Home Education Nurse, Doctor Rip Brian Moran’s Views on Education as “Ill-informed,” “Appalling”

Nurse, Doctor Rip Brian Moran’s Views on Education as “Ill-informed,” “Appalling”


The following letter was sent to Brian Moran on July 12, 2011, by former Director of Nursing Betty G. Kenley and her husband, Dr. James B. Kenley. The letter references this Richmond Times-Dispatch story, in which DPVA chair/for-profit “college” industry head Brian Moran claims: that public schools are heavily subsidized, while a for-profit school “pays taxes” (putting for-profits at an unfair advantage, apparently); that students at public schools are more interested in “various and sundry other activities” than specifically in getting an education; and that for-profits are at a disadvantage because they don’t have “‘wonderful sports teams like Virginia Tech and U.Va.’ to attract students.” Yes, this guy really is the head of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t support him! Anyway, with that, enjoy the letter (bolding added by me for emphasis).

The Honorable Brian J. Moran

Chair, Democratic Party of Virginia

Dear Mr. Moran

It is embarrassing to us that our Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia appears so ill informed about a serious problem and supports the continuation of some schools that do not meet minimum Virginia nursing standards.  “Schools Are Under Scrutiny” in the Richmond Times Dispatch on Sunday, June 26, 2011 is the article we reference.

You spoke as a Democratic Leader. From the article it sounds like most members of the Democratic Party support this view. We caution you in this assumption. Many nurses are democrats and care about the quality of their profession. We believe you may have implied that the Democratic Party supports nursing schools who repeatedly fail to meet the state regulations. Is this a democratic value?

We found your remarks appalling. State colleges do not make profits and therefore can charge less.  Furthermore, the University of Virginia receives 6.3% of its budget from the state general fund and most people would not consider that the university is “heavily subsidized” as you stated.

Your remarks centered on cost and we would urge you to become more knowledgeable of the educational programs. Your lack of knowledge about nursing was evident. Value is a function of quality and cost. We have attended the Board of Nursing hearings, which are open to the public, regarding some of these nursing schools. It is shocking. Many lack stable faculty, in addition some lack equipment and supplies.  The percentage of graduates passing the licensing exam is low and unacceptable since the minimum standard is 80%. Would you choose these graduates to care for you or your family? As consumers of health care we are concerned about the quality of our graduate nurses in Virginia and hope that you would be too.

We urge you to spend a day at one of these hearings and experience the dedication of these nurses in maintaining standards that were established in order to protect the public.


Betty G. Kenley, MSN – Director of Nursing, Retired

James B Kenley, MD MPH

P.S. As a Virginia Democratic friend of mine put it, this letter and the comments by Brian Moran in the Richmond Times-Dispatch article “prove that it is untenable for Brian Moran to hold these two jobs simultaneously, and he needs to resign from one or the other immediately.” In addition, “By speaking out in this way in Richmond’s leading newspaper, he is engaging in what amounts to lobbying the many members of the RTD audience who are part of the Virginia government, thereby violating the spirit if not the letter of the Virginia law that says that the head of a Virginia political party cannot be a lobbyist.”

  • Mark Brooks

    is a letter to Brian, where did you get it? You failed to mention that in your story.

  • The Democratic Party is supposed to protect citizens from vultures like Brian Moran’s scam schools.

  • commentator1

    These for profit schools are simply a scam to get money from the government without upholding standards.  

  • Bumble Bee

    Is this the James Kenley who was Commissioner of Health a number of years ago ?

  • aznew

    Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether for-profit schools are evil or not, the best argument (in my view) that can be made for Brian Moran’s being the head of the DPVA while also a lobbyist for the industry is this: they are two different jobs; head of the DPVA is essentially an administrative/fundraising position, not a policy-defining position, so Mr. Moran’s lobbying for an industry with questionable ethics might raise eyebrows and question, but ought not to exclude him from the DPVA post.

    But this RTD story underscores the problem with that defense. Fair or not, the story accurately identifies Brian as the head of the DPVA, and so the clear perception created in the story is that the position articulated by him is a Democratic position.

    I’ll bet if you asked Brian, he would say he spoke to the RTD as the head of the lobbying association, not as the head of the DPVA, and that he has no control over how the RTD chooses to identify him. I’m actually sympathetic to this view, but the facts are the facts — we do not have control over what the media does, so all the DPVA can do is not create a situation in which it provides ammunition to the media, whether they are driven by a political agenda or incompetence (probably a little of both in the case of the RTD, IMHO).

    As for the schools themselves, I suspect the truth of the dispute over their ethics lies somewhere in the middle of the dispute. Some schools are undoubtedly good, honest and moral businesses meeting a legitimate consumer demand, but many are bad and exploitive. Mr. Moran’s job, unfortunately, places him in the position of defending a system in which the bad schools can exist (and by extension the schools themselves) in order to ensure the continued existence of the decent places.

    Now, whatever the ethics of that choice by Mr. Moran, at the end of the day the question for Virginia democrats is whether we want to be identified as defending the interests of incompetent and possibly dishonest businesses that are ripping off Virginia students, and possibly turning out ill-trained individuals to care for our sick and elderly?

    Because fair or not, that is the position that Mr. Moran, as head of the DPVA, has created.

  • Mark Brooks

    I guess my comment and/or question about credibility were not to your liking, so they disappeared, along with JC’s excellent comment made yesterday.

    I don’t understand why you are so sensitive about people asking you questions about the validity of what you post. I am sure there are parts of this I agree with you on, but we have never gotten past the fact that you don’t like my questioning.

    There are also missing new comments that must have been underneath mine which I will never see.

    I have to admit I am not surprised at your behavior, and I wish we could get past technicalities like where your source is, a fundamental question in blogging.