Les UDs…
… get new trees.

The Song is Ended…

but the melody lingers on.

“B-schools offer [ethics courses] as electives, which is always just window dressing. Ethics has never gained any traction at business schools. I doubt that you would see evidence of them teaching about how income inequality is created.”

A blog like this one, which features a much-used category titled Beware the B-School Boys, welcomes a bunch of new books with titles like Nothing Succeeds like Failure: The Sad History of American Business Schools and Leadership BS. Also a bunch of new opinion pieces with titles like We Should Bulldoze the Business School. Very nice.

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

UPDATE: Right on cue. A perfectly timed news item on the subject just broke, and it’s being widely covered for all the wrong reasons. Everyone’s hyperventilating about a photogenic go-getter abundantly and shamelessly lying her way into a high-profile job in the current… troubled federal government. Said she went to schools she didn’t go to. Bought her degree from a diploma mill. (Read this page while you can.)

But as you know if you read this blog in its infant days, diploma mills (see that UD category) are a permanent structural reality of all countries. It’s a quirk of the United States that when people here find out you bought your college or graduate degree they actually get upset and do something about it. Most countries don’t care. This is why you want to wait til you get back to the States for that surgery.

So the fact that Mina Chang is a diploma mill grad who claims on her cv to have graduated from Harvard is a ho-hum revelation. Generous chunks of the military, fire departments, and public education are all milled up. Why those locations in particular? Because if you demand an advanced degree for job advancement, people will, er, advance them.

No: The real story lies here:

According to her educational history on LinkedIn, Chang writes that she took part in an “Executive Nonprofit Leadership” program at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

The Non Profit Leadership Certificate Program is a six-day program with a $900 fee.

That’s right, kiddies: Leadership BS at nine hundred (with travel, etc. let’s make it an even thousand) for SIX DAYS. Can you imagine the amazing leadership bs you’re getting for that moolah? Reminds ol’ UD of this 2011 six day New Zealand bs leadership seminar (run by a diploma mill grad – beginning to see the synergy?) that cost around $13,000 dollars in American currency. Or, closer to home, there’s this (quoting meself in a 2010 post about leadership bs seminars paid for by the federal government):

The Center for Creative Leadership doesn’t just have a great name.  It’s located on ONE LEADERSHIP PLACE, Greensboro, North Carolina.  Its street is a leader. This alone perhaps warrants a certain premium for leadership trainees who, even as their rented cars pull up to CCL headquarters, can sense that the very ground upon which they motor is imbued with leadership.

A five-day leadership course at the CCL will cost you between $6200 and $10,600.

And that’s not all, folks! Here’s another example of your tax dollars at work, again from a 2010 post:

[Let’s see what] the Kennedy School is charging these days for their Senior Executive whatever — all of it paid by the government.  The school has just raised the tuition.  It now costs almost $20,000 for four weeks… The costs for this and similar four-week courses offered by other outfits the Office of Personnel Management uses are 460% higher than all costs for one month at an average private American university.

As Michael Kinsley once wrote, the scandal isn’t what’s illegal; the scandal is what’s legal. That a hyper-ambitious young person would survey Trump University World and come to certain conclusions is no scandal. That the federal government enables, and schools like Harvard exploit, the leadership racket is, if you ask UD, scandalous.

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

Oh, whoops. Forgot the big shocking news item about Chang and that leadership program. Shockingly, she didn’t really attend it. Shockingly, she listed it on her resume but actually did not attend.

UD finds this admirable. I ain’t saying I’d hire the woman! But she definitely shows good sense here.

“You can count on nature doing what nature has been doing forever. Do you think you’re going to rush in on Nature and grab off an insight?”

UD is sure Abe Ravelstein/Allan Bloom is right about this; he might even be right about this: “All educated people make the same mistake – they think that nature and solitude are good for them. Nature and solitude are poison.” But what the hey. Here’s another picture, now that I’m back in ‘thesda, from my beloved Rehoboth in autumn.

Me, I have a Get Rid of the Goat theory about the seashore off-season.


The thing about the beach off-season is that there’s almost nothing there. It’s as though someone systematically removed everything from the world. Standing on the beach, you certainly sense a world hunched up behind you; but it’s well behind you, and you can’t hear it over the waves.

“The families argue that Remington violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act by recklessly marketing the rifle to disturbed young men like the Sandy Hook gunman through product placement in violent video games and advertising pitches like ‘consider your man card reissued.'”

And the Supreme Court just said go ahead and sue.

Few American Universities Have a History as Sordid as San Diego State.

The place has been, for decades, a perfect shitstorm. You name what’s wrong with American universities, and it’s super-wrong with SDSU. Overpaid presidents? SDSU’s last non-interim president was so greedy an outraged state legislature and outraged citizens forced the SDSU trustees to make some changes. Bankrupting themselves through sports? An earlier president seems to have spent his entire term throwing all of the school’s money at a football team that played to empty stadiums. Homicidal fraternities?

Ah. Homicidal fraternities. Ever since an arsenal of big guns and a cache of big drugs were discovered at its frats (six were involved in a 2008 conspiracy so extensive and professional as to draw the involvement of the DEA) SDSU has held the distinction of being the site of one of our nation’s largest college drug busts. The conspiracy began to fall apart with the death of a student from a cocaine overdose…

… Which might explain why yesterday, in the wake of another frat-related death – he was a wee freshman who’d just gotten there – SDSU has done something less homicidal schools don’t do after each of their after all pretty routine frat drinking deaths: It has suspended fourteen fraternities.

