“[A] lot of professors … don’t have any clear laptop policies.”

Once again, students must instruct professors on the gross negligence of failing to restrict/outlaw laptop use in their classes. This Northwestern University student nicely rehearses the by-now almost universally accepted arguments against laptop use in the classroom; he goes on to note that plenty of professors still don’t give a shit.

Jeremy Safran, a psychology professor at the New School…

has been murdered in his Brooklyn home, during what police think was a botched robbery.

Oxford Professor’s Visiting Appointment…

extended.

LOL

Brookdale Community College is investigating a professor of sociology who cursed at a conservative student.

The incident, which was captured on video by a second student and has since been shared online, happened last week during a class on intercultural communication.

Brilliant, Gutsy, Karen Dawisha has Died.

No one went after the Russian oligarchs in print the way she did; so much so that Cambridge University Press was too scared to publish her book. (Simon and Schuster did.). In response to Cambridge’s retreat, Karen wrote the following, in 2014:

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.

How topical, with the Russians still poisoning dissidents in London. How brave and lucid and true.

The Curse of the Econ Department

UD has long said that in a few years schools like Rutgers – run by jokesters and jocksters – will begin phasing out their economics departments, or at the very least introducing litmus tests for new hires.

Econ professors are among the very few on any campus who can actually run the numbers on athletics programs. The loudest among these professors often have access to the local newspaper’s opinion columns, and they can stir up outrage against massive sports deficits. The cleanest thing to do will be to shut them, and their departments, down. You could, short of that, hire only economists who have demonstrated that no amount of sports-related deficit is too great to outweigh their adoration of athletics.

Meanwhile, Rutgers has the curse of Mark Killingsworth, an econ prof who relentlessly, in opinion piece after opinion piece, chronicles what he describes as the brainlessness and insanity of that school’s president and board of trustees as they drive the place into incredible debt.

[The] real [athletics] deficit for 2016-17 can now stand up and be counted: it comes to a total of $35.4 million plus $11.9 million, or $47.3 million — the largest deficit in the history of Rutgers athletics. Despite [President Robert] Barchi’s oft-expressed pious hopes for athletics self-sufficiency, the program has now blown through a grand total of $193.1 million in deficit spending since he arrived in New Brunswick.

If you think this is bad … there’s worse. From the university’s response to another OPRA request, I learned that Rutgers currently has an outstanding total of $33.13 million in “internal debt” — the last of which won’t be paid off until 2030.

… The members of Rutgers’ Board of Governors have shown that, collectively, they are either too ignorant or too timid to do anything to restore even the most modest degree of fiscal sanity to Rutgers athletics: for them, anything goes. Apparently, they don’t understand, or don’t care, that athletics deficits take money that could have been spent on academics, and shamelessly raise fees and costs for students.

The only way to shut this guy up is to dump his entire department – call it a fiscal emergency, brought on by a temporarily high athletics deficit.

If you seek to understand the Jordan Peterson phenomenon…

this is the best account of his remarkable rise I’ve read.

Oh dear.

If any of this is truthful testimony, we have in Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan a character beyond the wildest imaginings of Michel Houellebecq.

According to the complainant, the assault occurred very soon after her entry into [Tariq Ramadan’s] room: slaps to the face, arms, breasts and punches in the belly, oral sex and sodomy imposed by force, new blows, a new rape. “He dragged me by the hair all over the room to get me into the bathtub to urinate on me,” she said in her complaint, claiming to have finally managed to escape only in the morning.

I kind of liked it when Georgetown University professor – of Peace and Security Studies! – Christine Fair…

… went after fascist Robert Spencer when she caught sight of him in her local gym. I kind of thought that was cool, the way she just went up to him while he was stretching his biceps and called him a nazi and all. I even celebrated her in song.

I was less enthralled when I found out Fair had gone hammer and tongs at a woman who wrote in an opinion piece that she had decided to vote for Trump. The woman has filed a complaint about her with the university.

With this latest incident, in the Frankfurt Airport, Ms Fair has shifted altogether from refreshingly confrontational to Diary of a Mad Housewife. The story just broke, and there aren’t any good sources yet, but let’s go with the Daily Mail anyway…. Oh, Kansas City Star just picked it up… That’s better…

So what seems likeliest to have happened (police say they have witnesses, and I’d think they’d also have security footage, but whatever) is that they told her her deodorant was basically a liquid and she couldn’t carry it on the plane. She freaked and called them nazis, which as you may know in Germany is not at all, legally speaking, a good idea. After she was hit up with a fine, she wrote an essay blaming it on sexism (German police do this to so many women at airports!), or on a young man with a nazi haircut nearby who upset her, or some such bullshit. I mean, writing that way in her own defense was as stupid as shouting nazi to security police at a German airport. In kindness to her, I won’t link you to the essay, but I’m sure you can find it.

Christine Fair is now, how you say, a woman with a past. Not much, however, Georgetown University can do about her. Beyond awaiting her next bimbo explosion.

