April 12th, 2023
She’s no Michael Steinhardt, but NYU’s Maria Bartiromo is well on her way toward being another WAY bigtime embarrassment to the institution.

Steinhardt eventually got tossed from the BOT for being a comprehensive, all-’round, all-inclusive, across the board POS. Bartiromo – not a criminal, but certainly a national freakshow – remains on the board.

As the hilarious Fox/Dominion trial proceeds, and the judge gets madder and madder about the effort on the part of the Fox attorneys to hide things like the depth of Bartiromo’s conspiratorial delusions, observers at NYU are going to start asking – especially in the wake of the Steinhardt scandals – whether the school really wants to keep her seat warm. It’s obvious that more documentation of Bartiromo’s panting, I’ll do anything, Trumplove – an orientation somewhat at odds with her representation as a respectable journalist – is forthcoming, and it’s going to make NYU look even nuttier for retaining her.

It’s not about her politics – she’s free to love Trump. It’s about whether NYU wants Blanche DuBois helping to run the school.

February 17th, 2023
New York University’s Steinhardt School of Intergenerational Crime, Insider Trading, Stock Manipulation, Sexual Harassment, and Massive Antiquity Theft.

… NYU’s board of trustees [has] decided not to remove [Steinhardt’s] name from the school.

Read the whole thing! I promise you’ll love it.

June 17th, 2022
“The Board, not Kam, chose to pay him … for this work.”

It’s a Proustian moment for ol’ UD, as another obscenely compensated non-profit leader explains that he didn’t do his obscene compensation; it was forced on him by the organization’s board.

Proustian because little piggies squealing about their non-profit purity have for lo these many years been a mainstay of this blog, which loves to slop around in greed and hypocrisy; and the non-profit swine who blames his personal greed on a board whose absolute command he/she simply cannot disobey represents a spectacular distillation of greed and hypocrisy …

UD first encountered the board made me do it at her own institution, GWU, one of whose presidents assembled a compensation package so huge that the national media noticed, and it became quite uncomfortable for the school. His defense? I had nothing to do with it; the board forced it on me.

Yes, as the president of a university I am constantly making speeches to our students about the importance of independent thought and action… How many times have I recited Frost’s The Road Not Taken to the little buggers… Yet when it comes to something as important as the amount of money I personally drain from this non-profit, I shrink to a little Oblomov, unable to lift a finger on behalf of any recognizable set of moral values…

UD‘s also reminded of the Bremer Foundation’s board:

In 2004, the three trustees together received nearly $125,000. That figure has increased by nearly 10 times in 10 years… “These institutions get tremendously preferential tax treatment,” [Aaron Dorfman] said. “And because of the tax-exempt status they enjoy, the rest of us pay higher taxes and in effect subsidize nonprofit tax-exempt charitable foundations.”

Take a look.

Fun, huh?

So this latest dude, who just, you know, drained the money from an organization established to help appallingly underserved American populations, is running for Chicago’s mayor on this record, and given the raucous criminality of that city he’ll probably win.

April 12th, 2022
Brown University’s Trustees Emeriti are Quite a …

group. There’s insider-trading-charges-evading-tho-no-one-knows-how-the-hell-he-pulled-THAT-off Steven Cohen; there’s all-round terrific guy Ron Perelman; most recently, there’s New York’s naughty Lieutenant Governor, just today arrested on big ol’ fraud charges.

It is UD‘s considered opinion that Brown is in some kind of obscure competition with Yeshiva University (Madoff, Merkin, and oh so many more) for grubbiest greediest grotesquest trustees.

July 22nd, 2021
More on Former University of Southern California Trustee, Tom Barrack.

A … Los Angeles Times report …. alleged Barrack’s connection to the admission of Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani into USC, a prince of Qatar. After Al Thani’s denied admission to UCLA and his family’s alleged suggestion that a “substantial donation” would be made to USC if he were admitted, Barrack reportedly set up a meeting between former USC President C.L Max Nikias and Al Thani’s mother. 

Al Thani subsequently began school at USC, and the Qatar Foundation — a state-sponsored organization in Qatar founded by Al Thani’s father — donated to USC’s “marine research center on Catalina Island,” according to the report.

Barrack was also connected to the presidential pardon of Miami developer Robert Zangrillo, one of the 11 USC parents charged in the Operation Varsity Blues investigation. The White House news release, which included 73 pardons and 70 commuted sentences, stated that Barrack supported Zangrillo’s pardon.

In a statement to the Daily Trojan Wednesday, the USC Board of Trustees wrote that Barrack stepped down from his position. 

Tom Barrack has voluntarily resigned from the USC Board of Trustees effective immediately,” the statement read. 

See earlier post here.

July 20th, 2021
Another Trustee Death Watch!

On the University of Southern California board of trustees sits the man of the hour, Thomas Barrack, uber-slimy rich guy. But, as UD often has occasion to note, if you eliminated all slimy rich from your board of trustees, you’d end up with a priest and a community organizer, and there’s no money in that. So we shouldn’t be surprised that zillionaire Barrack, despite his slimy business practices, adorns a university BOT.

