When the New York Times Visits Chicago State University.

UD doesn’t know who the NYT thinks it’s helping – or hurting? – by running this bizarre hard-luck story about the CSU women’s basketball team. Barely a team, losing every game, attracting no audience, representing a school that – through every fault of its own successive corrupt leaderships – has destroyed itself, this group of players deserves our sympathy. Indeed, it deserves our outrage. But ultimately it deserves to be put out of its misery, along with the virtually empty institution that fails even minimally to prop it up. Almost no one attends, or graduates, from CSU. This scandalous drop-out factory continues to cost the taxpayers of Illinois serious money, most of which goes to on-campus fraudsters and off-campus lawyers.

CSU (here are UD‘s posts over many years about the place) is a little corner of North Korea in America. It cannot afford to keep the heat on. It’s a desperate deadbeat. It will not talk to the press, and it chills the free speech of its professors. Crazy North Korea launches missiles; crazy CSU launches football teams and marching bands (yes – it has plans to spend its no-money on these).

But let’s suit up!

The announced crowd at Jones Convocation Center, a first-rate arena, was 230, but the atmosphere was expectant. Players and coaches on both teams and a number of fans wore pink to promote breast cancer awareness. Allen, the Cougars’ best player, had been cleared to return after the effects of a concussion subsided.

Look at the photos that accompany the article to understand how inflated that 230 figure is. Ask yourself why the writers of this piece are trying to excite us with the expectant atmosphere, the breast-cancer awareness, and that gutsy post-concussion return.

There’s nobody home. There’s only some well-meaning Manhattanite at her breakfast table, trying to make sense of this theater of the absurd.

The NYT should be ashamed of itself, playing CSU for a scrappy up-and-comer in order to help keep a failed, expensive, and deeply destructive institution alive.

Chicago State University: North Korea U.

UD has said many times on these pages that corrupt, insane, and paranoid Chicago State University is America’s little North Korea on the Chicago Southside. Just as that country is an experiment in whether secretive ignorant madmen can run a state, CSU is an experiment in whether a similar grouping can run a university.

The two places have another characteristic in common – when you visit either location, there don’t seem to be many human beings about. I guess everyone’s in prison in North Korea, whereas in the case of CSU virtually no one applies or enrolls, which is another innovative aspect of that university: Can you run a public institution of higher education with no students?

UD has, in these pages, answered that question with a resounding yes: You can run a university without students. If the taxpayers of Illinois don’t mind continuing to fund the operation, you can simply have administrators fussing about with this and that – is the air conditioning system working? etc. – and the trustees can continue to hold their Top Secret meetings (which would not in reality be held – only alluded to in speeches from the latest Dear Leader).

[L]ast week [CSU’s] board of trustees approved a separation agreement with Thomas J. Calhoun Jr., who had been named president of the university just nine months earlier.

“But why was he asked to leave?” asked furious students and faculty at Friday’s board meeting.

To which they received a reply that was like an insult.

“Everyone agreed it’s in the best interests of Dr. Calhoun and the university,” said CSU Board Chair Anthony Young.

What does that even mean?

It was The Unanimous Will of the People. By Total Enthusiastic Acclamation the People Decided it was in The Best Interests of the State for Dr. Calhoun to go. Dr. Calhoun Accepts his Fate with Humble Trembling Gratitude and has Begged to enter a State Reeducation Farm so that he can Confess his Deviationism and Learn from the People How he can Better Serve the State.

Chicago State University Once Again

Chicago’s most scandalous university (see earlier posts about it by typing Chicago State University in my search engine) boasts a provost who allegedly plagiarized significant portions of her dissertation.

While he said it seems unlikely that [Angela Henderson] was “trying to pull a fast one,” the work shows that she does not have “a full and complete understanding of academic protocols and scholarly expectations.”

“That is a problem if that person is provost of a university,” [Daniel] Wueste said.

With its risible graduation rate (around 10%), its disappearing student body, its constantly shifting but always inept and crony-ridden administration, and its useless board of trustees, Chicago State boasts virtually every attribute of a truly terrible university. As its own faculty rebels, Chicago State’s paranoia grows out of control. The university’s spokesman, asked to comment about the plagiarism allegations, said “[W]e are talking about a series of claims made by some individuals who have shown they will go to great lengths to undermine any member of this administration in any way they can.”

Too right. The claims have been openly made by CSU faculty members who want legitimate people running the university. These faculty members are indeed trying to undermine the administration. It ought to be undermined.

Chicago State University, America’s Very Own Academic North Korea….

