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DeVry Inc. (DV - Analyst Report) recently announced that its chairman and board member, Harold T. Shapiro will soon retire from the board of directors.

Shapiro will not contest for re-election at the annual shareholders’ meeting to be held on Nov 6. He will be replaced by Dr. Connie Curran who has been a director at DeVry since Nov 2003. Dr. Curran’s appointment as the board’s chairman and Shapiro’s retirement will be effective at the annual meeting. With Shapiro’s retirement the board will be left with only 11 members.

Dr. Curran’s substantial experience in the field of healthcare and healthcare consulting goes in sync with DeVry’s increasing focus on healthcare education.

Last week, DeVry announced its intention to buy a privately held Brazilian healthcare education company, Faculdade Differential Integral (Facid), for an undisclosed amount. Facid, which operates through its two campuses in the city of Teresina, offers primarily healthcare degrees including a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program. It also offers undergraduate degrees in other healthcare fields such as nursing, pharmacy and dentistry, as well as a law program.

Healthcare has, of late, become a highly sought-after field of education. DeVry’s other medical institutions like Chamberlain College of Nursing and Carrington Colleges are currently doing well gaining from higher demand for medical doctors and veterinarians. Enrollment growth at these colleges is also improving due to higher quality enquiries and conversion rates, resulting from improved recruitment efforts and new branding initiatives by DeVry.

DeVry carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the education industry that are currently performing well and have a bright outlook include New Oriental Education & Technology Group (EDU - Snapshot Report), carrying a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy) and Xueda Education Group and Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (LOPE - Snapshot Report), both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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