I mean, fraternities being what they are, a bunch of them at SDSU were already being, er, scrutinized for the distant possibility that something untoward might be happening at them… But now! I mean, if you’re going to start killing nineteen year olds weeks after we’ve taken them from their parents and invited them to come here and study I mean, really!

*********

UPDATE: Suspension: It’s in the air! Washington State University – another ridiculous sports-obsessed school – has also decided that their frats are getting a little much.

Beyond the Fringe

His father’s youth wing forced him off the stage last night when the author of Triggered began a book-promotion appearance by announcing he wouldn’t take any questions/comments.

Why did this seemingly routine announcement (lots of speakers opt not to do Q/A), um, trigger the most ardent supporters of America’s Genius of the Carpathians to attack his son and his son’s very Elena Ceausescu partner (she instructed the assembly that “You’re not making your parents proud by being rude and disruptive.”)?

Well, “We wanted to ask questions about immigration and about Christianity, but they didn’t want to face those questions.” No kidding. If you thought John McCain had a hard time handling a voter who told him Obama was an Arab, imagine fielding Since America was uniquely created by Jesus Christ, who was white, why do we accept non-white immigrants?

How do you want to go out?

At 81, Harvard’s highest-profile emeritus has chosen to close out his life anticly and frantically suing everyone in sight. And in return getting sued.

Like his doubles in desuetude, Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, he has long been a naughty boy, a game-player, a rule-breaker, and he intends to go down swinging as the rule of law catches up with him. But as he is very old, his punches aren’t landing. He and his doubles are hollow men.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when 
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless

Observers try to capture the convoluted farce Alan Dershowitz has made of his life:

[E]very argument he makes creates even worse fallout: Don’t just deny… demand they sue you! Then get sued. Don’t just litigate the case… get [David] Boies kicked off! End up facing [brilliant litigator] Chuck Cooper. Don’t just claim [Virginia] Giuffre’s mistaken [about your sexual crimes]… accuse Boies of blackmailing you! Get sued by Boies.

He might have quietly settled various cases against him; he might have retreated to Martha’s Vineyard, as the lights dimmed, with a little dignity. Instead, this bizarre American figure, this deflated pop-up doll, keeps trying to pop. We cannot help watching him. And his doubles.

Here we go round the prickly pricks
Prickly pricks prickly pricks
Here we go round the prickly pricks
At five o’clock in the morning.
 

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

UPDATE: Portrait of a man drowning.

Found Art.
Back from the beach. Already planning our next stay there.

Nobody ever said it couldn’t be rough on the old ticker.

[Alan Dershowitz claims that one of his friend Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex slaves has] “caused him severe emotional distress, including ‘cardiac conditions.’”

Jim Jordan’s Ohio State University Wrestling Days: His Training Ground for Shrugging at Anything Donald Trump Does.

All sorts of direct witnesses apparently told then-assistant OSU wrestling coach Jordan that the team doctor was raping student wrestlers. Yeah, we know; it is what it is, he is reported to have said to the complainants. If you can shrug at a doctor masturbating in front of one of your referees in the locker room shower, you can shrug at anything.

Paying for Erdogan’s Flunkies to Tell You Your Country is a Bigoted Hellhole

If it seems incomprehensible to you that the British don’t want to be in the EU, consider what the Danes just subsidized with their membership: A high-profile formal report condemning the fifth strongest democracy in the world as a reactionary ethnocracy — and this judgment courtesy of that well-known champion of democratic values, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (Ooooooops!)

European Parliamentarian Niels Fuglsang, who represents the ruling Social Democrats, has said that he will demand an explanation from the European Commission.   “I don’t think our taxpayer money should go to such a propaganda business for Erdogan.”

“We are so to speak paying for a report that spreads lies and propaganda about ourselves,” notes Social Democrat MEP Christel Schaldemos.

EU to Denmark: Get with the program! Marry your girls off at thirteen, stick ’em in a burqa, and shut the fuck up.

Bird Takes Flight.

Finally, we all have a voice.

Mr UD, Rehoboth Beach, Spectacular Autumn Day.
Looking a little like John Wayne.

Milan keeps saying no to the burqa…

… and various Islamic groups keep lazily saying yes. I mean, they don’t even bother arguing the thing, making a case — they just say dude no problem so what’s your problem?

Ali Abu Shwaima, the chairman of the Lombardy Islamic Center, said there has never been a problem due to women wearing a burqa or veil, thus such a ban is pointless. “Everyone should be free to dress as they wish,” he said.

One, no one is allowed to present themselves to any public realm I’m aware of in any way they wish. Two, a logic issue: If there has never been a problem of this sort, why is northern Italy, along with many regions and countries all over the world, passing burqa bans? UD detects a problem. This guy might at least do everyone the favor of offering reasons why banning burqas is a bad idea. As you know if you follow UD on the subject, burqa fans are strikingly lazy (banners are Islamophobes is about as far as many of them think they need to go) in its defense. I’m guessing it’s because it’s hard to defend.

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Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
New York Times

George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

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

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

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.
Dagblog

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
The Wall Street Journal

Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
Roland Greene, Stanford University

The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
Carlat Psychiatry Blog

Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant...
Perplexed with Narrow Passages

Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here...
Outside the Beltway

From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
Medical Humanities Blog

I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
Ducks and Drakes

As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
The Bitch Girls

Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
Tenured Radical

University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
Mary Beard, A Don's Life

[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte