Little more than two years ago, legendary General Electric chieftain Jack Welch combined forces with for-profit education provider Chancellor University to build what he hoped would be the “number one online business school in the world.”
It didn’t happen with Chancellor, so Welch has now packed his bags and moved his Jack Welch Management Institute over to another for-profit player, Strayer Education Inc. To get out of his deal with Chancellor, Welch is reportedly paying upward of $2 million to buy back his namesake school. The total purchase price is about $7 million, with the bulk of it being paid by Strayer.
The Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI) currently offers a $30,000 executive MBA degree and executive certificates via online instruction. The certificate market is now considered a hot and growing area of executive education. Welch has two certificate offerings—“Becoming a Leader” and “Creating a Winning Strategy”—but expects to develop far more of these programs. Both his current offerings last six weeks long and are priced at $2,400.
“Our vision has always been to build JWMI into the number one online business school in the world,” said Welch in a statement. “Combining with Strayer University gives the Institute the educational foundation, the reach, and resources to achieve this vision.”
According to reports, Strayer had been exploring the opportunity to offer an EMBA program when it was contacted by Welch about the possibility of acquiring his Institute and offering the MBA program through the Jack Welch brand. Strayer already offers a traditional online MBA.
The Institute was founded by Welch and launched in 2009 as part of Chancellor University. Strayer Education entered into a definitive agreement with Chancellor University and S & J Welch, LLC to acquire the assets associated with JWMI at Chancellor University. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2011 subject to regulatory approvals.
“We are delighted to offer JWMI programs at Strayer University,” said Strayer CEO Robert S. Silberman in a statement. “With this acquisition, we will offer students an executive MBA program that combines a first-rate business education with the highest level of academic quality and rigor. Jack’s experience and success in the business world serves as a solid foundation for the executive MBA program and will expand our corporate training offerings.”