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Report: University of Phoenix lays off 170 full-time faculty members

PHOENIX — Officials at University of Phoenix have laid off at least 170 full-time faculty members as of Tuesday, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

The newest round of layoffs comes less than a year after the Valley-based company announced it would cut 470 jobs, in addition to the 500-plus jobs cut since 2013 by the university’s parent company, Apollo Education Group.

But the Phoenix Business Journal reported that the latest layoff numbers could change “depending on impacted faculty members transitioning to associate faculty positions.”

In a statement to the Business Journal, university officials said some associate faculty members were converted to full-time in 2013 to “improve student retention rates.”

Since then, the university found that retention rates for courses taught by full-time faculty were not “materially different” than those taught by associate faculty members.

“As a result of the decline in enrollment and course sections and the results of our internal study around student retention rates, we have reduced the number of full-time faculty positions,” according to the university’s statement to the Phoenix Business Journal.

Enrollment at University of Phoenix has been on the decline for years, decreasing from 176,900 in 2015 to 135,900 in November 2016.

The lack of enrollment forced Apollo to sell itself to private investors for $1.1 billion in February.

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