Ivy League instructors say initial focus on high-quality online teaching gave way to ‘how to get rich’ seminars
In 2005, John Vogel, an adjunct professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, stood at a news conference with Donald Trump and professors from other top-ranked schools to announce the launch of Trump University.
He was proud of the video lectures he recorded on topics such as variable versus fixed-rate mortgages and how to weigh pros and cons of different properties for an online course directed at would-be real-estate investors.
“There were some pretty legitimate people involved at the beginning,” said Mr. Vogel, who earned $1,800 for a day’s work recording the sessions.
But according to former employees and a number of the early instructors who flanked the businessman and reality-television star at the event, the program all but ditched its online courses and Ivy League instructors by mid-2007 to focus on seminars teaching how to make it big in the business with little upfront investment.
Aspiring real-estate magnates could attend free preview sessions, then were encouraged to pay for increasingly expensive seminars and one-on-one coaching that promised to unlock the secrets to success. The company hosted hundreds of multiday seminars around the country between 2007 and 2010, according to student surveys it posted online.
“Had I realized they were going to change course from providing high-quality online education to something that was closer to a boiler room operation and these ‘how to get rich’ seminars, I never would have gotten involved,” Mr. Vogel said.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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