Clemson Faculty: That’s so cool!

“Are you saying the athletic department is fully paying its entire expenses, including salaries, and the university is not contributing?” asked chemistry professor Dvora Perahia.

“We are part of the university,” Hill said. “We are what is called an auxiliary enterprise, which by definition produces its own revenue and pays its expenses.”

Hill said reports on how self-sustaining athletics departments are will vary depending on accounting definitions. Clemson, for instance, grants in-state tuition to athletes so that the scholarship dollars stretch further — a savings of about $2.5 million to the athletics department. This and the student fee, though it provides tickets to students, are considered subsidies in some reports.

Still, Hill said, Clemson athletics pays the salaries of every staff member and coach, covers all its buildings’ utilities, pays for all team travel, and raises all the money for $8 million in athletics scholarships.

“We charter jets?” American literature professor Susanna Ashton said.

“Of course,” Hill said.

“Sorry, I don’t do sports. The word ‘jet’ caught my attention. That’s cool,” Ashton said.

“We’ve got a football team with out-of town games, and we have to get them back for class,” Hill said.

Rutgers: The Clemson of the East Coast

“You have money sucked out of academics and huge subsidies going to athletics,” said Mark Killingsworth, an economics professor. “You wonder what is this place. Are we a university or what? …”

… Rutgers does not intend to diminish its ambitions. Last year, the university explored joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, and on Thursday [AD Tim] Pernetti said that the Rutgers program was “priced to move in every way.”

“… Clemson and West Virginia University could each have to pay $2 million for unsold tickets if no more tickets are sold.”

Hey, where is everybody? We’ve got these hotshit teams, going to the big bowl and all, and … nada! Not only do our universities take a big ol’ hit, but we’re gonna have to scramble to find people to give these tickets away to if we want to avoid looking a bit… meagre… fanwise… on tv.

“Obviously we had hoped that we would sell more with it being a prestigious bowl, a BCS game,” [the West Virginia University sports marketing guy] said.

Yeah WTF. Human enterprises don’t come any more prestigious than the Bowl Championship Series; and – dang! – football’s the front porch of the American university! I challenge you to say one word against big-time university football! So WHAT the hell’s going on.

“CLEMSON, USC SPENDING MILLIONS MORE ON SPORTS”…

… is just the sort of headline to make UD‘s heart leap up.

How good it is to know that “Revenues from big-time athletics at Clemson University have soared by more than $20 million since 2005, yet the program last year operated at a slight loss even as income from ticket sales jumped 59 percent.”

How comely in thy sight, O Lord, that “These figures come at a time when an analysis by USA TODAY shows that the nation’s top sports colleges are propping up their athletic departments to the tune of more than $800 million, while many are cutting faculty salaries and raising student fees and tuition.”

And amen to this: “At Clemson, nine assistant football coaches will earn a total of more than $1.8 million this year, and the board of trustees last week approved raises for them, bumping the total to $2.3 million. In addition to that, head coach Dabo Swinney got a $900,000 raise. That brings the total payroll for Clemson’s 10 football coaches to $4 million – up from $2.6 million in 2009.”

Various dust-ups at Clemson University…

… reveal the place to be just … a little different.

It’s being sued in federal court, but wants the suit thrown out since Clemson’s got sovereign immunity as an arm of the state.

Let’s listen in as the lawyers have themselves a little parley.

Clemson attorney Tom Bright cited a dozen ways Clemson is an arm of the state, including Clemson money being held by the state and Clemson’s budget being approved by the state Legislature.

“The state controls all manner of activities for Clemson,” Bright said.

Collins countered that Clemson officials for years have claimed it is a municipality with its own magistrate’s court and fire department.

Collins likened Clemson to Humpty Dumpty saying, “When I use a word … it means just what I choose it to mean, no more or less.”

He said Clemson wants to tell people it is a municipality but then say in court it isn’t.

