“Kenney and the younger Paterno do not offer any direct evidence in their lawsuit of Penn State officials slandering them directly.”

Blessings on thee, football factory! Once thou hast dispensed $171 million, pray add some few millions more for these lads.

Wow.

UD is an old hand at university scandals, and Alabama State University is one of the most scandalous universities in the world; so she certainly doesn’t expect to be shocked - WOW shocked – by anything its pathetic conflicted threatened with loss of accreditation board of trustees does.

But UD has to hand it to this school. It has truly astounded her. The two most-conflicted trustees (chair and vice-chair of the board!) have been asked to resign by the governor, “who serves as president of the ASU board by virtue of his elected office.” And why? The governor, like other governors, has tolerated this grossly corrupt institution forever. How do you go too far for the sixth most corrupt state in the union?

Well, you do this:

[The governor] learn[ed] that proposed amendments to ASU’s bylaws had been circulated to members of ASU’s board “excluding me as president and a member of the board.”

[T]he amendments would have done the following in an apparent attempt to grab power from [just-appointed ASU president Gwendolyn] Boyd:

Establish an attorney-client privileges between the university’s general counsel and the board, replacing that between the university and its president,
Provide for the hire of the general counsel by the board of trustees,
Allow removal of trustees only for criminal acts [and not just little bitty ol' conflicts of interest, get it?] by a majority of the members of the board of trustees rather than a majority present at the time of the vote,
Install a board liaison with the same powers as those designated to the university president,
Prohibit trustees from disclosing confidential information, and
Allow a committee chair to direct the actions of the president.

Shut ma mouth. There’s something almost impressive about people anticipating both their own conflictual/criminal acts and the way they’re going to get away with those acts…

But what truly amazes me (if I may, at this remarkable moment in the history of my blogging about universities, speak in the first-person) is how flagrant these guys are. I mean, just put it out there… Don’t tell the governor; write it so you take power from the president; protect your ass in advance of further self-enriching conflicts of interest…

This school makes Yeshiva University look well-behaved. This school is afuckingmazing.

“[A]t least five other UIC nursing dissertations [had] higher plagiarism index scores than hers, and at least 30 other UIC dissertations [had] high or problematic plagiarism scores.”

The sport of competitive plagiarizing is upon us, in which people accused of plagiarism use the same software their accusers used, in order to demonstrate that everybody plagiarizes. In fact, some people plagiarize more than the accused do, so why are the accused being singled out?

How many of these objects of plagiarism claims, though, can lay claim to the title of provost? Your chief academic officer may herself be a plagiarist?

This must be Chicago State University, corrupt dropout factory extraordinaire. (Background here.)

So the provost is suing the school that passed and is now investigating her degree (privacy issues), which for CSU means another embarrassing high-profile lawsuit to go with the free speech one FIRE just filed against the school, and the just-concluded one in which a judge made CSU pay a whopping three million dollars to a campus whistle blower against whom the institution retaliated.

I’m sure the taxpayers of Illinois, who pay for this school (I don’t think it has any students anymore… maybe a few…?), take comfort in the fact that the money they’re paying for the provost’s salary is going to someone who apparently plagiarized less than some of her classmates.

Course clustering, yes. Rich Rodriguez, yes. Pretend independent studies, yes.

Fireworks at the football stadium, no.

After all, the University of Michigan is

not Comerica Park or a Super Bowl or Disney World or a circus. Enough is enough. [Our stadium should be] a place that resists the excesses of our culture.

Thus sayeth the classy trustees at U Mich, where Chapel Hill-style manipulation of courses seems to have been routine, where Mary Sue Coleman carried on an expensive, ill-fated romance with Rich Rodriguez, where… ick. Enough. More than enough.

Will they go after the $25,000?

When your taxpayer-supported school gives a large money award to a fraud on the faculty, a fraud who resigns in disgrace, you’re supposed to try to get the money back. Bentley University’s fraudmeister, James Hunton, left back in 2012 when one of his articles was retracted. Before then, the school thought he was so hot they gave him the Mee Award with its tidy cash sum attached…

Since
then, Bentley has investigated the stolidly uncooperative Hunton’s entire scholarly output. They’ve been able to confirm one other fraudulent paper, but the whole thing ain’t been easy.

Hunton failed to cooperate with the university’s inquiry. Despite being told to retain any relevant documents, Bentley found that Hunton had cleaned out all his physical files before leaving, and that his laptop had been wiped clean.

