“Puke puddles continue to coat the streets.”

Same old same old at West Virginia University.

“The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.”

Galbraith’s famous observation is also true of some university presidents. Like the guy who just left Brandeis after only five years.

[W]hile faculty were subject to caps on salary increases, Lawrence’s compensation soared from about $589,000 in 2010 to $878,572 in 2013, the last year for which data is publicly available.

You do wonder about people sometimes.

Should you be in a mood, this morning, to feel really icky all over about American politicians…

… just go to this page, and remind yourself that Sheldon Silver won the 2012 William M. Bulger (once president of the University of Massachusetts!) Excellence in State Leadership Award.

Yech.

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Oh goody. There’s a university professor involved. So far unnamed. UD‘s thinking identifying the person ain’t gonna be too hard.

[It is alleged that] Silver directed state research money to a university doctor in Manhattan, and that the doctor referred lucrative asbestos cases to Silver’s firm of Weitz & Luxenberg. The doctor is described as a “well-known expert” who “conducts mesothelioma research” and who had created a center at his university by or before 2002 related to that subject. The doctor, not named in the complaint, “has entered into an agreement with the USAO SDNY [U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York] under which he will not be prosecuted for the conduct described herein, and that obligates him to provide truthful information to and cooperate with the government.”

As for Preet Bharara, without whom this corruption-besotted blog could not function:

[N]othing about Bharara’s pedigree suggested he planned to burn down the New York State Democratic Party [UD is a deep-blue Democrat. She owns a house in New York State. But she’s got no loyalty to that state’s notoriously corrupt political establishment.]… Bharara, with two more years in office, is that particularly dangerous and rare political figure: a federal prosecutor who doesn’t give a fuck.

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Oh. Okay. Well that wasn’t any challenge at all. Taub’s name came up immediately in a Google search; but here it is all over the papers.

The state money was provided to Dr. Robert Taub [another Yeshiva University grad] for research by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation — with some of the additional funds going for unspecified “additional benefits” to the doctor’s family, the court papers charges.

Taub, who is affiliated with Columbia University, is cooperating with the FBI, court papers revealed. Silver sponsored a May 2011 “official resolution” by the assembly honoring Taub.

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He’s a recipient of the “Collaborator Award,” which has a special ring to it now.

The bracing air of pure hypocrisy…

… is as rare as it is beautiful.

A University of Vermont professor, who took an academic leave to direct a $540 million development project in Senegal — and funded by the United States — is among the top 100 delinquent taxpayers in Vermont.

Taxes from thee, but not from me; and to make it even better his academic specialty is anti-corruption and building civil societies.

[T]he state Tax Department has sued [Moustapha] Diouf twice in recent years in an effort to get him current with his state taxes.

The first lawsuit settled for $30,320 in November 2011 and required him to pay $50 a month, records show. That would take 50 1/2 years to pay off the agreement, but did not include any interest or penalties that might be imposed. It was to cover income taxes owed from 2002 to 2009, records show.

The state sued again in November 2013 to cover taxes for 2011 and 201[2]. He reached a settlement one month later to cover both cases for $43,428, records show. He agreed to have UVM to start sending the state $500 a month in December 2015 and that would take over seven years to become current, plus interest and penalties.

Does this taste funny to you?

[Ben] Edelman had little to gain here. He’s a very well-paid professor and consultant; $4 is not particularly significant to him. It certainly isn’t worth the time Edelman spent in trying to obtain it. Edelman’s time is extremely valuable, to the tune of at least $800/hr, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Spending any more than about two minutes on this refund makes this a losing proposition for Edelman. But he has made a career of examining predatory practices places like Facebook and in the airline industry. He probably believes sincerely that fraud in all forms should not be tolerated, and that as he goes about his life, he should use the full muscle of his education, experience, and privilege to set things right, so that other people are not taken advantage of.

A New Republic writer defends Harvard’s terror emailer, and in so doing provides a fascinating window onto postmodern American culture.

It would never occur to this writer that anyone demanding eight hundred dollars an hour – at least eight hundred dollars an hour – as a consultancy fee — over and above his Harvard salary — is pretty disgusting long before he begins intimidating local merchants who make him lose four dollars. Obscene levels of personal greed (“[W]e don’t say very much about greed, not comfortably at least. Perhaps that is the inevitable price of an economic system that relies on the vigor of self-interested pursuits, that it instills a kind of moral quietism in the face of avarice, for whether out of a desire to appear non-judgmental or for reasons of moral expediency, unless some action verges on the criminal, we hesitate to call it greed, much less evidence of someone greedy.”) are incredibly socially destructive.

But no – we should admire this man because he is, writes the New Republic guy, “a roving pro bono consumer protection unit.”