Moreover, said Collins, seven of Clemson’s trustees are appointed for life, and the state constitution prohibits life appointments to state positions.

“If Clemson University is an arm of the state, all the life trustees are disqualified,” Collins said.

Under Clemson’s unusual charter, seven of its 13 trustees are appointed for life and choose their successors.

Clemson’s Bright said even though some trustees are called life trustees, “it doesn’t make them trustees for life.”…

Removing a Clemson Life Trustee can be done, but it’s tricky.

A Life Trustee may only be removed by action of the other Life Trustees. In the event four Life Trustees believe that another Life Trustee has failed to properly perform the duties required of all Trustees, the four shall present their concerns to the Life Trustee with the longest continuing service (“Senior Life Trustee”), exclusive of the Life Trustee whose actions are in question. In the event two or more Life Trustees have equal years of service, the Senior Life Trustee shall be deemed the Life Trustee whose last name appears first in alphabetical order. The Senior Life Trustee shall convene a meeting of the Life Trustees to hear the allegations and to render a decision. The Life Trustee whose failure has been alleged shall have the right to be notified seven days in advance of the meeting and shall have the right to present evidence in his or her own defense. The Senior Life Trustee shall establish procedural guidelines for the meeting, but in no event shall any attorney be permitted to attend the meeting for the purpose of representing any party involved. Once all evidence has been presented, the Life Trustee in question will leave the meeting and the remaining Life Trustees will deliberate and vote by secret ballot. In the event five Life Trustees vote to remove the Life Trustee, then his or her service on the Clemson University Board of Trustees shall be terminated. An action to remove a Life Trustee shall be effective immediately, unless otherwise specified at the time the action is taken.

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

Update: Some more information:

Unlike situations at many other state public universities, Clemson’s inner workings have rarely undergone scrutiny. The state’s watchdog agency, the Legislative Audit Council, has investigated finances at other top state education institutions but never looked into Clemson’s financial practices, according to its Web site.

Unlike leaders at other colleges and universities, a majority – seven – of Clemson’s trustees are called life members and are self-appointed. They are not subject to direct oversight by the governor or legislature. The legislature chooses only six trustees.

At the state’s 12 other four-year colleges and universities, the trustees are picked mostly by the legislature. Clemson’s life trustees were a requirement set out in the will of Thomas Green Clemson, who died in 1888, leaving most of his estate to found the school.

Not that politician-appointed boards are a pretty thing! Look at Southern Illinois University, for god’s sake. But this here arrangement’s mighty weird for an arm of the state.

Clemson’s Faculty Resolves…

… to express its anger at the university’s leadership.  The draft resolution on disproportionate administrative salaries is here.

Via FITS News.

Background here.

Scummy Clemson…

close up.

Faculty outrage over well-publicized administrative bonuses there has reached the boiling point, including some in the faculty senate calling for a vote of no confidence in Clemson president James Barker and provost Doris Helms, who saw her pay increase by 32.8 percent over the past two years.

Adding fuel to that already burning fire was news earlier this month that Barker’s son was recently hired in the Office of Marketing Services to make $51,000 and Board of Trustees vice chairman Joseph Swann’s daughter, attorney Erin Swann who works in Barker’s office, received a 24.2 percent raise. The information came out of a faculty senate meeting on Tuesday, March 10, in which Clemson French professor emeritus John Bednar brought the personnel and raise issues to the floor and issued strong condemnations of Clemson’s leadership.

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


Over the past two years,
Clemson gave pay raises ranging from 10 percent to 100 percent to 99 people — only 46 of whom were faculty members; the majority of those raises went to administrators, coaches and extension employee[s]. The university also has come under fire — rightly so — for hiring the president’s son and giving a 24 percent raise to a lawyer whose father is vice chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Background, if you can stomach it, here.

The Path to Penn State

Well all UD can say is that if your outfit’s always throwing around words like honor - and hey phrases like sacred honor – you deserve everything you get when you recruit shits to win football games.

