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Ashford University reportedly slashing staff

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Employees at all six Ashford University campuses have reportedly been offered a chance to voluntarily resign as the organization staff is cut.

The Clinton Herald reports employees were notified Wednesday, June 12, 2013 that the university will reduce its workforce in two phases.

The Herald reported enrollment at the academic institutions owned by Ashford’s parent company, Bridgepoint Education, was down about 20 percent in the past year.

The organization employs 400 people in Clinton.  Ashford University has three locations in San Diego, California; a campus in Denver, Colorado and an online center and the main campus locations in Clinton, Iowa.

All non-faculty employees at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa were offered the option to voluntarily resign.  Faculty and certain other departments at the university’s California and Colorado locations were reportedly exempted from the list of employees told about the option of voluntary resignation.

No details were released concerning potential severance packages for Ashford workers.

News of this round of cuts comes after hundreds of layoffs were announced at Ashford facilities in September 2012.  In that case, employees were offered a two-week severance package.

To add to its challenges, the organization that governs accreditation for higher education in Iowa and Colorado says Bridgepoint and Ashford must move their administrative headquarters out of California and into its region or risk losing accreditation for the Iowa and Colorado locations.   The organization that governs higher education accreditation in California also denied Ashford’s application for initial accreditation.

The university’s website still listed dozens of job openings at the various locations.

Editor’s note:  In an email dated June 19, 2013, Bridgepoint Education media relations manager Marianne Perez said, “Only Ashford University, not Bridgepoint Education, would need to relocate headquarters should it need to comply with substantial presence requirements.” 

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