FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A for-profit university dropped a lawsuit against a Florida state college it had accused of smear tactics after meeting with college officials, both sides said.
Keiser University of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Florida State College at Jacksonville "hold each other in high esteem," a joint statement released after the meeting said.
"FSCJ denies the allegations in the lawsuit and never intended to disparage Keiser University or its principals or to cause harm to the institution, its principals or its students," the statement continued.
Keiser initially accused FSCJ of orchestrating a "destructive media campaign" and colluding with for-profit detractors to launch a behind-the-scenes "smear campaign" against proprietary education, starting with Keiser, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported.
The lawsuit, filed last month, claimed FSCJ administrators conspired to spread misleading Keiser student horror stories through media outlets, the newspaper said.
But both schools agreed to shake hands and move on, both sides said.
The schools exchanged no money to end the lawsuit and didn't say how much they spent in legal fees, the Times-Union said.
But even with the agreement, FSCJ General Counsel Jeanne Miller said her college would continue to advocate for greater federal scrutiny of for-profit colleges, including a proposal to disqualify for-profit degree programs from federal funds if too many graduates are unable to pay back their student loans.
"This always has been and will continue to be about consumer protection," Miller told The Miami Herald. "Nothing changes."