Did you see this article “Supreme Court declines case on making online retailers collect sales taxes” in the Washington Post?


For most of us in higher education, we’re struggling with not only how to comply with the state authorization mandate but dealing with the simple fact that this situation even exists. Those private liberal arts institutions without an online presence, you should wake up and pay attention to this because it will impact you more than you can imagine. Also, you might want to pay attention to the Gainful Employment movement currently impending on the for-profits because you are next!

This Washington Post article reported that the Supreme Court of the United States decided not to hear an appeal regarding the collection of sales tax for online retailers. Simply put, states can continue to establish policies regarding the collection of online sales from out of state companies to the citizens of their state regardless if the company has a physical presence in their state. Currently, Amazon collects sales taxes from sixteen states.

Sounds a lot like if you have an online student in our state you need to be authorized to operate as an educational institution in our state…just like you were going to build a brick and mortar building in our fair state! But the good news, the high court felt it was Congress’ responsibility to legislate interstate commerce.

CongressWhat could possibly go wrong with Congress involved? Oh wait, didn’t this entire state authorization debacle get started because one Senator wanted to stop the spread of for-profit education. Hey, thanks for the help!

Most for-profits already are compliant in most states because they actually have a physical presence there and have a stable of attorneys ensuring their compliance because everyone is shooting for the for-profits to make a mistake. But really, could we have expected a Senator to know this before he submitted the legislation (wait, you mean Senators actually have other people draft the legislation… like 22 year olds and then don’t actually read what it says before submitting it…and passing it!).

Well maybe Amazon will have more influence than a few colleges struggling to keep tuition low and an education attainable for all that desire.

Share your thoughts

What are your thoughts on state authorization? Are you frustrated or have you just given up? Share your thoughts below with me.


Protecting the Brand: The Hells Angels have grown increasingly litigious, learning to employ the legal system to protect the recognizable symbols of their club.

Protecting the Brand: The Hells Angels have grown increasingly litigious, learning to employ the legal system to protect the recognizable symbols of their club.

I was reading the NYTimes article on protecting your brand, this one happened to be about the Hell’s Angels and how they sue over their brand name usage. (see the article here)

Let’s face it; most colleges really don’t understand branding. Heck, most don’t understand results driven marketing. Please, don’t even mention social media marketing… But we have a Facebook page.

Most colleges will tell you they get branding… you know… our website looks like our brochures. Dig a little deeper and you find many institutions with no real idea which logo is being used by which department and how many Facebook pages actually exist that use their name. How many small colleges turn their brand into revenue generation like the big D-1 schools? Granted most Saturdays there are a couple of thousand fans in the stand for a football game…if they are lucky. Find me a small liberal arts college and I will find you a local screen-printing company using their logo and selling it to their students, alumni and fans.

eduKan we fight the branding fight

At eduKan we fight the branding fight

Bring in the Hell’s Angels… and their litigious presence. I love this article and in a previous life worked with some motorcycle clubs and can tell you first hand they are serious about protecting their name, image and logo. The three-part patch they wear on their back, called their colors, is trademarked and defended in both style and format. In the old days it was mostly threats and broken knees, few lawyers were involved.

At eduKan we fight the branding fight. Small e (by the way Word hates when we do that) and capital K with an ampersand-like symbol for the “U”. It all has meaning; capital K for Kansas, the circle around the “U” because you are the most important part of eduKan. The e is small, well, because it just looks stupid with a capital E. Innovating Education is what we do, the circle U carries over from the logo and show that the education if for U.

Brand Champion

As the brand champion for eduKan I have not physically fought anyone or taken the shirt off of their back but I have required all eduKan faculty and staff get the logo tattooed on some visible part of their body… Wait… they don’t know about that yet…

eduKan logoFor those of you offended by the use of the word tattooed in an educational blog… get over it… As for the faculty and staff getting tattoos, just joking… for now! 

What do you think?

Share your thoughts about how your brand is being (mis)used below. We’d like to get your take on this subject too.