Statement from GCU Parent Council
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Grand Canyon University Parent Council Issues Statement in Support of GCU Amidst Department of Education's Investigation
Phoenix, AZ – October 26th, 2023
The Grand Canyon University Parent Council stands in unwavering support of Grand Canyon University (GCU) during the recent challenges it has faced from the Department of Education. We express our deep concern regarding the targeted and prejudiced nature of the investigation and firmly believe that it is essential to highlight the invaluable contributions GCU continues to make to the State of Arizona.
GCU boasts a rich history of serving our community as a nonprofit institution, dating back decades before its strategic decision to involve investors in 2004, a move crucial to its survival and growth. The university successfully transitioned back to its nonprofit status in 2018, a fact recognized by the IRS and other regulatory bodies except one—the Department of Education. The Grand Canyon University Parent Council believes that this discrepancy should not overshadow the immense positive impact GCU continues to have on Arizona.
The importance of GCU to the State of Arizona cannot be overstated. Not only does it contribute significantly to our economy, injecting $2.1 billion annually, but it also plays a vital role in addressing our state’s workforce needs. Through its outreach initiatives as a Christian university, GCU continuously gives back to the community, making substantial contributions to the public good. GCU stands as the largest Christian university in the country, educating over 100,000 students annually in critical fields essential to our residents, businesses, hospitals, and school districts.
In a state historically underserved in private higher education options, GCU stands as a beacon, providing opportunities for higher learning that are both accessible and diverse. The university is a major provider of professionals, including businesspeople, nurses, teachers, engineers, and technologists. Its commitment to affordability is evident in the 15-year tuition freeze on its Phoenix campus, which has significantly contributed to low student debt levels and default rates, creating social mobility for thousands of Arizonans who might not have considered college otherwise.
GCU’s dedication to excellence is widely recognized by many in Arizona and in higher education, including accrediting bodies. Therefore, the imposition of fines or significant penalties appears disproportionately punitive given the broader challenges faced by higher education institutions. We urge the Department of Education to work collaboratively with GCU to resolve these disagreements amicably. We believe that a cooperative approach can pave the way for a resolution that recognizes GCU’s lawful status as a nonprofit entity, aligning with the decisions made by other regulatory bodies.
In conclusion, we stand firmly behind GCU and its mission to provide affordable, quality education to all. We request the Department of Education to reconsider its stance and engage in a constructive dialogue with GCU. We extend an open invitation to the representatives of the Department of Education to visit our campus, experience the vibrant atmosphere, and witness firsthand the dedication of our students and faculty. We believe that such a visit will provide valuable insight into the positive impact GCU has on our community and the transformative educational experiences we offer.
By doing so, we can collectively ensure the continued success of this invaluable institution, benefiting not only the university community but also the entire State of Arizona.
Troy Nichols, Parent
Member, Grand Canyon University Parent Council
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