The question is whether, even by BOT standards, the just-arrested Barrack will prove too much for USC. We’ll see.

Bonus: This recent photo of our man.

May 27th, 2021
Robert Brockman: Board Member, Jesse James School of Business, Rice University

In honor of history’s biggest tax evader, Jesse Jones has renamed itself The Jesse James School!

As Fran Lebowitz notes, you earn a million; you steal a billion. And the honorable Robert Brockman has devoted his life to demonstrating the truth of that statement, hiding record-setting billions in Switzerland and other fabled havens. Sudden-onset dementia unfortunately gripped the man the moment the indictment came down, and now he’s apparently staggering around trying to find his ass with two hands. Forget finding the money. What money. Let the man die in dignity.

The 39-count indictment includes wire fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and destruction of evidence, among other charges. These crimes make up a nearly 20-year plot to conceal income in offshore accounts.

He sat on lots of university boards, and while some, like the Baylor School of Medicine, seem to have gotten out in front of the story (speaking of which, lucky Centre College! The whole school might well have been renamed for the world’s biggest white collar criminal.), Jesse James still has his big-shot page up.

Brockman, known for being rather reclusive (wonder why), also gives big money to Ted Cruz and Rick Perry. His name is as prominently plastered on Rice campus buildings as the name Kapoor is at Binghamton, Wyly at Michigan, and Kozlowski and Brennan at Seton Hall.

The Brockman Hall for Opera stands next to the existing Alice Pratt Brown Hall, forming the Brockman Music and Performing Center. Additionally, in 2011, President David Leebron and Rice Board of Trustees Chair Jim Crownover thanked the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust for its centennial gift at the unveiling of the Brockman Hall for Physics.

There’s a poignancy to all those music halls, because if Brockman’s co-conspirator hadn’t sung so loudly to the Justice Department he wouldn’t be going to jail.

Some world, huh? A notorious, spectacular, criminal cavorts about doing his thing for decades during which plenty of people squawk about him (just like they squawked about Yeshiva University treasurer Bernie Madoff!) but nothing happens except that he sits on high-profile university boards and has his name emblazoned for the ages on university buildings.

August 27th, 2019
‘The [New York Academy of Art] originally disputed that [Jeffrey] Epstein had ever been a trustee, but later reversed itself, confirming that he was on the board for …

seven years.

Yeshiva University says: I hear you!

July 10th, 2019
Hedgie Lives Matter!

Whether it’s high-profile Harvard University donor Jeffrey Epstein, repeatedly harassed by the courts simply for being a success, or vice chair of the Columbia University board of trustees Noam Gottesman, pilloried in the press simply for trying to get around in the big city, hedge fund managers are notoriously dissed — and not merely in this country.

Everyone this morning is reading about pride-of-Columbia Gottesman having created a fake private parking spot for himself in front of his Manhattan residence and sending out goons to threaten people who try to park in the pretend spot. He has a house in England, too, where neighbors’ complaints about helicopter noise prompted authorities to open

an investigation into whether Gottesman built a helipad on his property without permission. The probe began after several locals complained about [celebrity] flights into and out of the estate, which they say often occur early in the morning or late at night.

The authority is also looking into whether part of Gottesman’s estate has been turned into residential space without approval.

“No planning permission has been granted for a permanent helipad on the land,” a spokesman for the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said. “We have visited the site and met with the owners’ representatives and the enforcement case remains open.”

You can see why Columbia University found the civic values of Gottesman so compelling that they promoted him to vice chair of their board of trustees.

February 13th, 2018
‘The money madness that has overtaken college sports is part and parcel of the corporatization of the American university as a whole. And the structural situation at MSU – an obsession with sports success, a closely connected obsession with fundraising, and a governing board that shared those obsessions while possessing few discernible qualifications for overseeing a research university — is a common one. The scandal at [Michigan State University] should be a cautionary tale…’

Yes, we’ve learned our lesson: More ex-MSU football and basketball players on the board of trustees!

September 1st, 2017
‘When first I came to Louisville / Some treasure there to find…’

The Ballad of James Ramsey is being written as we speak, and since the whole point of University Diaries is to pay attention to strange and unsettling things that happen in our country’s university system, we will follow his saga closely here.

A forensic audit demanded by [University of Louisville] donors recently confirmed that under Ramsey’s leadership, the foundation [which Ramsey, quite the monopolist, ran, along with running the university] authorized excessive spending, including on executive compensation, and realized unrecorded endowment losses to the tune of $120 million.

Yes, yes, Lawrence Summers, when Harvard prez, lost one billion from the endowment, so what’s a paltry $120 m? I mean, your university can lose twelve million in a matter of minutes if you have ninnies minding the till, so big deal. Money in, money out. At UL specifically, the job of donors is to give money; the job of trustees is to take it; the job of students is to shut the fuck up.