What a generous soul! This selfless guardian of the just distribution of wealth sets aside email time to harass restaurants that overcharge him by a pittance. All Hail Edelman.

Blended Classroom

Not sure how I missed this one.

Student shames president of dangerously drunk and disorderly Keene State College.

In the aftermath of the Pumpkin Riots, Keene State’s president says:

While she recognized students were involved she pointed out that this sort of behavior happens all over the country and many of the rioters involved “had no affiliation” with Keene State students.

Although it’s obviously not true that college riots so violent towns have to call out SWAT teams and national guard troops happen all over the country, the president of Keene has to say this, because she runs a business-model party school founded largely on the provision of liquor. She also runs a school so broadly notorious for alcohol and riots that its riots draw participants from all over the state — which allows her to point out, self-righteously, that not all the rioters were Keene State students…

A student in the audience at this public discussion stood up:

“Keene State was part of the problem,” said John LaFord. “No more of this, ‘we weren’t involved, ‘ or ‘it was other people,’ who did this. We did this. …We were part of the problem and it’s about time we recognize what we did, what we’re doing and what we are all going to do to fix it.”

This naive lad doesn’t understand how business-model party schools work. The president needs to take him aside and explain the school’s business plan.

You don’t fix Keene State. You keep running the drunks as long as you can get away with it.

“[T]he fraternity members who mocked and interfered with an anti-rape rally don’t just need sexual assault prevention training. They need mental health exams.”

The local paper goes there.

For a long time, UD went with stupidity as an explanation, because business-model party schools like San Diego State University have to admit a lot of stupid people. Then – for similar party school reasons – UD went with wasted, because being drunk certainly helps make it possible for men to hurl eggs and dildos at women …

(By the way: Remember what UD told you about a similar civil war at the University of Virginia, where frat boys are destroying anti-violence exhibits and, when asked to stop, loudly threatening the people asking them to stop? As with San Diego State, don’t expect the pro-rape forces to surrender without a fight. And those SDSU frats don’t fool around: The last DEA raid on them uncovered a number of guns, plus an impressive cash reserve. )

But it’s occurred to her that the editorial board of U-T San Diego is probably right: Group psychosis looks most plausible.

Let’s put it this way: Drug-running, gang-banging, eat-my-puke pledging fraternities are tailored to appeal to some of America’s most promising sociopaths-in-training. If you want to understand these people, read the chapter in The Story of O when O is brought to a become-a-slave sorority, and instantly goes from a psychopathic masochist to a psychopathic sadist.

UD wouldn’t think of denying that the personal traits honed in some of America’s highest-profile fraternities can be traded up to a career at Goldman Sachs. And, uh, Lehman Brothers…? She understands why predatory capitalism is called predatory capitalism. She sees perfectly well the through-line between secretive all-male sado-masochistic loyalty and this blessed bountiful land.

She just wonders why this form of social interaction dominates so many of our universities.

It’s never too soon to do the math.

This UVA fiasco may have put Virginia taxpayers on the hook for potentially tens of millions of dollars in damages from civil lawsuits.

… What did UVA officials know and when did they know it? Under state law, the UVA Board of Visitors is fully responsible for all areas of campus life, including student safety. Many students have been expelled for violating the honor code. But how many for rape? …

UVA’s leaders made a fatally flawed choice for years. Because of that, Virginia taxpayers now face huge financial risks, not to mention suffering a terrible blow to the state’s reputation.

[Eh. When your last leader was the soon to be imprisoned Governor Vaginal Probe, there ain’t much rep to lose.]

… Bottom line: Virginia forgot to take care of its own on state property, at a place of learning where young minds are to be educated, not where bodies are to be sexually tortured.

Well, that last phrase certainly gets it said. Well done.

Just for comparison purposes: Post-Sandusky, Penn State has (so far) paid out roughly sixty million.

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Update: On Penn State, a reader points out:

$60 million is just the victim restitution. Another $80 million in costs, and $36 million still due to the NCAA fund.

“The union claimed Farahi has driven up the university’s debt and cares more about appearances than education.”

They made this scurrilous claim in the aftermath of Kean State University’s president having tarted up his cv something wild.

Now that he’s used tuition and taxpayer money to buy a $219,000 table, I suppose we can expect them to say the same thing again.

Too Much Even for West Virginia University

All fraternities and sororities at West Virginia University were suspended Thursday after an 18-year-old freshman was found unconscious and not breathing inside a fraternity house, just a week after a different fraternity was suspended after 19 pledges got into a street brawl, university officials and police said.

