All sorts of bad and sad news out of the University of Virginia.

This school has been knocked around very badly in the last few years: the lacrosse murder, the attempted trustee takeover. It is currently dealing with a number of suicides, the murder of Hannah Graham, the Rolling Stone article about a gang-raping fraternity there, and, most recently, a violent response to that article:

An anonymous letter submitted to various news organizations claims responsibility for the vandalism of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house which occurred early Thursday morning.

The letter was submitted via email shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday by “John Doe” at the email address

The vandalism came as a response to a Rolling Stone article published online Wednesday which detailed an instance of gang rape which allegedly occurred at the fraternity house in Sept. 2012.

This is an insane amount, all at once, for any university administration to deal with; and there’s plenty of evidence that UVa’s administration has been, historically, denialist, and, it seems, only marginally competent.

By the way, UD wants to suggest that group attacks on fraternity buildings should not surprise us. Indeed we should probably prepare for more.

Liquid Diet Prep

Former Cape Cod Doctor Censured for Performing Drunken Colonoscopy

Another day, another university’s football program…

… Two universities’ football programs…

There’s Florida International University, bleeding its students dry for a team no one watches. Here’s a recent lead from a local article about the team’s last game:

A near-empty FIU Stadium for Senior Day. The Panthers sloughing about as Middle Tennessee State built a second-quarter deficit almost as large as FIU’s average points per game…

After which the reporter goes on to … describe the game. Why not. It’s what he’s paid to do.

FIU students, however, pay a fortune not to attend football games.

And then there’s the University of Wisconsin, whose students also seem a bit miffed about the football program. The editors of the UW Madison newspaper complain about a thank you to our supporters video of athletes that ran on the Adzillatron during the last game and which “left the audience with an uncomfortable and annoyed feeling.” Apparently it featured the lads larking about, while a voiceover kept repeating that the university’s facilities were “world-class.”

A simpler, “Thank you for all the support,” without explicitly mentioning more than once the world-class, bordering exorbitant facilities would not cross fans in the same fashion.

Another cause for the discomfort stems from the funding in general.

While student-athletes have access to their world-class facilities, many students would be right to ask “What about me?” Between the crumbling infrastructure of the Natatorium, the SERF and the Shell, our options pale in comparison.

… [S]tudents will be footing 57 percent of the bill for the [most recent] facilities [upgrade] while the Athletic Department will contribute 3 percent. After seeing what the athletes have and seeing videos boasting their new, nearly $125 million facilities coupled with their newly approved $133 million budget, as students, it’s difficult to accept the lack of participation by the Athletic Department.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank, in an open email to Madison students, likened the Athletic Department increasing their financial contribution to “asking the physics department to pay for improvements in chemistry, just because they both study science.”

This oversimplification does a disservice to the students. What if the physics department uses the chemistry facilities on a regular basis and does not allow chemistry students to use them at that time?

Or, what if the chemistry students bailed the physics department out of a projected $1.5 million deficit like in 1989, when the Athletic Department was under financial duress and student segregated fees covered the deficits?

Oh pish-posh. A little bitter, aren’t we? If y’all weren’t losers who can’t throw a football, you’d be singing a different tune.

The University of Chicago as Paradise

“I was a bald little kid,” he recalled in a 1984 interview. He wore wigs the rest of his life. He attended several schools, public and private, in and around New York City, and after a brief false start at New York University, went to the University of Chicago, where he threw off what he had considered a lonely and difficult childhood.

“I never had a friend from the time I came to this country until I got to the University of Chicago,” he told one interviewer. To another, he described the university as “paradise.”

“I began to see there was a world I could FIT in,” he said. “I was happy AND neurotic.”

Mike Nichols, 1931-2014.

“People took cover in the book aisles to hide from the gunman in case he came onto the floor.”

A gunman last night in the Florida State University library injures three people, leaves the building, and gets killed by campus police when he points his gun at them.

The library was full of students, presumably studying for finals.


Were the shootings targeted? (Probably not.)

Was it a crazed student? Are non-students able to get into the library? Did the shooter shoot his way in?

Why did the shooter stop shooting and leave the library? Why did the shooter not keep shooting until police closed in and then kill himself?

“[R]eports swirled on social media of shots fired inside the school’s Strozier Library.”

Florida State University students have been told to “seek shelter immediately, away from doors and windows.”

This summer, Mr UD goes to Ukraine.

Western Ukraine, so don’t worry too much, to hold a civic studies summer institute.

Also on the subject of Ukraine: The country’s got its first university in exile. Most of Donetsk University has cleared out of the separatist east and moved to Vinnytsia, where students and faculty are waiting for the government to transfer the budget so they can eat. Their situation sounds rather dire.

Margaret’s Nature Journal

A female downy woodpecker
was just now pecking at
my frozen-over birdbath.