… once again cracks the whip. You recall its directive to faculty last year:

In an email sent March 22 to faculty and staff, Sabrina Land, the university’s director of marketing and communications, wrote that all communications must be “strategically deployed” in a way that “safeguards the reputation, work product and ultimately, the students, of CSU.”

The policy applies to media interviews, opinion pieces, newsletters, social media and other types of communications, stating that they must be approved by the university’s division of public relations. “All disclosures to the media will be communicated by an authorized CSU media relations officer or designate,” the policy says.

Failure to follow the rules “will be treated as serious and will result in disciplinary action, possible termination and could give rise to civil and/or criminal liability on the part of the employee.”

And they meant it, baby. Chicago State has a 10% graduation rate, and much else besides, to protect; and now you’ve got some faculty undermining the peace-loving progressive masses of CSU by starting a blog!

A blog written by Chicago State University faculty members that has been critical of the school’s administration was sent a “cease and desist” notice by university lawyers …

[CSU] said the blog “violates the University’s values and policies requiring civility and professionalism of all University faculty members.”

Cage demanded that site administrators “immediately disable” the blog and provide written confirmation of that no later than Friday to “avoid legal action.”

UD trusts free speech advocates are all over this one. I’d say it’s an outrage, but everything about CSU is outrageous and it still syphons huge tax dollars from the poor citizens of Illinois. So it’s wasted breath.

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Scott Jaschik takes note.

Ever since Carl, UD’s buddy at the University of Minnesota, sent her…

… news that UM’s football team is boycotting the rest of its season (the little that’s left) unless ten suspended players are unsuspended, and unless it gets an apology from the school’s president for having suspended the players in the first place, ol’ UD‘s been pondering this one.

This is a new one on her. A university football team, en masse, refuses to play or practice, goes on strike, puts a jock school’s big-money super-ticket on ice. All at once a hundred and twenty glutes hamstrings and quadriceps enter the inactive list.

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

The announcement made for a spectacular visual. With trembling hands a wide receiver read from a sheet of paper, while behind him loomed suited-up troops.

The next day the university’s president issued a vaguely conciliatory statement, and today (Saturday) he has issued another, less conciliatory, statement. Here’s what he’s trying to convey to the lads.

Even though the courts decided there was insufficient evidence to go after a bunch of players who seem to have been involved in a gang sexual assault against a student, the university can do its own punitive thing. The team’s thing is that the guys are unjustly condemned since the courts turned down the case; the school’s thing is fuck that this place has had a shitload of sex problems from players as well as coaches in the last couple of years and we can’t afford to look as though we’re doing nothing.

I mean the school doesn’t say that; it doesn’t say that a random half-attentive blogger like UD can scroll through her University of Minnesota posts and be astounded by the number of sex scandals its sports teams have generated lately, but c’est entendu. It’s like Baylor or Penn State – do you really think this nation’s galloping-fucktard campuses are going to let the next run of rapes slide? We’ve got a critical mass problem here. We’ve got a money problem here. You know how much clean-up costs? The latest estimate for rapeabilly rapscallion Baylor is $223 million. (UD thanks JND for the link.)

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

So. A few more comments on this story if I may.

The team’s gotta be counting on a groundswell of support from students, alumni, the local community. They might not want to hold their breath. Fuck Fatigue has set in, UD suspects, as well as General Gross-out. Whatever else you want to say about the incredibly detailed university report on the events of that night, it for sure makes for nauseating reading. It even features a high school student, a person the team’s trying to recruit. One of his possibly future teammates is quoted saying “it was good the recruit was having sex because that might make him more likely to come to the university.”

Shades of the University of Louisville, our first official house-of-prostitution university.

Another reason we probably shouldn’t expect much support: There isn’t even that much interest in the game. After having built an insanely expensive new stadium because that would bring in huge numbers of fans, UM has watched the stadium steadily empty of spectators even as UM has got a huge debt to pay back on the place.

Datz right – tanking football game attendance is a national trend. But add to that the peculiarly off-putting business of rooting for a sorta scummy team and you’re talking rows of dead bleachers.

So the team isn’t playing and the students aren’t watching – a quintessentially postmodern moment here, no? Simulacrum City. Animatronic fans and billion-dollar gifts from trustee venture capitalists are going to have to keep the show going.

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UPDATE: That was quick. Boycott over.

UD‘s gotta figure that the guys had a chance to read the university’s report on the incident. I ain’t kidding when I say it’s stomach-churning. Maybe you don’t want to put yourself on the line for the people featured in the report.

