“So here’s my question to the Army War College, an institution that I have heretofore admired greatly — how in the hell did this piece of s**t result in the awarding of an M.A. degree?”

Plagiarism is hell.

Point One: When a particular instance is discovered, there’s almost always more from the same person. Plagiarism is a career choice.

Point Two: The panicked plagiarist almost always responds like a complete idiot to the discovery, as with the War College’s finest, Senator John Walsh, whose thirteen and a half page MA thesis…

Wait. Thirteen and a half page MA thesis…? Oy.

Anyway, back to the main event. Point Three:

The university that passed the plagiarized thesis now comes under heavy scrutiny. As in: Does the War College specialize in awarding MAs to thirteen and a half page pastiches of other people’s writing? Who pays for the War College? Zat my taxes?? Hold on, lemme check.

I don’t have to check! It’s the effing army! The Army!

So… okay… I saved on paper. What if he’d written a standard 50 to 100 page thesis? But beyond that…

Victory for Germaine Greer!

It’s a great day for female genital mutilation.

The World of Swine Takes Note of…

… one of its own.

Marching a loaded Ruger right up to the security police at the Cannon Building. The police are on extra alert because only a few days ago another asshole did the same thing.

‘Course he dint have no pistol license on him neither. Hyuk.

And they say pigs are smart.

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

Oh, and he’s a North Carolina State University trustee! Just the sort of clever boots you want setting policy at a university. He’ll get right back to work on that. As soon as he can get out of jail.

Raise your hand if you WEREN’T…

… plagiarized by John Walsh.

Veteran’s…

ministrations.

“Only the Americans appear to take this sort of thing seriously.”

Puritanical little buggers that we are, we alone, complains this frustrated plagiarist-outer, take seriously things like an entire career founded on stealing other people’s writing. We alone not only manage to summon disapproval of plagiarism; we also act on that disapproval. For instance, Americans are notorious for firing or fining high school superintendents who plagiarize graduation speeches; and there are simply scads of American high school superintendents who plagiarize graduation speeches… Whereas the British (Neil Harmon, languid tennis journalist who has just languidly copped to having copied, is a Brit) are all oh reaaaaaallly about it…

Or perhaps we are being asked to pity, rather than condemn, a person whose dissociative disorder is so severe that he writes about his decades of plagiarism like this:

It has been brought to my attention that I have severely compromised my position…, having used unattributed material to form part of my writing of the Wimbledon Yearbook.

Big thanks, chaps, for bringing the fact that I’m a plagiarist to my attention. I must say, something in the way I wrote did seem… odd… Yet I couldn’t put a finger on it until you were so kind as to bring it to my attention. Good show!

Gotta be this or …

that.

When figuring out your university’s very own response to the empty stadium problem, don’t you see it’s gotta be one way or the other. You can cater to drunks – collegiate and professional football attracts lots of drunks – and you can have people bring alcohol to the event and you can serve alcohol at the event, etc.

Drunks like to be drunk, so this policy will certainly attract them; but on the other hand you’ve now got … well, let’s have this guy explain why he stopped going to Redskins games.

The tipping point for my decision not to renew came in the opener of the 2010 season, a Sunday night game against the Cowboys. In the middle of the second quarter, nature called and I needed to visit the restroom. As I was walking down from my 15th row seat, a young lady pointing to her pink Tony Romo jersey was blocking the row as her team was driving down the field. I asked her nicely if I could get by, but that just made her clutch the jersey harder and push it toward my face. As I raised my voice in an effort to make her understand my situation, an extra from the cast of Swamp People in a Jason Witten jersey popped up.

“Hey, you gotta problem, buddy?” asked Mr. Bleary Eyes.

“Um… yeah… I want to get out.”

Apparently to him, them’s fightin’ words. As he approached me in my burgundy LaRon Landry jersey, Ms. Pink Romo finally got out of the row to try to settle her man down, and I passed by.

“Stop! It’s not worth it!” I heard her say as I walked away.

But Swamp Witten kept following me. As I reached the mezzanine, his girlfriends’ clutching arms and desperate words finally registered in his addled brain, and they returned to their seats.

Now, I was not afraid. I stand over six feet and weigh 280 pounds. The guy was drunk, and a strong wind could have knocked him over. But I’m a 35-year-old adult, and this was ridiculous. I’ve never had to deal with a drunken fan harassing me in my own living room.

Nothing says university like a stadium bristling with police watching your every move and hauling the royally pissed out of their seats. What to do? You could offer rewards to make sober people attend anyway. You could basically, in other words, pay people to sit next to the drunks. At Syracuse University, whose stadium has the desolate air of a late Samuel Beckett play, a local reporter asks his readership about rewards. Goodies for people who, as he puts it, “behave themselves”?

