Wheaton College’s New MA in Disaster Leadership Couldn’t Have Come …

at a better time.

For years, Julius Nyang’oro got to teach nothing; it seems only fair that Jay Smith be allowed to teach something.

The University of North Carolina’s strongly expressed preference for professors who teach completely fictitious courses (which Nyang’oro did for years) over professors who want to teach courses that have actual content and class meetings and all means that history professor Jay Smith has been unable to teach his course in the history of college sports.

After all, this course, offered by a distinguished historian, is weighed down with actual intellectual material, whereas UNC prefers that its students earn their degrees by floating through sheer beautiful lovely fakery.

Kevin Guskiewicz, a dean who oversees the department, and Jim Dean, UNC’s previous provost, said that academic freedom “does not give individual faculty members the right to unilaterally decide what courses they will teach in a given semester or academic year.”

So true! The dean’s job is to make sure UNC maintains its strong brand as the go-to school for athletes who want to cheat their way to a degree; Smith represents legitimate academic activity, and therefore must be quashed.

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Alas, the eyes of the world are still upon UNC onaccounta their latest fake courses scandal, and UNC has ultimately had to cave and allow this real course into its curriculum. Bummer.

Sing It.

MORE

More than the buyout clause that makes us pay
More than the perks we give you every day
More than the students’ heads you bashed to bits
More than the seasons full of lethal hits

More than you’ll ever know
Our arms long to hold you so
Our school will be in your keeping
Waking sleeping laughing weeping

Longer than always love will never fade
Yes far beyond forever you’ll be paid
You are the coach we do adore
And our heart is very sure no one else could love you more

Put two of America’s most impressive university football programs in a brand new two billion dollar venue named after a prestigious line of cars…

… and the result shows you American higher education and sports culture at its very best.

It’s frustrating to deal with delusional people, and even more frustrating to deal with delusional sports programs.

So pause a moment to think what University of New Mexico instructor Daniel Barto’s daily life at that benighted school (in a benighted state) is like. He opens the paper and reads the following opening paragraphs:

University of New Mexico athletics has projected ticket revenue for the current 2017-18 fiscal year that it didn’t come close to reaching this past season.

And this comes after the recent retirement of its athletic director, the launch of two state investigations related to … possible fiscal mismanagement and the reality of failing to balance eight of the department’s past 10 budgets.

In fact, UNM has budgeted to spend about $1 million more from ticket sales this year than it actually brought in last year from its three revenue generating sports of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

Read the whole thing. It gets more delusional with every paragraph. Barto reads things like this every day.

This blog has spent years documenting wild wacko wastrel UNM. (The link includes non UNM posts – jump around.). If you want to know what its like to actually belong to the UNM community, read Barto’s letter in the student newspaper. After reviewing the serious financial difficulties of many people on campus, he notes:

This [financial difficulty] pertains to us all — except one certain delusional department that seems to think that the hard math of budgeting does not apply to them.

I am talking about the Athletics Department, the department that has the most paid administrators of any other on main campus.

This department was headed by director Paul Krebs (salary $319,262) until he “resigned” after committing fraud. Paul used UNM money to fund a personal golfing trip to Scotland. This trip ended up costing New Mexico taxpayers even more, because Paul failed to get enough people to lock in for the discount group travel rate.

Pathetic Paul, so much money to embezzle but too few friends to even embezzle with.

Of course the Athletics Department claims, “We bring in the most money!”

But this is a lie of omission. The department wastes more money than it brings in. According to the ABQ Journal, since 2007 the Athletics Department’s expenses have exceed[ed] their revenue every year except two. As of 2016, the department has a $1,525,257 deficit that the University must cover.

Barto is angry. Of course he concedes that the state of New Mexico itself is one of the most dissolute in the nation; he understands that public universities in our most corrupt states are royally screwed. But he still can’t help hoping for things to change.

His letter hasn’t yet attracted any comments. If it does, UD feels pretty certain they’ll be abusive, semi-literate, and deeply deluded.

The helmet mash / It’s a graveyard smash!

All aboard the college train! Where we take your brain for quite a ride… And some people don’t want to get on… Yes, some people want to get off…

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UD thanks dmf.

‘Worthwhile Canadian Initiative’ is…

… as you may know, the winner of Michael Kinsley’s Most Boring Headline contest. Less boring, and just a bit tweaked, is a headline to accompany the recruitment news out of the Canadian Football League:

SOMEWHAT SHORT OF WORTHWHILE CANADIAN INITIATIVE

Yes, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats recruited (briefly) Mr Baylor-Rapes Art Briles; it also seriously considered (before rejecting) Johnny Manziel. Deadspin‘s indispensable Emma Baccellieri reports:

Manziel was charged with domestic violence last year for allegedly hitting his girlfriend and threatening to kill her; charges were dropped several months later after a plea deal. He also has a history of partying and drug use that repeatedly threatened his career. [Briles oversaw] a football program where players were accused of up to 52 rapes in four years …

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UD thanks Jack.

“[O]ne-10th of [the University of] Florida’s [football] team has been suspended for being a band of thieves.”

But, as Mike Bianchi points out, it’s only Wednesday. We know this team can do better.

“The court heard of the building and refurbishing of luxury villas, the acquisition of expensive cars such as a Ferrari, holidays on exotic locations and so on – paid from university funds.”

When it comes to university presidents looting their schools, America lags well behind Greece, where the chancellor of Pandio University set the standard by leading (he was only found guilty of failing to note the illegal removal of ten million dollars of university funds, but he seems to have personally benefited from said removal) an extensive conspiracy of robber-administrators. The Greek state gave the school money; the school’s leadership took the money – that seems to have been the straightforward approach – and bought the stuff listed in this post’s headline.

