Kentucky Sues Sullivan University System Over Job Numbers

Spencerian College, a unit of the for-profit Sullivan University System Inc., was sued by Kentucky for allegedly misrepresenting job placement rates, state Attorney General Jack Conway said.

In its publications and on its website, the school made statements about the rate at which students could get jobs in their fields of study that differed from those provided to its accreditor, the attorney general said today in a statement announcing the filing of a state court complaint in Louisville. The complaint was filed yesterday.

“Spencerian College provided students with information that it knew was false,” Conway said. “The numbers substantially contradict data that it proved to its accreditors.”

Closely held Sullivan is based in Louisville. Its Spencerian College has one campus there and one campus in Lexington, Kentucky, according to its website. It offers programs in allied health science and business administration as well as medical and technical programs.

Thom Whittinghill, a spokesman for Sullivan, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the allegations.

The attorney general said he’s seeking a court order barring the school from “further deceptive trade practices,” and penalties of $2,000 a violation. The alleged misconduct began in 2007, Conway said.

Published job placement figures varied by as much as 40 percent from those reported to the Washington-based Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools, he said.

The case is Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Sullivan University System Inc., 13CI00220, Jefferson County Circuit Court, Division Seven (Louisville).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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