A little more than a week after federal regulators set their sights on the University of Phoenix for possible deceptive and unfair business practices, the California Attorney General’s office is joining the investigation party by opening a probe into the for-profit college’s military recruitment practices.
Apollo Education Group announced, the school’s parent company, announced on Friday that it will “cooperate fully” with a request from the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris for records going back to 2010 related to its military recruitment efforts.
“Although the principle is well established, we remind stakeholders that the existence of an investigative subpoena itself does not mean the University has violated any rules or regulations, and we look forward to working with the California Attorney General’s office in connection with this inquiry,” retired Army Maj. Gen. Spider Marks, Executive Dean of the College of Security and Criminal Justice at University of Phoenix, said in a statement.
The attorney general’s probe into University of Phoenix’s recruitment practices comes a month after a report from Reveal detailed how the company skirts some rules in order to showcase the school’s prowess to military members, in hopes of enrolling servicemembers.
The Arizona Republic notes that the attorney general’s probe also includes looking into the University of Phoenix’s uses of military logos and emblems for marketing purposes.
School representatives used custom-engraved coins as part of the University’s on-base recruitment efforts. The coins, which features the school’s logo on one side and the emblems of all military branches on the other, is similar to a “challenge coin” given to military personnel by officers to mark major accomplishments.
Shortly after the Reveal report, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin urged the Department of Justice to investigate the for-profit chain’s use of military insignia without proper licenses.
While the Dept. hasn’t opened an investigation, Apollo Education Group said in a statement that it has since discontinued the use of these coins.
“Although widely issued in educational and industry circles, when questions about coins arose, the University immediately discontinued production and distribution of its coins and recalled all non-circulated coins. We hope that the other academic institutions with similar coins follow our lead,” the company says.
Apollo’s University of Phoenix faces California probe over military recruiting [The Arizona Republic]