‘The rector of the University, Achilleas Zapranis, said that this was “another typical day in a Greek university”.’

What a remarkable story is the ransacking of Greek universities! On one side, civilization; on the other barbarism:

Vandals Ransack University Campus in Thessaloniki

The Greek university literally sinks under the weight of its defacement, as in this photograph of the National Technical University of Athens.

Perhaps most remarkable about this story is the fact that no one covers it. Why isn’t there a front-page story about the sordid erasure of thought – in Greece of all places – in the New York Times magazine?

“At least five PornHub categories”

As ever, UD recommends you read Deadspin’s account – including comments!! – of the arrest of one of Temple University’s sports heroes. Nobody covers the wonderful world of football like Deadspin, and their readers’ comments never fail to amuse.

‘Montgomery County has not made its bid public, but it promoted a 60-acre site near a Metro stop.’

Les UDs are still in the running for the new Amazon headquarters. They live a hop, skip, and a jump from the site.

UD’s Morning Brew.

Subterranean Ruin Porn

[A] sewage pipe [recently] spewed waste onto a heavily trafficked concourse — an honest-to-God shitstorm. “I’m like, ‘Literally, it’s raining in Penn Station,’ ” recalls Marigo Mihalos, a booking agent from New Jersey who witnessed the fecal deluge on her way to work.

…The addition of New Jersey Transit trains in the 1990s was both an economic boon to the region — I bought a house in Maplewood, N.J., in 1996 so I could ride the new Midtown Direct to work — and the beginning of Penn Station’s transformation from mere malodorous eyesore to Hieronymus Bosch-grade hellhole.

First, spare a thought for all those other Professor Ashutosh Tiwaris out there.

Turns out there’s a bunch of engineering types with that name who teach here and in Europe, and it’s their misfortune to share a name with THE Ashutosh Tiwari – the Ashutosh Tiwari allegedly guilty of so much scientific and financial misconduct that – UD‘s not sure, but she thinks that the guy has basically accomplished everything you can possibly accomplish in the academic malfeasance line. I really think he’s exhausted all conceivable avenues of scholarly fraud. Ghostwriting. Fake degree. Plagiarism. Faked research. Predatory conferences and journals. Fake university affiliation. Fake credentials. More. More.

Tiwari has erased his manifold web presences as fast as Yeshiva University scrubbed references to trustee Bernard Madoff once his fraud hit the papers.

The lazy whorish Swedish university that lolled around for years letting Tiwari do his thing has now shaken itself into bug-eyed alertness and begun an investigation.

Not to be outdone by Ruth Lilly, who gave one hundred million dollars to a …

poetry magazine, money guy Bill Miller has given seventy five million dollars to the Johns Hopkins University philosophy department.

To live with books.

Victor Brombert, New Yorker:

In 1941, a week or two after my family’s safe arrival in New York Harbor on a freighter overcrowded with refugees escaping from Nazi-occupied countries, an old friend of my parents took us on an excursion to a small town in New Jersey. He parked his car on what I now know to be Witherspoon Street, near the corner facing the Princeton campus. Looking at the scene of university life before me then, I was struck by the confident gait of figures in tweed jackets moving along the alleys, carrying books and briefcases. No hurry, no sombre faces. Without my realizing it at the time, a series of idyllic images settled in my mind, and I carried them with me throughout the war, all the way to devastated Berlin, where, in the fall of 1945, I determined that this was the kind of life I wanted: to live with books, to study, to learn, perchance to teach.

… A sonnet by William Wordsworth extols the contentment of students in their “pensive citadels” — strongholds not for the exercise of power or for war but for the joy of studies.

The Quest of Chatterton

Once Thomas Chatterton Williams, a writer named after the tragic poet, sensed some plagiarism in this Daily Beast essay, he pressed on, and discovered gobs of it.

The author, Lizzie Crocker, lifted much of this Weekly Standard essay about outing people. She has resigned/been fired from the Daily Beast.

All that’s left is why. As you, dear reader, know, this blog has been attempting to answer that question for a long time.

Chatterton says it’s because, given the vast ideological divide between the rightwing Standard and leftwing Beast, Crocker figured no one would read both her piece and the one by the Standard writer, Alice B. Lloyd. But he then goes on to note the irony that the content of the piece (an analysis of the ethics of revealing anonymous sources) fits both places perfectly well… And indeed UD and Chatterton can’t be the only people in America who read both of those magazines…

No, UD proposes that this instance of plagiarism falls under her Ambition category (see her categories here). A little searching reveals Crocker to be a young and very ambitious writer; my guess is that she leads her life at breakneck speed, and that she speedily gobbled Lloyd’s writing, and that there’s a reason they call it breakneck.

‘He holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of McGill, Montréal, Laval and the Curtis School of Music.’

Until they took it down, the Royal Philharmonic conductors page included an entry on Charles Dutoit which listed some of his honorary degrees. They took it down because

Monsieur Dutoit
Is hot to trot.
All his Mais non!s
Have come to naught.

Will the schools revoke the degrees?

UD predicts that maybe one will follow the Nevernevernever Yale model (To be sure Dr Mengele performed some questionable surgeries, but we never revoke an honorary degree…), while the others will announce that they are passing Dutoit’s, uh, baton back to him.

UD feels fortunate to see yet another transformation of…

… the Old Post Office. Most recently, it was transformed into the Trump Hotel.

Now this.

Architecture is certainly a living thing.


O dio! Something’s fahny
With my Modigliani.
Mio santo Amedeo –
They’re stripping off his halo
And I want back my mahny.

Written by Don DeLillo

A candidate running for Illinois attorney general was robbed at gunpoint while he was taking promotional photos for his campaign Thursday afternoon in the Northwest Side ward where he’s also the Democratic committeeman…

Aaron Goldstein, 42, and several members of his campaign team were in the middle of taking publicity shots when the robbery happened…

“So, as far as the campaign, we are moving forward,” [Goldstein’s campaign manager] said. “Basically, this was a totally a random act of violence in the community. But when it happens to you, of course, you’re shooken up.”

Beautiful writing about a beautiful game.

Did you not see Cam Newton
Splattered all over the Superdome turf
And Dante Fowler Jr. slam Tyrod Taylor’s head
So hard into the EverBank Field grass that he sent him
Straight into concussion protocol?

You can still crush quarterbacks.

Did you not see Travis Kelce
Absorb a skull shot so vicious
It left him wobbling like a dazed boxer?

You can still hammer receivers.

It’s football. A lot of us fell in love with it
In part for the violence, and the violence remains.


Not much has changed through the years
Besides the size of the beast. It’s big guys
Banging into each other for three hours,
Giving and receiving sub-concussive hits nobody talks about.

Watch the Steelers and Jaguars smash heads
Sunday at Heinz Field. You’ll see a game
As violent as any they played in
1960s, ’70s, ’80s or ’90s.

Whatever’s been lost in gratuitous savagery
— a Dick Butkus clothesline tackle — is more than
Compensated for by greater size, strength and speed.

The 60 mph collisions from 1970 are 90 mph now.
And it’s not Volkswagens anymore. It’s 18-wheelers.
Ben Roethlisberger is bigger than Dwight White was
When he played for the Steel Curtain.

Near-Anagrams Hymn on …

… the word of the day.

Dzhisös, the hohliest ov mortal men
On this, our fallen earth of eoliths,
To thee we offer selihoth, amen:
Qui thollies peccata mundi, inwith.

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It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
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Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
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The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
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University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
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I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
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As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
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Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
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University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
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[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte