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Lawsuit Response: President of the Largest Christian University in the US Addresses FTC Allegations



Last Updated on December 30, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Grand Canyon University (GCU) President Brian Mueller has vehemently responded to the recent lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the school, labeling the allegations as “the height of absurdity.” The lawsuit, which also named GCU’s marketer Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (GCE), and Mueller personally, accuses the university of engaging in deceptive marketing practices and illegal telemarketing.

Mueller’s primary defense revolves around the fact that GCU identified itself as a nonprofit organization during an 18-month period after successfully transitioning to nonprofit status in 2018. This transition had been approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the State of Arizona, and an accrediting body. Although the U.S. Department of Education later refused to recognize GCU’s nonprofit status for Title IV funding, Mueller argues that identifying as a nonprofit during that window was not deceptive advertising.

Furthermore, Mueller denies the FTC’s claims of abusive marketing calls, asserting that GCE only contacts individuals who have expressed genuine interest in the university. He also points out that there are striking similarities between the allegations made by the FTC and those previously raised by the Department of Education, suggesting possible coordination between the two agencies.

Mueller believes that the true agenda behind the FTC’s lawsuit is to burden GCU with duplicative legal actions. He expresses his concerns regarding a lack of checks and balances to prevent governmental overreach. This lawsuit adds to the myriad challenges already faced by GCU, as the university was slapped with a hefty $37.7 million fine by the Department of Education in October.

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GCU has been an esteemed institution, dedicated to providing quality education and ensuring transparency in its operations. The ongoing legal battles, including the FTC lawsuit, have cast a cloud over the university’s reputation. Nevertheless, President Brian Mueller remains steadfast in defending GCU’s actions, categorically denying any wrongdoing and vowing to protect the institution’s integrity.

As the situation continues to unfold, GCU is determined to navigate these challenges while maintaining its commitment to its students and the pursuit of excellence in higher education. The university stands firm, confident that it will emerge from these legal battles stronger than ever, upholding its mission to prepare students for success in their MBA careers.

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