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Daily Business Report — Sept. 25, 2012

Wholesale Staff Reorganization
Announced for Ashford University

Bridgepoint Education on Monday announced a wholesale reorganization of its staff at Ashford University, its main college, in apparent response to the college’s loss of regional accreditation, a major factor in its ability to collect federal financial aid. The San Diego-based company, one of the region’s biggest private employers, announced that it has eliminated 450 Ashford University admissions positions, reassigned 200 admissions personnel to a new department of Student Inquiry and reassigned another 200 admissions personnel to its Student Services department, “where they will provide further support to new and existing students.”

Bridgepoint Education did not mention Ashford University’s loss of accreditation in its Monday announcement. “In concert with the challenges facing higher education and our commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence, our initiatives will focus on student selection and student support,” said Elizabeth Tice, president of Ashford University, in a statement. “The reorganization allows us to align our services with our continued dedication to student success.”

Bridgepoint said the staff reorganization affects Ashford University’s locations in San Diego and Denver.

Voice of San Diego gave a comprehensive report on Bridgepoint Education’s problems in a March 2011 story. Read it at: –

City Council Votes Down Power Plant

A proposal for a power plant adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park, the state’s largest municipally owned park, was unanimously voted down Monday by the San Diego City Council. The Quail Brush Energy Generation Project proposed by Charlotte, N.C.-based Cogentrix raised the ire of environmentalists, residents of Santee and the Santee School District. Council members said after about two hours of public testimony that they understood the need for more energy resources. But the Cogentrix proposal for a “peaker plant” — which would be turned on only during periods of high energy demand — was simply in the wrong location, they indicated. (City News Service)

Governor Signs Bill Creating Independent
S.D. County Redistricting Commission

Supervisor Greg Cox’s proposal to create an independent county redistricting panel comprised of retired judges has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill, introduced in the Legislature by state Sen. Christine Kehoe, proposed creating an Independent Redistricting Commission comprised of five former or retired state or federal judges thatwould hold at least seven public hearings and adopt a redistricting plan. Voters still must approve changing the county charter to enact the independent redistricting process. If approved, the independent redistrict process would be applied for the first time in the 2020 redistricting process. “This  proposal recognizes that politicians shouldn’t be choosing their voters, but that voters should be choosing their elected officials,” said Cox.

USD Program Offers Online Marketing
Assistance to Small Business Owners

University of San Diego will offer a certificate program this fall where owners of small and medium-sized businesses can receive hands-on instruction to develop successful online marketing campaigns. The eight-month program in Online Marketing Strategies focuses on the “how-to” of marketing techniques, emphasizing implementation tactics and return-on-investment strategies. The program begins with an online marketing boot camp and includes courses in integrated marketing, search engine optimization, social media and Web analytics. Participants will develop a working Internet marketing plan for their businesses. The first course, “Introduction to Online Marketing,” begins Oct. 11. To register, Information: (619) 260-5976.

UC San Diego Astrophysicist Wins Hans Bethe Prize

Astrophysicist George Fuller, who directs UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, has been selected to receive the 2013 Hans A. Bethe Prize. The award is given annually by the American Physical Society to” recognize outstanding work in theory, experiment or observation in the areas of astrophysics, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, or closely related fields.” The prize was established to honor Bethe, a nuclear physicist at Cornell University.  It consists of $10,000 and a certificate. He will formally receive his award at a special session of the society’s April 2013 meeting in Denver.

Supervisors to Break Ground on Waterfront Park

Groundbreaking is scheduled at 11 a.m. today for a long-awaited waterfront park outside of the County Administration Building. The $40 million-plus park was among the plans during construction of the county’s main offices in the 1930s, but it was never built. The idea was revived about a decade ago. The 11-acre park will feature an 830-foot-long fountain with water jets, a splash area for children, themed gardens and open green space for picnics and civic events. The project includes an underground parking structure. Some demolition work has already taken place, including the removal of a building that housed offices for the county Health and Human Services Agency. Members of the Board of Supervisors will be asked to approve a $2.3 million spending increase on the project to cover costs of amenities in the fountains and gardens, and to improve lighting. (City News Service)

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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