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HOW THE `NEW U' IS MAKING THE GRADE
"The new U" (Social Issues, Dec. 22) did not mention the programs of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education. With corporate sponsorship, it is funding innovative model programs at dozens of private colleges to demonstrate that cost savings can be realized through new collaborations and technology.
We find that private colleges are ready to get to work in creative ways. One example: a consortium of colleges in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky that is redesigning introductory chemistry courses to be taught online. Students from four universities will learn collaboratively.
In the face of a more segmented higher-education market, the experience that private colleges and universities offer is distinctive. Small classes, a close-knit community, and individualized attention all promote skills that are essential characteristics for our nation's leaders.
Carole B. Whitcomb
Foundation for Independent
The key difference between the ivory towers and the for-profit institutions you describe can be summed up in one word: evolution. Most of the institutions that will thrive in the new millennium are those willing to abandon notions of an erudite liberal arts education in favor of a more pragmatic view of education as a pathway to a worthwhile career.
Regionally accredited for-profit institutions, such as Berkeley College, must live up to the same standards of academic excellence as the leading liberal arts colleges. At the same time, however, curricula are designed to be immediately relevant to the present work environment. It is for this reason that a number of proprietary colleges are experiencing a steady increase in enrollment.
Kevin L. Luing
West Paterson, N.J.Return to top
CHOP STOCKS: THE NASD IS ON THE CASE
The "chop stock" problem highlighted by BUSINESS WEEK in a recent Cover Story by Gary Weiss ("Investors beware: Chop stocks are on the rise," Dec. 15) is a significant concern for U.S. investors. BUSINESS WEEK has performed a public service by drawing investors' attention to these illegal practices and explaining their intricacies. The article, however, understates the commitment of the National Association of Securities Dealers and other regulators to this issue. We will continue to take vigorous action to address the issue. We are making a number of changes to the regulatory scheme to reduce the risks to investors who choose to participate in the micro-cap market, and we have committed and will continue to commit significant resources to the detection and prosecution of wrongdoing in that market.
The allegation by an anonymous chop-house executive of the bribery of an NASD examiner is extremely serious. The NASD has no knowledge of such an event and aggressively investigates all changes of wrongdoing, internal or external. Allegations of improper conduct by our own employees receive the greatest scrutiny of all.
Regulators and law-enforcement officials are working together to assure that the securities markets are safe for investors. The overwhelming majority of securities professionals comply with the law, and the NASD vigorously investigates and disciplines those who do not.
We have 5,500 members with 550,000 registered representatives. With the broadest securities regulatory responsibility in the world, we recognize we are a fair target for critical media attention but hasten to emphasize that the NASD's enforcement statistics are unrivaled. The article clearly reinforces the wisdom of NASD's unparalleled resource commitment to regulation.
Robert D. Leahy
of Securities Dealers
WashingtonReturn to top