State attorney general asking questions about Globe/MSB


Statements by two former Globe University / Minnesota School of Business employees suggest the school may be one of the for-profit colleges that state Attorney General Lori Swanson has said she’s investigating.

Earlier this week in a Washington County courtroom, former Globe/MSB dean Heidi Weber — who has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against her old employer — told the court she had been questioned by the AG’s office.

Former Globe/MSB admissions representative Hannah Von Bank also told me a few weeks ago that she had been questioned by the office. She would not give details, but said the areas of discussion were similar to issues I reported on last summer: predatory recruiting practices, harassment of students and poor results.

Bank and Weber were two of the people I interviewed for that piece.

Globe spokeswoman Naomi McDonald characterized the AG’s contact with Globe as “an information request” about areas such as the school’s recruiting and placement practices.

She said:

“We are working with the Attorney General’s office and intend to fully comply. We are confident that we are fully compliant with Minnesota law and our accreditors, as we have been consistently for decades. Unfortunately, the issues appear to be ones previously raised by a few disgruntled former employees. We will not allow the Attorney General’s information request to be used by these former employees to blackmail the College, or to damage our hardworking students, faculty or staff. Student success has always been our top priority, and we remain committed to providing the best college education experience for all students.”

Attorney General Swanson told MPR in February that she’s looking into allegations that some Minnesota-based schools engaged in overly aggressive recruiting practices and gave prospective students misleading information about things such as job-placement rates and the transferability of credits. She said military veterans may have been “targets” of such colleges.

She said she wants to see whether the schools broke any consumer protection laws.

Globe’s McDonald said none of the school’s executives, employees or students have been questioned or asked to come in for questioning.

A spokesman for Lori Swanson said the office generally does not comment on ongoing investigations.