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

Update: The German authorities do not intend to play nice.

And yet and yet and yet. After following this professor’s behaviors (chronicled above) for some time, UD offers the following theory: She’s not really out of control. She’s an attention-whore. And she’s getting what she wants.

Richard Morrissett, Rate My Professors: FOUR STARS

Pharmacy professor Richard Morrisett will remain at [the University of Texas], despite pleading guilty to a felony charge after strangling his girlfriend until “she saw stars”

Paranoia: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Florida Atlantic University professor who believes Sandy Hook was a hoax, with the parents of the dead children diabolically pretending to be parents of dead children, has lost his legal effort to get reinstated into his tenured job at that most pathetic of American universities.

He tried to make it a free speech case, but FAU successfully argued that it fired him because he doesn’t fill out required forms.

Jurors were first asked to decide whether Tracy’s blog posts were “a motivating factor” in the university’s decision to fire the professor from his 11-year tenured position. If they answered that question yes, they were to decide if the school would have terminated Tracy if he hadn’t publicized his conspiracy theories.

Since they answered no to the first question, they didn’t have to answer the second one. By deciding that Tracy’s blogs weren’t a “motivating factor” for university officials, they apparently accepted FAU’s claims that Tracy was fired for failing to fill out a mandatory form reporting his outside activity to his bosses.

You and I know why this veteran conspiracy theorist didn’t fill out those forms, right? Because the forms came directly from the Office of Aliens Trying to Fuck With My Head and Damned If I’m Going to Give Them the Keys to my Precious Bodily Fluids.

So it’s all over except for this. Why is FAU, a vile school that tenures the vile, allowed to exist?

UD is offering an extra credit module to American professors …

… to help them understand what “extra credit” means, and how it differs from “extortion.”

Through the long life of this blog, UD has read one account after another of some professor somewhere offering extra credit if the kids will help her husband distribute campaign literature (he’s running for school board!), or if they will show proof that they gave blood (blood donation is a virtue, and I want to encourage it!), or will show proof that they voted (it’s your civic duty!), etc., etc. But just like professors who force students to buy the very expensive textbook they themselves wrote, professors who exploit students politically or materially ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG. (Lesson One: Forget ‘Beyond Good and Evil.’ Let’s Start With the Basics of Wrong and Right.) The very fundamental idea that a classroom of students does not constitute one great big desperate business/political rally opportunity seems beyond the grasp of many professors, if the daily paper is anything to go by.

So for instance this Kutztown University professor thought it would be a great idea to offer to up the grade of any student who attended an anti-GOP tax rally on campus. I mean, you want a lot of people there in order to make a statement, and there are all these people sitting right in front of you, ready to be organized in exchange for an A for Political Effort on My Behalf.

She’s had to revoke the deal.

UD will add that she doubts any of the professors who do these things understand that they’ve done anything wrong. Remember that Doonesbury title, “But the Pension Fund Was Just Sitting There”? It’s like that. But My Students Were Just Sitting There.

A graduate of the…

… Thunderbird School of Global Mismanagement, this Duke lecturer brings her … intriguing … training to those few lucky high-collared non-journalists able to enter the mystic precincts of her class on the hush-hush subject of the hedge fund.

From her syllabus:

Please come to class with a polished appearance – I will not ask you to come in business attire, but collared shirts are appreciated, THANK YOU!

(UD, an old hippie, has a similar template on her syllabi:

Please come to class with a disheveled appearance – I will not ask you to come in freak attire, but FREE THE WEED t-shirts are appreciated, THANK YOU!)

Audio recordings of the course are verboten and students are instructed that they may not under any circumstances spill the top secret shit the guest speakers (the class is almost all guest speakers and other forms of student and visitor presentation) are willing to share with its carefully vetted enrollees.

Oh, and:

Anyone who is on the staff of [the Duke newspaper, The Chronicle,] is not permitted to take this class.

What UD loves about the institutional response to this final directive is that the school apologizes for the instructor’s “poorly worded” approach, which might give the unwary student the “perception that any student group is being excluded.” It’s like, when Donald Trump said “Grab ’em by the pussy,” his poor phrasing might have given some the perception that he was talking about grabbing pussies.

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

A walk down memory lane.

Dedication.

In real time.

John Cage, on Being a Harvard Professor.

The one time that I saw him up close, he was delivering the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, at Harvard. Eminences of the faculty had gathered in Memorial Hall, possibly laboring under the illusion that in such august company Cage would finally drop his games and explain himself. Unease rippled through the room as Cage began reciting a string of mesostics—acrostics in which the organizing word runs down the middle instead of the side:

Much of our
of borEdom
Toward talks in
it misled Him
diplOmatic skill to
place to place but Does it look
at present Most
fivE Iranian fishermen
cuTbacks would not

It went on like that, for six lectures, the verbal material generated randomly from Thoreau, Wittgenstein, and the Times, among other sources. Later, when Cage was asked what he thought of being a Harvard professor, he commented that it was “not much different from not being a Harvard professor.”

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