UD has often said on this blog that she has no serious problem with honestly scummy schools like Clemson and Auburn which like monks who throughout their day repeat All for Jesus are forthcoming about being All For Sports. She’ll cover them on this blog because they’re good for a laugh, but she won’t give them a hard time. They’re not like Chapel Hill or Penn State. They don’t insist that they are real universities. They’re good ol’ boys. They’re trying to be bad. Their drunken tailgates are charming.

Nor do they, like the Air Force Academy – for which, in pretty much its entirety, you and I pay – natter on about their crispy ironed integrity and insist that we view their rows of bright behatted faces with unmitigated admiration. UD dislikes hypocrisy, and recent reports (UD thanks John, a reader, for alerting her to the story) confirm that the Air Force Academy has been very naughty along those lines.

Let’s start with academic honor, academic integrity, sacred academic honor and integrity, shall we?

[A]thletes cheated on tests, and in one instance, an economics professor created a special course for two basketball players – and taught it around their game and practice schedules.

Athletes cheating en masse is nothing – totally routine – but look at that thing about the special course. Julius Nyang’oro fans are going to want to keep an eye on that as details emerge. Read the article in the Gazette for damning enough details; but wait, because there will be more.

And yeah the rapes and the drugs, the whole shebang, at our most sacred honorable tax funded university…

The new superintendent “pulled coaches aside for a recent meeting and told them continued ethical lapses would send the school down the path to ‘Penn State,’” but she’s just a girl. Her All for Football jock predecessor, Mike Gould

ran the academy for three years before passing command to [Michelle] Johnson in 2013. The former academy football star required his staff to provide weekly updates on efforts to instill what he called “fanatical institutional pride” in cadets.

He ended most emails with “Go Falcons!” Johnson ends her emails with “Respectfully.”

See what I mean? Just a girl. No Falcon fanaticism at all. She needs to watch this.

Gould had everybody on campus cheering for the sports teams, including professors.

Former academy economics professor David Mullin remembered one meeting of the academic staff. “They had half the auditorium shout ‘Knowledge!’” he said. “The other half of the room shouted ‘Power!’”

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

The new girl superintendent needs to watch this: POWER.

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

UD figures that, professorial self-respect-wise, right behind mandated spot checks of Chapel Hill faculty to make sure they’re meeting their classes (a gift from fake-classes Nyang’oro that keeps on giving) would be academic meetings in which university-provided cheerleaders make you shout out KNOWLEDGE and POWER.

What’s the …

diff?

‘[P]art of me always feels like there is no magic, no pageantry, and no tradition left in the game. When any team today wins the national championship, or even if they finish in the top five, I instantly think, “Well, there is a team full of ringers, thugs and semi-pro players who probably could not have graduated from my high school when I was a kid.” Seriously, they could not have graduated from my high school.’

This of course is the deepest nightmare of every jock-school trustee and president. It’s much deeper than current worries about tanking ticket sales. You can still maybe bell-and-whistle tanking ticket sales; you can imagine ways of turning a stadium into, I don’t know, something that in significant ways resembles a really plush, high-tech, Las Vegas gambling hall/hotel/restaurant. But you can’t change the system of recruitment and cheating; you can’t stop the fact that Florida State University’s revenue-athlete graduation rate is a sick joke, or that the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, qua academic institution, is a sick joke. Lying and cheating your way around this problem is starting not to work. That’s the nightmare. Because the guy making the comment in my headline is saying that he can’t identify with the people playing on the gridiron anymore; that he feels like a jerk trying to pretend they are part of the college world.

Eventually the remnant true believers will trickle down, as it were, to the south, where the few locations that have always been honest about being football stadiums and nothing else (Auburn, Clemson, Alabama) will continue to stage games. Eventually most of the audience for the games will be like the tourists who go to “Old West” towns to watch pretend shoot-outs.

