Don’t worry kiddies: The nice man from Goldman Sachs will work everything out.

I’m sure. All he ever wanted was to help educate underprivileged you. That’s all he and his company ever want – to help make the world a better place. You’ve seen their tv ads.

If Education Management Corporation is running into a little trouble, I’m sure Mr Blankfein and that other nice man, the one from KKR, will get together (don’t they look nice?) and take care of things.


Me, I can only skim this.

Maybe you’re made of tougher stuff.

‘”We believe the program will help prepare Mr. Smith for the prison experience, letting him know what to expect and facilitating a smooth institutional adjustment,” defense lawyer Marc Fernich wrote in a letter to the court.’

There’s nothing like the prison experience! And once you’ve bribed your way there, you’re going to want the inside scoop on la vie carcérale!

Fortunately, a special seminar is available on “prison conditions and correctional issues,” and one of New York State’s scads of political criminals wants to delay serving his sentence so he can attend this seminar and be as academically prepared for jail as possible. However:

A federal judge in suburban White Plains has rejected Malcolm Smith’s request to delay his seven-year sentence so he could attend a seminar on living behind bars.

Bummer. He’s going to have to go in there without any training.

Maybe they have an online version of the course!

The fraudulent conversion of our taxes to personal profit has always fascinated UD…

… I mean, the many processes by which this can be done…

University-wise, there’s the whole for-profit college scam, covered extensively on this blog (category: Click-Thru U.), and still, despite a few state and federal efforts to shut it down, going strong.

Much more notoriously, there’s ye olde Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement scam, one prominent component of which involves hospital systems paying doctors immense sums to refer patients to them, and then submitting immense numbers of bogus claims based on those referrals.

The biggest penalty so far paid out by a dirty hospital system is the just-announced $118 million case against Adventist Health System, whose CEO sits on the board of trustees of Alabama’s Oakwood University, and whose business was recently named one of fifty “great health systems to know.” Oakwood is a religious school, and this CEO, Donald Jernigan, is always on about our spiritual health even as his business is screwing us six ways to Sunday.

It’s obvious where the ill-gotten gains go.

Hospital chief executives are kind of like the head football coaches of state-salaried workers: many of the highest paid public employees in Florida are executives in the health care industry. Donald Jernigan, CEO of Adventist Health System, takes home a reported $1.98 million annually for his work as head of the non-profit hospital organization which often draws down state money, as well as more than $250,000 in incentives and bonuses.

The way-classiest online for-profit tax-siphon, Phoenix U…

… (insignia here) keeps getting its siphoning system disrupted. In the good old days, government-money-funneling enabled its academic officers to make salaries in the tens of millions, but now – after destroying the lives of scores of dupes – the well is drying up. Things will be fine again once President Trump (himself a university president) takes office; but for now, Phoenix is enduring an “endless stream of bad news” (UD thanks Wendy for the link) in the form of business practice investigations, new rules about how you can’t take student money and say thanks fuck off, etc.

And that’s Phoenix. That’s the classiest of the for-profit ed tax-siphon lot. You can imagine how the rats are deserting at, say, DeVry, where, for instance, after collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for trading on his reputable past, the disgraced Harold Shapiro got his ass out while the getting was good.


Cheating is endemic to online courses at all levels and in all settings, as everyone knows.

The only surprise in this case is that someone owned up to it.

“Although online programs are billed as time and cost effective, schools like Nova and Liberty University prove otherwise. About 98 percent of graduate students at Liberty, founded by evangelical leader Jerry Falwell, are enrolled in online programs that led them to borrow $351 million in a single year.”

Cheesy online programs. Home of the suckers.

“‘We’ve come to expect these unjust assaults,’ said Gene Feichtner, president and chief operating officer of the huge for-profit chain ITT Technical Institute, which has been sued by CFPB, faces fraud charges from SEC and is under investigation by 16 state attorneys general. “

Ah. With each clause, UD’s smile widens.


Very good brief backgrounder here.


The next big change, they say, came in 2006, when Congress passed legislation backed by the Bush administration that erased a requirement that colleges deliver at least half their courses on a campus.
The top regulator on higher education at the Education Department during this time was Sally Stroup, now general counsel for the for-profit’s chief lobbying arm, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.

