Benjamin Akande and Don Huonker

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology and leader of the Office of Corporate Partnerships, with Don Huonker, Walgreens senior vice president, global projects.

Walgreens has selected Webster University as a preferred education provider within “Walgreens University,” a new training and development initiative for Walgreens employees and affiliated providers. The Walgreens initiative is designed to lead its industry in classroom and online programming that engages, educates and develops Walgreens employees for rewarding long-term careers.

According to Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology and leader of the Office of Corporate Partnerships, the agreement provides tuition discounts and other incentives for Walgreens employees to pursue their educational aspirations at Webster.

“Walgreens has a history of innovation and this initiative is indicative of how Walgreens adapts and grows as a company. They know that by developing their employees with higher education opportunities, they are helping to ensure a sustainable future for the company and the communities they serve,” Akande said.

“Our Walgreens agreement is an important one. It will result in Webster University being a Walgreens’ preferred provider, gaining exposure to more than 8,500 Walgreens locations in the United States and approximately 240,000 Walgreens employees.”

Don Huonker, Walgreens senior vice president, global projects, said, “After getting an undergraduate degree in pharmacy in 1984, I decided more than 10 years after graduation to go back to school to study business. Webster gave me that opportunity and the MBA I earned there has helped me tremendously. It is wonderful to now see my teammates at Walgreens get the same opportunity I had to get a great education from Webster University.”

Qualified Walgreens employees will be able to take Webster classes at any of Webster’s locations around the world and online.

With the opening of Walgreens University, the company said it is doubling its annual investment in employee education and development, and plans to double the number of learning opportunities for employees.


MU launches 16 online programs

The University of Missouri will launch 16 online programs in an effort to respond to the demand for increased online learning opportunities and a more highly educated citizenry. MU officials said the $2.2 million investment is intended to increase access to higher education and enhance the number of graduates in specific industries.

Areas of study covered in the new initiative include hospitality management, public administration, nursing, education, energy efficiency, geospatial intelligence, public health, interactive media and health communication. The programs will be developed and taught by MU faculty.

“We are pleased to begin offering online programs in these in-demand subject areas,” MU Provost Brian Foster said. “Producing graduates with the skill sets and preparation needed to advance these industries is at the core of our mission at the University of Missouri.”

MU also is investing in more than 25 new undergraduate online courses that will make it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree from a distance with little or no transfer credit.

“With the added online courses from the College of Arts & Science as well as the new online degrees from the College of Education and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, first-time college students and those with just a few transfer credits can earn their bachelor’s degrees from Mizzou and stay in their hometowns,” said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost for e-learning.

The new programs will increase the number of online degree offerings to nearly 90; with 8 undergraduate degree programs and 79 graduate certificate and degree programs that are either offered in part or completely online.

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Expert: Bar Association should prevent deceitful practices

In recent years, several law schools around the country have come under fire for allegedly misleading prospective students through deceptive marketing techniques and numbers manipulation. Former students from some of those schools have filed lawsuits in several states, arguing that they were purposefully misled by the schools about post-graduation employment rates, among other data.

Regardless of whether these marketing practices can be addressed in civil lawsuits, Ben Trachtenberg, an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, believes that there are ways that offending law school administrators can be punished for their deceit.

In an article forthcoming in the Nebraska Law Review, Trachtenberg argues that state bars can and should use pre-existing ethical guidelines to prohibit deceitful marketing behavior, and the American Bar Association (ABA) can use existing accreditation standards to require honest marketing.

Lawyers have many ethical guidelines they must follow,” Trachtenberg said. “This includes a rule against dishonesty, misrepresentation, and deceit. This rule applies to all actions performed by lawyers, even those outside of a courtroom, and lawyers can be disciplined or even disbarred if they are found to be deceitful.”

Trachtenberg says that the ABA should more vigorously apply accreditation rules mandating that law schools provide robust, honest consumer information to prospective students.

“Many administrators in law schools around the country are lawyers,” Trachtenberg said. “It would be embarrassing, and perhaps damaging to the reputation of a law school, if its administrators were publicly disciplined or even disbarred for deceitful marketing practices. Even the threat of punitive action by a state bar may be enough to make many law school administrators think twice about how they recruit students to their schools.”

Trachtenberg says that lawyers with personal knowledge of these ethical violations should report offending lawyers to appropriate authorities. He believes lawyers should work to safeguard the integrity of the profession by treating misleading law school marketing with the seriousness it deserves.

Ben Trachtenberg is an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, where he teaches evidence, criminal procedure, and professional responsibility. He previously taught criminal law and environmental law at Brooklyn Law School.  He is a member of the New York bar.

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