Tiny bits of ice flew up
as it pecked. It made a
small hole and drank water
from it.

“[N]ine years covered by the UNC academic investigation came during the tenure of former KU basketball coach Roy Williams and Wayne Walden, the basketball academic counselor who followed Williams from KU to UNC. Also, the investigation confirmed 18 years of academic fraud at UNC, including 10 years when [current] KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was serving as a top academic officer at UNC.”

Did the same team that worked the magic at Chapel Hill work their magic at Kansas? And look who our chancellor is!

Aw, shaddap. Blood under the bridge. Leave it alone.

À la recherche du jimbo perdu

Over the years, the Board of Trustees rejected multiple opportunities for the [University Alabama Birmingham] football program to become more competitive. In 2006, it rejected the hire of Jimbo Fisher for $600,000 a year because they said it was too much money, even though boosters would pay most of it. Now Fisher is coaching the undefeated FSU and is on a 26-game win streak.”

Jimbo! Jimbo, whose recruiting philosophy has made Florida State University the toast of the New York Times! The toast of the nation! Jimbo, Jimbo, Jimbo, we could’ve had you and because of our evil trustees you fell from our embrace!

There we stood with arms akimbo
Ready to embrace our Jimbo
Then the powers that be
Acted scandalously
And cast us inside Loser’s Limbo

Who knew? UD took her eye off the University of Louisville, so….

… she didn’t know exactly what big ol’ scandal they were up to now… But their recent hiring of the University of North Carolina’s finest stonewaller, Leslie Strohm, turns out to have something to do with their attempting to keep the results of an audit of the “KFC YUM!” arena (UD is not making this stuff up) out of the hands of the state attorney general.

He has explained to the university that it’s in violation of open records laws, but the university (which no doubt has excellent reasons to stonewall on this) continues to withhold the document. And who better to help them do this than the pride of Chapel Hill, Stonewall Strohm herself?

A sample of local press coverage.

That’s called earning the “U of Smell” nickname. This hiring stinks.

And so now here, with the University under fire for not turning over documents related to an internal audit of potential misdoing (on a number of issues, including The Yum Center), the school has hired someone who is alleged to be adept at covering up wrongdoing.

“Bring Out Your Dead!”

Or your dead drunk. It’s getting positively Monty Python at the amazing fraternities of the University of Arizona Tucson.

The Delta Tau Delta fraternity is also under investigation. Its most recent alleged conduct violation was in October. An officer with the University of Arizona Police Department said they were called to the fraternity house because of a fight.

Once at the house, police said they spotted an “unconscious female just inside the Delta Tau Delta house” that needed to be evaluated.

According to documents, when officers tried to check on her, “…people in the house attempted to carry her further inside the house, while ignoring the officers commands to let them inside to check on her well-being.”

Says here that “Since the start of this semester, 11 fraternities and sororities have been put on interim suspensions at the University of Arizona.”

UA is trying to reduce the number of student riots that tear the local community to shreds. They think if they keep pestering the frats, they will somehow decide to stop doing the only thing they do, the thing that defines them: Get violently drunk.

One of the frats is moving toward more targeted violence, rounding up a bunch of members and, apparently while shouting anti-semitic epithets, attacking an apartment in which Jewish students lived.

As one student interviewed about fraternities on campus says, “I’m not trying to join a gang.” But plenty of other students are, and the administration of the University of Arizona (a “business model” party school) now has a major problem on its hands. If you really shut the fraternities, your applications tank as students decide to attend distillery schools, of which there are plenty. If you don’t shut the fraternities, you’re looking at gang warfare.

Your Daily Giggle

In yet another study, the Berkeley researchers invited a cross section of the population into their lab and marched them through a series of tasks. Upon leaving the laboratory testing room the subjects passed a big jar of candy. The richer the person, the more likely he was to reach in and take candy from the jar — and ignore the big sign on the jar that said the candy was for the children who passed through the department

“Never inside, I didn’t lie in my heart!”

Blanche DuBois’ desperate response to Mitch’s inquiry as to her self-representation in A Streetcar Named Desire is pretty much the last button the caught-red-handed plagiarist can push. After you’ve failed to blame it on vague and treasonous “assistants,” or on your drug addiction, or overwork, or an obscure psychological condition, you may simply find yourself where the head of the school of journalism at Sciences Po, no less, finds herself. I “forgot to mention certain papers, but never voluntarily,” said Agnes Chauveau, but here she’s up against the fact that few human acts are more voluntary than plagiarism – especially the career plagiarism that has apparently been uncovered in her case.

Another “business model” party school…

…. (background on the party school business model here) pushes West Virginia University out of the headlines with its own student drinker in critical condition this morning.

SUNY Albany! Who can be surprised? One of our most notorious sicko campuses, with a French Revolution-worthy history of riot and carnage.

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There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

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