“That’s when these guys took off,” said Tom Harkin, a former Democratic senator from Iowa who led a 2012 investigation into the for-profit industry. He said moving everything online made it easier for private investors to snap up failing schools and hide from regulators. Meanwhile, the schools invested heavily in lobbyists and making political connections that guaranteed access to federal student aid would be protected, he said.

“These schools went out and ran wild with government money,” Harkin said.


A fed’ral official named Stroup
Did the ol’ gov-to-biz loop de loop:
She made our schools trash
And sucked in the cash
But now it is time to regroup.

“[N]one of this is unexpected. Rather, we refused to heed the warning signs, especially in the form of disproportionate rates of student loan defaults in the for-profit sector.”

Well. Now that the tax syphons have syphoned up our taxes and subjected a population used to exploitation to yet more exploitation, what’s next? Goldman Sachs has made its money on the for-profit ed scam and will no doubt soon be getting the hell out while the getting’s good. Goldman Sachs stands at the opposite end of the social spectrum from the exploited masses. Goldman Sachs knows what’s what, and is unhampered by morality.

As for the suckers left holding the bag (you, me, and the students of for-profit schools): I’m sure Lloyd Blankfein has a little lecture to give us all on how markets operate.

Letter to the Corinthians

Prepare Thyself.


Corinthians, Chapter 13:

Fraud always cheats, always lies, always scams, always eventually files for bankruptcy.

“[T]he once wildly profitable for-profit education sector is for the birds.”

Good and totally predictable news. But meanwhile a lot of people got hurt (those paying back pointless loans continue to get hurt), and a lot of taxpayers got taken.

Of course the industry continues to take our taxes and put suckers in debt. But it’s definitely, finally, going south.

Another trashy online course.

I attended a brick-and-mortar, affordable community college nursing school, and the in-person experiences with professors were invaluable to me as a student, as a practicing registered nurse and as a human being. I am finishing my bachelor of science online.

There is no teaching going on. For my online statistics class last semester, we used Pearson Education’s No one taught me statistics; it was abysmal.

By the way: If you’re worried about what’s going to replace one professor teaching 150 independent studies every semester…

… as your university’s faculty continues to game the athlete-eligibility system (The Tragic Fates of Petee and Boxill are possibly staying your jockshop’s hand of late), do not worry. Do not waste one sporty moment worrying that a rich enterprising country like yours will be at a loss to fashion new forms of system-gaming in order to keep the quarterback on the field 24/7.

In fact, La Nouvelle Vague is already firmly in place… It’s been there, really, all the time! Like that scene at the end of The Wizard of Oz when Glinda tells Dorothy “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.” Ever since universities discovered online courses, the eligibility problem has been solved. You yourself might have taken one or two of these in college – to pass that pesky statistics requirement without learning statistics, for instance… Some anonymous grad student drudge (or the drudge’s designated-drudge – there’s of course no way to know who’s actually giving and who’s actually taking an online course) cluttered your computer screen with messages for a few weeks, and you (or your friend who knows statistics) wrote back, and then you passed statistics.

Because online courses are profitable (you can enroll zillions of students at a time and pay the drudge or whoever doodoo), most American universities are as we speak enlarging their offerings like mad. No one’s going to notice the athlete-component of this vast enterprise.

Online is in every way a cleaner solution than independent study. There’s absolutely no messy wasteful human interaction with online, whereas under the ancien régime, Julius Nyang’oro had to meet the athletes and frat guys at least once, if only to inform them they’d never see him again. Nor is there, with online, any noticeable record of your having done the humanly impossible – conducted in one semester three traditional classroom courses plus 150 independent studies. (Petee’s downfall came when one of his colleagues for some reason got wind of his teaching schedule and found it… odd enough to report him.) With online, you can have 5,000 students in five classes and no one will look at you twice. Everyone understands that responsibility for online classes at the American university is far too diffuse and complex (tons of people have a hand in any online course: there’s the instructor, the instructor’s assistants, the on-campus tech group, the for-profit company overseeing implementation and management features, university administrators doing various forms of surveillance, etc., etc.) for anyone to understand what’s going on. Online courses have evolved to the point where they run themselves. They’re animated templates, perpetuum mobiles whose first note merely needs to be struck in order for the whole thing to beautifully play itself out.

“Incredibly aggressive marketing has been used on pretty vulnerable students.”

The globally scummy for-profit ed industry works its magic not just here in the US, but also in Australia.


UD thanks Dirk.

Twilight of the…

tax syphons.

Next Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE