Senator, Education Groups Question ECMC's Push for Mandatory Arbitration

Last month, AACRAO joined a letter from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to David Hawn, President and CEO of the nonprofit ECMC Group, expressing concern about their proposal to use mandatory arbitration agreements following the company's acquisition of 56 Corinthian College campuses. 

The letter, also sent to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, states that the Department of Education should not allow ECMC to these types of clauses in student enrollment documents. Mandatory arbitration agreements limit the ability of students to hold a school accountable in a court of law when the school's misconduct has caused the students harm. The tactic is "alarmingly similar" to those used by the for-profit college industry to shield themselves from being held responsible for wrongdoing while preventing students from receiving relief, Durbin said in the letter.

The use of mandatory arbitration is a common practice in the for-profit playbook, but is almost unheard of at public and private, not-for-profit institutions. "If ECMC wants to truly be a not-for-profit institution of higher education, it should follow the clear model of non-profit education," the letter states.


Related Links

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's Press Release