Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ave Maria College to remain open with three students

From Naples News

Ave Maria College in Michigan to have 3 students next year
AMC founder Tom Monaghan vowed to the students that he would keep the college open until 2007, when the first phase of the new university is completed near Immokalee

So maybe we should start taking bets now on the over/under for students at the AMSOL Ann Arbor campus in 2009?


At 10:39 AM, Blogger bncq said...

The one thing that will be different between AMC and AMSOL (should AMSOL move) is that the ABA will be involved in the closure of AMSOL. Was there any external oversight of the AMC closure, and if so, what was the degree of that external entities involvement in the closure?

At 12:53 PM, Blogger mrbooks said...

North Central accredititation (what AMC was working on) is for our region of the country and does not cover Florida. It is the main, and most important accrediting agency for us. Public schools in Michigan, including elementary, are accredited through them. This did cause some issues with transfer of AMCOA, since their accreditation was tied to AMC.

Accreditation is necessary in order to receive federal student loans, so AMC started with AALE accreditation (American Academy for Liberal Education)which can be acquired mor quickly.

Neither of these organizations carries the clout of the ABA, even within their own regions, although threat losing North Central can be a real motivator. The power in Florida is the SAC, Southern Association of Colleges.

Accreditation is nottransferrable from one association to another, so AMU had to apply there. As with North Central, their power does not exten beyond their region. I'm not sure what states that covers.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Boko Fittleworth said...

Hi Mr. Brooks,

I asked this question over at whichave; I'll ask it again to you: Is AMU accredited by anyone? Can they grant degrees?

To everyone: Who knows the backstory here? Was there a lawsuit or threat of one? Did TM actually keep his promise because it was the right thing to do? Does AMU need AMC to be open to buy them some more time to get accredited?

At 4:33 PM, Blogger mrbooks said...

Info is limited, boko, but here's the latest I have. I think it's fairly accurate and not too out of date.

As I said, AMU is in SAC's territory. SAC is quite demanding and thorough, one of the toughest I have heard, and AMU is probably only a year into the process at best. If I understand correctly, candidacy status (at least that's what North Central, AMC's accrediting agency, calls it.) may take 3 to four years to achieve. Candidacy status is basically a provisional accreditation until the process is completed and the final decision made. AMC does have that, and consequently so does AMCOA. AMU does have candidacy status with the AALE, so they can confer degrees, but it is not looked upon with the same respect as is the SAC. I believe others have here that posted the dept of ed is investigating the AALE to determine if their proceedures are up to snuff.

As I said in the earlier post, AMC and AMU are in different regions. There is no tie between their accreditation processes. Confusion may lie in the fact that in the beginning AMU did not actually exist as an academic institution. The school in Naples was opened as a satellite school of AMC. The Financial Aid problems arose from a timing snafu when AMU status was changed prematurely, making them ineligible for aid. That may be an over-simplification, but I think it gets the basics right. So, no, AMU does not need AMC open in order to buy time. I'm not sure how this all will affect accreditation at AMCOA. I assume they will at least be covered under the AALE candidacy status until SAC candidacy is attained.

I have heard that at least the threat of lawsuit existed, but I cannot confirm it or that any were actually filed.

Hope this helps.

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Jay said...

Boko Fileworth,

In answer to your question, "Did TM actually keep his promise because it was the right thing to do?" the answer is that he did not keep his promise.

I was director of Public Relations for both AMC and AMU when the Naples adventure was announced, and was there two years. When the founding of AMU was announced, I was told to tell the media that AMC would remain open until the current freshman class graduated and that AMC would have THE SAME PROGRAM AT THE SAME LOCATION."

There is plenty of evidence that shows there was never any intent to keep AMC open: Even while they said they were keeping AMC open, Monaghan and Nick Healy secretly negotiated to sell AMC to Madonna College in May 2004. This is well documented on the Ave Parents web site. (http://www.geocities.com/aveparents/HealyFessioLetter.html)

Here is what Nick Healy and Fr. Joe Fessio wrote on June 8, 2004:
"Students enrolling in the fall of 2003 were promised that Ave Maria College would remain in Michigan through the 2006/07 school year, thus allowing such students to graduate in Michigan. This promise has never been repudiated nor is it in question. The only question is how best to carry it out."

At that very time, (2003 and 2004) AMC faculty were being coerced into moving to Florida. Some went against their will. Two AMC officials who later moved to Florida were coercing students into transfering to Florida, telling them that AMC was going to become a ghostown. The curriculum was being dismantled. The biology program was gutted. My own daughter, who intended to take biology classes, found few were offered. the math program was likewise gutted.

The main reason all but three students have left AMC for the last year is the place was so depressing and the threats were quite real that AMC would force the last few students to take classes for their "teach out" at places like EMU. The facilities were not being maintained. For example, the hot water heater in my son's apartment (owned by AMC) never got anything hotter than lukewarm the whole year. There was a continual effort by the administration to make the place unlivable. The theater program was a joke, there was no student publication, etc.

So boko, get it out of your head that Monaghan keeps promises.

Jay McNally

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Boko Fittleworth said...

I know TM doesn't keep many promises. I'm just wondering why AMC will continue to exist with three students. Surely TM wishes it were shut down now. I wonder why it is still open. If he can't shut it down, I'd like to know why not. That info might come in handy later.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger mSCIENCE said...

Ave Maria School of the America's (Nicaragua) is a money-maker, and their ability to have students receive federal funds is tied to AMC, not to unaccredited AMU. If AMC completely folds, Nicaragua goes with them. AMU wants Nicaragua, but has no way to assume them given their current status.

A recent Naples News article (site is down at the moment for the reference) quotes AMU's Healy talking about AMC being open through 2007. This was prior to any final decisions by the AMC students to stay/go. So, keeping AMC open, at least on paper, appears to have always been the intent. No AMC, No Nicaragua for AMU.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Boko Fittleworth said...

Thanks, mscience. I thought there might be something in it for TM. Nice to know they're making money off the Nicaraguans. The third world wealthy is a class that has long been underserved. When I think of Central America, my heart immediately goes out to all the poor rich people suffering there.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger gulfside said...



At 9:29 PM, Blogger Moni said...

Cheers for having linked the AMC website before it was removed from universal access by typing it in the address box. By typing in "www.avemaria.edu" you used to come to a page prompting you to chose AMC or AMU's campuses... those of us who fondly sat on/near the steps of Rosa Mystica/John Vianney Hall knew which one to click on. However, now that address takes you directly to the website of the Naples' campus - "Where has AMC gone?"
Hope the three remaining students have more luck keeping track of their identity. At least they no longer have to explain the details of a spacious block-long campus. The three may only need to walk from their rooms (do they have housing?) either downstairs or to the next building.


Post a Comment

<< Home