Private higher ed company to lay off 65 workers

by James Nord

In a bid to save $5.5 million annually, Capella Education, a private higher education company, announced Tuesday it will lay off 65 non-faculty workers in the face of declining revenues this year.

The Minneapolis-based company is shifting toward a “brand-driven marketing strategy” that will make it “less reliant on third party marketing efforts,” CEO Kevin Gilligan wrote in a statement. The company is looking to get leaner, and will eliminate 4 percent of its non-faculty workers.

Faculty will not be directly affected by the reductions, according to the company.

“The faculty and staff at Capella share a deep commitment to the success of our learners,” Gilligan wrote. “While today’s actions are difficult, we would not take them if we did not believe they were in the best long-term interest of our ability to serve our learners.”

Capella, which provides both graduate and undergraduate degrees over the Internet, serves more than 35,000 students, according to the release. The company’s stock was trading up 25 cents at $34.52 Tuesday afternoon, after dipping earlier in the day. It’s third-quarter revenues are down compared to last year, the Star Tribune reports.