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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

EDMC Downplays Talk of Layoffs

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Education Management Corporation spokesperson Jacquelyn Muller told City Paper this morning that “there have been no layoffs announced” at the for-profit education company.

In a written statement, Muller says the company “has begun an evaluation of the operations in an effort to better position the organization for success within the current economic and changing regulatory environments.” Although the statement allows, and Muller confirmed in a brief discussion, that there is the “possibility of some staff reductions.” CP first reported Tuesday that employees at EDMC’s online division were told not only about the evaluations, but also that layoffs would be happening and that the notification of those staff reductions would come by Friday. Several employees, who asked not to be identified, verified the news Tuesday and some say they were even told that their jobs were safe. When asked if layoffs were imminent, even though the number and extent of staff reductions weren’t announced Tuesday, Muller referred back to the written statement, which appears in its entirety below. The potential shakeup at EDMC was also reported this morning in a brief story from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which relied mostly on EDMC’s official statement.

And while the company this morning is referring to the layoffs as “possible” there is other evidence to suggest that staff reductions are likely.

On Tuesday evening we reported on an internal memo sent to employees from John Kline, the president of EDMC’s online division. While Kline’s memo does use the verbiage “possibility of reducing the number of staff,” it also sets somewhat of a timetable for completing the evaluations.

“This will be an extensive and deliberative process with every effort made to carefully consider the needs of our students and the complexity of our organization,” Kline writes. “This process is expected to conclude within the week, and I will keep you updated regarding the outcomes of this process.”

As for EDMC employees, those contacted by City Paper are sticking by their guns that the “possible” layoffs are definite and they’re still looking at Friday as decision day. We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

Statement from EDMC spokesperson Jacquelyn Muller:

Education Management Corporation (EDMC) announced to employees at its Online Higher Education operations yesterday that it has begun an evaluation of the operations in an effort to better position the organization for success within the current economic and changing regulatory environments. This evaluation will include careful consideration of all options, including the possibility of some staff reductions. Although the Company continues to experience a demand for its academic programs, like most colleges and universities a number of factors such as the economy and a changing regulatory landscape have contributed to the need for this review.

We will continue to evaluate all aspects of the business in order to focus its resources as efficiently and effectively as possible to provide fully online students with an excellent education and high quality outcomes. We will continue to invest more broadly in academic quality initiatives and in the innovative delivery of higher education to better serve the needs of our students.

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