Trump moves from boardroom to classroom
Real estate mogul unveils online 'university' catering to working professionals and entrepreneurs. May 23, 2005: 4:54 PM EDT
By David Ellis, CNN/Money staff writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Ivory-tower academics, watch out: Donald Trump is getting into the education business.
Speaking from Trump Tower Monday morning in midtown Manhattan, "the Donald" announced his plans to create an online university for entrepreneurs and working professionals looking to refine their skills in marketing, starting a business and of course, real estate.
"It's going to be a tremendous venture, it's going to really help a lot of people, which is what we really want to do, more so than economic, more so than anything else, we want to be able to help people," said Trump, framed by the official school seal, a gold and crimson shield bearing a lion silhouette. "I love the concept of starting what I think will be a great university."
The program, which does not carry any accreditation nor provide students with a degree, primarily offers online courses supplemented by CDs, DVDs and textbooks. Someone looking to take the course "Real Estate Essentials: Buy a Home...the Right Way," would learn about working with a broker and how to evaluate potential homes -- the price tag: $300. An average course would involve six to eight hours of online training and include supplemental work offline with DVDs, CDs and textbooks.
The school has plans to roll out additional course offerings on business communications and leadership negotiations as well as seminars. Even Trump himself hinted that there is the possibility of establishing a "brick-and-mortar" school at some point in the future.
Having attracted faculty members from such schools as Dartmouth College and Columbia University, the school will be chaired by Trump himself, while he has enlisted the help of educational researchers, software engineers and management consultants to help run the university.
While this will be Trump's first foray into the education business, the move adds another layer of diversity to his company's holdings. Long known for his real estate holdings, Trump's empire also consists of golf courses in Palm Beach, Fla., casinos on Lake Michigan, and one half of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants. Trump is ranked 228th on Forbes' list of the World's Richest People with an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion.
The announcement comes on the heels of Trump's appeal to lead the reconstruction of the World Trade Center last week. On Friday, Trump's beleaguered Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts announced it had emerged from bankruptcy, after seeking Chapter 11 protection last November.