Yes, US universities suffer from “the Greek system.”

But get a load of the Greek system.

A Rich Country Full of Rich, uh, Chaps

Here are a couple of live ones: Ira Rennert and Michael Simons.

Both are already endowed with insane riches and honors: Business schools are named after Rennert; he lives in the largest private residence in the world (or close to it). Simons is a much-honored, tenured professor of medicine at Yale.

Yet Rennert’s unbridled greed and bullying and rule-breaking mean he spends his life in courtrooms unsuccessfully defending his nefarious practices. When he loses (and he loses most of the time) he turns around and sues his lawyers for failing to defend the indefensible.

Plus there’s his money for West Bank settlements.

Simons has produced important work in cardiology, and as a named chair at Yale he sits at the absolute pinnacle of the academic world. But after admitting to general sexual harassment of women at Yale, plus a more specific thing —

In addition to the sexual harassment, the university committee found that Dr. Simons had exercised “improper leadership and compromised decision-making” with regard to [a] researcher’s husband, also a cardiologist. Dr. Simons, who is married, began making advances to the researcher, Annarita Di Lorenzo, in February 2010, in a letter, and continued his pursuit despite repeated rebuffs. She left Yale in 2011. Her husband, Dr. Frank Giordano, who remains at Yale, said Dr. Simons froze his professional advancement.

— he lost his named chair. He got to keep most of his other goodies, but he did lose the chair.

Except not really. I mean, he lost one chair, but his cronies at the school found another one sitting around, and so Simons was a named chair again! But then people were outraged that Yale was continuing to confer this very high honor on, uh, this chap, so the cronies removed him from the second chair. (“To lose one chair may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”)

So of course Simons is suing Yale to get this, that, or the other chair – some chair, any chair – back. Because, you know, life without a chair!


America, my beloved. Lawsuit city. UD madly loves her country, but there’s a lot of … wealth … in it.

‘Billion dollar Medicare fraud. Jesus. The number of lives that were ruined due to that much fraud is horrifying.’

A commenter at Deadspin gets to the heart of what matters in the University of Pennsylvania bribery story.

The University of Miami continues to this day to proudly take … well, dirty hardly does as an adjective for Esformes money, does it?

‘Why is FAU letting Tracy teach this class? Do they know what he really is teaching?’

There’s a reason they call it Find Another University.

Really. Sincerely. If you’re looking to attend a university, find another university.

Addiction in; Donation out…

… is the slogan of the opioid-mad Sackler family, which takes its massive dope-earnings and ploughs them into high-profile gifts that glorify the Sackler name.

“It’s amazing how they are left out of the debate about causation, but also about solutions,” Allen Frances, [a retired] Duke psychiatrist, said of the Sacklers. “A truly philanthropic family, looking at the last twenty years, would say, ‘You know, there’s several million Americans who are addicted, directly or indirectly, because of us.’ Real philanthropy would be to contribute money to taking care of them. At this point, adding their name to a building — it rings hollow. It’s not philanthropy. It’s just a glorification of the Sackler family.” According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, more than two and a half million Americans have an opioid-use disorder. Frances continued, “If the Sacklers wanted to clear their name, they could take a very substantial fraction of that fortune and create a mechanism for providing free treatment for everyone who’s become addicted.” Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, created the Nobel Peace Prize. In recent years, several philanthropic organizations run by the descendants of John D. Rockefeller have devoted resources to addressing climate change and critiquing the environmental record of the oil company he founded, now called ExxonMobil. Last year, Valerie Rockefeller Wayne told CBS, “Because the source of the family wealth is fossil fuels, we feel an enormous moral responsibility.”

The Center for Strategic and International Stupefacients…

… boasts on its board one of America’s most notorious opioid distributors: John Hammergren. As CEO of McKesson, he has flooded West Virginia and similar defenseless states with so many opioids that over the last ten years, while helping to destroy the lives of thousands of Americans, he has brought home seven hundred million dollars in personal compensation.

As Alfred North Whitehead reminds us, “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others.” Thanks, citizens of Kermit!

It must give the scholars at CSIS a warm feeling to ponder this major source of their funding (Hammergren is also a big-time donor). UD thinks the CSIS leadership should visit Kermit and give every one of its citizens a big fat kiss.


