Today, the University of Arizona (UA) announced its intent to create a new nonprofit entity that will bear the name of The University of Arizona Global Campus and will acquire Ashford University from Zovio Inc. The University of Arizona Global Campus will be a fully online university providing access to affordable, high-quality higher education with flexible opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to achieve their educational and life goals.
The conversion of Ashford to The University of Arizona Global Campus is driven by the institutions’ shared missions of providing quality and life-advancing educational opportunities to students no matter who they are, where they are, or their stage of life. The University of Arizona Global Campus will remain as a separate university with its own academic programs, accreditation, and faculty.
“The alliance announced today between UA and Ashford will create new, exciting opportunities that promise to expand the reach of affordable, quality higher education,” said Dr. Craig Swenson, Ashford’s President. “The synergies that follow the affiliation of UA, a premier research and teaching university, with an innovative online university like Ashford will benefit students, faculty, and staff of both institutions,” Dr. Swenson added. “After the process, we look forward to returning to our roots as a nonprofit institution and becoming The University of Arizona Global Campus.”
The acquisition transaction with The University of Arizona Global Campus is a positive, strategic opportunity to partner with an institution that is also synonymous with student-centric innovation. The new arrangement will provide significant opportunities for collaboration that will support Ashford’s ongoing efforts to improve student outcomes. Both Ashford and UA are recognized as leaders in tracking, assessing, and understanding data related to online student achievement.
Dr. Greg Geoffroy, chair of Ashford’s Board of Trustees, indicated that the university’s trustees welcomed the obvious benefits that will accompany this affiliation with the University of Arizona. “There is so much potential for cooperation,” Geoffroy said. “We believe that both institutions stand to benefit as we work together to further expand access to quality higher education programs.”
The University of Arizona Global Campus will bring to the University of Arizona community a strong geographic representation outside of Arizona. The University of Arizona’s reach and ability to serve a more diverse student population, more nontraditional students, and new populations of students across the United States and around the world will be expanded through this new relationship.
The University of Arizona Global Campus will maintain its current accreditation with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC is an institutional accrediting commission recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In June 2019, WSCUC reaffirmed Ashford’s accreditation for six years, with the next scheduled reaffirmation visit in 2025.
Ashford will become The University of Arizona Global Campus upon completion of the transaction. Until that time, it will continue to be known as Ashford University.
This transaction is an important step in Zovio’s strategic goal of becoming an education technology services company. Part of the transaction includes a Strategic Services Agreement, under which Zovio will provide specified enrollment, student support, information technology, and financial aid services to The University of Arizona Global Campus.