Remember Yeshiva University’s late-night online erasure of the names Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin from their list of trustees?

It happened exactly this time last year. (If you click on the link to my blog entry, and then click on the entry’s link to Yeshiva’s list, you won’t get the blank page you got when I wrote the post — YU had so much erasure to do, I guess they figured they’d better start from scratch. You’ll get their latest list of trustees, which includes the dead Sy Syms.)

Yeshiva’s board remains secretive and conflicted, so UD‘s assuming the school is keeping their TRUSTEEDELETE software at the ready.

Meanwhile, it’s a larger problem, the business of putting Hedgie Houdini on your board.

One sees the attraction. These guys have private fortunes in the billions, and not only might they give you some, they’ll maybe work their money-making magic on you.

The downside’s equally obvious: You, a venerable university, might find yourself with a very, very, very high-profile crook on your board of trustees.

And sure: You can do what Yeshiva did. You can delete their names as soon as the shit hits the fan, and then you can declare yourself a victim. You can refuse to discuss what it means about your university that it made the century’s biggest financial crook “treasurer of the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees and chairman of the board of Sy Syms School of Business,” as Yeshiva’s student paper noted last January. You can refuse to deal with it. But fact is, Yeshiva’s reputation has been in the tank ever since.

A better approach might be to see the shitstorm coming and act in advance.

Brown University, for instance, houses Steven Cohen on its board of trustees. A jolly, happy-go-lucky guy who never goes anywhere without a security detail and almost never goes anywhere anyway (the adjective constantly affixed to his name is reclusive), Cohen’s been dealing with legal trouble for years, and lately with one thing and another it’s getting out of hand.

If you ask UD, Brown should not have let greed blind it.

Meanwhile, get ready with the TRUSTEEDELETE.

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7 Responses to “TRUSTEEDELETE”

  1. GTWMA Says:

    If there are any variations of this in development, I’d be personally interested in Motherinlawdelete, Cryingbabyonairplanedelete, and Irresponsiblestudentdelete.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:


  3. Robert Says:

    You may have missed this little piece about Brown University, which goes some way to explaining why Steven Cohen might have found it congenial to become a trustee:

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Robert: What an absolutely fantastic piece of writing! Thank you so much for linking me to it. And the writer is so young. I’m really impressed — not only with his prose, of course, but with the ferocity and focus of his argument.

    I’ll post on it when I’ve had a chance to reread it and think about it for awhile. Thanks again.

  5. Robert Says:

    You’re very welcome, Margaret! I like his writing also.

    On a point of detail, I remember reading, when Simmons arrived at Brown, that she was already on the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs and those of some other firms. I suppose the facts could be checked easily enough. She had a high profile as President of Williams College before she came to Brown.

  6. University Diaries » TRUSTEEDELETE inn university Says:

    […] more here:  University Diaries » TRUSTEEDELETE By admin | category: YESHIVA University | tags: board, business, century, […]

  7. University Diaries » ‘Sanchez also ruled out the possibility that Delgado could have served as an adviser to Pena Nieto, or worked on or raised funds for his campaign. As to why a former member of the board of trustees provide such information Says:

    […] Now it’s Carnegie Mellon’s turn to do what UD calls TRUSTEE-DELETE. […]

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