See if you can read through this article without laughing out loud …

… at least once.

“[H]auling [Hank] Greenberg’s notoriously cranky, 91-year-old ass into court is a price above rubies for NY AG Eric Schneiderman who will now (maybe) get the opportunity to prosecute Greenberg and Donald Trump for fraud in the same year.”

Two of America’s most eminent men, one of them the founder of a university and the other a lifetime trustee of NYU, go to court for fraud.

Once the prices are up, who cares where they come down?

To quote Werner von Braun; or, if you’re the University of Texas, once the pharma prices go up, who cares on whose head they crash down? Your endowment benefits hugely from investing in pharma company Valeant as it buys cheap old drugs and then jacks up their prices a zillion times over so that sick people…

Well, note the headline on an article about the situation in Nonprofit Quarterly:

Price-Gouging the Sick to Grow Your Endowment Turns Out to Be a Bad Bet

Yeah, everything was copacetic for awhile – Valeant, always mentioned in the same breath as its comrade in pricing Martin Shkreli, was doing great for UT, price-gouging the sick and making big profits and it was great for everyone! But then Valeant caught a teeny bit of bad publicity for making the hellish lives of sick people much more hellish, and its value dropped, and now the UT endowment returns are looking kinda shitty too because of UT’s failure to anticipate this glitch in an otherwise brilliant corporate strategy.

UD would love to know where UT’s investment advisors are looking next. Where’s the hot new pharma co. whose business model destroys the lives of vulnerable people for a GARGANTUAN payoff? Maybe UT can ask its business students to help them find the next Shkreli. A credit-bearing project of some sort.

Why Bernie’s Doing So Well

[Martin] Shkreli anticipated a blockbuster product just as Turing raised the price, according to a company memo released by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. On August 27, 2015, he wrote in an e-mail that “I think [the drug] will be huge. We raised the price from $1,700 per bottle to $75,000 … So 5,000 paying bottles at the new price is $375,000,000- almost all of it is profit and I think we will get 3 years of that or more.”

Sanders wins Indiana.

‘Executive Fired After Opposing 5,000% Drug Price Hike’

An American Tragedy.

You know what would be really cool?

Harvard University (endowment $36-plus billion, but it’s got far more money than that if you count other assets) PLUS one of these guys:

In 1999 .. the 10 largest collegiate football programs brought in $229 million in revenue. By 2012, the same schools reported revenue of $762 million. “Profit margins had ballooned to hedge-fund levels.” … Overwhelmingly, the cash is reinvested in athletic programs. As a Texas sports official put it, “We eat what we kill.”

What an amazing school that would be… What an icon of the postmodern university… Unimaginably rich, it would hoard/eat its cash, so that little to no money would be put to academic use…

Imagine this school as a massive nubbed therapy ball stuffed with a trillion dollars. Fund managers and sundry money fetishists would be invited to squat on its nubs and bounce around …

“[S]tudent tuition is increasing at a steady clip on average more than the rate increase of operating expenses, all while Yale’s endowment is seeing huge gains.”

Yale University: Eat the Rich.

The New University of West Virginia Fight Song.

Excerpts. In honor of the dean of the WVU School of Public Health.

I brush my teeth with Coca-Cola, wash my face with mountain dew
We live down in chemical valley, licorice water runnin’ through,
Licorice water runnin’ through

… All is money, all is power, one man’s loss is another’s gain
I just do the best I can, put out my bucket, pray for rain
Put out the bucket and pray for rain

… Once we were Almost Heaven, now we’re open for business
That’s the place that I call home, West Virginia

“In a time of economic hardship, when the citizens of the state that we serve are suffering, the Provost’s decision to accept a position on Nike’s corporate board has drawn unwelcome and harmful public attention to her and to the President, both of whom already earn excessive salaries and, by accepting lucrative positions on corporate boards, seem clearly to be cashing in on their public positions.”

Ah, a walk down memory lane. This is from a 2010 AAUP report expressing dismay at Phyllis Wise (then a high-ranking administrator at the University of Washington) following in the footsteps of UW’s then president Mark Emmert (who as current head of the farcical NCAA makes far far FAR bigger bucks than he did on all of his presidential corporate boards) and displaying her I could give a shit greed to the world.

