Randy Best can’t read, Forbes reports. “I’m acutely dyslexic,” says Best from his office in a glitzy Dallas skyscraper where he is plotting his assault on the ivory tower. “My mother read to me all through college.

She was a schoolteacher, so she was just humiliated–and made it clear to me that she was devastated. Back then there were two reasons you didn’t learn to read: You were lazy or you weren’t very intelligent.”

Even today, as his latest venture, Academic Partnerships, is using the Web to turn struggling midlevel U.S. universities into global education brands, he still needs someone to...

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