Forming crowds of violent shits is the University of Massachusetts’ most cherished, most venerable…

tradition; the university itself is clearly proud of it, since after decades of totally pissed vileness it continues to respond with soft words… Continues to set things up on campus to achieve optimal pillaging. They riot when they’ve been sleeping; they riot when they’re awake; they riot when they’ve been bad or good — so let them RIOT for goodness’ sake!

U Mass Amherst is one of those schools which (let’s be honest) knows it would have to shut down if it didn’t admit its cohort, and the U Mass cohort happens to be gangs of alcoholic bullies from the eastern seaboard. Similarly, if Ole Miss systematically shunned Confederacy loyalists with a big thirst, they’d lose a significant chunk of their incoming class. Most universities are dominated by a representative slice of the American pie; U Mass Amherst, Ole Miss, LSU, Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, Cal State Chico … these schools are not. They play the role of the freaks of this blog, the frenzied teetering muttering mad uncles of the American university family. When you give their students guns, as at Oklahoma State, you witness all manner of amazing things.

A Rutgers Professor Does What Professors at Sports Factories are SUPPOSED to Do.

He writes an opinion piece in the school newspaper protesting the destruction of the university by athletics.

You’d think newspapers at Auburn and Clemson and Georgia and Montana and all of the other American universities degraded by big-time sports would feature similar professors – committed, responsible people capable of tracking and analyzing the deterioration and writing about it. Hell, many of these people have tenure, a level of job security unimaginable to most people. But – as UD discussed in what seems to have become her most famous column – for a variety of reasons, they don’t say anything.

Rutgers is an exception. William C. Dowling – a Rutgers English professor – wrote a 2007 book about how sports has long undone, and continues to undo, Rutgers. And now, with things far, far worse than when Dowling’s book came out, an economics professor there – Mark Killingworth – has described the ongoing (and, old UD will guess, ultimately failed) effort to “clean up” after its athletics mess.

A New York Times article about Dowling was written in 2007, when things looked way cool at Rutgers athletics. The author writes that “the number of undergraduate applications has risen along with Rutgers’s sporting fortunes, as have annual donations to the university.”

Really? Here’s Killingworth, 2012:

[B]ig-time University athletics hasn’t attracted more first-year students with high SAT scores, and hasn’t raised our “yield” (percentage of accepted applicants who actually attend), relative to peer institutions. Our academic rankings are sliding steadily downwards, and for two years running, our enormous athletic subsidies have landed us in the Wall Street Journal’s “football grid of shame.” This isn’t “building the brand” — it’s making us a punchline.

What happened to all them big donations and big smart students?

See, this is something sports factories don’t want to parse for you, but getting more jerks to apply to your school because they want to get pissed and join the fun is not a good trend. The state of Massachusetts has set up the University of Massachusetts Amherst to take those students.

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

Killingworth touches on the Rutgers board of trustees. He is far too kind, merely asking them to “rethink their priorities.” No. They are the people who killed Rutgers. Like Penn State’s trustees (UD predicts all or most of them will resign in the coming months) they should be booted. Instead of holding the university in their trust and working toward its benefit, they shat on it and created the absolute failure Killingworth describes. Out they go.

Reverse Transcriptase at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Researchers at UNC are exploring the question of how a football player’s transcript got reverse engineered in such a way as to appear plastered all over the national press.

The details of the transcript, particularly the fact that [Julius] Peppers took three independent study courses in the now scandal-ridden [African and Afro-American Studies] department, raise troubling questions amidst the unraveling of one of the most damaging scandals in the University’s history.

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

If the transcript does, in fact, belong to Peppers, it digs the university deeper into an already damaging scandal. An internal review of the African Studies Department found that the majority of the aberrant courses were administered beginning in 2007, but this development would mean that the trouble began much earlier. It would also add to the growing speculation that athletes have been specifically pointed toward African Studies classes by counselors assigned to the athletic department.