UD admires the team’s solidarity in defense of their teammates. But anyone making their way through the eighty sickening pages describing what these guys actually seem to have done will conclude they’re not worth fighting for.

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It’s all over but the satires.

“[T]he proper action for this incident is as clear as they come. Baylor should kick Zamora off the football team and revoke his scholarship. Anyone who abuses an innocent and defenseless animal doesn’t deserve to play football for Baylor University.”

At this late date in the history of scandalous Baylor University, we shouldn’t be surprised that this very assertively Christian University lacks the basic moral clarity a local newspaper columnist displays. “[W]hat Zamora did was illegal. But to me it’s not about the legality and more about what Zamora’s actions say about him as a person. A good, kindhearted, person doesn’t abuse innocent animals.”

[Baylor] fans just endured a disgusting sexual assault scandal and many are having a hard time supporting the team after that. But we were told all the guilty parties were removed from the team, so we’re not rooting for sexual predators. Baylor shouldn’t turn around and ask those who stood by them to root for an animal abuser.

Actually, Baylor just stonewalled – rather than endured – its way through a sexual assault scandal. It was dragged kicking and screaming to doing the right thing.

Baylor University is that most curious thing: a Christian institution seemingly designed to encourage cruelty and viciousness.

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What I’m talking about at Baylor goes beyond the moral dissonance demanded of all serious football fans – you must adore a sport so freakishly violent that its beau idéal is Richie Incognito, even as you tell yourself you’re adoring clean-cut all-American fun.

But that’s nothing. That’s step one. Now place yourself at Baylor. Or at Notre Dame. Pile university and Christianity on top of all that dissonance. Reconcile vast mass worship of a hyper-concussive sport, quite a few of whose standout players feature, on the field and in their private lives, exactly the sort of lunatic aggression you’d expect, with some stubborn vestigial notion in your mind, some vague remembrance, that the bloody ritual you’re adoring takes place on hallowed intellectual and spiritual ground.

It should be difficult to enjoy yourself unadulteratedly under these conditions, as the bullies, brawlers, domestic abusers, rapists, and animal floggers (fuck academic cheaters; forget cheaters; c’est entendu) bloody each other down there…

But hey. Turns out not only isn’t it difficult; it’s easy. It’s a pleasure.

Because – to state the bleeding obvious – violence is the primary object of worship in the world of Baylor University. You’re sitting in Waco – home of last year’s enormous bikers-with-guns melee/massacre. You’re sitting in the heart of Trump territory. Your choice for national leader is the man who has turned a presidential election into The Rime of the Ancient Tackler.

Strangely, you don’t even like nobly violent people; you cheer on chickenshits like Trump – a man who crapped all over a war hero because he was captured and “I like people who weren’t captured.” You cheer on players who beat up women, children, and animals.

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

Some like it hot.

Hot and bloody.

It’s the Baylor way.

“Florida State University president John Thrasher on Monday actually addressed the football program to tell all of them to …

… stop punching women.”

‘What benefit to administrators, faculty, staff and students could possibly be derived by the sullying of what is left of Chicago State’s “reputation”?’

This blog has followed the ever-tanking fortunes of dropout factory Chicago State University forever. So scandalous is this joint that its faculty have begged for the entire board of trustees to be dumped.

Faculty members have also started a great blog, Crony State University, where the endless degradations of life under a North Korean style dictatorship are chronicled.

One of many similarities between CSU and the DPRK is their shared belief that their university/country is the best in the universe, that life there is glorious, that other universities/countries look enviously upon their magnificence and seek to emulate them, etc.

This attitude makes the troubling persistence of internal dissidents an unendurable insult to the Mothercampus. The dissidents (as one of the CSU blog writers – attempting to respond rationally to the charge of sullying – notes in my headline) must be publicly shamed. They cannot be allowed to continue making slanderous statements such as this:

[B]y the end of [CSU’s latest] disastrous presidency in 2016, the school’s enrollment should decline to around 4,000. Obviously, the question of how long the state will allow Chicago State to exist as it hemorrhages students is one that all of us should consider.

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

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Ed (UD thanks a reader for forwarding this) (oh, and you need to have a subscription to read the article in full) takes note of the the latest hilarity at CSU: The trustees have closed the faculty senate.

That’s it. Out of business. Shut the fuck up forever.

Onward, brilliant peace-loving masses of CSU!

It might be a famous statement, but UD hadn’t run across it.

Robert Maynard Hutchins, founder of the University of Chicago, … famously said: “The present primacy of public relations in the management of universities, the view that they must ingratiate themselves with the public, and in particular with the most wealthy and influential portions of it, the doctrine that a university may properly frame its policies in order to get money and that it may properly teach or study whatever it can get financed — these notions are ruinous to a university in any rational conception of it.”

