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.

Yodelayheeracketeering

One Swiss lawmaker calling for [Swiss non-profit laws] reform has noted contemptuously that that a multibillion-dollar global organization like FIFA “still has the same status as a Swiss mountain village yodeling association.

Those who…

sell their universities to corporations run serious risks.

“These days … medical research is not just a scholarly affair. It is also a global, multibillion-dollar business enterprise, powered by the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries. The ethical problem today is not merely that these corporations have plenty of money to grease the wheels of university research. It’s also that researchers themselves are often given powerful financial incentives to do unethical things: pressure vulnerable subjects to enroll in studies, fudge diagnoses to recruit otherwise ineligible subjects and keep subjects in studies even when they are doing poorly.”

UD‘s pal Carl Elliott tells all in a New York Times opinion piece.

“Inviting armed rival gangs to a place where alcohol is served is not only unwise, it is reckless.”

Nah. Just the free market doing its thing.

Greed and Irritability Aren’t a Very Attractive Combination…

… and when they’re exhibited by the president of a university so icky it’s lately being called not the U of L (we’re talking about the University of Louisville), but the U of Smell, the effect is doubly unattractive. Sports- and felon-factory Louisville (put Louisville in my search engine) always makes sure its inept administrative staff is highly paid, and some of the trustees have asked for details about the sources of their salaries and perks – in particular, the board would like to know more about a campus foundation that seems to specialize in directing vast deferred compensations at the president and other execs.

The president’s response to this request is to “lash out,” publicly, at the trustees, and accuse them of not trusting him.

Which is weird, eh? The whole point is that the trustees don’t trust him; that’s why they want an audit of the foundation (which he also heads). UD doesn’t think the president’s best move, faced with trustees who don’t trust him, is to get all hurt and angry and accuse them of not trusting him. A better approach would be for the president to

1. grasp that the trustees don’t trust him, and

2. do something to gain their trust.

“Despite his age, Mr Shor has already notched up some significant achievements.”

You can say that again! The president of ORT Moldova (a charitable educational organization) stands accused of having stolen one eighth of that country’s gross domestic product.

The University of Louisville Becomes Prudent at this Juncture.

Is this parody of a university actually parodying a parody? Are they aware of Dana Carvey’s famous wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture parody of George Herbert Walker Bush? Having been forced by a lawsuit to release the most recent auditor’s report of their crime-ridden money pit, UL says this:

Settling the lawsuit at this juncture is the prudent course of action for the University.

Much as UD would love it if university spokesperson Mark Hebert turned out to be doing a conscious parody of a parody, she figures he’s simply unaware that the hilarious formulation he’s chosen with which to cover his school’s ass has already been made notorious.

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

How do you leach millions from a university?

Gotta get you a bank account.

As part of its examination, [the auditor] tried to determine how many bank accounts existed in the name of University of Louisville, University of Louisville Physicians or any derivative. The firm requested information from all banks in a 50-mile radius. The university provided a list of 11 authorized accounts at PNC Bank, as well as one account in the name of the University of Louisville Athletic Association.

The firm ultimately found more than 20 additional bank accounts linked in some manner to U of L. They include accounts for the German Club, the U of L Sports Administration Club, U of L Parking, and more.

[The firm] also learned of several accounts linked to University Medical Associates, the previous incarnation of University of Louisville Physicians. However, Fifth Third Bank told [auditors] that they were unaware of any accounts in the name of the university.

The auditing firm later found additional accounts linked to previous entities tied to University of Louisville Physicians, according to the report.

Forging Ahead

Monika Juneja, who rose to become deputy leader of the Conservative group at Guildford Borough Council…
pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to three counts of forgery dating back to 2000, obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception, and a charge of “wilfully pretending to be a barrister” between January 2010 and May 2014.

As in many of these cases, she seems to have spent a good deal of her non-working time forging academic papers – degrees, certificates, approvals… A fraudster’s work is never done until she – or he, like Michael Martoma – has to go to jail.

“Computer Science and Engineering Professor Jun-Hong Cui, a former assistant dean for graduate studies and diversity, and Professor Zhijie Shi, requested approval of those purchases. But they also are two principals of Aquatic Sensor Network Technology, according to the auditors.”

Sure, Beware the B-School Boys; but as UD has often noted on this blog, your engineering school features a scam so smooth, so consistent, so reliable, that it’s positively… engineered.

