No federal agency is above the law

No federal agency is above the law

No federal agency is above the law

An Arizona-based law firm that wants transparency is suing the U.S. Department of Education.

Goldwater Institute first became aware of what was going on with the department after its historic $37.7 million fine against Grand Canyon University (GCU) in October for allegedly misleading students about costs -- something GCU has denied.

Goldwater filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for more information, but the Department of Education has not responded.

Skankey, Stacy (Goldwater Institute) Skankey

"This is a very vey astronomical fine for what seems to be very thin allegations, especially when you compare to other historic fines that Department of Ed. has rolled out with the sexual assault crimes of Penn State and Michigan State," says Goldwater Institute attorney Stacy Skankey. "Those fines were only around $2 million - $4.5 million, and so that just does not make any sense that GCU, this successful college, would get this astronomical $40 million fine."

She tells AFN her firm does not represent GCU but is suing the Department of Education for not complying with the FOIA request.

"We are on the side of transparency here," she states. "No federal agencies, no government bureaucrat is above the law, so our job is to hold them accountable."

Skankey recognizes that Goldwater may not get every single document it wants, but "we'll get more answers than had we not pushed forth this effort and sued them," she says.

As for GCU, Skankey says it is being targeted for standing out and being successful.

"Grand Canyon University a very successful private Christian college, and they are very proud of not raising tuition for the last 15 years," the attorney notes.

They do not have diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, and they protect free speech, which means they are at odds with what is happening in higher education right now, and Skankey thinks that should be a concern for everyone.