can still get loans at the teach out campus, and I can still obtain the degree I’ve been working toward. Or, request a Closed School Loan Discharge and move onto plan B. And Hope Plan B doesn’t lead to the same outcome as Plan A. Let the courts (judge who appointed the receiver, judge who ordered the initial settlement that led to EDMC selling to DCEH) sort out who knew what when where and how.

    But that’s just me. :shrug:
     
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  21. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof
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    @NVNative I think most of the forum members feel very strong empathy for students being screwed by Argosy. I guarantee that most everyone here thinks that Argosy has been a predatory institution. @Sanman definitely has no love for Argosy. I think the difference in opinion is how culpable are the faculty. It is not a simple answer.

    When did the faculty become criminals in your mind?
    Was it only with the last paycheck?
    Was it with the the previous few paychecks?
    Was it when the faculty accepted the job in the first place?

    I interviewed at a university-based, well-regarded PsyD program during my job search. While being a good school, the tuition was very high. I thought a lot about the ethical dilemma of being part of a non-predatory training institution but also playing a role in leading students into very large debt. Fortunately, I did not get an offer and didn't have to make that hard choice. But I definitely made a choice not to apply to Argosy or similar type programs. If you are going to blame them for not returning their salary (BTW, payment for work they had completed) you might as well blame them for being their to start with. Similarly, any faculty at The Chicago School are also culpable. There isn't much that separates The Chicago School of toady with the Argosy of 2 years ago.
     
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  22. ClinicalABA

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    Sorry that this thread devolved into the bizarre and sublime, as any old D&D aficionado (PnP) will tell you is wont to happen when trolls battle it out. Try to ignore that stuff.

    I agree with you that if the "professors" accepted pay that they knew came from ill-begotten means, then they are culpable- at least ethically, and maybe even criminally. Do you have a basis for saying that they absolutely knew? Am I correct in that you believe that they received pay from accounts padded with stolen loan funds even after the announcements that the "school" was engaging in this activity? I think it will be difficult to prove, but don't begrudge you your anger. I- as would many here- would argue that these "professors" were culpable in the overall scam that was Argosy, and that any reasonably intelligent person can and should have deduced from a cursory review program outcomes and costs that the model was not in the best interests of students as a whole.

    Best of luck with whatever the next steps are for you.
     
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  23. PsychScience

    PsychScience right hand on green
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    I can see both sides of this, I agree that if the faculty knew without a doubt that they were receiving their salary via misappropriated funds that there are some obvious ethical concerns. At the same time, I wonder how much insight they actually had into the financials. There are many many expenses that the school was faced with, faculty salary was probably one of the more minor ones (considering what faculty get paid). And how far down the food chain do you go? Do you blame the secretary? How about the librarian? The janitor?

    In an ideal world, what would you have liked for the faculty and staff to have done?
     
  24. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    If you google my moniker and argosy (and psyds more generally) here, you’ll find multiple posts where I argued that the faculty at ncspp programs are unethical due to the debt issue and more specifically that to be associated with programs that have terrible outcomes (Eg matching at a 50 percent clip to apa sites). Many others here have made similar arguments. You’ll find no shortage of psychologists that think argosy is unethical. Haven’t looked recently, but I’d be surprised if many, if any, faculty at argosy would be competitive for real academic jobs.

    So bottom-line, students were either ignorant and/or not very bright to go to an argosy-like school. Faculty at these programs are unethical.

    As to legality, haven’t faculty at argosy always been paid by student loans? How do you know they knew any differently as to the current situation?
     
  25. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Most of the faculty at the local Argosy were former students, so some of these faculty are just part of the cycle who probably do not know better, and as you implied, probably aren't competitive for any of the other reputable academic jobs in the area.
     
  26. GradStudent2020

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    There may be an argument for criminal behavior further down the line, maybe as far down as faculty. However, I doubt any charges will be filed. It would be challenging to prosecute from a legal perspective.

    Even if all faculty members behaved ethically and legally leading up to this fiasco, I can understand current students having mixed feelings about working with former Argosy professors.
     
  27. procrastin8r

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    I think faculty are more culpable than the metaphorical waiter who works for the mob-owned restaurant. The metaphorical waiter is a low-income, low-resourced individual, faced with highly empowered bosses with a high capacity for violence. Faculty are highly educated individuals and have the potential of working elsewhere. Even a less prestigious job for someone with a doctorate in psychology is still highly resourced. I know that this is just an off-the-cuff metaphor, but I just had to go there. It irks me when highly resourced people are portrayed as helpless. Faculty hold considerable privilege. Faculty can feasibly walk away. Therefore, faculty should be held accountable - morally, if not legally.

