More from the Carnage Conference…

… a group of American universities where gun massacres coincide with their homecoming festivities. We’ve already covered Grambling’s celebrations; only a few days later, Fort Valley State in Georgia struts its stuff.

Stay tuned! It wouldn’t be homecoming without a spray of flowers and a spray of bullets.

‘Dr. van der Hilst has managed to throw red meat to the reactionary right wing, curtail academic discussion, tarnish the reputation of M.I.T. and shortchange the students and faculty he is supposed to serve.’

Nice summary. UD keeps thinking that, with each meat toss, universities will wise up and stop suppressing speech. But things are getting worse. Every week, administrators pitch another porterhouse at reactionaries. How utterly fucking stupid.


‘We are back to the age of Galileo’s inquisitors.

‘Eastman says the Eastman memo does not accurately represent Eastman’s own views …’

(People [as the old joke goes] tend to avoid me, since I have schizophrenia…

But at least I have each other.)


And stop trying to confuse… uh… me??

Eastman claimed in our first interview that he had “never had any dealings” with Utah senator Mike Lee about matters related to the memo, but [the book] Peril reports that Lee and Eastman did speak in December, and during the conversation Eastman told Lee the memo was forthcoming.

Costa and Woodward report that Lee, after receiving the two-page memo from the White House, told Trump’s lawyers: “You might as well make your case to Queen Elizabeth II. Congress can’t do this. You’re wasting your time.” During our first interview, I asked Eastman if Lee had made such a comment to him, and Eastman replied: “I’ve never had any dealings with Mike Lee about this at all. I don’t know who gave him a copy of the internal memo. To this day, I have not had any conversation with him about in fact whether that was true or not [that Lee received the memo].”

During our second interview, I noted that Costa and Woodward write that in December 2020, “Lee was directed to John Eastman, another Trump lawyer. The two spoke with each other. ‘There’s a memo about to be developed,’ Eastman said. ‘I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.’”

After I read that passage to him, Eastman said: “I did have a conversation with Senator Lee. But I have no record of having given him either of the two memos. We were working on broader things. If I did give him one, it would have been the fuller memo, but I don’t have any record of having done that.”

How does Eastman account for his initial statement to me that he had “never had any dealings with Mike Lee about this at all”?

“I want to be very precise here: I said at the time I did not recall having any conversations with Mike Lee, and I certainly don’t have any record of having given him the memo,” Eastman says. “But now that I’ve seen that quote from — I do recall that Mike Lee called me at one point. I don’t remember the subject of the conversation.”

My favorite is #17: “Having to tune two Steinway concert grand pianos (worth $195,000 each) in the spacious living room every year, even though no one in the house knows how to play them.”

It’s a list of problems specific to the very rich. It made UD toddle off to her Schaeffer baby grand and race through Praeludium in C Major BWV 933. So there.

Big Murderer Night at Bowling Green University…

… where Big Murderers torture pledges and then make them drink themselves to death has been cut back a bit with the closure of one of the fraternities at BGSU; but never fear! Your eighteen year old has many other campus houses from which to choose his agonizing demise, so look forward to a life haunted by guilt and rage for simply having sent your son off to college. Good on Bowling Green for continuing to hold high the banner of the American Abattoir.

“He was probably materially involved in inciting a mob to murder my brother. Should I vote to hold him in contempt?”

“Hm…. Yes? … No? … Hmmmmm…. I just don’t know!….”

It’s as if the University of Southern California Hired a Public Relations Firm that Advised: Make Sure You Produce One Horrible Event a Week.

And – hint! – you haven’t drawn upon your ever-reliable fraternity system in a long time. Make that your next move.


And it looks as though USC’s long, happy relationship with the now-suspended Mark Ridley-Thomas will shine a bright light on the institution for some time to come.

‘But the fact that they’re not repelled by the incessant bloodletting and by many characters’ flamboyant cruelty to one another says something weird and disturbing about modern sensibilities.’

No kidding.

It’s at the very end of a clause, but at least someone in Wyoming is mentioning it.

[W]hy the push for a special [legislative] session now? Well, for one it makes for good politics. For most Wyoming lawmakers, there are few downsides to a public fight with the federal government, regardless of whether the fight is performative. But that performance isn’t free: Lawmakers will spend taxpayer money gathering in Cheyenne. And they’ll focus on bills that will likely have little impact, all the while avoiding the existing structural issues facing our state.

Because the special session won’t solve the problem of young people fleeing out state for more opportunities elsewhere. It won’t solve the problem of our overreliance on the energy industry to fund services like public schools and health care. It won’t solve the problem of shrinking small towns, an education system that’s not fiscally sustainable or our state’s persistently high suicide rate.

‘Under [W. Franklin Evans’] leadership at [South Carolina State University], enrollment exceeded its goal and fundraising increased by 687%, alumni support improved, and the university achieved a balanced budget.’

Can these claims be true? Longtime observers of SCSU know it’s a basket case; how could anyone have accomplished these remarkable … accomplishments there?

Hey, maybe the dude did… But if I were reviewing his self-presentation at West Liberty University, I’d vote against making him president…

But they did; they did make him president. And now they’re stuck with this disgraceful career plagiarist as the head of the school.

“This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated.”

Absolutely best quote so far from the Dorian Abbott story. But I’ll bet someone will top it. Stay tuned.

Seventeen years in prison meets ten years in prison.

In this 2010 photograph, entrepreneur Shawn Baldwin, 2015 recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award, stands next to Michael Milken. Milken was sentenced to ten years and fined 600 mill for violating securities laws, while Baldwin was just sentenced to seventeen years for doing a Bernie Madoff.

UD thinks it’s always nice to get a sense of the real people behind these posed, expensive suit, MBA-type photos…. I mean, who are these people, really? Once you get to know them, they’re just like you and me!

School Song, University of Missouri

Sing a song of dead men,
Stomachs full of rye.
Four and twenty freshmen
Baked in a Phi.

When the Phi’s indicted
The killers start to sing:
College life would be so dull
Without some poisoning.

Bright Sheng has been …


How gracious and fine of the University of Michigan!

And now nothing remains but for Professor Sheng to leave UM, as rapidly as possible, for a legitimate school.

A shadow under the aqueduct.

UD‘s walk today took her to the Monocacy Aqueduct, where she madly enjoyed the perfect cloudless afternoon along the C&O Canal.

The link up there shows you the aqueduct; her own image is a natural charcoal – a towpath shadow that looks like a butterfly chair seen from behind.

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Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
New York Times

George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
The Wall Street Journal

Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
Roland Greene, Stanford University

The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
Carlat Psychiatry Blog

Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant...
Perplexed with Narrow Passages

Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here...
Outside the Beltway

From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
Medical Humanities Blog

I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
Ducks and Drakes

As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
The Bitch Girls

Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
Tenured Radical

University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
Mary Beard, A Don's Life

[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte