Graduate Students

Warren National U., Formerly Known as Kennedy-Western U., to Shut Down

February 02, 2009

Warren National University will be no more at the end of March, seven months after it suspended new admissions.

In a lengthy, convoluted explanation on its Web site, the university blamed the decision to close its doors on a failed accreditation bid and the general economic downturn.

The institution, known as Kennedy-Western University before a 2007 name change, has been around since the 1980s. It was founded in California but ran afoul of the state’s licensing board. It later settled in Wyoming.

In 2004 the General Accounting Office investigated Kennedy-Western and a number of other degree-granting entities that it deemed questionable. The GAO was concerned because federal employees were getting reimbursed by the government for their tuition.

The university was notable for its slick marketing and for doling out credit for “life experience.” It often hired professors from accredited universities to teach classes on the side. Its founder, Paul Saltman, always resisted the diploma-mill label and, in a letter to The Chronicle in 2004, touted the university’s “academic rigor.” —Thomas Bartlett