Former General Electric Co. chief executive Jack Welch is putting his money and his reputation behind college level online education.
Welch is forking over more than $2 million for a 12 percent stake in Chancellor University System based in Cleveland, Ohio. The school will offer most of its courses online, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Retired in 2001, Welch, 73, has been dabbling in education projects -- teaching a class at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and helping to support the John F. Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. His books about management are often best-sellers.
“I think it’s a real education,” said Welch about his latest online project, adding the unique MBA program will integrate his philosophy of leadership and human resources into a 12-course curriculum geared for mid-career workers
For sure, Welch is backing a trend.
According to the WSJ report, EduVentures Inc. indicates that 11 percent of the roughly 18.5 million U.S. college students took most of their classes online in the fall of 2008 — a significant uptick from 1 percent 10 years ago. Online higher education will crank out revenue of $11.5 billion this year, the survey firm noted.
Chancellor University will rise from the ashes of the formerly bankrupt Myers University in Cleveland. Chancellor will christen its Master of Business Administration program The Jack Welch Institute.
Welch and his wife, Suzy, are already recruiting faculty and hammering out courses for the university’s MBA program — as well as its master of management program. Undergraduate degrees will also be offered.
Meanwhile, Welch won’t be at the virtual podium for any courses as of yet, but he will be taping a weekly video for the students.
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