She found it in a solid presentation of the Steven Salaita debacle at the University of Illinois.

“Subsidy rates in the 60-90 percent range are dominant throughout the bottom two-thirds of the list, all the way down to Chicago State, 223rd in revenue with $6.6 million and highest in subsidies at a staggering 94 percent.”

94% sports subsidy at a school with just about the lowest graduation rate in the country. Only in America.

And, if you can stand it, more posts on Chicago State University (scroll down).

Nobody knows why the state of Illinois doesn’t pull the plug on …

… Chicago State University. Corrupt even by Illinois standards. An almost non-existent graduation rate. Ruled by one greedy hack after another. Frauds in high places. The functional equivalent of North Korea.

And now… (drum roll)…

A Cook County jury has awarded a former Chicago State University employee $2.5 million in damages and back pay after deciding he was fired in retaliation for reporting alleged misconduct by the university president and other top officials, an amount that a judge could further increase at a hearing next month.

… The lawsuit by former Chicago State senior legal counsel James Crowley alleged that he was fired in February 2010 after he refused to withhold documents about university President Wayne Watson’s employment that were requested by a faculty member under the state’s public records law. Crowley also claimed that he was retaliated against after reporting questionable contracts to the Attorney General’s office.

So what’ll it take to shut the place down?

Students are leaving in droves.

Is it possible Illinois will keep the shake-down operation going even without students???

More on the University of Nebraska, Academic Home of Richie Incognito

New to teaching, I was proudly gazing at a sign on my office door proclaiming “Assistant Professor Grossman,” when the department secretary knocked.

“Would you like seasons tickets for the faculty cheering section in the football stadium?” she asked.

“No thank you,” I said, effectively ending my social life at the University of Nebraska. I didn’t realize it wasn’t a question but an imperative. Faculty members were expected to wear sweaters with the school colors and hold up colored pieces of cardboard to spell out, in giant letters, eternal verities like: “Hold That Line!”

Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune

“USC spokesman Wes Hickman said the university couldn’t comment on the specific allegations against Bennett since they don’t involve USC.”

Well, the local media’s got hold of the Charles Bennett story, and people in South Carolina think it’s a bit odd that after Bennett was booted out of Northwestern University for stealing grant funds (background here), the University of South Carolina turned around and picked him right up, giving him an endowed chair and a salary of close to $300,000. Crime pays.

USC’s spokesman came out with the brilliant response I quote in my title. The school can’t comment on any phenomenon that doesn’t involve USC. The allegations are a matter of public record, everyone’s commenting on them, but USC has a policy of not commenting on anything in the world that happens that doesn’t involve USC.

I guess the principle extends to hiring at USC too — since whatever Bennett did in Chicago doesn’t involve USC, he’s in. When Bennett steals USC grant money, then USC will review his position… Because then it will involve USC…

“[D]ismal institutions like Chicago State … prey on underserved communities, not just for years but for decades, without anyone really noticing.”

UD didn’t think Chicago State University, with its long history of negligence, corruption, and graduation rates barely above ten percent, had any more surprises in store for her (she’s chronicled its disgraceful ways for years on this blog), but now there’s this:

Chicago State has a policy that students with a grade-point average below 1.8 will be dismissed “for poor scholarship,” but records obtained by [the Chicago Tribune] show students were allowed to continue registering for classes with GPAs as low as zero. Meanwhile, President Wayne Watson was touting increased retention and graduation rates as evidence that the institution was improving after years marked by widespread financial mismanagement, scathing audits and a failure to graduate students.

Chicago State is what UD calls a Potemkin university. It exists almost entirely as a group of administrators collecting state and federal government money. As a kind of bonus, it ruins its students’ lives.

A university sports story that plays out exactly by the book.

You’ve got your coach highest paid employee in the state – overseeing a football program which puts thirteen students in the hospital for days, being treated for “rhabdomyolysis, which forces muscle fibers to release into the blood stream and can cause kidney damage.” The condition was apparently brought on by punishing practice sessions. The coach didn’t come back to check on the students when the news broke — too busy recruiting.

You’ve got your athletics director playing golf with alumni in Florida. He didn’t come back either.

And you’ve got your team physician, paid $385,000 a year to take care of the students, enjoying a medical junket at a beach resort:

The meeting’s itinerary, released to the AP under the state public records law, shows participants adjourned by noon most days and didn’t have any business Jan. 26, the day the university confirmed the players were hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.

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