The Trump administration has tapped a former for-profit college official to lead the Education Department unit that polices fraud in higher education.Does he have any relevant experience, say, in consumer protection, or fraud investigations? Well, sort of....
Julian Schmoke Jr., who previously directed campus operations at West Georgia Technical College and served as a dean at DeVry University, will be the department’s new chief enforcement officer, according to an internal email obtained by POLITICO.
Schmoke will lead the Student Aid Enforcement Unit, which was established by the Obama administration to more aggressively combat fraud and deceptive practices at colleges and universities.
The unit has been without a permanent leader since the departure earlier this year of Robert Kaye, a former top consumer protection attorney at the Federal Trade Commission.
Before joining West Georgia Technical College, a public institution, Schmoke worked in various roles at DeVry University between October 2008 and April 2012, including as an associate program dean, according to his LinkedIn page.
DeVry’s parent company, which has since rebranded as Adtalem Global Education, last year agreed to pay $100 million to resolve allegations by the Federal Trade Commission that the for-profit college company misled students about their job and salary prospects.
The company also separately reached a settlement with the Education Department over similar allegations. Obama administration officials cited those cases against DeVry as they announced the formation of the Student Aid Unit last year.
The unit Schmoke will oversee is also responsible for processing debt relief claims filed by federal student loan borrowers who say they’ve been defrauded by their college. DeVry students had 1,872 “borrower defense to repayment” claims pending before the department, according to a July 7 letter from acting Undersecretary of Education James Manning.[my bolding]
The Trump administration has stopped approving new “borrower defense” claims, but DeVos has said she’ll honor the claims previously approved by the Obama Education Department.Of course she