Devry CEO Hamburger confirms $20 million investment in AUC

POSTED: 08/10/11 5:36 PM

New owner will continue to sponsor USM scholarship

St. Maarten – Devry Inc., the new owner of the American University of the Caribbean, will continue the tradition of sponsoring an annual scholarship for a local student to the University of Saint Martin, Devry CEO Daniel Hamburger said yesterday. He also confirmed that Devry will invest $20 million in the AUC. Without giving any pertinent details, he made clear that the investment includes the construction of additional buildings at the Cupecoy-campus.
Hamburger said that AUC’s Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer Bruce Kaplan will remain responsible for the operation in St. Maarten together with the Dean of Basic Sciences Ron Testa, a professor of behavioral and clinical medicine.

Yife Tien, the son of AUC-founder Paul Tien introduced Hamburger to the audience that gathered in the aula yesterday afternoon for an introduction to the university’s new owner. Before the public presentation, Hamburger addressed the university staff behind closed doors.
Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever attended the presentation, as did MPs Lloyd Richardson, Ruth Douglas, Jules James, Johan Leonard and Frans Richardson. St. Maarten’s representative on the Dutch Council of State, Dennis Richardson, was also present.
Tien briefly reminisced about the history of the school his father founded – the plans for the campus in St. Maarten were drawn on a single piece of paper – before announcing Devry as a Fortune 500-company. Devry bought AUC for $235 million.
“This marriage is a good fit,” he said.
Hamburger said that he was “deeply impressed” by the thirty years of high quality education AUC had provided.
“There is a strong academic program and there are strong ties with American hospitals. We intend to build on AUC’s history in the years to come,” he said.
Hamburger depicted Devry as the largest educator anywhere, serving 120, 000 students around the world. Devry offers career-oriented services.
“Ninety percent of our students should find a job within six months after graduation at a minimum annual salary of $40, 000. We have a strong sense of purpose. We aim to empower our students to achieve their educational and career goals,” Hamburger said.

Devry runs a global outreach program that sends students around the world to give back to the community, for instance by providing basic medical care in countries like Kenya. The company, established in Chicago in 1931 by Dutchman Herman de Vry, pays out $27 million in scholarships every year.
In St. Maarten, Hamburger said, Devry will continue to sponsor the school-breakfast program. “We will also invest in St. Maarten in academic quality and in infrastructure.”
Currently there are two local students, both female, studying at the AUC, but Hamburger said that he would like to see that number increase in the future. After Hamburger’s address there was a reception that was also attended by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.

Under the lighthouse it is always dark
CUPECOY – Devry Inc. CEO Daniel Hamburger sang the praises of his company for three quarters of an hour during a presentation at the American University of the Caribbean on Tuesday. Hamburger stressed that the organization leaves no stone unturned to improve its performance and its services to students and other clients. He pointed out that Devry had for instance borrowed concepts from the hospitality industry to improve its service-level.
When he started his address, Hamburger identified a couple of people in attendance that is important to the university-community by name. He also mentioned that there were local dignitaries present.
“Too numerous to mention,” he said, failing to formally welcome Minister Cornelius de Weever. The others who were apparently too numerous to mention were, all in all, five Members of Parliament and Council of State member Dennis Richardson.
When we asked Hamburger after his presentation one question (about the continued sponsorship for a scholarship to the University of Saint Martin) Daily Herald reporter Judy Fitzpatrick stuck a recorder under his nose.
“Turn that thing off,” Hamburger snapped. “I am not saying anything when that is on.”
Then he turned to Executive Dean Bruce Kaplan for a brief consultation, because he obviously did not know the answer to the question.
“The answer is yes,” he snapped after a few seconds.
“The only word you have to remember is yes.”

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