Higher Education

California attorney general complaint could shut down Olivet University

Dive Transient:

  • California officers have accused Olivet College — an evangelical establishment underneath federal investigation for suspected cash laundering, visa fraud and different crimes — of violating a number of state training laws, portending its potential closure.
  • Legal professional Basic Rob Bonta filed a complaint earlier this month on behalf of California’s Bureau for Non-public Postsecondary Training. It asks the California Division of Client Affairs to droop or revoke Olivet’s approval to function as a result of state officers decided the school lacked sure marketed programs, assets to make sure a high quality training, and correctly skilled college. 
  • Olivet can be going through scrutiny from its accreditor, the Affiliation for Biblical Increased Training, or ABHE. The establishment didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Tuesday.

Dive Perception:

Olivet was based in 2000 by David Jang, its inaugural president and a well known Korean-American pastor. It has campuses in a number of states, however its predominant one is in Anza, California.

The college has lengthy been embroiled in authorized and regulatory troubles. The personal nonprofit establishment earned nationwide notoriety in 2018, when then-Manhattan District Legal professional Cyrus Vance Jr. announced indictments against the college, which beforehand operated in New York, and a number of other of its prime officers, alleging cash laundering.

Two years later, Olivet pleaded guilty to conspiracy cost and falsification of data and was pressured to pay $1.25 million in forfeiture over two years.

Then in 2022, Olivet reportedly came under federal investigation, once more for cash laundering, but additionally visa fraud and human and labor trafficking. Later that 12 months, New York pulled Olivet’s authority to grant school credit score, finally shutting down its two campuses in that state.

The college’s web site now lists it as operating sites in California, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida and Washington, D.C. 

Olivet will not be accredited to supply state or federal help. 

Extra lately, in November, ABHE evaluated Olivet’s accreditation and warned that the school solely “marginally complies” with the group’s requirements in areas like monetary integrity and compliance with authorized and authorities laws.

Ought to Olivet not right its operations, it might have its accreditation withdrawn, ABHE stated.

Now, California leaders are looking for to finish Olivet’s approval to function within the state. State officers already fined Olivet $5,000 in 2020 over varied violations, together with failing to precisely report scholar job placement charges in one among its diploma packages.

In November and January, California regulators made shock visits to Olivet campuses, in keeping with the legal professional normal’s grievance. They stated they found a number of regulatory infractions. Olivet had did not correctly monitor its college, as an illustration, which resulted in issues like instructors having contracts however no assigned programs or not having a contract in any respect.

Regulators additionally stated Olivet didn’t supply sufficient programs to help college students enrolled in Chinese language or Korean language packages. And in two of the three class periods state officers noticed throughout their go to to the primary campus, professors livestreamed their lectures over Zoom to college students in a classroom. This violates a state rule about having face-to-face instruction in this sort of setting, the legal professional normal stated.

State officers additionally need Olivet to pay for the prices of investigation and enforcement within the case.

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