They are Huh? presidents. The things they do are so nutty, so destructive, that you simply have to sit back and wonder.

These are the university presidents with multiple ongoing national scandals to their names, the university presidents always reeling from massive sex scandals to massive money scandals, never quite catching up with anything… You can sort of see the sweat dripping off of their faces as they stonewall on this one, pass the buck on that one…

Shalala – University of Miami – is still buffeted by the rioting football players scandal and the Nevin Shapiro scandal, but now, in addition to those, she’s got the Pascal Goldschmidt scandal. Much of her medical school faculty is up in arms about Dean Goldschmidt and his, er, management techniques… But Shalala says nothing; whether it’s Goldschmidt, or her other proud med school appointment – Charles Nemeroff, she’s just going to keep on keeping on thank you very much…

Joel, of Yeshiva, is a yet stranger case, a man whose tenure has witnessed the deification and then rapid de-deification of trustees Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin, the existence of a board of trustees (all male, natch; women would be against Yeshiva’s religion) so rife with conflict of interest it became a laughingstock, and a decades-long sex scandal whose legal costs promise to set YU back even more than the $150 million or so it lost because of Bernie and Ezra.

This sex scandal, this latest thing, involving rabbis abusing boys at Yeshiva’s university-run high school, isn’t raising Joel’s game any.

[One of the abused] also said that he reported the abuse to Y.U.’s current president, Richard Joel, before and after Joel took up the post in 2003. Joel did not launch an investigation into the abuse allegations until they were published in [a newspaper].

At first, through a spokesman, he said that Y.U. had retained the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell to “assist” in the investigation. Later, he said that Sullivan & Cromwell’s investigation would be independent.

Same old same old. Denial, number one. Number two, try to control everything. Number three, pushed to the absolute effing wall, begin – tentatively, shamelessly, angrily, self-righteously – dealing with it.

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