Judging by the comments, his readers are skeptical.

“Kenney and the younger Paterno do not offer any direct evidence in their lawsuit of Penn State officials slandering them directly.”

Blessings on thee, football factory! Once thou hast dispensed $171 million, pray add some few millions more for these lads.

Wow.

UD is an old hand at university scandals, and Alabama State University is one of the most scandalous universities in the world; so she certainly doesn’t expect to be shocked - WOW shocked – by anything its pathetic conflicted threatened with loss of accreditation board of trustees does.

But UD has to hand it to this school. It has truly astounded her. The two most-conflicted trustees (chair and vice-chair of the board!) have been asked to resign by the governor, “who serves as president of the ASU board by virtue of his elected office.” And why? The governor, like other governors, has tolerated this grossly corrupt institution forever. How do you go too far for the sixth most corrupt state in the union?

Well, you do this:

[The governor] learn[ed] that proposed amendments to ASU’s bylaws had been circulated to members of ASU’s board “excluding me as president and a member of the board.”

[T]he amendments would have done the following in an apparent attempt to grab power from [just-appointed ASU president Gwendolyn] Boyd:

Establish an attorney-client privileges between the university’s general counsel and the board, replacing that between the university and its president,
Provide for the hire of the general counsel by the board of trustees,
Allow removal of trustees only for criminal acts [and not just little bitty ol' conflicts of interest, get it?] by a majority of the members of the board of trustees rather than a majority present at the time of the vote,
Install a board liaison with the same powers as those designated to the university president,
Prohibit trustees from disclosing confidential information, and
Allow a committee chair to direct the actions of the president.

Shut ma mouth. There’s something almost impressive about people anticipating both their own conflictual/criminal acts and the way they’re going to get away with those acts…

But what truly amazes me (if I may, at this remarkable moment in the history of my blogging about universities, speak in the first-person) is how flagrant these guys are. I mean, just put it out there… Don’t tell the governor; write it so you take power from the president; protect your ass in advance of further self-enriching conflicts of interest…

This school makes Yeshiva University look well-behaved. This school is afuckingmazing.

“[A]t least five other UIC nursing dissertations [had] higher plagiarism index scores than hers, and at least 30 other UIC dissertations [had] high or problematic plagiarism scores.”

The sport of competitive plagiarizing is upon us, in which people accused of plagiarism use the same software their accusers used, in order to demonstrate that everybody plagiarizes. In fact, some people plagiarize more than the accused do, so why are the accused being singled out?

How many of these objects of plagiarism claims, though, can lay claim to the title of provost? Your chief academic officer may herself be a plagiarist?

This must be Chicago State University, corrupt dropout factory extraordinaire. (Background here.)

So the provost is suing the school that passed and is now investigating her degree (privacy issues), which for CSU means another embarrassing high-profile lawsuit to go with the free speech one FIRE just filed against the school, and the just-concluded one in which a judge made CSU pay a whopping three million dollars to a campus whistle blower against whom the institution retaliated.

I’m sure the taxpayers of Illinois, who pay for this school (I don’t think it has any students anymore… maybe a few…?), take comfort in the fact that the money they’re paying for the provost’s salary is going to someone who apparently plagiarized less than some of her classmates.

Course clustering, yes. Rich Rodriguez, yes. Pretend independent studies, yes.

Fireworks at the football stadium, no.

After all, the University of Michigan is

not Comerica Park or a Super Bowl or Disney World or a circus. Enough is enough. [Our stadium should be] a place that resists the excesses of our culture.

Thus sayeth the classy trustees at U Mich, where Chapel Hill-style manipulation of courses seems to have been routine, where Mary Sue Coleman carried on an expensive, ill-fated romance with Rich Rodriguez, where… ick. Enough. More than enough.

Will they go after the $25,000?

When your taxpayer-supported school gives a large money award to a fraud on the faculty, a fraud who resigns in disgrace, you’re supposed to try to get the money back. Bentley University’s fraudmeister, James Hunton, left back in 2012 when one of his articles was retracted. Before then, the school thought he was so hot they gave him the Mee Award with its tidy cash sum attached…

Since
then, Bentley has investigated the stolidly uncooperative Hunton’s entire scholarly output. They’ve been able to confirm one other fraudulent paper, but the whole thing ain’t been easy.

Hunton failed to cooperate with the university’s inquiry. Despite being told to retain any relevant documents, Bentley found that Hunton had cleaned out all his physical files before leaving, and that his laptop had been wiped clean.