Turns out, though, that even in America’s arguably most corrupt state, a few people find abundant high-level university theft annoying, and though Ramsey probably won’t live long enough to go to jail … wait lemme check his age… guy’s pushing seventy… that’s not that old these days!… he has, er, tons of money with which to countersue, to appeal, to fall mysteriously ill and delay his trial, to become a shimmy shimmy koko bop fundamentalist preacher and get too famous to finger blahblahblah… he might be able to swing it so he can spend the rest of his days weeping to reporters about how he’s being treated exactly the way they treated Jesus …

Poor (impoverished; pathetic) UL is right now floating on this very same stream of consciousness, asking themselves if they want to take a big financial and reputational hit (and when your most recent dorm renovation involved retrofitting the building so it’s no longer a whorehouse for your athletes, you got you some reputational issues) and go after Ramsey and his cronies… Already “donations to the university have been falling rapidly, down 25 percent from 2016–17,” and the question is whether allowing the Full-Ramsey shitstorm to hit the public in the interest of eventually clearing the air (‘cepn nobody who knows Kentucky thinks anything will ever clear its air) will appease donors or simply remind them what an icky place the school, grosso modo, is.

August 29th, 2017
Slouching Toward The New York Times.

As the University of Louisville’s last marauder-president attracts more and more attention from the Kentucky attorney general, it’s just a matter of time before his story – and the story of his merry band of fellow marauders – hits the front page of the nation’s paper of record. Already James Ramsey and The Louisville Muggers have hunkered down in their multiple luxury homes hoping no one can find them in all the square footage… But the long arm of the law might just extend to that tenth bedroom at the back of the basement, and then all of the Ramsey regime’s efforts to erase its possibly criminal record will have been for nothing.


Assuming things go as expected, here’s what we’ll soon see on Page One.


The accession of James Ramsey, a folksy local boy made good, to the presidency of the University of Louisville, was greeted with great enthusiasm…

Babadebah. You and I can write these things in our sleep. Utopia at last! And then – shocker – A Grand Reversal…

August 6th, 2017
It’s all Hollywood.

At the University of Southern California, it’s about illusion, and maintaining illusion. As in the top secret executive committee, composed of selected top secret trustees, that will review the illusion that was Carmen Puliafito:

“There will be a fair number of board members who are not engaged in serious decision-making,” [an experienced observer noted]. “The problem with empowering the executive committee in that manner is that a great number of trustees … are more or less in the dark. They become decorative backdrop rather than actually filling the fiduciary role. That is not a healthy situation in governance.”

To make the situation all the more absurd, the university’s president, who seems primarily responsible for maintaining Puliafito way past his unmasking as a world-historical degenerate, is himself a voting member of this committee. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!


Another observer writes:

“A healthy board [which this one, she strongly implies, is not] is going to ask itself: ‘Have we participated in the creation of a culture where the most egregious ethical lapses are ignored because the money is coming in?’”

Very delicate of her to state the matter in the interrogative.

Perhaps most concerning about this board is their inability to come up with more than one member (out of many) willing to respond to the Los Angeles Times’ request for a comment like a real asshole son of a bitch:

I have no interest in talking to the L.A. Times. … Just draw a line through my name.

Ronald N. Tutor! May your name be inscribed in the book of life as a blessing, for lo! Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived. Amen.

July 19th, 2017
‘Asked by reporters later whether the drop was caused by the foundation scandal or the one involving the men’s basketball program, Inman said it was impossible to say.’

When you don’t know which scandal has so disgusted people that they’ve stopped – en masse – donating to your university, you’re probably talking about the University of Louisville. Which scandal, which mix of scandals, accounts for gifts to the university tanking by over twenty percent?

Was it the dorm for the basketball players that turned out to be a whorehouse? Was it revelations about UL’s recently deposed, corrupt, leader – a man who took loud offense if you questioned his need to be both president of the university and head of the now-notorious U of L Foundation?

[A] forensic audit found that the foundation wasted money on virtually worthless real estate investments and startups as well as football tickets and bowl games.

It also says [President] Ramsey’s administration raided the university’s endowment – a pool of investments worth about $800 million – to fund at least $42 million in unbudgeted and “overbudgeted” expenses.

And it found that the bad investments and loans forced it to spend money from its endowment at a dangerous rate, despite warnings that such spending couldn’t be sustained.

An outside attorney for the university, Craig Dilger, has estimated losses at $60 million to $65 million.

If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, you know that along with these two scandals, there are many many others – all of which has earned for U of L the nickname U of Smell. If you’re not too averse to bad smells, you can read all about it here.


How did U of L get so bad? Just put it together. Just put it all together: The southland, good old boys, football, basketball, sex, and money. Add a hundred jiggers of Kentucky bourbon for a brilliant finish.

July 6th, 2017
How to Get Promoted to Chair of the Board of Trustees at Baylor University.

“Perverted little tarts” revisited.

[O]ther emails by [Baylor University regent Buddy] Jones … show him calling the fiercely independent Baylor Alumni Association “terrorists” and enlisting BU administrators in devious schemes to break the BAA… [One wonders] if fellow regents … were aware of such [comments] in closed-door meetings — whether about “tarts” or “terrorists” — and why some might have chosen to tolerate such behavior, given [that] it strikes us as less than Christian, which is what Baylor is supposed to be all about. Indeed, the [Jones] emails attached to [a current] Title IX lawsuit [against Baylor] are from 2009 — and BU regents nonetheless elevated Jones to board chair in 2011.

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