Greenberg: Was Melinda Gates' WaPo Resignation a Coincidence?

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On November 12, the Washington Post announced that Melinda Gates had resigned as a director of the Washington Post, which gets the lion’s share of its operating income from Kaplan University, a for-profit university.

There was no formal explanation.

Then on November 23: The Education Trust, which is partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, issued a report headlined, “Subprime Opportunity: The Unfulfilled Promise of For-Profit Colleges and Universities.”

Sounding somewhat similar to earlier criticism by hedge fund manager Steve Eisman, the report takes aim at the for-profit education industry.

The obvious question: Was there a link between Gates’ departure from the Washington Post board and the report?

In response to my question, the Washington Post said, “No.”

According to the Education Trust, while the Gates Foundation is the group's biggest overall suporter, the report was "was supported" by Lumina Foundation for Higher Education. A spokeswoman said that chances of Gates knowing about the report before it was published "are nil."

"To our knowledge," she said, "Gates' staff didn’t know that we were working on this report at the time of her resignation."

I have not yet heard back from the Gates Foundation [Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation].

Comments or Questions? Email HerbOnTheStreet@cnbc.com

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