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My Fellow “Victim”–Glenn Jones

July 6, 2020

Tomorrow, July 7, 2020, is the fifth anniversary of the death of Glenn Jones.

Jones, head of a cable television company in Centennial, Colorado, was at heart an educator who invested close to two hundred million dollars of his own money in an attempt to crack the higher education marketplace with his own Internet university.

I was living in Northern Virginia in the late 1980s, a region serviced by Jones Cable, and I would notice, usually late at night, unadorned education programming on TV consisting of instructors standing in front of a blackboard. That was 1987 when Jones founded his first distance education company, Mind Extension University (ME/U), which delivered college courses via cable TV and claimed more than 50 million subscribers worldwide.

In one trip to Washington, DC, Glenn Jones stopped by the Vietnam War Memorial on his return home to Centennial, and saw individuals and families of Vietnam War veterans visit “the Wall” of names of Americans killed in that war. Jones told me that he was moved to “do something” for these Vets and founded Jones International University.

That solely Internet based institution attained “regional” accreditation in 1999 and inspired me to found my own Internet University.

In December, 1999, I visited Paul Weyrich, an education entrepreneur in his own right who founded the Free Congress Foundation and National Empowerment Television, and asked him for support in founding the first Internet university dedicated to the ideas that had motivated the Conservative Movement.

In 2004, I had been compelled to move my own solely-Internet university, Yorktown University, to Colorado which at the time was safe haven for startup education companies offering certificate and degree programs for degree credit.

The motto of Virginia—“Virginia is for Lovers”—is advertising fluff. The actual motto is “Virginia Loves Government.”  That power was used to affirm segregation in education of African Americans from white citizens by means of the State Higher Education Council for Virginia (SCHEV).

By 2003, that legacy of suppression had moved from segregation in education in 1955 to suppression in 2003 of Internet delivered higher education. I moved my University to Colorado in 2004 and became friends with Glenn Jones. We were from different generations (Glenn was 20 years my Senior) but we shared a “victimhood.” Glenn shut down his University as a result of Obama Administration attacks on for-profit higher education and, when we last met, Colorado had become hostile and I was compelled to shutter Yorktown University.

 

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