And speaking of counselors:

Peppers’s agent, Carl Carey was also his academic adviser while at UNC and helped him get a re-test on a failing grade that would have ruled him academically ineligible.

Impressed? Impressed that Carey has worn two hats – agent and counselor? Well, hold on to your hat, because that number is three: Carey also taught at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill!

[AF/AM department chair Julius] Nyang’oro reportedly hired Carl Carey Jr. to teach a course this summer without telling Karen Gil, dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, that Carey is a sports agent.

Wow.

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

(UD thanks Dave.)

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

Oh – apparently there’s a bidding war for Julius Nyang’oro going on between Auburn and Clemson.

In anticipation of a sold-out debate at NYU…

… this Tuesday – topic: BAN COLLEGE FOOTBALL – Buzz Bissinger, arguing in favor, begins to make his case. He mentions all the obvious stuff everyone mentions, and drops in a few current yummy examples. Like:

New Mexico State University’s athletic department needed a 70% subsidy in 2009-2010, largely because Aggie football hasn’t gotten to a bowl game in 51 years. Outside of Las Cruces, where New Mexico State is located, how many people even know that the school has a football program? None, except maybe for some savvy contestants on “Jeopardy.” What purpose does it serve on a university campus? None.

All true: It serves no purpose. Yet the question to ask about New Mexico State and other bad schools with expensive football teams is: What purpose does anything serve on that university campus? Wouldn’t eliminating football do away with the only game, as it were, in town? If you banned football, and Auburn and Clemson couldn’t play it anymore, what would be left? People forget that the very scandals schools like these generate are part of their lore, part of the excitement of being a student there. It’s hard to imagine anyone applying to a football school that’s become a shell of its former self. Banning football would ultimately mean closing down dozens of American universities.

Watch me now.

…Binghamton, a part of the State University of New York system, has been cleaning up — and paying out millions — ever since [2009] . The president, provost, two top athletic officials and the men’s basketball head coach have been replaced amid a scandal that proved costly to both university’s reputation and its bottom line. … Binghamton, like any number of universities, gambled on too many high-risk high school recruits and transfer students with histories of arrests and academic problems.

UD proposes a moratorium on the word “gamble” in this context. They didn’t gamble. Gamble would mean that they were routinely irresponsible, childishly hoping against hope that all those rap sheets didn’t mean shit, pressing their eyes shut real tight and praying that everything would be okay… That maybe for the few seasons they’d have these guys (before they transferred or flunked out or went to the majors) the stars would align just so and they’d refrain from misbehavior, or not get caught, or something.

Massively paid, highly experienced coaches know perfectly well what’s up and what’s going to happen. As with conflict of interest at universities, it’s not about avoiding it; it’s about managing it. Bringing a certain rhetoric, a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain style, to it. What they’re hoping is that when the naughty thing happens they can get away with feigning surprise and heartbreak and insisting that the kid deserves a second chance. Think of it not as gambling, but as a kind of dance -

Do you love me (do you love me)
Now that I can dance
Watch me now

(work, work) now work it out baby

Work it.

The real point of the dance is to change the nature of the university. UD will never forget being at a Knight Commission meeting and listening to a professor from the University of the District of Columbia insist that coaches should be professors.

Lois DeFleur, [SUNY's] president, retired. Mary Ann Swain, the provost, stepped down to return to teaching.

Etc. etc. The Binghamton scandal brought down the most important academic administrators and compromised quite a few professors. Why? Because like Clemson and Auburn SUNY was well on its way toward becoming a thorough sports factory and not a university. The coach dance is about corrupting professors to pass flunkies so they stay eligible, corrupting admissions committees so they’ll take in people who can’t do university level work, corrupting presidents so they’ll look the other way while paying the coach millions.

The only thing that got in the way of Binghamton’s devolution to Auburn was some surviving sense among some people on campus of what a university is.

Maybe SUNY’s coach will have better luck next time.

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