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 Who is Carl Barney, ARI's principle donor?

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Nemo

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PostSubject: Who is Carl Barney, ARI's principle donor?   Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:38 pm

The Ayn Rand Institute is kept afloat by donations.  Setting aside Leonard Peikoff, who gives ARI the value of the  Ayn Rand ®  trademark, [1]  the largest donors are Carl Barney, John Allison, and the Koch brothers.  Here we focus on Carl Barney.

Mr. Barney started donating to ARI in 1985, the very year it was founded. [2]  By his own account, by 2016 he had contributed over 20 million dollars to the Institute. [3]  He tells why:

“I’m not an altruist ... but I would like to have others experience the understanding and the benefits that I’ve had from philosophy.’ ”

From ARI’s “Voices of Reason” blog entry of June 16, 2015  “The Objectivist Venture Fund Helps Break New Ground”:

“An important new source of funding to help spread Objectivism was announced last year [2014] in July. Through the Objectivist Venture Fund (OVF), Carl Barney, ARI board member, has committed up to one million dollars to support Objectivists with imagination and persistence who want to put these funds to good use in advancing Ayn Rand’s philosophy.”

Of course that is ARI’s idea of advancing Rand’s philosophy.  Another recipient of Mr. Barney’s largesse has been Leonard Peikoff.  From Mr. Peikoff’s website (still online though he has retired from podcasting):

“The marketing of my podcasts, including the new website, is financed by Carl Barney, Chairman and CEO of several institutions of higher learning, including Independence University. Thank you, Carl, for your generous support.
“ ~  Leonard Peikoff ”

Mr. Barney also heads the Prometheus Foundation  which he started in 2014. That first year it gave ARI about $2.5 million. For what it’s worth, not much, Prometheus itself received about $82 thousand from Goldman-Sachs. [4]

Mr. Barney is a businessman who made a fortune running for-profit colleges from 1985 to 2012.  In 2012 the federal government instituted more stringent regulation of for-profit colleges that received, via students who did, aid from the federal government. That aid must not exceed 90% of the school’s revenue, for example. [5]  The new regulations did not apply to nonprofits. Simultaneously, and according to Mr. Barney purely coincidentally, Mr. Barney took over a small nonprofit corporation called the Center for Excellence in Higher Education – founded by other people in 2007 – by giving and lending it amounts of money totaling 636 million dollars ($205 and $431 million respectively). After getting control of the Center he had it buy his colleges – the intangible business enterprises but not the real estate from which they operate. The colleges continue to operate more or less as they had before but now officially as nonprofits.

Mr. Barney is chairman and sole voting member of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education. Two non-voting members,  Peter LePort  and  C. Bradley Thompson, [6]  were added when CEHE’s incorporation was amended on September 16, 2015.

The heads of ARI and CEHE are on each other’s boards.  Yaron Brook is a director of CEHE and Carl Barney is a director of ARI.  Mr. Brook has been on CEHE’s board of directors since Mr. Barney took over CEHE in 2012. [7]  Mr. Barney has been on ARI’s board of directors since 1995. [2 again] 

Thus like ARI,  CEHE is nominally a nonprofit corporation. It consists of three partly brick and mortar colleges – Stevens-Henager Colleges, CollegeAmerica, and California College San Diego. Each has a number of satellite locations, for a total of 20 locations (two more since 2015), consisting of single large buildings or parts of buildings called campuses. A substantial part of a course is online. Mr. Barney is also chairman and founder of Independence University which offers entirely online courses. [8]  According to CEHE’s Form 990 its revenue (receipts) for 2014 was $194,019,539.  Expenditures:  $161,921,960.  Assets:  $569,929,222. [9]

Mr. Barney continues to profit from the colleges. One way is through leasing the buildings, which he still owns personally, to the colleges. His first year as a nonprofit, 2013, he collected $5.1 million in rent. [10]  Another way, and this is conjecture since finance is not my forte, is by collecting interest on the money he loaned to CEHE, in effect collecting interest on money he loaned to himself, which might exist only on paper.

Who is Carl Barney and how did he acquire a fortune approaching (exceeding?) two thirds of a billion dollars by running for-profit, now putatively nonprofit, in large part online, colleges?

We tackle the two questions in order. What can we say about Carl Barney the man?

http://ariwatch.com/WhoIsCarlBarney.htm#1
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PostSubject: Re: Who is Carl Barney, ARI's principle donor?   Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:59 pm

 
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PostSubject: Re: Who is Carl Barney, ARI's principle donor?   Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:42 pm

ROFL
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