Other electronic records reviewed by the university found that certain documents related to Hunton’s research had been altered after allegations were first made against him in the fall of 2012.

In particular, Hunton had said that confidentiality agreements with the firms used in his data-gathering prevented him from sharing original data with his coauthors and editors. The university’s investigation found that the agreements included “unusual redactions, contradictory dates, and — most damaging of all — evidence that the documents had been revised” after allegations were raised.

It’s fun to think of Jimbo sittin’ around rewriting his confidentiality agreements…

The hereinafter named party of the first part will hereby be absolutely enjoined in perpetuity never to show any person or institution any item party ever wrote either by pen keyboard or other graphical instrument under penalty of death…

“Students aren’t coming to games, even at places where they win national championships: Alabama, LSU, Georgia. The no-show rate for students who bought tickets to games is around 25 percent these days, even for some of its biggest games, and those are teams that are really doing well.”

And, you know, if sports factories can’t “connect with students when they’re on campus — when they’re a walk away from going to one of the best football games in the country every Saturday, for free — how are they going to be able to do that when these kids are in their 30s and 40s and 50s and they become the next generation of donors and boosters …?”

Yeah, bummer, and it keeps the AD and the coach up at night so you’re going to have to increase their salaries by a million dollars a year because this is like a whole new thing they didn’t sign up for. Who knew that teams mainly composed of fake students and thugs playing in an enormous half empty stadium whose shrieking Adzillatron cannot be escaped might fail to attract fans? Don’t university students enjoy sitting around endlessly while waiting for the ads on the television stations airing the game to finish? Oh, but while they wait they can watch their very own endless ads on the inescapable Adzillatron, featuring some local fuckhead selling mattresses! Where do I sign up?

Why don’t students enjoy being associated with prisons? Doesn’t that add to the wonderful energy of game day? What is wrong with these people?

UD thanks a Florida State University reader…

… for this most recent update of the Dan Markel murder. It confirms what UD has been feeling as she reads accounts of Markel’s death — that this sounds like a targeted, not at all random killing.

“The initial investigation has provided no indication that this case is connected to a burglary or robbery and investigators are assuring residents there is no evidence this was a random act,” a police press release says. “Neighbourhood residents should continue to be vigilant but it appears at this time that Mr. Markel was the intended victim in this incident.”

The only thing that stands out in what UD has so far read about Markel’s life is that he had been going through an ugly, protracted divorce.

*******************

Update: Details on the divorce and litigation here.

Update, University of New Mexico

It’s a far less interesting place without the legendary Schmidly/Locksley partnership (read these posts if you haven’t just eaten); but, you know…

The shadow of your smile
When you are gone
Will color all my dreams…

The Locksley buyout and various Schmidly initiatives are gifts that keep giving… And of course when it comes to athletics in particular UNM continues really, really sordid, and things get worse and worse. Let’s quote a bit from a recent article:

In one of the poorest states in the nation, can UNM, which has only one of its 21 intercollegiate sports teams (men’s basketball) turning a profit each fiscal year, justify receiving well more than $2 million per year in state subsidies for athletics? Can it justify student fees totaling $4 million, a figure that has more than doubled in the past two years despite the objections of student representatives on campus?

The new Schmidly says uh I dunno… bad situation I guess but can’t do nuthin…

“The debt service continues to be a challenge for us,” [the athletic director] said, referring to paying down the $60 million renovation of the Pit four years ago. “The financial model was predicated on a naming gift…”

The perfectly named Pit is the basketball stadium. The morons who run UNM promised up and down they’d get some bank or pizza parlor to buy naming rights, only it didn’t happen…

I mean, the financial model?? What a great way to put it. This might be more accurate: I and the idiots with whom I play golf figured we might get the funding if we told everyone

UNM students paid $1.9 million in fees for athletics in 2011-12, with a majority earmarked at covering the costs of student admission to sporting events.

Then, despite the objections of undergraduate and graduate student representatives, came significant increases in those fees. In 2012-13 the students paid $3.2 million and that figure was right at $4 million this past year (2013-14).

“Student fees have been a godsend for us the last couple years. But we, historically, have been on the real low end, and now we’re probably right in the middle,” Krebs said. “But I think there’s a limit to what you can put on the backs of the students.”

