David Lynch to tell you that the weirdest shit in America goes down not in Washington DC, Land o’ Elites (Republican voters this time around seem determined to elect a President who’s never visited, let alone worked, in DC), but in what William Gass called the heart of the heart of the country (Lynch was born in Missoula).

In many years of blogging about universities, UD’s never seen one more unsettling, more surreal, than North Dakota’s Dickinson State. Here’s a post, from last year, about this school – its president at that time was hiding out from administrators trying to boot him from his office (his physical office – though fired, he refused to go)… The same president pioneered the ‘physical capture’ enrollment technique (maintain healthy numbers by enrolling anyone who, for whatever reason, even for a second, crosses into campus territory — a kind of eminent domain for the state of North Dakota involving human bodies instead of private property)…

Dickinson State fell out of the news for a few months – they seem to have convinced the president to get out – but crazy shit was still churning away, and now it’s hit the fan. For ten years the place has had a program for Chinese students – actual name, not kidding, Top Up, and Disney – where they bring these people over for seven months at Walt Disney World, and six at Dickinson State … dueling surrealities… I mean, imagine someone from China whose only exposure to the States is Dickinson State University, North Dakota, and Walt Disney World, Orlando…

Although Dickinson got rid of the eminent domain guy, the same enrollment approach – rope ’em any old way – has pertained, with Dickinson-deputized agents trolling China, telling people who can’t speak English that they can go to the United States and play in a theme park and get a degree.

That ain’t all. Things have taken on a real Blue Velvet tint with the suicide of a guy who’s maybe been running the show:

… Douglas LaPlante, 59, dean of education, business and applied sciences, was … found dead near a city park, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Dickinson police said in a statement.

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2 Responses to “You don’t need …”

  1. emcee Says:

    Wow, dude, how are those math skills?? You no sooner finished talking about the ’eminent domain guy’ president that had to be removed through legal action in December, then make the statement “Although Dickinson got rid of the eminent domain guy, the same enrollment approach – rope ‘em any old way – has pertained…”. The replacement administration started the audit THAT SAME WEEK. The news report you are talking about is the final report of the audit that was just completed. The replacement administration is who BROKE the news. That really doesn’t sound at all like anything continued at all. It sounds to me like things stopped quite quickly and proper action is commencing. Anything quicker would involve time travel.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    emcee: The program continued for almost ten years, which doesn’t sound like “things stopped quite quickly” to me.
    If my math skills are anything to go by, that’s much slower than time travel.

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