January 9th, 2020
Romania’s Largest Private University Doesn’t Understand Why It Shouldn’t Offer Its Students a Simple Transaction: You Give Us Money, We Give You a Degree.

Why muddy the beautiful simplicity of this exchange with classes, exams, etc. etc.? The never-ending, burdensome business of school attendance, paper writing, research — why not cut to the chase and do a win-win? Students get university degrees, faculty/staff get paid and everybody keeps their trap shut about it. Da? Duh!

Naturally any conspiracy involving tens of thousands of people is going to be a little … permeabil...

The prosecutors … recorded the pro-rector as he received large bags, bottles, and envelopes. Besides money, the bribes offered by students’ parents also included meat, wine, and spirits.

Bottles, wine, spirits… Getting a sense of Romania’s largest unit of currency here…

October 31st, 2018
“Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University…”

One does wonder how many more articles like this one Oxford’s leadership will read before it decides it’s tired of the publicity.

October 31st, 2018
This blog, as you know, regularly revisits the trash heap that is the Greek university.

It’s not the sort of location you want to visit often; but it’s important to remind ourselves of the bizarre fate of the academy’s iconic homeland.

Most recently, the Athens Bar Association released the following desperate statement:

“The prevalence of lawlessness in [our universities], due largely to the total indifference of the state, not only humiliates and devalues public higher education in our country,” but is an affront to the state itself …

Because of the country’s absurd asylum law, under which police can’t enter universities, campuses have become graffiti-ridden organized crime hotspots. “[D]elirious or half-dead addicts” abound. Violent anarchism against professors and students is also a biggie:

On Wednesday morning, professors and students of the School of Philosophy gathered at the entrance of the campus in order to prevent [anarchists] from entering the premises. Nevertheless, the anarchists entered forcefully and took over classroom 516 again, just as they had done the previous two Wednesdays.

Greek universities have been sordid and comatose for many years. Soon they’ll just be dead.

June 4th, 2018
“[W]e don’t believe universities are decisive in activating and actualising the enormous potential of our people for the progress of our country. We think of higher education almost as the charity that the government grudgingly extends to citizens.”

Good opinion piece about how information-mongering and welfare statism generate mediocrity in India’s universities.

[W]e need to exorcise ourselves of our subliminal fear that the spread of liberal education — especially the liberating and egalitarian ideals embedded in it — could nudge the country into unrest.

February 3rd, 2018
“The women’s accusations have put a dent in his projected image as a pious family man.”

Dent? … You mean like this? …


The dons adore their dear Tartuffe;
Indignantly they ask for proof.
And when it comes, from lame and weak,
Against their godly pal Tariq,
Then watch each one of them go poof.

February 2nd, 2018
‘Oxford Theologian Tariq Ramadan to be Charged Over Rape Accusations in Paris’

Now that Ramadan has been charged with rape (including apparently rape of a disabled woman), it’ll be interesting to see how long Oxford University decides it wants to delectate headlines of this sort.. I mean … It’s a man’s world… And he’s their man… Maybe they’ll just go with it until he achieves the vindication I’m sure awaits him…

January 28th, 2018
And baby makes…

… two!

January 20th, 2018
‘The rector of the University, Achilleas Zapranis, said that this was “another typical day in a Greek university”.’

What a remarkable story is the ransacking of Greek universities! On one side, civilization; on the other barbarism:

Vandals Ransack University Campus in Thessaloniki

The Greek university literally sinks under the weight of its defacement, as in this photograph of the National Technical University of Athens.

Perhaps most remarkable about this story is the fact that no one covers it. Why isn’t there a front-page story about the sordid erasure of thought – in Greece of all places – in the New York Times magazine?

January 17th, 2018
First, spare a thought for all those other Professor Ashutosh Tiwaris out there.

Turns out there’s a bunch of engineering types with that name who teach here and in Europe, and it’s their misfortune to share a name with THE Ashutosh Tiwari – the Ashutosh Tiwari allegedly guilty of so much scientific and financial misconduct that – UD‘s not sure, but she thinks that the guy has basically accomplished everything you can possibly accomplish in the academic malfeasance line. I really think he’s exhausted all conceivable avenues of scholarly fraud. Ghostwriting. Fake degree. Plagiarism. Faked research. Predatory conferences and journals. Fake university affiliation. Fake credentials. More. More.

Tiwari has erased his manifold web presences as fast as Yeshiva University scrubbed references to trustee Bernard Madoff once his fraud hit the papers.

The lazy whorish Swedish university that lolled around for years letting Tiwari do his thing has now shaken itself into bug-eyed alertness and begun an investigation.

November 9th, 2017
‘In the Oxford Union, his face is plastered across student newspapers stacked up in the corridor, under the title: “Don to keep teaching despite rape allegations.”’

The song is ended, but the melody lingers on.

November 7th, 2017
Late in the day, after saying and doing nothing for over a week, and acting only when students made inquiries and complained, Oxford University decides…

… to suspend the notorious Tariq Ramadan.

We now know the answer to the question What does it take for Oxford University to suspend a professor facing many well-grounded lawsuits alleging sexual violence, some of it against minors?

It takes weeks of complaints, petitions, global press coverage, and incredibly bad publicity for the school. That’s all it takes.

November 5th, 2017
‘Oxford Professor Accused of Sexual Misconduct With Swiss Minors’

It’s not the sort of headline any university wants; but Oxford’s baffling refusal to do anything about — even, for a longish time, to say anything about — Professor Tariq Ramadan and his growing legal problems means that this theme, with variations, is playing in newspapers all over the world.

Director of the Middle East Centre Eugene Rogan repeatedly apologised to students for taking ten days to respond to the allegations [and only responding because of student inquiries and complaints], blaming the delay on the fact that the controversy was happening in another country with a different legal system.

Ah yes, another country. Another legal system. Wouldn’t want to weigh in on that. We’re here. They’re there.

Oxford has of course not suspended Ramadan while investigations proceed; that would mean talking about the situation. It’s just basically doing absolutely nothing.

If that seems odd to you, you can add your name to this petition.

October 8th, 2017
A grotesque mutation left Philip Laroma Jezzi — a half-British, half-Italian professor…

… at the University of Florence — unable to overcome his dark ethical side.

[Jezzi] was allegedly put under pressure to withdraw his candidacy for a qualification as a professor of tax law.

Jezzi claims he was asked to step back so that a less qualified – but better connected – candidate could put himself forward, and was promised he would be selected next time in exchange for the favour.

Instead of accepting the offer, he reported the incident, which happened during the 2012-13 academic year, to police, and spent the subsequent years secretly record[ing] conversations with senior academics which have shed light on how widespread the exchange of favours was.

One phrase from the incriminating phonecalls, transcripts of which were published by Repubblica, has prompted a particular backlash in Italy.

When Jezzi protested about the way qualifications were being awarded, he was apparently told: “What will you do, appeal? That way you’ll risk your career. Stop doing things the English way and do them the Italian way.”

Benvenuto in Italia!

August 29th, 2017
“The rector of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) has admitted that the campus is being used by peddlers in counterfeit goods, and especially cigarettes, and that this has been going on for at least a decade.”

Your regular update of the Greek university system.

August 25th, 2017
Weep for what little things make them glad.

Poland’s very ex-foreign minister was recorded without his knowledge a couple of years back, dishing obscenely on all things Polish. His critique of the Polish university system has just been released.

“You know, [American universities] understand what all those [Polish] rectors — those d**kheads and layabouts — over here fail to comprehend — that, you know, the main financing for universities can come from … endowments. It’s just that you need to have a database,” [Radosław] Sikorski reportedly said…

He was allegedly responding to [his dinner partner], who said: “I saw those f**king [American] campuses, all of it, those budgets at those universities, the five billion that Stanford has annually…. Five billion is the money they have to spend. One third is from endowments, one third from grants, one third from invested funds. So five billion is, f**k, huge business.”

UD‘s not quite sure if this guy’s division of Stanford funds, and yearly availability of those funds (he doesn’t talk about what they actually spend, and universities like Stanford are famous for hoarding their endowments), is anywhere near accurate, but she wonders if he knows how paltry a number five billion is for Stanford. Its wealth is vastly, vastly greater than that. She also wonders if either of these guys, who are basically complaining about public funding of universities in Europe, knows how much government subsidy Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford receive.

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