To Wise’s claim that Nike’s board was interested in her special expertise in their line of work, the AAUP responded:

It is difficult to see what special interest the Nike Corporation could possibly have in Phyllis Wise’s research expertise in obstetrics and gynecology.

Er… How to screw your employees?…

UD is therefore SOOOO not surprised that Wise is insisting on leaving her latest place of employment with every penny coming to her.

One day after the board of trustees rejected her first attempt, the former UI chancellor again tendered her resignation Thursday night, saying she would not accept a position as special assistant to the president and that she is consulting with her lawyers about ways to protect her reputation…

‘[T]he University agreed to provide the compensation and benefits to which I was entitled, including $400,000 in deferred compensation that was part of my 2011 employment contract.’

I want it all! You think by changing your mind and ‘terminating’ instead of retiring me you can avoid yet more ridicule (the University of Illinois has generated tons of that over the last few years) about the four hundred thou reward for the way I handled Salaita and other matters?


It’s what Kierkegaard called infinite resignation:

Infinite resignation is the last stage before faith, so anyone who has not made this movement does not have faith, for only in infinite resignation does an individual become conscious of his eternal validity, and only then can one speak of grasping existence by virtue of faith.

As Wise embarks on her spiritual journey, the rest of us can giggle at the spectacle (see this post, about comedy and repetition) of Wise and her university tossing the terminate/resign ball back and forth. At great expense to Illinois taxpayers, of course.


UD thanks Wendy.

“[Our] stadium has only seen a handful of wins and a handful of people since opening day… Like new condition.”

A wag puts the outrageously mismanaged University of Akron on Craigslist.

“I’m like a smart person. I went to the Wharton School of finance.”

Missed a chance to mention the most impressive thing of all: He founded a university.

How Philanthropy Happens.

One of the [restaurants] that will be purchasing [a new beer named, in honor of Donald Trump, “Chinga Tu Pelo” or, in English, “Fuck Your Hair”] is Gino’s East Pizza Joint, [which] will then donate all proceeds from the sale of the beer to the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.

“University.” “Fake.” “So-Called.” This has gotta hurt.

It was the university as cult of personality, the first American university where the founder’s face took up more room on its logo than the heraldic shield. It was the university Benito Mussolini would have founded if he’d been allowed to retire rather than been executed by firing squad and hung upside down in a public square. And now to be reduced to this… Its very identity as university poked at, questioned, ridiculed…

Trump Must Disclose Profits From His ‘University’ in RICO Lawsuit


Donald Trump must disclose how much money he made from his so-called Trump University …


Donald Trump must disclose how much money he made from Trump University, in the discovery phase of a RICO class action accusing him of defrauding students of millions of dollars, a federal judge ruled. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel [Uh-oh: Curiel’s a “longtime member of the National Hispanic Bar Association.“] on Tuesday ruled that Trump’s financial transactions involving Trump University are relevant to lead plaintiff Art Cohen’s claims.

UD’s Canadian Friend Jack Sends her News of the Death of…

… Arthur Porter, who died resisting extradition to Canada to stand trial for one of the biggest university-related thefts in history. As head of the McGill University Health Centre, he initiated construction of

a $1.4-billion mega-hospital.

Within a year, news broke that $22.5 million in kickbacks had been paid by the winning contractor, SNC-Lavalin.

Police have alleged that Porter received $11.25 million in secret commissions for rigging the hospital contract in SNC-Lavalin’s favour.

It’s a pity Porter’s trial will not happen. It would be good to know how far the culture of crime extended (extends?) at McGill.

Because that’s where the money is.

Ian Buruma:

Western businessmen, architects, artists, university presidents and museum directors – or anyone who needs large amounts of cash to fund their expensive projects – now have to deal with non-Western autocrats… [P]andering to authoritarian regimes and opaque business interests is not a wholesome enterprise. The contemporary alliance of Western interests – in the arts and higher education no less than in sports – with rich, undemocratic powers involves compromises that might easily damage established reputations.

One way to deflect the attention is to borrow the old anti-imperialist rhetoric of the left. Dealing with despots and shady tycoons is no longer venal, but noble. Selling the franchise of a university or a museum to a Gulf state, building yet another enormous stadium in China or making a fortune out of soccer favours to Russia or Qatar, is progressive, anti-racist and a triumph of global fraternity and universal values.

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