Other electronic records reviewed by the university found that certain documents related to Hunton’s research had been altered after allegations were first made against him in the fall of 2012.

In particular, Hunton had said that confidentiality agreements with the firms used in his data-gathering prevented him from sharing original data with his coauthors and editors. The university’s investigation found that the agreements included “unusual redactions, contradictory dates, and — most damaging of all — evidence that the documents had been revised” after allegations were raised.

It’s fun to think of Jimbo sittin’ around rewriting his confidentiality agreements…

The hereinafter named party of the first part will hereby be absolutely enjoined in perpetuity never to show any person or institution any item party ever wrote either by pen keyboard or other graphical instrument under penalty of death…

“Students aren’t coming to games, even at places where they win national championships: Alabama, LSU, Georgia. The no-show rate for students who bought tickets to games is around 25 percent these days, even for some of its biggest games, and those are teams that are really doing well.”

And, you know, if sports factories can’t “connect with students when they’re on campus — when they’re a walk away from going to one of the best football games in the country every Saturday, for free — how are they going to be able to do that when these kids are in their 30s and 40s and 50s and they become the next generation of donors and boosters …?”

Yeah, bummer, and it keeps the AD and the coach up at night so you’re going to have to increase their salaries by a million dollars a year because this is like a whole new thing they didn’t sign up for. Who knew that teams mainly composed of fake students and thugs playing in an enormous half empty stadium whose shrieking Adzillatron cannot be escaped might fail to attract fans? Don’t university students enjoy sitting around endlessly while waiting for the ads on the television stations airing the game to finish? Oh, but while they wait they can watch their very own endless ads on the inescapable Adzillatron, featuring some local fuckhead selling mattresses! Where do I sign up?

Why don’t students enjoy being associated with prisons? Doesn’t that add to the wonderful energy of game day? What is wrong with these people?

UD thanks a Florida State University reader…

… for this most recent update of the Dan Markel murder. It confirms what UD has been feeling as she reads accounts of Markel’s death — that this sounds like a targeted, not at all random killing.

“The initial investigation has provided no indication that this case is connected to a burglary or robbery and investigators are assuring residents there is no evidence this was a random act,” a police press release says. “Neighbourhood residents should continue to be vigilant but it appears at this time that Mr. Markel was the intended victim in this incident.”

The only thing that stands out in what UD has so far read about Markel’s life is that he had been going through an ugly, protracted divorce.

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

Update: Details on the divorce and litigation here.

Update, University of New Mexico

It’s a far less interesting place without the legendary Schmidly/Locksley partnership (read these posts if you haven’t just eaten); but, you know…

The shadow of your smile
When you are gone
Will color all my dreams…

The Locksley buyout and various Schmidly initiatives are gifts that keep giving… And of course when it comes to athletics in particular UNM continues really, really sordid, and things get worse and worse. Let’s quote a bit from a recent article:

In one of the poorest states in the nation, can UNM, which has only one of its 21 intercollegiate sports teams (men’s basketball) turning a profit each fiscal year, justify receiving well more than $2 million per year in state subsidies for athletics? Can it justify student fees totaling $4 million, a figure that has more than doubled in the past two years despite the objections of student representatives on campus?

The new Schmidly says uh I dunno… bad situation I guess but can’t do nuthin…

“The debt service continues to be a challenge for us,” [the athletic director] said, referring to paying down the $60 million renovation of the Pit four years ago. “The financial model was predicated on a naming gift…”

The perfectly named Pit is the basketball stadium. The morons who run UNM promised up and down they’d get some bank or pizza parlor to buy naming rights, only it didn’t happen…

I mean, the financial model?? What a great way to put it. This might be more accurate: I and the idiots with whom I play golf figured we might get the funding if we told everyone

UNM students paid $1.9 million in fees for athletics in 2011-12, with a majority earmarked at covering the costs of student admission to sporting events.

Then, despite the objections of undergraduate and graduate student representatives, came significant increases in those fees. In 2012-13 the students paid $3.2 million and that figure was right at $4 million this past year (2013-14).

“Student fees have been a godsend for us the last couple years. But we, historically, have been on the real low end, and now we’re probably right in the middle,” Krebs said. “But I think there’s a limit to what you can put on the backs of the students.”

In 2012-13, six of the 10 other schools in the Mountain West Conference received more money from student fees than did UNM, as did nearby regional schools New Mexico State University and UTEP.

“I don’t see a huge increase in the student participation around fees, but I do think some nominal increases are probably in their future,” Frank said. “How fast and how much is something we’ll talk to the students about.”

The last fees went up without any talking to anyone. Students objected to them and the school said fuck you. Clearly student fees in years to come will be predicated on the same financial model.

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