‘”If you look at America’s great universities, you’ll see that they all have the three A’s in common: great academics, great arts and great athletics,” said UNT president Gretchen M. Bataille in a release.’

She left out audit.

“If you rank all administrators listed in the report, the top 10 are all coaches or athletic administrators, and 15 of the top 25 are.”

There’ll always be an Arkansas.

Do you like being infantilized? Do you like being condescended to?

Then this letter, from Richard Joel, president of junk status Yeshiva University, is for you. Appreciate its thoroughness, candor, and clarity about that school’s calamitous situation. Appreciate its reality-based approach to the disaster Joel and his trustees – past and present – have brought upon the school.

“Moody’s Downgrades Yeshiva University Five Notches to B1″

This just in.

As I’ve said repeatedly on this blog, Yeshiva University’s financial collapse was not the work of a day. (Go here for background.) It took a special mix of trustees Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin, decades of indifference to the sexual abuse of students, and, more recently, a useless, self-righteous, and highly compensated president, to kill the school. Yeshiva’s board of trustees remains dominated by outstanding moral specimens like Zygmunt Wilf (“the judge decided that the Wilfs showed ‘bad faith and evil motive’ in a case she said was unlike any she had ever seen in New Jersey.“). Wilf and his fellow trustees have been so riddled with conflict of interest that the board seems to have been little more than “an investment club.”

How much lower can Yeshiva go?

Yeshiva, UD feels confident, is capable of falling much farther. Indeed, she anticipates that the school will have to close.

“[T]he larger issue is clear to anyone who pays taxes in Massachusetts and follows sports in New England: UMass upgrading to the top level of college football was a terrible idea.”

Well, at least Massachusetts taxpayers are also paying for a new law school the state doesn’t need. That’s some consolation.

A Simple Parable of Greed.

It started with Bernard Madoff (it’s his anniversary!) and Ezra Merkin, and the world of vicious greed they brought to Yeshiva University. By the time these two venerated trustees of the school were brought down, Yeshiva had not only lost over a hundred million dollars to them; it had lost its reputation. Yeshiva is after all a religious school, and is held to high moral standards. Now it was in the gutter.

Yeshiva tumbled yet further with revelations that sexual abuse of students at a Yeshiva school had taken place for decades and been ignored, denied. A class action against the university will cost it hundreds of millions of dollars by the time Yeshiva decides to settle.

Throughout these and other scandalous instances of mismanagement and moral turpitude, the school has been led by a man who is one of the highest compensated university presidents in America. So there you have greed again — a greed shared with other top administrators at a school that presents itself as an institutional embodiment of spiritual piety. Even as Moody’s has downgraded this shabbier and shabbier operation, to the point where Yeshiva’s credit rating is now in the same gutter as its reputation, this president and his top managers continued to reward themselves.

Professors? Those who are due to retire cannot retire; their retirement funds are suddenly nowhere to be found, and they will have to keep working for a long, long time.

It’s within the realm of possibility that even here they will run into difficulty. (Repulsive details of the human cost of robbing your school blind here.) Yeshiva may have to close its doors.

In her mail this morning, UD got the Knight Commission’s Database on …

academic vs. athletics spending at American universities.

A newspaper in Alabama has wasted no time in noting that, for instance, “[University of Alabama Birmingham] spent less per student on academics in 2011 than four years earlier, [while its] athletic spending rate per athlete increased 30 percent.”

Hyuk. That’s how y’all stay Alabam’.

And, uh, at least it’s money well spent!

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

Even when not factoring in athletic scholarship costs, a pricey category for schools that can rapidly increase, the athletic spending rate was still higher than academic spending. A big factor was the growth in coaching salaries, which increased on average by 54 percent among the five major conferences, compared to 24 percent for all FBS schools.

The database defines academic spending per student as direct and indirect costs associated to educating students. Examples include expenses for instruction, department research, student services, and a portion of academic, institutional and operations support. It does not include spending related to other university activities.

“On the UVa McIntire School website, Morris is listed as an expert in information technology, human-computer interactions and decision-making using information technology.”

An associate dean at the University of Virginia – apparently a computer expert – “used his UVa email address in making a 2010 online payment to the peer-to-peer [child pornography] network and last year logged into his account from a school IP address, according to the affidavit.”

No bail was granted. He’ll go on trial soon.

The Evan Dobelle Story Enters Franco Death Watch…

territory.

Yeshiva University’s Credit Rating is…

…in free fall.

Westfield becomes …

Cloverfield.

Under the leadership of free spending Evan Dobelle, Westfield State University has taken on the feel of a horror film. Every day brings new financial and legal disaster. Most recently, the state of Massachusetts, displeased with Dobelle’s apparent misuse of public money, has frozen much of the school’s funding.

All of this because – with full knowledge of his scandalous behavior at his previous employer, the University of Hawaii – Westfield went ahead and hired this man.

The Canadians…

among us.

Uh -

oh.

“USC spokesman Wes Hickman said the university couldn’t comment on the specific allegations against Bennett since they don’t involve USC.”

Well, the local media’s got hold of the Charles Bennett story, and people in South Carolina think it’s a bit odd that after Bennett was booted out of Northwestern University for stealing grant funds (background here), the University of South Carolina turned around and picked him right up, giving him an endowed chair and a salary of close to $300,000. Crime pays.

USC’s spokesman came out with the brilliant response I quote in my title. The school can’t comment on any phenomenon that doesn’t involve USC. The allegations are a matter of public record, everyone’s commenting on them, but USC has a policy of not commenting on anything in the world that happens that doesn’t involve USC.

I guess the principle extends to hiring at USC too — since whatever Bennett did in Chicago doesn’t involve USC, he’s in. When Bennett steals USC grant money, then USC will review his position… Because then it will involve USC…

Gordon Gee …

… talks himself out of a job.

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