Questions remain over Vista College CEO and his new ventures in higher education

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:18 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - While the fallout continues for students and staff following the abrupt closure of Vista College back in October, it appears things are looking up for its former CEO.

Jim Tolbert has been the focus of controversy since Vista College closed last year, leaving students and staff empty-handed.

After a little poking-around, it appears the embattled former CEO is back in business and not everyone is happy about it.

“We were seeing significant decreases in our school population, and so for the best interest of the students, we decided to suspend enrollment,” he said on Aug. 9, 2021.

Last year Jim Tolbert told KBTX students still enrolled at Vista College would be able to finish. But two months later Vista closed permanently leaving students and staff in a bind. Don Beavers and his wife were both instructors at the College Station campus.

“Everyone’s been impacted one way or another and it seems everyone has had a harder time finding new employment,” said Don.

Despite bankruptcy proceedings for Vista College in Delaware, Tolbert appears to still be engaged in higher education.

According to his LinkedIn page, he’s the CEO of Adelante Education Group and Chancellor of Universidad Santander USA. That university’s website says they offer high school, undergraduate and graduate programs.

“I would be very, very cautious in having anything to do with the guy or any of his enterprises,” said Beavers. ”And the bankruptcy folks in Delaware said that they were going to be updating us regularly and to the best of my knowledge nobody’s heard a darn thing. We’re completely in the dark. Of course there’s been no resolution on the back on the lost vacation pay or any other financial issues so you know we’re really, it’s of course very disappointing,” said Beavers.

Beavers and his wife are still owed for accrued vacation time. Fortunately they’ve now both landed new teaching jobs at a church school in Caldwell.

“You have to kind of wonder is there a pattern? Is there something going on that people ended up be more aware of... You’re stuck. You have to wait for whatever’s going to happen in the legal process to be concluded,” he said.

We’ve reached out to Tolbert multiple times since last year including Friday for a response. He asked us about scheduling something for next week.

Vista College also had Texas campuses in Beaumont, El Paso, Killeen, Lubbock and Longview.

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