PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL. FEBRUARY 19, 2013. Grand Canyon University President/CEOBrian Mueller told analysts in a conference call today that he plans to expand to Tucson and possibly Albuquerque and Las Vegas.
Already, the Phoenix-based publicly traded university is taking bids from four East Valley cities to build a campus that would compete with Arizona State University. Now, an expansion in Tucson would go head-to-head with the University of Arizona.
He hopes to make a decision this summer on whether to expand first to Tucson or one of the East Valley cities, depending on those cities’ proposals. He said the campus would serve 4,000 to 7,000 students and cost about $50 million to support that enrollment base.
Either way, Mueller said he expects to have campuses in Tucson and the East Valley. The Albuquerque and Las Vegas campuses would be further into the future. He said representatives from both of those cities have visited the Phoenix campus to see about expanding to their cities.
“They really want a private Christian university in both those places,” Mueller said. “I don’t know if we will move on those in the short run, but there is a possibility we will be moving on those in the long run.”
Initially, the Tucson or East Valley campuses would not have dorms, but would cater to commuter students who live in those areas.
Instead, the campuses would have high-end chemistry, biology and DNA forensic science labs.
“We are looking at aggressively moving into other STEM areas, especially math, engineering and technology,” Mueller said.
He said he would be able to develop a campus for $50 million because all the back-end support services would operate from the Phoenix campus.
“It allows us to spend in very high-tech classroom amenities we think are going to attract very good students,” he said.
GCU already has invested $200 million in high-tech classrooms and dorms and another $85 million in technology for its Phoenix campus over the past three-and-a-half years.
Plans call for growing the Phoenix campus to 15,000 students by fall 2015. GCU started with 6,500 students on its Phoenix campus last fall and expects to start with 8,500 this fall on that campus.
For the year ended Dec. 31, GCU reported an increase in revenue and net income.
The company’s net income was $69.4 million on $511.3 million in net revenue for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, up from $50.5 million in net income on $426.7 million in net revenue in 2011.
GCU’s stock price closed at $25.56, closer to its 52-week high of $25.75 than its low of $15.80.