Voluntary Transfer

A top dean at American University Washington College of Law is venting frustration over the recent exodus of AU students to George Washington University Law School, accusing his nearby rival of engaging in poaching.

“Speaking only for myself and not in my official law school capacity, I view this practice as downright predatory,” Anthony E. Varona, AU’s associate dean for academic affairs, wrote in a recent Facebook post, which was republished at TaxProf Blog on Thursday.

GW law officials deny they’re raiding AU’s student body, but what’s not in dispute is that an unusually large number of AU students are deciding that they’d rather go to GW. In the 2013-14 academic year, 54 students left AU to enroll at GW, according to its most recent disclosure data. Those students represented well more than half of GW’s total reported transfers for that year.

Getting desperate out there.


“It’s pretty striking because American has much lower entrance standards than GW, but what GW is doing is essentially laundering the credentials of their [second-year] class,” Campos said. “The LSAT and the GPAs of those students don’t count against GW’s stats because transfer student stats aren’t part of the calculation of what a school’s GPA and LSAT is.”

Paul Campos sorts through the laundry.

You gotta figure he also…

… made up his last name.

Liquid Diet Prep

Former Cape Cod Doctor Censured for Performing Drunken Colonoscopy

Typical Midterm…


Heil Creamer…

… and Dulce de Duce.


Feel free to suggest other names.



So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

UD‘s old friend Natasha attends the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, where weird things are happening.

The Scottsdale-based Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which operates the school, announced last week that it would not independently incorporate the school as a way to stay accredited. The Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission, which accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in 19 states, changed its bylaws two years ago to prohibit accreditation for schools that operate as divisions of a larger organization.

It’s not quite clear why the foundation refuses to independently incorporate the school. Students like this one are baffled. Are they afraid that they’re not going to be able to make money off of the school? he asks.

What Can You Do With a President When He Stops Being a President?

Nobody thinks of assigning him when they stop wining and dining him…

So out he goes, in search of consultancies and media appearances for himself…

The sad post-presidential story of George Washington University’s Stephen Trachtenberg (he was, during his tenure, a dead ringer for Gordon Gee – genial, bow-tied, tending toward inept public statements, and scandalously overpaid) displays all the pathos of a man who can’t sit still after having been a university leader, a man flailing about in search of things to do and failing to do them well.


Defense of the indefensible is a Gordon Gee/Stephen Trachtenberg trademark. Both men – like Sarah Palin – “get increasingly adorable” as their statements get increasingly deplorable. The bow tie enlarges… becomes pink…

Trachtenberg ran to the defense of Yeshiva University when its greed and corruption turned it into a conflict of interest paradise ruled by Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin. In 2008, he dismissed as a Monday morning quarterback anyone who criticized this now junk-status catastrophe.

Trachtenberg’s recent remarks about rape and its causes have embarrassed not only him, but GW, since he’s closely associated with the school. GW is doing what it can to distance itself from him, and Trachtenberg is becoming beyond belief adorable.


Gee landed on his feet, at West Virginia University.


Americans really like guys like these. UD has no idea why.

Tie One On Land

“She might have thought it was ordinary practice, judging from what I heard, that some lecturers at other places also exchange grades for some beer,” Mr Nopporn said.

I GUESS a lot of employee theft still goes on at universities…

… but in a world of cameras and tracking software, one does kind of wonder. As in the most recent high-profile … er, sign of the times, it’s just too easy to mount a camera. Cameras have caught students and professors hate-criming themselves; they’ve caught professors hauling all manner of university-owned high-tech equipment out of their offices… In the just-reported case of a University of New Orleans employee, tracking technology located a computer in his house, and then in a subsequent police search all sorts of other university goodies turned up there. Apparently the guy had just been laid off, and he decided to give himself the contents of his office as a going-away present.

Actually, this one was a two-fer: tracking and cameras.

Police said surveillance video captured [Walter] Brannon asking a custodian, who was not aware the man was no longer a UNO employee, to unlock his former office.

Brannon was able to remove two “large storage containers” before his presence was noticed, at which time he took a third storage container to his car, NOPD said.

After putting the third container in his car, police allege, Brannon told a UNO officer that he wanted to file a police report about property stolen from his office.

The property included two laptop computers, a cellphone, two tablets and a projector, police said.

Brannon refused to let another university police officer search the containers in his car for the missing property, saying he was “late for an appointment,” according to police.

When the latest technology collides with dawn-of-homo-sapiens intelligence, the results are not pretty.

In the glorious tradition of his city’s namesake…

… the president of the University of Louisville (and yes, Louisville is named after that king of France), leads his university into ruin even as he revels in luxury.

[James Ramsey’s bonus is] equal to 25 percent of his current $624,000 annual salary.

The bonus, which equals nearly $156,000, comes as a reward for reaching “all but two” goals that were set for the President’s office, according to the statement.

What those goals were is unclear. A University spokesman declined to comment on the issue.

… [W]ith his annual salary, added performance bonus and the retention bonus that applies to the current year, Ramsey is set to make $1,280,000 this year.

It’s good to be the king! The peasantry needn’t know what those elusive “goals” were… Though they might be excused for wondering why the leader of one of America’s most dysfunctional universities on every level (finances, athletics, graduation rates, internal corruption, even a trustee who recently tried to jump ship but was forced to remain on board by the governor’s refusal to accept his resignation) is being showered with gold because he met all but two of I guess many goals… Wonder what the two goals he failed to meet were… Preside over a university that doesn’t embarrass everyone associated with it? Respond to any request from the media?

It’s all very reminiscent of Yeshiva University’s president. The lower YU’s credit rating falls, and the more he refuses to talk to anyone about what’s going on there, the more he gets paid.


You wouldn’t think all of this would be a viable model for a university presidency, but there you go. It is.



Central Michigan University: America’s #1 Most Desolate Campus.

Desolation is too abstract. UD realizes this. UD realizes that outside of this blog you are never going to encounter a list of America’s most and least desolate universities. You will find Best Dorms, Worst Faculty – that sort of thing. But desolation… an atmosphere of sorrow and lostness… an air of wreckage and ruination…

After covering CMU for years (here are her CMU posts), and taking into account the latest news story out of that campus, UD has concluded that nowhere else among this country’s many colleges and universities are you going to find the intensity of drunken depressed spiritlessness that you will at CMU.

I mean, what part of this account of a CMU environmental studies professor who shot at two vacuum cleaner salesmen is not desolate and desolating? It’s pretty sad to contemplate being traveling vacuum salesmen making cold calls. It’s also sad to contemplate their ringing the bell at a home inhabited by an inebriated (the professor’s five charges include possession of a firearm while under the influence) professor waiting to empty his shotgun into whoever appears on his property.

This story is Desolate Meets Desolate, and the outcome of their meeting displays the seriocomic Surreal America theme of every Thomas Pynchon novel you’ve ever read. Booze, gunplay, farce, desperate escapes in trucks crammed with vacuum cleaners… This is CMU.

Argentina: The Thinking Wars

Philosopher Ricardo Forster, a member of the pro-Kirchnerite organization Carta Abierta, has been appointed as Secretary of the Strategic Coordination for the National Thinking office, managed by the recently created Culture Ministry.


“The post looks like that of the Vice Ministry of Supreme Happiness in Venezuela,” [said a member of the opposition], alluding to the Deputy Ministry for the Supreme Social Happiness created by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro last year.

Fifth most powerful woman in the world.

But not good enough for Smith College’s commencement. Oh no. Not pure enough. You wouldn’t want a powerful woman, would you? Powerful women have power, and power is nasty. Power is just really icky.

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