Blaming students for poor results is a tactic for-profit schools use, said Barmak Nassirian, a longtime higher education policy analyst who works for Veterans Education Success.

When predatory institutions have a pattern of low graduation rates and complaints, they “actually end up stigmatizing the victim,” he said. “It’s very easy in education to say, ‘Well obviously, we serve low-income people and some of them are just not well-prepared.’ ”

Nassirian said there could be other governmental investigations pending that Phoenix hasn’t disclosed or doesn’t know about.

He’s suspicious about the sale because of the way it was conceived in private.

“A well-considered, beneficial arrangement would be publicly discussed,” he said. “You tend to hide things that probably undermine your position. You don’t tend to hide things that fortify your position. If all this good is gonna ensue and all this money is gonna pour into the coffers of the University of Idaho, why the secrecy?”

Read the full column at The Idaho Statesman here or in the PDF transcript below.

University of Phoenix has a checkered past - Did U of I make an enormously risky move