Fast-Growing U. of Phoenix Calculates a More Careful Course

Fast-Growing U. of Phoenix Calculates a More Careful Course 2

Laura Segall for The Chronicle

The re-engineering of the U. of Phoenix comes as it and the $20-billion for-profit higher-education industry it helped to create face substantial political, financial, and public-relations pressures.

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close Fast-Growing U. of Phoenix Calculates a More Careful Course 2

Laura Segall for The Chronicle

The re-engineering of the U. of Phoenix comes as it and the $20-billion for-profit higher-education industry it helped to create face substantial political, financial, and public-relations pressures.

In the fall of 2009, after closing the books on yet another banner year of enrollment growth, and with its parent company's stock climbing toward a five-year high of $90 per share, the University of Phoenix began to question fundamental pieces of the very formula that had fueled its years of success.

Even as its executives celebrated, recalls one, they were uneasy. A feeling was building "in the pit of everyone's stomach: That felt too good."

From that "moment of truth," as