And of course there was the matter of that massive, massively destructive student riot last month. Etc. Etc. Do a “West Virginia University” search on this blog if you have a lot of time and a strong stomach. It’s cute to call a university a “party school,” but at perennial top-ten party school WVU what it really means is huge numbers of permanently pissed, violent students (and, in some cases, pissed coaches) who end up torching Morgantown and fucking up freshmen whose bodies haven’t adjusted to prevailing blood alcohol levels.

Still. It’s interesting to see that even WVU has a tipping point.

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But don’t get too excited. A temporary cease-fire has been negotiated between the two primary factions – the university and the fraternities. Left out of negotiations so far are both the government and citizenry of Morgantown, which will have to be included in any future agreement.

Further, there are very likely to be conflicts within Morgantown, for instance between business interests (large numbers of students with near-fatal addictions to alcohol attract large numbers of bars) and public safety advocates. Any attempted crackdown on alcohol will also mean a very unhappy sports program, which understandably fears a falling-off in game attendance if students are no longer allowed to get drunk enough to burn down Morgantown.

On top of all of this, the numbers crunchers at WVA will have to be consulted, since they can provide crucially important estimates not only of riot-preparedness costs, but settlement expenses arising from wrongful death suits filed by parents. It will be the money managers’ job, moreover, to remind the university (see Penn State and Chapel Hill) that public relations firms tasked with the almost-impossible job of making squalid universities smell like roses do not come cheap.

‘Some saw the dean as being dismissive when he announced the formation of a new task force on gender equity, saying it was necessary because some women felt there were problems. Dr. Daniel C. DiMaio, a genetics professor, said it was not just women complaining. The dean replied, “O.K., Dan and some women think there’s a problem.”’

Yale med’s Dean Robert Alpern and some men think there’s not a problem, and they’re boys, which means they’re in charge.

So they’ll make the decisions, thank you very much.

Some women best keep their traps shut. Dean Alpern can protect his friends and fail to protect his enemies just as effectively as I’ll Kiss Your Lips in Liguria and Kick His Ass in New Haven Michael Simons can.

In his fine early novel, Great Jones Street, Don DeLillo gives a vicious little domestic terror group the name Happy Valley Farm Commune….

… one of a number such acid jokes in his chronicle of a rock star’s withdrawal from the madness of postmodern culture.

UD was reminded of the Happy Valley Farm Commune when she saw the name of the University of Nebraska fraternity whose members gifted a freshman with the alcohol that killed him (blood alcohol content .365).

The name of the place? FarmHouse Fraternity. Sweet.

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Interesting to see UNL keeping up the traditions of their big hero, Richie Incognito.

“The locals call Morgantown a drinking town with a football problem,” Playboy said. “We call it a seven-year plan with the …

possibility of parole.”

With Mr Football – the inescapable Gordon Gee – as president, with a drunk coach, with more liquor outlets in town than you can shake a couch-burning matchstick at, and with all its money spent on the stadium and a new “inspiration” room for the team (There’s too much West Virginia University filth on this blog for individual links: You’ll have to put West Virginia University in my search engine and settle in for the night.), WVU is jest about America’s trashiest school. Nestled in the heart of pillbilly country, WVU’s got something to offer every dead-head town-trasher in the nation.

West Virginia University: After you drink your way through football games, it’s time to hit the streets and set fire to Morgantown.

‘Another student, who grew up in Keene, said he wasn’t surprised by the behavior that happened over the weekend, and is disappointed at the college’s culture. “These things are going to keep happening and not change unless we do,” he said. “We have truly hit a low here.”’

First post-riot thing Keene State should do: Make Craig Brandon’s book about the school and his escape from it required college-wide reading. Students need to know the history and culture of their school before they can do anything about it.

Adjunct professor Lori LaBrie, a Keene resident, said there are people who live in the neighborhoods around the campus who aren’t college students.

If students want to do something to help the college’s relationship with the community, they should stop holding parties until 3 a.m., racing cars up and down the streets and setting off fireworks, she said.

“It’s terribly frustrating to people here, and really disrespectful of other residents,” she said.

That’s Keene State, long before the pumpkin wars.

Junior Mariano Perez said Sunday morning he was denied his regular student discount at a local coffee shop. He said he didn’t disagree with the decision, in light of what had just happened.

Freshman Heather M. Fougere said she walked into Cumberland Farms on Main Street Sunday wearing a Keene State College sweatshirt. While there, an elderly couple glared at her, then looked away, she said. She kept her head down, she said.

The Scarlet KSC! I wouldn’t wear those letters for awhile.

People trapped in Keene State Hell are going to do what they can by way of reaction to the destruction of their town, and there’s always the marketplace…

UD feels confident students will continue to find a discounted welcome at the liquor outlets.

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