‘“I think that the minute that you have a backup plan, you’ve admitted that you’re not going to succeed,” Holmes says.’

Here at University Diaries, we respond to high-profile fraud cases like the Elizabeth Holmes thing by scrolling back to the fraudsters’ university years. That happens to be our angle.

Stanford University celebrated its high-profile alumna – and why wouldn’t it? No one knew until a year or so ago that she was lying about her blood testing technology in order to get money out of investors – and one of Stanford’s celebrations quotes her wit and wisdom.

Which includes that thing about the lack of a backup plan… which, in retrospect, doesn’t sound all that wise. Assuming she’s no Bernie Madoff, chances are awhile back she realized she was hemorrhaging, and – having no backup plan… like, say, admitting there was blood all over the floor and returning investor money… she just kept, uh, bleeding out until the SEC noticed.

Robert Sutton’s “Peak Asshole”…

up close and personal.

“After he hit her, he didn’t even ask if she was OK. He just started yelling and swearing at her. I ended up walking over and told him twice to stop yelling at her.”

In a Facebook post from an urgent care facility, he said, “So first [bicycle] ride without the brace and some pedestrian wouldn’t move!! Centennial trial (sic) is not yours alone pedestrians!!”

… “I hate to slow down,” [Justin] Haller said when asked why he didn’t. “Most of the time people move. These people wouldn’t move,” he added, noting that the moms with strollers were part of the problem, too.

As we wait for the Chico Choppers to remember their court date…

let us recall that the object of American university fraternity sadism is usually human rather than arboreal. And let us note that no matter how far apart one fraternity culture is from another (urban Asian-American, rural non-Asian), the defining commitment uniting them is wanton viciousness toward helpless young men interested in joining their club.

This long New York Times article sensitively evokes the particularities of the immigrant culture from which many members of manslaughtering Pi Delta Psi emerge; yet how striking to see that, however diverse, these young men haze in exactly the same humiliating and sometimes homicidal way – including criminal neglect of the dying – as much more mainstream fraternities.

On May 15, three and a half years after Michael Deng’s death, [his fraternity brothers] Kwan, Lai, Lam and Wong again filed into [a] Stroudsburg [Pennsylvania] courtroom, where dark oil paintings of dead men hung on the walls, framed by dusty red drapes. Just two weeks before, eight brothers who belonged to Penn State’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity were charged with manslaughter in yet another hazing death, this one involving an 18-year-old pledge named Timothy Piazza. The similarities between the two cases — Piazza, like Deng, died after going through something called “the gauntlet” (though physical abuse was not part of the ritual) — brought out more reporters than might have been expected, and as they set up in the hallways of the courthouse, many of the questions were about Penn State.

(Not physical abuse; alcohol abuse. Piazza was basically made fatally drunk.).

One might recall here yet more cultural diversity/brutalization unity in the death of Robert Champion at FAMU… And of course one can name, over the years, yet others.

However different we Americans may be on the surface, we are apparently all one when it comes to deriving collective pleasure from abusing other people until they die.

Your Tax Dollars at Work…

killing people.


From the indictment.

Around May 2013, the indictment alleges [hospice owner] Bradley Harris texted [a staff member] to take over one patient’s care [from another staff member]. “I told this chick if she would just give her 1 ml of Ativan and turn her she would die,” the indictment alleges Harris wrote.

Harris sent another text, saying, “[expletive] woman is still alive … I need some boots on the ground.”

Stuart stayed in contact with Harris, while she gave medicine to the patient. The indictment stated he then sent a text about the need to medicate in order to justify continuous care: “We have very strict guidelines that we must be providing skilled nursing interventions at least ever[y] hour to stay in there.”

After the patient died, Stuart texted Harris, and he responded, “Nice work.”

And now the provost.

The acting chancellor at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana now announces, shortly after the departure of Phyllis Wise, the departure of the provost.

Acting chancellor, interim provost. Yikes.

No link because it hasn’t hit the news yet.

UD thanks W.

Guns, Germs, Steel, and …



PS: Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: Ward excited his vehicle presumably means to say Ward exited his vehicle.

I’m not sure. I don’t speak NASCAR.

Victory for Germaine Greer!

It’s a great day for female genital mutilation.

“People need to face adversity in order to feel accomplished.”

That’s a nice gentlemanly way to put it. A member of America’s most homicidal university fraternity (its body count puts even FAMU’s Merry Manslaughterers to shame) fails, in his comment in this post’s headline, to register the difference between bad things happening to you (adversity) and bad people killing you (murder, manslaughter, via hazing). Maybe this …. I dunno… call it moral aphasia… accounts for the fact that despite the truckload of bodies Sigma Alpha Epsilon has racked up, its members continue to perceive it as a fashioner of gentlemen… They’re constantly using the word gentlemen in talking about the place…

UD‘s take on this is what you’d expect. She understands that men in certain sorts of groups will always want to torture and kill each other. She fails to see why this activity should take place at universities, on campus or off. Attaching the word “gentlemen” to this activity has a nice rough irony to it, and UD is alive to this fun use of language. But it doesn’t really take you very far, again, in the direction of universities.


Now, as universities become desperate about declining enrollments and that big ol’ loan to pay back on the new stadium, they will certainly be tempted, like the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to specialize in admitting all the violent gentlemen no other university wants. Big ol’ gangs of them, year after year, to bond and riot and haze. Like Zoo Mass (update on its AMAZING football team, football conference, game attendance, and stadium choices, here), these schools will get a reputation, and all the gentlemen in the vicinity will make a point of attending them.

In the not too distant future, Richie Incognito will be the president of a university.


But back to Sigma whatever. Talk about adversity. Even a bank as astoundingly scummy as Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase finds this frat too scummy to do business with.

Early this month, JPMorgan Chase stopped managing an investment account for a prominent client: the charitable foundation of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the nation’s largest fraternities.

The bank was concerned about SAE’s bad publicity, according to Anthony Alberico, a JPMorgan vice president who dealt with the foundation. SAE has had 10 deaths linked to drinking, drugs and hazing since 2006, more than any other fraternity.

“If JPMorgan is going to turn us down, who’s next?” said Bradley Cohen, SAE’s national president. “What if universities start saying SAE’s not welcome?”

Well. There’s always Goldman Sachs.

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