    So, yes, it is super ****ty that OP has to "transfer" to a new school only to face the exact same department who behaved highly unethically and directly or indirectly screwed them over. However, practically, this may be the only feasible short-term solution for TCS-Irvine. There exists a department of at least passably capable faculty, who are now out of a job. There exists a need to form a new department at TCS-Irvine to accept the influx of Irvine transfers. A university can't create a department out of thin air, not can they considerably stretch an existing department to accommodate an influx of students. So, they are doing the most practical thing, even if it may not be ethical. And unfortunately, it means that students either have to face their old faculty, for better or for worse, OR take the risk and re-apply elsewhere, with no guarantee of admission or transfer credits. This majorly sucks, OP, and I am very sorry this is happening to you.
     
  28. PsychScience

    PsychScience right hand on green
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    I'm not trying to invalidate you, because I think there is some truth to your statements. However, I do think you are massively overstating the power and privilege that most faculty members hold. Particularly when it comes to any kind of decision-making. I am saying this from the perspective as someone on faculty at a small regional university. Like most systems. It's a hierarchy. We are toward the bottom. Do faculty hold privilege in other ways? Absolutely! But most of the actual power at the university level is wielded by the those higher than us in the hierarchy.
     
  29. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    I think you are overestimating the resources of faculty, particularly if they have student loans, and underestimating the wait staff at a restaurant. I know front of house staff that make more money than a lot faculty I know. I'd also argue it is easier to get a more ethical position as a waitstaff then it is to get another faculty position as a psychologist (way more restaurants out there).

    Is there some ethical culpability for staff? Sure. Just as there is for the admissions people, the marketing people, and janitor. There is also some culpability for the students. In all the years I have been here, I have yet to see a prospective Argosy student argue it was the best education that they could get. For most I have spoken to here, they thought a riskier path was worth it because it was:

    1. The path of least resistance (I don't have to move, do as much research, get a masters degree, etc.)
    2. The only place they were accepted

    Everyone there was okay with skipping best practices to give students a piece of paper and make some money.
     
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  30. PsychScience

    PsychScience right hand on green
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    Yep. I remember when one of my classmates was desperate to find an academic job and she was considering applying to a FSPP with terrible outcomes. We had some interesting discussions regarding the implications of teaching in a situation in which you knew that you were requiring your students to take on an unreasonable amount of debt coupled with low EPPP pass rates and poor APA match rates (this was during the imbalance crisis). She ultimately did not apply for these reasons. Even if I understood her desperation, I don't think you can disentangle getting paid by a system from the consequences and behaviors of that system.
     
  31. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    If the faculty are argosy grads, they have a ton of debt, don’t make that much money and have been taught in a crappy model. There’s likely quite a bit of cognitive dissonance resolution going on there. They are likely terrible with money and most likely progressive democrats so everything is about external blame.




    Just kidding...kinda, on that last point.
     
  32. PsychScience

    PsychScience right hand on green
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    While many of the adjunct faculty in these programs are former students of a FSPP, I was under the impression that many of the tenured faculty came from a wide variety of programs. Its hard to get to the Chicago school faculty bios, and impossible to get to Argosy's now that the website is essentially shut down, but here are some from Alliant:

    Faculty | San Diego PsyD in Clinical Psychology | Alliant
    CSPP | Clinical Psychology PsyD | Los Angeles Faculty | Alliant

    I think you will see a fair representation across programs, from counseling to clinical scientist program graduates. I think Argosy had fairly similar faculty representation.
     
  33. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Alliant has definitely made a push at recruitment in recent years to lure some respected faculty. Argosy....less so. The one here was almost entirely former grads of this specific branch.
     
  34. PsychScience

    PsychScience right hand on green
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    That’s telling. I can’t imagine a university-based program having almost exclusively faculty members that had graduated from within that program.
     
  35. GradStudent2020

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    I was curious about this. My university based Master’s seems to have several faculty members with degrees from that University. I just calculated the percentage of current faculty, and 25% have their degrees from there.

    I compared that to Fielding (faculty bios available online), and roughly 93% of faculty have doctorates from other universities. So 7% have degrees from Fielding vs. 25% from the university PhD.

    Obviously a small sample size but I found it interesting.
     
