“Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?”…

… asks Algernon, in The Importance of Being Earnest; and it is a question a number of law professors have been posing lately about law students, whose duty is to set us (law profs, that is) a good example by paying $50,000 and up (plus living expenses) a year for law school, and then being unemployed or taking a public interest job that may pay close to nothing.

As you probably know, law jobs are collapsing in this country, largely due to far too many law school graduates constantly being added to the job-seeking pool. Some schools are looking for ways to respond to this problem. Others are not.

In response to this New York Times opinion piece, written by two law school professors who basically deny the problem, Paul Campos first debunks their optimistic statistics, and then remarks:

The most nauseating aspect of …this [op-ed] is the gelatinous patina of sanctimony the authors slather onto their exercise in profoundly anti-intellectual — if “intellectual” is taken to mean “minimally honest” — hucksterism. “Legal education is still an excellent choice for those committed to serving others in a rewarding career,” they primly observe. Yes, it’s certainly been an excellent choice for them. Let’s take a moment to contemplate how well these public-spirited scholars are doing for themselves by “serving others.”

The first person Chemerinsky hired onto the UC-Irvine faculty when he got this self-abnegating enterprise rolling five years ago [Erwin Chemirinsky, notes Campos, is dean of a brand new law school that, "in a hyper-saturated legal employment market," [charges] $47,300 in resident and $53,900 in non-resident annual tuition.] was his wife. In 2012 this dynamic academic duo pulled down a combined salary of $597,000 from the University of California’s perpetually cash-strapped system.

Meanwhile [the co-author of the NYT piece] took home a salary of $320,000, so it’s safe to say a career in public service is working out OK for her as well.

Obviously there’s plentiful comic territory here for those who enjoy either Wildean languidity about class privilege or straightforward Tartuffian riffs on hypocrisy (if you haven’t read Brian Tamanaha’s hilarious classic on this subject, do so).

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Add to Chemerinsky’s hearty assurance that all is well the rage of University of Oregon professor Robert Illig at the possibility that he and his colleagues in the law school might not get raises this year. The blog UO Matters quotes from two emails Illig sent to the faculty in which he worries about the possibility that the dean of the school (this might be a faculty proposal rather than something from the dean; it’s not clear at the moment) might take away raises and invest them instead in enhancing job prospects for recent graduates.

I feel that having given up the chance at a seven-figure annual income [for a six-figure one] is charity enough for the students.

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Campos wonders if Illig’s thing is “an elaborate parody.”

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More information on the faculty resolution.

Mr UD’s Colleague, Karen Dawisha…

… (she left the University of Maryland a number of years ago for Miami University) writes a manuscript about organized crime and Vladimir Putin that scares the bejaysus out of Cambridge University Press. Libel laws! No can publish.

This is from Karen’s response to the editor there:

Last week the EU and the US Government issued a visa ban and asset freeze on the very inner core that is the subject of my book. Many works will now come out on the makeup of the list and why each individual was placed on it. The answers to these questions are in my book. Isn’t it a pity that the UK is a ‘no-fly’ zone for publishing the truth about this group? These Kremlin-connected oligarchs feel free to buy Belgravia, kill dissidents in Piccadilly with Polonium 210, fight each other in the High Court, and hide their children in British boarding schools. And as a result of their growing knowledge about and influence in the UK, even the most significant British institutions (and I think we can agree that CUP, with its royal charter, 500-year history and recent annual revenues in excess of $400m, is a veritable British institution) cower and engage in pre-emptive book-burnings as a result of fear of legal action…. [Perhaps some day we] can once again turn to CUP with the knowledge that it is indeed devoted to publishing “all manner of books” and not just those that won’t awaken the ire of corrupt Russian oligarchs out to make a further mockery of British institutions.

“Additionally, Jha stole about $36,000 in stipend funds from students between July 2009 and July 2010.”

You gotta admit that stealing from students is the cherry-on-top of university corruption, the real apex of depravity. A high-ranking professor/administrator at Morgan State University did that, plus lots of other stuff that will send him to prison for a decade or so.

Liberal Education

“Thinking seriously endangers those who do it… They may, unexpectedly, learn something truly important, and they will be compelled to live with it. Liberal education does not make for comfort; it does not promote success in public life; it may not even make one happy.”

Allan Spitz, University of Alabama Huntsville, who died last January at 83.

In this earlier post, UD chronicled the many strategies…

by which university professors could exploit their students for personal gain.