Here in the States, the business of leaders draining millions and billions of university funds is more subtle, more complicated. President Lawrence Summers’ mad insane interest rate speculation cost Harvard one billion dollars but I mean … you know … he meant well. Yeshiva University’s trustees no doubt thought they were enriching the school as much as themselves by their extensive conflicts of interest coupled with avid investments in pieces of work like fellow trustee Bernie Madoff. In the event, they cost the school $1.3 billion.

Not that we don’t boast a few Greek-style university presidents. Karen Pletz, while president of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, allegedly paid for her Lexus convertible and a series of amazing foreign trips by the simple expedient of removing what these things cost from the university’s reserves and placing those sums in her private account.

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James Ramsey, now routinely described as the disgraced ex-president of the University of Louisville, stands somewhere between high-minded removalists like Summers and flat-out Ferrari larcenists. UL let him, over the years, grow to a big strapping tyrant with his fingers all over every money source available at this public institution in one of America’s poorest states.

I say let him, but as Pandio and other examples suggest, it takes a village to pillage. Ramsey surrounded himself with what one retired UL professor, reviewing the school’s sordid history, calls fellow pirates – people who took as much pleasure in pillaging as he, and who of course had no cause to expose his piratical deeds.

Dennis Menezes, who spent almost forty years at the U of Smell, takes a sentimental journey through some highlights:

Robert Felner, the former education who ended up doing jail time for misappropriating millions of dollars; Alisha Ward siphoning of hundreds of thousands of dollars from U of L’s Equine Industry Program; “Sweetheart contracts” at the College of Business, where administrators continued to receive their significantly higher salaries even after stepping down from their administrative positions, a practice rarely seen at other universities; the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen by Perry Chadwyck Vaughn at the School of Medicine…

At some point the leadership of a university gets so notoriously filthy that career criminals like Felner make a point of applying to work there, thus amplifying the pirate-load. I mean to say that when Menezes tries to puzzle out what makes a university a criminal enterprise, he fails to land on the obvious: Once your university is known to tolerate – nay, encourage – piracy, pirates from all over the world get on board.

The journey to just awful is smoothed by other campus assets, in particular — natch — sports. Let me suggest how this probably works at places like U of L, where, you recall, an entire sports dorm was transformed into a whorehouse for the use of recruits and their fathers. The pattern at sex-crime-crazed places like Penn State, Baylor, and Louisville is for the president to be invisible while the AD, the actual president of the school, does whatever the fuck he and his massive program like. At criminal enterprises like U of L, a president like Ramsey actively takes advantage, let’s say, of all the big scandalous sports noise in the foreground to quietly do his removalist thing.

More than that, enormous sports programs tend to bring quite a few truly scummy and twisted people to a campus and reward those people with enormous salaries and enormous respect (if they win games). Over time the powerful and often scummy sports contingent defines the ethos of the whole university, as in: Jerry Sandusky was EMERITUS PROFESSOR Sandusky at Penn State, I’ll have you know. UD attended a Knight Commission meeting in DC where a coach at a local university stood up and insisted that athletic staff at American universities should have professor status. “They’re educators as much as anyone else. It’s elitist to think otherwise.” So athletics, at many universities including Louisville, certainly does its bit to vulgarize and corrupt everyone, making it much easier for already sketchy people like Ramsey to assume they’re living in a sleaze-friendly world.

UD ain’t saying you must have a big sports program for endemic corruption, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

Anyway. This post is long enough. We’ll be following U of L as they try to decide whether it’s worth suing Ramsey and his pirate crew to get back some of the many millions they removed. We’ll also follow U of L’s difficult effort to find a new president. Would you want to preside over a school suing your predecessor for millions of dollars? Hell, the thing could even end up in criminal court.

Headline of the Day

COLLEGE FINDS COMPROMISE TO KEEP
RAPIST ON FOOTBALL TEAM

When your president is a football coach…

… expect the very best!

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The player’s father just tried to kill a judge (thanks for the tip, dmf).

Though not the judge who convicted his son of rape. Maybe that judge had better personal security. The targeted judge is a hunter who always carries a weapon, and he shot back. He apparently will survive. The father was killed.

And they brought it in at under…

eighty million!

UCLA Quarterback Josh Rosen. Oy.

Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs. There are guys who have no business being in school, but they’re here because this is the path to the NFL. There’s no other way. Then there’s the other side that says raise the SAT eligibility requirements. OK, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers.

… If I wanted to graduate in three years, I’d just get a sociology degree.

“[University of North Carolina leaders are] more eager to defend the school’s athletic reputation than its academic stature. Yes, we had hollow course credits, they seem to be saying, but that was done for its own sake, not to benefit athletes.”

Ok. It’s late August. Soon we’re back to a daily consideration of the current state of the American university. Look sharp.

The Life of the Mind …

… at the University of Florida.

[Several University of Florida football] players were alleged to have to taken part in a scheme that saw them purchase electronic products with school-issued [student aid] debit cards before selling them for cash. While this practice is not uncommon in college football, the Gators’ players then went to university officials to report their cards stolen, triggering a school investigation into possible credit card fraud. After investigation officials deemed the cards were not stolen and looked into the purchases, they found the players at fault for misusing funds given to them.

Here’s more on one of the guys, the team’s “top play-maker,” Antonio Calloway.

This is not the first time Callaway has faced suspension during his time at Florida. He was suspended last spring amid sexual assault allegations. Callaway was accused of sexual assault in December of 2015 but testified that he was “high on marijuana” during the incident and was “so stoned I had no interest in having sex with anyone.”

Your education tax dollars at work.

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