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But sometimes things happen that make her reconsider …

For instance, without PowerPoint, the slide (the “insane slide,” as an Australian newspaper calls it) specifying the advantages of bogus classes for athletes at the University of North Carolina would never have surfaced.

Let me provide some background. The slide was prepared at a moment of great sorrow among athletics counselors and team officials at UNC: Their academic mainstay, Deborah Crowder, who for years administered the school’s vast and venerable bogus curriculum, had just retired, leaving the university at a loss. (Some traditions, I guess, are difficult to hand down. Though UD does have to wonder why Crowder failed to groom a successor. Shows a lack of commitment to the school, I think.) Amid general panic, the two groups – the counselors and the athletics staff – met to keen over the fact that (as the investigative report puts it) “Crowder’s retirement would require the whole football program to adjust to a new reality of having to meet academic requirements with real academic work.”

Just in case some of the assembled mourners didn’t, uh, get what this meant, one of them prepared a slide which stated as simply and explicitly as possible what they had lost:

WHAT WAS PART OF THE SOLUTION IN THE PAST?

WE PUT THEM IN CLASSES WHICH MET DEGREE REQUIREMENTS IN WHICH:

THEY DIDN’T GO TO CLASS
THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO TAKE NOTES, STAY AWAKE
THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO MEET WITH PROFESSORS
THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION OR NECESSARILY ENGAGE WITH THE MATERIAL

THESE NO LONGER EXIST!

With PowerPoint, we have a permanent record of this poignant moment in the history of the University of North Carolina – the moment when the implications of Deborah Crowder’s absence began to sink in.

****************************

Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning …the U.N.C., Chapel Hill, chancellor said that a reason the paper class scheme thrived for so long [twenty years] was that it was hard for anyone to imagine that something so beyond the pale could happen at all.

“It was such a shock that it was hard for people to fathom,” she said.

Nice try.

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9 Responses to “UD, as you know, loathes PowerPoint.”

  1. Marcie Says:

    The 136-page report basically portrays Crowder as a social worker! She’s treated unbelievably well — could that have been a condition of her participation in the preparation of the report??

  2. Juliet Harris Says:

    I noticed one of The Experts is on the faculty of GW….. I’d love to hear his take on the scandal as a whole…!!

    Derek Malone-France Ph.D., Executive Director, University Writing
    Program, and Associate Professor of Writing, of Religion, and of Philosophy,
    The George Washington University.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Marcie: I too was struck by the sympathetic tone toward her.

  4. Marcie Says:

    Did you also notice how often her/their long-term, wide-spread, dastardly egregious. academic fraud was referred to as “cutting corners?” Allowing a student-athlete to turn in his/her paper to a week late would be “cutting corners;” awarding an A for a fully plagiarized paper, or crediting 3 semesters of foreign language courses to a person who can’t even say “hello” in Swahili, is corruption. Not to mention theft by deception.

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Marcie: Yes – there’s a kind of madness at the core of this long strange story, and the Orwellian terminology fits perfectly.

  6. John Says:

    three things:

    the sports fans are mad that we even hired someone to look into this and report it… incredibly, they pretty much don’t see anything “wrong” with it all

    a very big raft of people were portrayed in the most favorable light possible… which turned out to be “less smart than a rock” rather than “makes corkscrews look straight”

    one pundit asked “are any rich white males in trouble yet?”… and it’s a damned good question

  7. theprofessor Says:

    Gee, this sounds like the fight song of a good part of our freshman demographic:

    THEY DON’T GO TO CLASS
    THEY DON’T TAKE NOTES OR STAY AWAKE
    THEY DON’T MEET WITH PROFESSORS
    THEY DON’T PAY ATTENTION OR ENGAGE WITH THE MATERIAL

    Toss in

    THEY DON’T TURN STUFF IN ON TIME OR AT ALL

    and the tune is complete!

  8. Porcophile Says:

    This report examines only what UNC system president Ross called “the Crowder-Nyang’oro scheme.” That’s not a bad start, but it’s only a start. When Chancellor Folt was asked point-blank whether Carolina has enrolled athletes unable or unwilling to do college-level work, she said the report didn’t address that question. Period. Of course playing big-time football and basketball requires admitting and retaining such “students,” but Carolina has yet to admit that fact, much less address the implications.

  9. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Porcophile: You’re right – that’s an amazing response on the part of Folt – the report didn’t cover that.

    As many people have pointed out, there’s just much too much money on the line (tickets, tv, apparel, alumni donations) for anyone to do anything to change all of this. It’s structural to the endeavor at virtually all big sports schools. There may be two or three exceptions, but that’s about it.

    As to the future for UNC – I mean the sports future, which is pretty much all that most people seem to care about: UNC will have a few losing seasons until people forget about this round of scandals. Then, back to normal using a slight variant of the Crowder-Nyang’oro scheme.

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