Trump-DeVos-Jones Rollbacks Allow Scam Artists to Rip Off Students & Taxpayers
One more thought on this week’s Capitol Forum report on abuses at Career Education Corp. under CEO Todd Nelson, last week’s FTC action against CEC, and treatment of for-profit colleges under Donald Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos.
Diane Auer Jones, the former CEC senior executive who is now DeVos’s top higher education aide, recently claimed to the New York Times that she blew the whistle on misconduct on CEC. It’s unclear what Jones, who left CEC around the time Nelson arrived, was referencing. But while she was, from 2010 to 2015, CEC’s senior vice president and chief external affairs officer, a job in which, according to her LinkedIn profile, she was “the senior executive responsible for company-wide regulatory operations, licensure and accreditation, corporate communications, public relations, government affairs and centralized academic services,” not only did the company continue to deceive and rip off students, it also lobbied hard to stop the Obama administration from holding predatory schools accountable for abuses.
It took the election to the presidency of the con man who ran scam Trump University to put Diane Jones at the helm of U.S. higher education policy, and she has used the platform to eliminate nearly all the Obama-era safeguards aimed at restraining predatory colleges.
When Betsy DeVos last week threw in the trash one more of these key Obama reforms — the borrower defense rule that gave ripped-off students at least a fair chance to have their federal loans cancelled — she claimed, “There is no place for fraud in higher education, and it will not be tolerated by this Administration.” But that was a lie. Everything DeVos and Jones have done in office has made it possible for fast-buck artists like Todd Nelson to re-intensify their scamming of students and taxpayers.