To make it all even prettier, Hammergren chairs a CSIS task force on family health!

While you’re enjoying 60 Minutes, and following today’s news about Tom Marino (currently suffering from withdrawal), remember that opioid-loving drug czars may come and go, but people like Hammergren, given respectability by seemingly respectable academic outfits like CSIS, go on forever, destroying entire towns and setting health care policy.

‘The Audacity of Blaming Sex Addiction’…

… is an article in The Atlantic about Harvey Weinstein.

These are … problems of power and status that manifest as a violent disregard for others — a failure to acknowledge the autonomy of women or a problem accepting it and a compulsion to revoke it by force. So it feels especially jarring to hear that same person professing a lack of agency in these acts.

Whether you refuse to let women out of the house unless they cover every inch of their body with a black sheet, or refuse to let women transact business with you unless they take off their clothes and go down on you — whether it’s All clothes off! or King-sized sheet on! — it’s quite the same thing: The violent revocation of women’s autonomy.

The only thing that differentiates American from French culture in these matters is that when Dominique Strauss-Kahn (an uncannily identical twin to Harvey Weinstein) was himself finally outed, bigshot philosophers defended him.

[Bernard-Henri] Lévy says … that the man he calls a friend of 20 years, “bears no resemblance to this monster, this caveman, this insatiable and malevolent beast now being described nearly everywhere. Charming, seductive, yes, certainly; a friend to women and, first of all, to his own woman, naturally, but this brutal and violent individual, this wild animal, this primate, obviously no, it’s absurd.”

BHL is a smart guy, but he seems unable to grasp that you can be an articulate, enlightened economist, or a sensitive maker of art films, and a primate.

Even at this early stage in the Penn State frat hearing, you have to admire the brothers’ all-American pluck, their sheer determination, to break laws and hurt people.

There’s a great, all-American saga playing out at that already-notorious campus, Penn State.

With multiple layers of monitoring (cameras, a live-in chaperone, a security firm), this alcohol-free frat went out and spent $2,000 on liquor and proceeded to haze to its heart’s content.

As everyone now knows, one of its pledges slowly and hideously, on camera, drank himself to death – all under the watchful yet indifferent eyes of the frat guys.

Watchful yet indifferent eyes – that seems the general theme, no? Was anyone monitoring what the cameras recorded? There are allegations at the hearing that the chaperone simply advised the guys to destroy some incriminating evidence. The security firm dropped in for a pointless cursory visit; it found no kegs because they were upstairs and the security people didn’t bother going upstairs for their three-minute stay (nice work if you can get it).

Are you, like UD, putting this picture together?

1.) An approved Penn State fraternity — Penn State, a university desperately needing to repair its public reputation — under three layers of surveillance because it’s so irresponsible.

2.) A night of total, unchecked, fatal debauchery.

3.) Defense lawyers blaming it on the victim, the national fraternity, and Penn State.

4.) A protracted and very ugly trial looming.

Ask yourself: What the fuck does Penn State think it’s doing?

Road Kill

[The fraternity brothers] were trying aggressively and affirmatively to make sure that Tim did not get help because it was against their interests,” [Timothy Piazza’s attorney] said. “They knew that if they were caught with liquor, if they were caught with a young man who had fallen down the stairs all those hours later, that it was going to be a problem for them. He was the unfortunate road kill in this adventure by these young men who thought that they were above the law.”

‘On March 30, Penn State permanently banned Beta Theta Pi from campus, accusing it of a “persistent pattern” of excessive bad behaviors. “Penn State took action. But the public will wonder and they will need to address why it took this death for the university to shut down the chapter [where] there was an apparent history,” says Glenn Selig, chief strategist at the national PR firm, The Publicity Agency.’

No kidding.

‘If need be, just tell them what I told you guys, [we] found him behind [a bar] the next morning around 10 a.m. and he was freezing-cold, but we decided to call 911 instantly because the kid’s health was paramount.’

Lug the guts behind the bar and blame it on the boy.

Video evidence, photographic evidence, and now written evidence. Text messages from a Penn State University fraternity – a fraternity in good standing – as it poisoned and then ignored a student. And then covered up its involvement in his death.

