There is an update to the story of Southeastern University’s collapse that Education Sector’s Kevin Carey wrote for the March/April issue of the Monthly. It turns out that, rather like the undead, Washington, D.C.’s Southeastern doesn’t actually need to be a viable, living institution to continue to cause problems. Carey wrote on the Ed sector blog today that apparently former Southeastern students as suing for fraud in DC Superior Court:

Or to be more precise, [seven students] sued the Graduate School, which absorbed the remnants of Southeastern after the university’s doors shuttered last fall. The plaintiffs are asking for $10 million in punitive damages and millions more in compensation.

It’s unclear of this situation constitutes actual legal fraud for which the Graduate School can be held financially liable, but it certainly sounds rather like fraud in the colloquial sense of the word. As Carey says:

Southeastern’s ability to keep enrolling students despite manifest failure was an outgrowth of the pervasive higher education conspiracy of politeness wherein everyone pretends that there’s no such thing as a bad college or university. They’re all just different, you see, each a unique flower waiting to be matched to an equally distinct group of students, all fine institutions with dedicated faculty who help students prepare for a successful and rewarding career by focusing on academic and professional preparation in a supportive environment with the latest technology, state-of-the-art facilities and one-on-one counseling.

And this sort of thing goes on even if the school is unmistakably, well, crappy. Read the legal complaint here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer