Idaho Senate Votes Against Restructuring Bill for University of Phoenix Acquisition


In a significant setback for the proposed acquisition of the University of Phoenix by the University of Idaho, the Idaho Senate has voted down a bill aimed at restructuring the deal. Despite efforts to pave the way for the purchase, lawmakers expressed skepticism and ultimately rejected the measure.

Idaho Senate Votes Against Restructuring Bill for University of Phoenix Acquisition


Failed Legislative Path

The bill, which failed on a 19-14 vote, sought to create an independent state body to oversee the acquisition of the University of Phoenix by the University of Idaho. By establishing this framework, lawmakers aimed to mitigate potential liabilities associated with the for-profit university and enhance legislative oversight of the transaction.

Introduced by Idaho Sen. Chuck Winder, the bill was intended to address recent legislative opposition and legal challenges facing the acquisition. With a looming deadline for the completion of the deal, stakeholders sought legislative intervention to facilitate the transaction and ensure its compliance with state regulations.

However, concerns regarding the potential risks and implications of the acquisition prompted a contentious debate among lawmakers, leading to the bill's defeat. Despite efforts to assuage concerns and garner support for the restructuring proposal, a majority of senators voted against the measure, signaling a significant setback for the acquisition plans.

READ ALSO: Idaho Legislature Puts Brakes on University of Idaho's Acquisition of University of Phoenix

Continued Uncertainty

Despite the bill's defeat, concerns persist regarding the viability and legality of the acquisition. The University of Idaho, disappointed by the Senate's decision, is currently evaluating its options in light of the vote outcome. The proposed acquisition, initially approved by the Idaho State Board of Education, faces mounting scrutiny and legal hurdles.

Questions surrounding the authority of the state board to execute the acquisition through a nonprofit corporation have raised doubts about the deal's feasibility. While the University of Idaho had planned to finance the $550 million acquisition through bond issuance, legal challenges have cast doubt on the legality of the transaction structure.

Additionally, ongoing legal threats and regulatory challenges pose significant obstacles to the acquisition's completion. Pending resolutions in the Idaho Legislature and allegations of improper procedural conduct by the state board underscore the complex and contentious nature of the proposed deal.

Concerns and Criticism

Lawmakers who opposed the bill voiced concerns about the acquisition's potential risks and implications for the state. Critics argue that the deal may expose Idaho to financial liabilities and regulatory challenges, warranting closer scrutiny and reconsideration by legislative and regulatory authorities.

Furthermore, external stakeholders, including U.S. senators and credit rating agencies, have raised red flags regarding the acquisition's impact on educational quality, financial stability, and regulatory compliance. Despite assertions from proponents about the deal's benefits, skepticism persists among lawmakers and observers regarding its long-term viability and alignment with the state's interests.

As the debate over the University of Phoenix acquisition continues to unfold, stakeholders remain divided over the merits and feasibility of the proposed transaction. With legal and regulatory uncertainties looming large, the future of the acquisition hangs in the balance, leaving key stakeholders and the broader community awaiting further developments and resolutions.

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