  36. WisNeuro

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    Yeah, it'd be weird, in the three university programs that I went to/was affiliated with, I don't believe any of the faculty got their PhDs there. As for the local Argosy, my bet is that these are people who did not want to leave the area and were not competitive for decent jobs in the area.
     
  37. Pragma

    Pragma Neuropsychologist
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    I've seen some FSPS dangle money to try to lure bigger names. Saw it happen locally in recent years.

    Also have seen lots of inbreeding. Think there is a good amount of variability out there in the FSPS world. I know that at my PhD institution, "leaving the nest" was the rule and exception(s) rare.
     
  38. AcronymAllergy

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    Mod Note: Broke this out (or, more accurately, copied it) from the original thread to allow for continued discussion of the topic, as desired.
     
  39. psych.meout

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    Calling the faulty criminals isn't appropriate for a couple of reasons.

    Firstly, money is fungible, so there's plausible deniability that the money they received was not from the misappropriated funds. Unless they work in the accounting/finance department, most employees don't really know where exactly their money is coming from, nor do they really care. It's much harder to track stolen money than other stolen objects (e.g., cars), so there's likely not much to go on in terms of prosecuting them. A civil suit to recoup the funds is a different, much more complicated, story.

    Secondly, these faculty were being compensated for the work they did. They were being paid for the labor of teaching classes, which they continued to do until they were officially laid off (e.g., the stories of faculty being called out mid-class and laid off without being allowed to finish). They were not paid in advance, they were getting compensated for work they had already done. Thus, they were legally entitled to that compensation. A portion of the funds misappropriated by the higher-ups at Argosy would have gone to these faculty anyways, so they really haven't done anything legally wrong by accepting that money to which they were entitled and would have received regardless of the malfeasance of the Argosy upper management. If they had not been paid, any restitution made by whoever currently has the misappropriated funds would have included the faculty getting paid for the services they rendered.

    Thirdly, there isn't necessarily anything objectively wrong that they did from an ethical or moral perspective. You received the benefit of their teaching just as you had several months ago before this issue began, so you owe them compensation for it, e.g., through the student loans you took out. Wouldn't you be upset if you did work and were not compensated for it because someone else did something illegal? Neither you nor they violated their end of the agreement, someone else stole the funds. It's a completely separate issue. Now, one could argue that there are more pervasive issues with Argosy and other FSPSs that are morally or ethically dubious, but those are not really related to this particular issue. For example, the sub-par outcome statistics from the programs (e.g., internship match rates, licensure rates) indicate poor training, lack of quality control in admissions, and other systemic problems that indicate that the programs are more interested in pushing through large volumes of students to maximize tuition and fees. Personally, I think there are many ethical issues involved in that, including taking advantage of students and potentially harming the public by pushing through students who should not be psychologists. The problem here is that you and the other students didn't have your pitchforks out until recently, after the money went missing and the programs appeared that they would close down. Would you really be upset with these instructors if it was business as usual and this malfeasance didn't occur and if the programs weren't shutting down?

    I get that you're upset by this situation, that's understandable. I just disagree with your assignment of blame and the focus of your anger. It's the people at the top of Argosy, EDMC, Goldman Sachs, etc. whom you should be mad at.
     
  40. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.
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    While I agree with your statements, there is an important thing to remember here. No funds were technically stolen. 13.1 million (is that the number?) in funds were fraudulently obtained from the Dept of Education when someone lied and said that Argosy had dispersed funds to students in the form of financial aid. They never paid the students and could not afford to, hence they were going to be unable to be the recipient of federal financial aid in the future. The only other option Argosy had was to say that to the Dept of Ed earlier that it did not have funds and students still would have been in the same boat and the Dept of Ed would have never given them any money. It didn't change the situation, it just prolonged it and likely allowed some administrators to find their next gig and bail in the process with money.
     
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    psych.meout and Justanothergrad like this.
  41. AbnormalPsych

    AbnormalPsych Clinical Psychologist
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    This is all pretty extreme. How are faculty supposed to know where each cent of their paycheck, every paycheck, direct from their employer, comes from? Is prof A's pay 100% legit? Is prof B's 2.3% legit? Are their different levels of blame to you? What about the paycheck before that? What about last years? This is pretty ridiculous. They are employees doing their job. They have mortgages and livelihoods. Their employer is responsible for paying them and employees have no burden to investigate the source of each cent on each paycheck then determine its morality/legality. You are acting like faculty actively conspired together to plan to rob students or the government.

    Will you track every cent of your earned money the rest of your professional life?
     
  42. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
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    To add a even more from the faculty perspective, this is pasted from an e-mail on D17
     

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