All of the strategies she mentions are… strategies, whereas Georgia Tech’s Joachem Teizer runs rings around all of those strategists simply by using the most direct approach imaginable: He tells his students to hand over their money to him. Teizer basically holds up his students.

The one complexity in Teizer’s approach comes at the very beginning: He only targets students who don’t speak English very well.

Allegations against Teizer came from about 10 Asian graduate [engineering] students he supervised. [An investigator] learned the students are not fully fluent in English.

The first allegation, made in October 2013, notes that one student told school officials he paid more than $10,000 in cash to the professor in 2011.

Auditors estimate the total payments are double that sum.

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In a detail that I know you will like as much I do, Jochem Teizer specializes in “resource detection.”

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UPDATE: And Georgia Tech not long ago got rid of Bonnie and Clyde!

What is it about Georgia Tech?

Northwestern’s Peter Ludlow Has Just Filed a Response…

… to the sexual harassment charges against him. (Background here.)

The general idea is that the student was the sexual aggressor throughout.

Some of it’s a bit shaky.

Ludlow further denied that he knew the student was underage, believing she was 22 at the time.

“Because of this, he believed her to be older than a traditional freshman would be,” the document states.

Admittedly this is a newspaper quoting from a document, but huh? Because he believed she was 22, he believed she was 22? On what was he basing that belief?

Ludlow says that when NU’s investigation began

he even offered to obtain and provide security video from his building’s elevator and receipts from the restaurant and bar showing how many drinks had been ordered.

I’m not sure what any toing and froing on camera would tell us, unless the camera captured the student hurling herself on Ludlow and Ludlow sternly escorting her to a cab. Similarly, the number of drinks wouldn’t tell us much, since Ludlow and the student are likely to have had drinks earlier in the evening as well.

Purported sexual harassers dropping like flies.

At Case Western Reserve, a law school dean facing charges of harassment, and facing a retaliatory behavior lawsuit filed by one of his colleagues, has stepped down. He remains on the faculty.

At Northwestern (where UD was an undergraduate), Peter Ludlow, a high-profile philosophy professor who certainly seems to have harassed a student (a freshman!), and whose punishment for that harassment seems to many there insufficiently severe, cancelled a class today because a sit-in was planned in his classroom.

Ludlow is in even more extensive legal difficulty than the Case Western guy… Let’s see — he’s suing various media outlets for having used the word “rape” in their coverage of the case, when in fact no rape occurred. He might have to sue Rutgers University to get back the job they just offered him (this was to be his escape from NU) if they decide – now that the harassment mess is all over the papers – that they don’t want him after all. He’s being sued by the complaining student, and for all I know he may countersue her (he claims she was the sexual aggressor). Petitions and protests against his continued presence at NU are making it difficult – maybe impossible? – for him to hold class.

“[W]e were stunned to learn of the circumstances surrounding his death.”

The president of SUNY Broome has handled the heroin and alcohol overdose death of the chair of the school’s criminal justice program (also “a former police officer and New York State certified criminal investigator”) extremely well. Shortly after the death – as soon as reports of its circumstances started to come in – he acknowledged it, expressed shock, expressed sympathy, and used it as an occasion to prompt people who might know someone else in trouble:

“If you a have a loved one you think might be involved in drugs, please intervene,” Drumm said in a statement. “We so wish that we had any inkling of issues with our beloved colleague so that we might have done so.”

Scathing Online Schoolmarm might quibble with the use of three so‘s in that second sentence … But really, as someone who has chronicled official university responses to very bad events for years, UD (to channel the second of your blogger’s multiple personalities) admires Kevin Drumm’s rapid, straightforward, humane response here, especially since this story unavoidably embarrasses the school. The person in charge of a significant component of SUNY Broome’s education in the law was himself lawless, etc.

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One detail of this story worth noting in terms of trying to get a grip on the nature of the drug epidemic: Wesley Warren seems to have been a heavy user of alcohol as well as (at the same time as) heroin.

Sad, and rather grotesque story…

… of the chair of SUNY Broome’s criminal justice program having apparently died of a heroin overdose.

- O, an impossible person!

… says Buck Mulligan of troubled, brilliant Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses.