In 2012-13, six of the 10 other schools in the Mountain West Conference received more money from student fees than did UNM, as did nearby regional schools New Mexico State University and UTEP.

“I don’t see a huge increase in the student participation around fees, but I do think some nominal increases are probably in their future,” Frank said. “How fast and how much is something we’ll talk to the students about.”

The last fees went up without any talking to anyone. Students objected to them and the school said fuck you. Clearly student fees in years to come will be predicated on the same financial model.

Tie One On Land

“She might have thought it was ordinary practice, judging from what I heard, that some lecturers at other places also exchange grades for some beer,” Mr Nopporn said.

A law professor at Florida State University…

… is gunned down in his house, apparently by an intruder. His community of students, colleagues and bloggers remembers him here.

******************

From Dan Markel’s review of Deborah Lipstadt’s book, History on Trial:

From the outset, Lipstadt makes plain that various aspects of the Holocaust are the subject of legitimate and competing historical interpretations, and that it was not her goal, either in scholarship or at the trial, to shut down rivalling understandings…

[I]t turns out that this reminder was vitally important, because certain well-known historians improperly chastised Lipstadt about the purported “chilling effect” inflicted by her hard-fought victory [over David Irving].

Their concern is arrant tripe.

********************

This update suggests Markel was murdered “after opening the door of his home, though whether as part of a robbery or something else is unclear.”

UD will talk about America’s current poet laureate …

Charles Wright, at the DC Public Library, Georgetown branch, on Saturday September 13, at 1:00.

In memoriam, UD took down from a shelf in her living room this evening…

Rediscovering Fuller: Essays on Implicit Law and Institutional Design, one of whose editors died on Flight 17. In his introduction to the book on Lon Fuller (Mr UD is one of the contributors), Willem J. Witteveen writes

[Lon Fuller] raised issues that are highly relevant to our own times – think, for instance, of the difficulties involved in designing institutions which are acutely felt in Eastern Europe; or, to mention another example, the difficulty of saying just what moral stance is appropriate and fitting for jurists who perform a social role as legislators or adjudicators, questions which are issues of contemporary debate in the Netherlands and the United States respectively… Especially at a time when too much attention in legal theory is addressed to problems of interpretation of law – to the point of assuming that all of law is in some way interpretation – Fuller deserves to be read for his pioneering work on legislation, the social basis of law, institutional design, and the moral responsibilities of lawyers.

Your Morning Giggle

Julie Brown, a UO spokeswoman, also notes the list included innocuous and generic items, including SpongeBob SquarePants, mayonnaise and the state of New Jersey.

I GUESS a lot of employee theft still goes on at universities…

… but in a world of cameras and tracking software, one does kind of wonder. As in the most recent high-profile … er, sign of the times, it’s just too easy to mount a camera. Cameras have caught students and professors hate-criming themselves; they’ve caught professors hauling all manner of university-owned high-tech equipment out of their offices… In the just-reported case of a University of New Orleans employee, tracking technology located a computer in his house, and then in a subsequent police search all sorts of other university goodies turned up there. Apparently the guy had just been laid off, and he decided to give himself the contents of his office as a going-away present.

Actually, this one was a two-fer: tracking and cameras.

Police said surveillance video captured [Walter] Brannon asking a custodian, who was not aware the man was no longer a UNO employee, to unlock his former office.

Brannon was able to remove two “large storage containers” before his presence was noticed, at which time he took a third storage container to his car, NOPD said.

After putting the third container in his car, police allege, Brannon told a UNO officer that he wanted to file a police report about property stolen from his office.

The property included two laptop computers, a cellphone, two tablets and a projector, police said.

Brannon refused to let another university police officer search the containers in his car for the missing property, saying he was “late for an appointment,” according to police.

When the latest technology collides with dawn-of-homo-sapiens intelligence, the results are not pretty.

The New York Times Magazine Descends into Happy Valley…

… for another Sandusky go-round, this one focused on ex-president Graham Spanier, “charged with eight criminal counts, including child endangerment, perjury and conspiring to cover up Sandusky’s crimes.”

Penn State is awash in lawsuits and rancor, with no end in sight…

Like that of almost all of the big college football powers, its identity, to an unhealthy extent, is wrapped up in its [football] team…

Lawsuits, rancor, a board of trustees beginning to look like a mad tea party, and the re-deification of Joe Paterno…

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