Why does this woman still hold a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University?

The main defendant is [Jumana] Nagarwala, 44, of Northville, who is charged with conspiracy, genital mutilation, transporting minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, lying to a federal agent and obstructing an official proceeding. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison on the transporting minors charge. According to the indictment, Nagawala told federal agents that “she has never been present” for female genital mutilation — or FGM — on “any minor children” and that she has “no knowledge” of it ever being performed.

“Nagarwala then and there well knew she had performed FGM procedures on numerous minor girls,” the indictment states.

Yes, yes, wait for the outcome of the trial. But while she’s on trial, JHU, one of America’s preeminent medical schools, should issue a statement expressing its shock and disgust that one of its graduates has been indicted for these brutal acts, utterly at odds with any form of human morality, let alone medical ethics. And once she’s convicted, JHU should rescind her degree.

More Thievery at Chicago State University.

It’s beyond comic. It’s beyond tragic. It’s beyond tragicomic. At this point, Chicago State University’s den of thieves – a bunch of people educating virtually no one, all at Illinois taxpayer expense – is simply a national disgrace.

And as yet another high-ranking CSU administrator – this time the dean of the school of pharmacy – is accused of the theft of money (in her case, money intended to help minority pharmacists), those of us following this school (read my Chicago State University posts for background) have got to ask where the stewards of state taxpayer money are in all of this.

The Student National Pharmaceutical Association contends Carmita Coleman, Chicago State’s interim dean of the College of Pharmacy, siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization’s bank accounts for clothes, food and trips during five of the years she was executive director.

… [T]he alleged theft was discovered in late 2016 as the organization and Coleman were embroiled in a separate legal battle over the association’s leadership. [She refused to step down. Lucrative position, plus she must have known she’d get discovered if she lost the gig.]

Coleman was appointed executive director of the student association in 2006 and re-appointed four times, most recently in 2014.

National association leaders moved in late 2015 to appoint a new leader of the student group. Coleman, in response, tried to rewrite the bylaws to sever the two groups and allow the student organization to appoint its own director.

The national association in early 2016 went ahead with the appointment of a new director, Kimberly Lewis, a North Carolina-based pharmacist and professor. Coleman, however, refused to resign her position or turn over control of the association’s bank accounts, financial documents and other proprietary information, according to the federal lawsuit.

The national association sued Coleman in Cook County Circuit Court last May to try to oust her, records show. By October, according to the federal lawsuit, Coleman had agreed to step aside and transfer the bank accounts to Lewis in exchange for dismissing the state court litigation.

When Lewis came to Chicago to transfer two bank accounts to her name, the agent told her three other accounts for the student association recently had been closed, according to the lawsuit.

Lewis asked to see statements for the other accounts and found pending charges for a Carnival cruise …

Ladies and gentlemen of the great state of Illinois: I give you the dean of the school of pharmacy at CSU.

“You gotta have a swine to show you where the truffles are…”

… as George says in Edward Albee’s immortal Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and UD is telling you that if you follow the swine in this story… follow him all the way to the end of the story… you will find your truffle.

Bigtime Harvard donor Morris Zukerman’s going to jail because of uber-swinish tax evasion over decades. He has stolen at least $45 million from this country.

The truffle appears in this article’s very last paragraph:

In his defense, Zukerman submitted more than 100 letters from supporters vouching for his character, including one from Zbigniew Brzezinski, the U.S. national security adviser during the Carter administration, who presided over the marriage of Zukerman’s daughter and cited his “genuine patriotism.” He also submitted a 2007 letter from the then-president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Emily Rafferty, thanking him for a $100,000 pledge.

Ah, the genuine patriotism of the man who spent much of his working life stealing forty five million dollars from his beloved country… And thanks for the $100,000 pledge you also stole from the United States!


As for Zukerman’s beloved Harvard, that struggling school upon which he lavished huge amounts of stolen money… It even named a professorship after him! All about social justice, natch. The M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology.

And yet when you go to that page now, it’s The Professor Formerly Known as the M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology.

Fast work, that.

“The university not only informed the students of the new policy, but their guardians as well.”

Grabbing the guarded by the short hairs: Higher ed in Saudi Arabia.

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