You know the ol’ diddle me once routine; yet virtually every university equipped with engineering professors seems eager to be taken again and again by the time-honored get-rich-off-your-grant-by-setting-up-a-business-and-shunting-the-grant-funds-to-it. U Conn even let Cui and Shi (apparently there are yet more professors in their department who will be named; similar last names to Cui and Shi will almost certainly mean a UD limerick) start their business on campus, giving them all sorts of university perks and inducements to do so. The guys and gals then turned around and allegedly stole NSF grant money – large quantities of it – by having that money go to their company.

Not only were the purchases initiated by UConn faculty “who had a significant interest in AquaSeNT,” but two of the purchase requisitions they signed indicated, “I have no financial or other beneficial interest in the vendor,” the auditors wrote.

OTOH, there’s a simple explanation here. The guys and gals say they didn’t read the conflict of interest language in the grant before signing off on it. I mean, if they’d known… (You will know this as the George Costanza Move.) Plus they were pressed for time and all.

U Conn’s in deep doodoo too, because they didn’t inform the State Auditors office of the NSF investigation. I guess U Conn’s been pressed for time as well.

Russkies Have Balls.

Good thing they’re too weak at the moment to come after us. They’re really good.

Moscow police arrested the director of a BVI registered foreign company who allegedly used forged documents to embezzle over 1.28 billion rubles ($23 million) from the Atom Research Training Center for New Technologies and Materials, a Moscow-based subsidiary of state owned Rostec.

[T]he suspect and his accomplices forged a promissory note dated February 8, 2012 that said a state owned research center had assumed the financial liability of the … company in the amount of 1.28 billion rubles.

… Later, the suspect evidently found a notary who assisted him in creating a payment request for the research center. After the research center refused to pay, the notary prepared a deed of protest to take the dispute to court.

It’s the “take the dispute to court” thing that gets me. American fraudsters, having been refused payment, would almost certainly not draft a deed of protest and go to court. That’s the sort of brash, high-risk move from which stateside swindlers would shrink. Our guys would be unwilling to go all the way.

“…Club Spinnaker owners said their staff meticulously monitors …

underage drinking …”

They do, however, miss the occasional gang rape.

[Two Troy University] students were arrested and charged with sexual battery by multiple perpetrators … [T]he alleged rape took place sometime from March 10, 2015, to March 12, 2015, behind Spinnaker Beach Club, a popular bar and dance club for spring breakers.

Club Spinnaker’s owner has been among the most eloquent critics of Panama City Beach’s efforts to change its way-welcoming spring break rules.

“In an influential paper, the economists Kevin M. Murphy and Robert W. Vishny, both at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Andrei Shleifer at Harvard University argue that countries suffer when talented people become what we economists call ‘rent seekers.’ Instead of creating wealth, rent seekers simply transfer it — from others to themselves.”

Does Sendhil Mullainathan realize how many layers of irony there are in his citing Andrei Shleifer as an expert in self-aggrandizement??

Or does he think we’re supposed to forget about Shleifer having been found liable for conspiracy to defraud the federal government?

Diamandopoulos: If you seek his monument, do the math.

Entertaining his old friend on the board, John Silber, over dinner and drinks ended up costing Adelphi $546. Dr. Silber was president … of Boston University.

The next day, food and drinks with another trustee, Hilton Kramer, and a second guest cost the university $707. Mr. Kramer [was] The New York Observer’s art critic and a media critic for The New York Post.

The meal charges were actually modest; it was the bar tab that drove up the grand total. The bill was $454 for the 1982 Brion wine and Martell 100 cognac that Dr. Silber and Dr. Diamandopoulos drank. And the 1983 Chaval and Martell that he and Mr. Kramer sipped cost $552.

… Among Dr. Diamandopoulos’s expenses highlighted by Amy Gladstein, a lawyer for the Coalition to Save Adelphi, was a $579 pen he ordered for Ernesta Procope to celebrate her election as board chairwoman.

There was also the $82,314 Mercedes that Adelphi provided to Dr. Diamandopoulos.

RIP.

“Faced with an eleven year cover-up, a mutilated corpse and a mother whose life has been utterly destroyed, Regent Linda Cohen responded by saying, ‘I am really proud of this university.'”

UD‘s buddy Carl Elliott does not mince words in the matter of the University of Minnesota and the death under its care of Dan Markingson.

There’s simply too much pharma money at stake for anything like true remorse, much less meaningful change.

But expressions of pride in the university in these circumstances are … UD has no words for that.

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