Edward H. Levine has been CEO and president of South Jordan, Utah-based Neumont University LLC since 2007.
Levine, who splits his time between Utah and Rhode Island, is trying to rally support to establish a Neumont campus in Providence. The school hopes to have 80 students at its New England campus by October 2013. It will offer a bachelor’s degree in computer science at first, and possibly add more later.
Despite opposition from some in the local education community, nine prominent technology and government leaders – including R.I. Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith W. Stokes and the founder of EpiVax Inc., Dr. Anne S. De Groot – have written letters supporting Neumont’s bid.
PBN: How many teachers will there be locally and what is the average salary for a Neumont teacher?
LEVINE: We consider [salary] to be a competitive advantage and that’s proprietary information. Think of it this way – our teachers are current from-the-industry, computer-science specialists and great teachers, so they’re very well-compensated.
PBN: How does the market between Providence and Utah differ?
LEVINE: The markets in Providence and Utah are substantially the same but differentiated by population density and geography. … Our recruiting market [in New England] would be a lot [denser] and therefore our campus would be bigger.
PBN: Looking at the map, you could go to any other New England state with fewer tax and regulatory burdens than Rhode Island.
LEVINE: Rhode Island’s tax situation is not a competitive advantage for Rhode Island, particularly for entrepreneurs. … Rhode Island’s just our current first choice.
PBN: What’s your second choice?
PBN: Have you been surprised by the opposition some of the local education leaders have shown?
LEVINE: No. I anticipated opposition. No one, no matter how healthy their business is – and the other educators in Rhode Island are healthy businesses – seeks additional competition. They view us as competition.