Rahm pushes virtual learning with no oversight... DeVry OnLine featured in mayoral publicity stunt which Emanuel provided to the media in a one-stop shopping PR package

Wrapped completely in mayoral prose and even including an official mayoral press photograph, courtesy of the mayor's official press photographer, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on June 25, 2012, did an informercial for virtual learning at a media event at DeVry Institute's downtown office. The press release even offered media a photo caption to go with the graphic: Photo Caption: "Mayor Emanuel and DeVry CEO Daniel Hamburger meet with employees at DeVry's new downtown facility."

The press release, which follows a script that has been utilized more than 100 times during the first 12 months of the Emanuel administration, quotes the mayor as praising the corporation (whatever its name may be) and then tallies a list of "jobs" the corporate entity will "bring to Chicago." With the event closed to real reports and under the complete control of propagandists from the mayor's office and the corporation in question (a common feature of these events), there are no detailed questions about the math that gives rise to the "jobs" estimate, or any possible tax giveaways that accompany it. No follow up is ever conducted to find out whether any of the jobs actually existed within a few months after the routine mayoral publicity stunt.

In the propaganda release, Emanuel touched all the necessary bases, pointing out that the construction of the facility was done with an eye towards minority and women contractors and that "green" was everywhere. "DeVry’s office was renovated using sustainable building practices," the press release stated. "DeVry is applying to the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED Gold level certification. In addition, DeVry has contracted to use 100 percent sustainable energy sources to operate the office." Since the office is actually inside a larger building, it is unclear how this would work. But since the mayoral media event was not a press conference, no one was able to raise such a question.

In the case of the DeVry media event on June 25, one feature that can't be overlooked by public school educators is the fact that DeVry will be expanding "on line" learning and that, apparently, some of those to be hired will be non-union "virtual" teachers.

The mayor's official press release stated:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. June 25, 2012. CONTACT: Mayor’s Press Office, 312.744.3334, June 25, 2012.

DeVry University, Ernie Gibble, 773.454.7132,

MAYOR EMANUEL WELCOMES DEVRY TO NEW CHICAGO LOCATION. DeVry Online Services Expected to Bring 600 Jobs to City

CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined DeVry Inc. President and CEO Daniel Hamburger today to welcome DeVry Online Services to its new Chicago home office. DeVry will bring 600 jobs over nine years to the West Loop neighborhood.

DeVry Online Services opened its office at 300 S. Riverside Plaza earlier this month with more than 200 employees. Approximately 150 of these employees relocated from other Illinois locations, and 60 were newly filled positions. DeVry plans to hire an additional 400 employees to work in the DeVry Online Services unit in the coming years.

“Founded in Chicago, DeVry has been an innovative leader in higher education and a valuable contributor to Chicago’s workforce development for numerous years,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The jobs created at the new DeVry Online Services location reflect Chicago’s commitment to creating an environment where businesses can grow and thrive.”

The South Riverside Plaza location will house senior executives, admissions directors, admissions advisors and instructional designers. Employees at this location will primarily provide online services to DeVry University, the flagship institution of DeVry Inc. The organization will ultimately occupy 77,000 square feet in the office tower and has the option to add space to accommodate more than 800 employees if needed.

“Chicago is a great city for organizations that need to hire young professionals,” said Daniel Hamburger, president and chief executive officer of DeVry Inc. “We could have placed these employees anywhere in the country – but we felt the combination of quality talent, resources and office space made Chicago our best choice.”

In addition to direct employment impact, the opening of DeVry Online Service’s Chicago office also created many construction jobs. The build-out created 120 temporary construction jobs — and a total of more than 10,000 person-hours. More than 30 percent of the construction contracts were awarded to minority- and woman-owned businesses.

DeVry’s office was renovated using sustainable building practices. DeVry is applying to the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED Gold level certification. In addition, DeVry has contracted to use 100 percent sustainable energy sources to operate the office.


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