The mammoth project has been in development since June of 2009 when a single Chinese university project in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, sought out the Academy to assist in developing education programs in North America and raising $10 million in school expansion funding. Over the next six months, the funding requirement mushroomed to a $97 million funding package when the Academy invited the ancient Shaolin Temple global education project into the mix and added for the university a separate international Mandarin language online school, the first in China.
The super project financing was undertaken by a group of financiers from Michigan, British Columbia, Ohio and New Jersey. After a year of effort to acquire hard assets sufficient to secure a guaranteed standby letter of credit for the Chinese school, the Chinese university requested the Academy to find alternative funding sources. Dr. DiUlus says it was particularly painful and disappointing in view of the fact that the Shaolin Temple, a 1500 year old cultural phenomena and third largest tourist attraction in China entered into the education cooperative agreement for the first time in modern history with North American educators only to be disappointed by western financial funding sources.
To stave off what appeared to be a blockbuster failure, the Academy developed an alternate strategy. In May 2011, financial specialists set about putting a team of investment, accounting and legal experts together. Headed up by long time project management professional, Dr. David Hostelley, a CPA who is a 50 year veteran of forming SEC approved IPO’s, reverse public mergers and private placements, he has moved the Academy close its goal of total project funding.
The Academy’s own first investment in the consortium is expected to be a 10% private placement of the $50million sought followed by funding through the public sector over the following 45 days.
Dr. Fred DiUlus is the author of the annual BEST WORST Online Degree Program Providers rating and ranking of online universities and a pioneer in online higher education. He is also the Director of the non-profit foundation, the Center for Ethics in Free Enterprise, the original developer of Global Academy Online Inc. and a half dozen other education and training organizations.