Robert Trivers, who describes himself as “one of the greatest social theorists in evolutionary biology alive, period,” seems a pretty impossible person, and his restless, aggressive ways with the world seem to be getting worse as he gets older. To the point where his employer, Rutgers University, has now suspended him (with pay, but they might be on their way to suspending him without pay). His department asked him to teach a course he did not want to teach, and he complained about this – to his class - so unpleasantly that he was removed.

This fascinating 2005 profile in the Guardian recounts Trivers’ long struggle with mental illness; his self-wounding insistence on picking fights with other people in the various fields in which he works; and his Morrissey-like self-regard.

He reminds UD – based on the little she’s read about him – of Larry Kramer. Both seem permanently pissed off moral purists. And although it’s not much fun for anyone – the purist or the purist’s targets – to be around people like this, they sometimes turn out to make enormous contributions to the world by being the way they are.

Trivers is seventy, and Rutgers no doubt decided they could wait him out. Rutgers no doubt figured that by the time Trivers got really problematic, he’d be on the verge of retirement. But – again, like Kramer, who has, against immense odds, made it to 78 – Trivers continues rolling along nicely. His belligerence-flame burns brightly.

Guys like these – guys like Kramer and Trivers – are powerful rebukes to Buddhism. Apparently you can thrive on anger.

Well, this is a fine mess.

As are many sexual harassment lawsuits, complaints, stories… This is one reason UD tends not to report them… They’re often a real mess.

This one at Northwestern now has a suit (against the university) and another suit (against local news outlets), and what actually happened between this student and the professor she claims harassed her? She does not seem to have filed a report with the police.

I cover this latest NU mess because I covered (a little) the Colin McGinn mess, and because there’s another mess in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado right now, and a larger messy discussion being carried on nationally about philosophy as a particularly sexism-ridden academic field.

Because it’s a major American university, and Ludlow’s an important philosopher, and the student’s lawsuit is a real whopper, this story will probably be pretty big. University Diaries will have to take note.

Amid all the bad publicity for its disgusting sports program…

… the University of North Carolina continues – it should be remembered – to feature people like Charles van der Horst on its faculty.

van der Horst was recently arrested.

… He was arrested along with other Moral Monday protesters on May 6 in Raleigh for trespassing, violating building regulations and illegal gathering in the Capitol Building. The day before, he ran a relay race in California and grabbed a red eye flight back to North Carolina.

… Police slipped plastic restraints around van der Horst’s wrists and led the protesters to a bus that took them to Wake County jail where van der Horst was booked and fingerprinted.

“The attached arrest documents shows that I was arrested for my ‘singing,’ something I am sure my family would say was completely justified,” he wrote in his journal…

He marched with his father during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, worked in the Vietnam anti-war movement in high school and appealed to the N.C. General Assembly in the 1980s at the height of the AIDS epidemic… Van der Horst’s father was a member of the NAACP in New York, and his mother was a Holocaust survivor.

… Van der Horst said the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid pushed him to join the Moral Monday protests. He believed that decision was based on politics, not on what would be best for the state.

… He also protests voter ID laws, anti-abortion legislation and low teacher pay.

“For God’s sake, I think South Carolina pays its teachers more,” he said.

Return To Sandor

The attempt to make Horthy a worthy meets some resistance.

“On Tuesday, a jury seated in the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan heard the testimony of Dr. Ross, one of two doctors that prosecutors say Mr. Martoma corrupted to engineer what the government has called the most lucrative insider trading scheme in American history.”

Corrupted? Corrupted? Corrupted by the big bad hedgie!

Young Sidney who lived at the foot of the hill
Whose fame every virgin with envy doth fill…

How far the delicate lassie has fallen – caught in the clutches of SAC.

Joseph “The Donald” Wilson…

… runs a CUNY program which makes its money the Trump way — by renting out its precious New York City space.

Of course, you could say that the space the program’s in is meant for the program.

And you could say that Wilson didn’t have permission to rent out the premises.

I mean, now that it’s figured out what Wilson’s doing, this is what CUNY is saying. Plus it’s really trying to get rid of the guy, since the rental thing is only one way, reportedly, in which he’s been, er, profiting from the center he runs.

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In response to the charges against him, Wilson’s doing far-left high-dudgeon.

“There is a long history of political persecution in the US, (and CUNY/BC) including the government frame-up of Angela Davis, the Black Panthers, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, W. E. B. DuBois prosecution, the frame-up of countless civil rights and labor leaders, and mass firings of CUNY faculty during the McCarthy era. This attack is part of that detestable history.

It might work.

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