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ERIC Number: EJ848942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-10
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Phoenix Risen
Bartlett, Thomas
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n41 pA1 Jul 2009
In 1974, John G. Sperling left a tenured position at San Jose State University with $26,000 in savings to start an academic program for working adults. In the beginning, he ran the operation out of his house. The program soon outgrew the house, Sperling relocated to Arizona, and the program adopted the name of that state's capital. Now the University of Phoenix has close to 400,000 students, more than 200 campuses and 26,000 faculty members, and is valued at roughly $10-billion. Not everyone thinks that Phoenix's wild success is a good thing. The university has always had its critics, some of whom simply do not believe that an institution of higher learning should turn a profit. Its occasional scandals have reinforced the notion that Phoenix cares more about shareholders than students. The company has also paved the way for numerous imitators and helped promote the idea of students as customers, none of which has endeared Phoenix to its detractors. This article traces how John G. Sperling, a history professor, became the pioneer of the for-profit revolution.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona