“Subsidy rates in the 60-90 percent range are dominant throughout the bottom two-thirds of the list, all the way down to Chicago State, 223rd in revenue with $6.6 million and highest in subsidies at a staggering 94 percent.”

94% sports subsidy at a school with just about the lowest graduation rate in the country. Only in America.

And, if you can stand it, more posts on Chicago State University (scroll down).

Nobody knows why the state of Illinois doesn’t pull the plug on …

… Chicago State University. Corrupt even by Illinois standards. An almost non-existent graduation rate. Ruled by one greedy hack after another. Frauds in high places. The functional equivalent of North Korea.

And now… (drum roll)…

A Cook County jury has awarded a former Chicago State University employee $2.5 million in damages and back pay after deciding he was fired in retaliation for reporting alleged misconduct by the university president and other top officials, an amount that a judge could further increase at a hearing next month.

… The lawsuit by former Chicago State senior legal counsel James Crowley alleged that he was fired in February 2010 after he refused to withhold documents about university President Wayne Watson’s employment that were requested by a faculty member under the state’s public records law. Crowley also claimed that he was retaliated against after reporting questionable contracts to the Attorney General’s office.

So what’ll it take to shut the place down?

Students are leaving in droves.

Is it possible Illinois will keep the shake-down operation going even without students???

More on the University of Nebraska, Academic Home of Richie Incognito

New to teaching, I was proudly gazing at a sign on my office door proclaiming “Assistant Professor Grossman,” when the department secretary knocked.

“Would you like seasons tickets for the faculty cheering section in the football stadium?” she asked.

“No thank you,” I said, effectively ending my social life at the University of Nebraska. I didn’t realize it wasn’t a question but an imperative. Faculty members were expected to wear sweaters with the school colors and hold up colored pieces of cardboard to spell out, in giant letters, eternal verities like: “Hold That Line!”

Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune

“USC spokesman Wes Hickman said the university couldn’t comment on the specific allegations against Bennett since they don’t involve USC.”

Well, the local media’s got hold of the Charles Bennett story, and people in South Carolina think it’s a bit odd that after Bennett was booted out of Northwestern University for stealing grant funds (background here), the University of South Carolina turned around and picked him right up, giving him an endowed chair and a salary of close to $300,000. Crime pays.

USC’s spokesman came out with the brilliant response I quote in my title. The school can’t comment on any phenomenon that doesn’t involve USC. The allegations are a matter of public record, everyone’s commenting on them, but USC has a policy of not commenting on anything in the world that happens that doesn’t involve USC.

I guess the principle extends to hiring at USC too — since whatever Bennett did in Chicago doesn’t involve USC, he’s in. When Bennett steals USC grant money, then USC will review his position… Because then it will involve USC…

“[D]ismal institutions like Chicago State … prey on underserved communities, not just for years but for decades, without anyone really noticing.”

UD didn’t think Chicago State University, with its long history of negligence, corruption, and graduation rates barely above ten percent, had any more surprises in store for her (she’s chronicled its disgraceful ways for years on this blog), but now there’s this:

Chicago State has a policy that students with a grade-point average below 1.8 will be dismissed “for poor scholarship,” but records obtained by [the Chicago Tribune] show students were allowed to continue registering for classes with GPAs as low as zero. Meanwhile, President Wayne Watson was touting increased retention and graduation rates as evidence that the institution was improving after years marked by widespread financial mismanagement, scathing audits and a failure to graduate students.

Chicago State is what UD calls a Potemkin university. It exists almost entirely as a group of administrators collecting state and federal government money. As a kind of bonus, it ruins its students’ lives.

A university sports story that plays out exactly by the book.

You’ve got your coach highest paid employee in the state – overseeing a football program which puts thirteen students in the hospital for days, being treated for “rhabdomyolysis, which forces muscle fibers to release into the blood stream and can cause kidney damage.” The condition was apparently brought on by punishing practice sessions. The coach didn’t come back to check on the students when the news broke — too busy recruiting.

You’ve got your athletics director playing golf with alumni in Florida. He didn’t come back either.

And you’ve got your team physician, paid $385,000 a year to take care of the students, enjoying a medical junket at a beach resort:

The meeting’s itinerary, released to the AP under the state public records law, shows participants adjourned by noon most days and didn’t have any business Jan. 26, the day the university confirmed the players were hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.

The lowest of the low for a university…

… the way you know, if you’re a student paying to go there, that you’ve really chosen the bottom of the barrel, is the presence of known diploma mill graduates among the faculty.

Ramapo College, for instance, knows that Frank Tanzini bought his degree at Breyer State, one of the most notorious diploma mills, but it doesn’t care. They have him teaching (wait for it) Educational Leadership.

It’s just as funny to have the sort of person who goes to diploma mills teaching justice:

The granting of tenure last year for Theophilus “T.Y.” Okosun, a professor of justice studies, has caused rumbles among faculty members at [Northeastern Illinois University, a] 12,000-student public university on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

Okosun got his doctorate from the now-shuttered Pacific Western University in Los Angeles.

Rumbles? Rumbles? It bothers people who earned higher degrees over many years that one of their tenured colleagues got his degree in two seconds after pressing PRESS HERE FOR YOUR PHD TODAY! on his laptop?  And… what?  What was that?  They’re worried that he’s teaching students and he doesn’t know shit?

Okosun declined to provide a copy of his transcript or of his thesis.

Such contempt. Such contempt for their students. For the taxpayers. For the university.

Celebrity Funeral Display at Wayne State

From the Chicago Trib:

The Mortuary Science program at Wayne State University is opening its doors to the public, offering a look at how people are autopsied, embalmed and buried.

The program holds its annual open house from 6-9 p.m. Thursday. It’s a tradition that began in 1991 and drew 900 people last year.

This year’s event includes a chance to see a bomb response unit of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a display on celebrity funerals and the history of burial customs.

The university says visitors also can tour “embalming, anatomy restorative arts and microbiology laboratories.”

One area displays caskets, burns, vaults and other funeral accessories.

Yeshiva University: At Greatest Risk.

From Corporate Board Member:

Are the board members of nonprofits that put money into the vaporized funds of Bernard Madoff legally vulnerable for the losses? Possibly. Some individual donors may go after the trustees if charities they supported invested that money in a Madoff fund. So might the attorneys general of states where the nonprofits are based.

… Directors of nonprofits are legally shielded from monetary liability unless they engage in criminal acts or are grossly negligent or reckless. “You’re not liable for bad judgment; you’re not liable for mistakes; you’re not liable if things just don’t go well,” says Jack B. Siegel, head of Charity Governance Consulting LLC, a Chicago outfit that advises nonprofits on governance issues. Still, the dollar amount that Madoff made off with has invited new consideration of what constitutes gross negligence or recklessness. “My personal view is that this is an area of the law that’s going to be tested heavily as you see more and more nonprofits suffer significant losses in their investment portfolios,” says Keith Freid, a senior vice president with American International Group, a leading underwriter of directors’ and officers’ liability insurance for nonprofit organizations. Donors who see that universities invested their donations badly rather than using the money in the way they intended, for instance, might sue the college trustees for legal redress.

… Directors of nonprofits who have business relationships with the outfits—or “wear more than one hat,” as Steven Scholes, a partner with the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, puts it—face the greatest risk of being accused of breaching a fiduciary duty. Both Madoff and hedge fund manager J. Ezra Merkin, for example, were members of the board of trustees of Yeshiva University in New York City, which lost a $14.5 million investment with Madoff, along with some $95.5 million in phantom profits. Merkin was chairman of Yeshiva’s investment committee and managed a portion of the school’s money, apparently by simply turning it over to Madoff…

Inquisition, Ineptitude, Ideology

These are the three big categories under which you will find repression of free speech on the contemporary American college campus. Let’s glance at each one:

1. Inquisition: Way-Christian schools are always alerting us that “Academic freedom is not sacrosanct. […] It too must submit to God in a Christian college,” so shut the fuck up.

2. Ineptitude: Drop-out factories like Chicago State University are the academic equivalent of North Korea because they’ve got an insane amount of corruption and fuckupery to keep quiet.

3. Ideology: One-party states like Sarah Lawrence and Reed College do not take kindly to conservative professors… or, in the case of Reed, to liberal professors.

The Great Garcby

Fabricating a fascinating heroic you is American as apple pie among all occupations, but this is University Diaries, so we follow in particular academics who make themselves out to be far, far more than they are.

Always overcoming appalling upbringings, ever duking it out on the world’s dirtiest battlefields, ceaselessly being summoned to the offices of the great for advice, these inspirational disrupters are pleased to deliver pep talks to the rest of us as we model our paltrier lives on theirs.

But – and you know UD has been saying this for years – you will only successfully forge a longterm career as a total fraud if you follow a few simple rules.

#1: Do not fly too high. The mistake Sergio Garcia, bigshot chief of staff and senior vp at SUNY Upstate Medical University, made was becoming bigshot chief of etc. The higher your profile, the more likely the local press is going to want to get to know you. Certainly Garcia’s bet that a university which hired David Smith as president would blindly hire a sociopathic liar was completely correct; he overlooked the local press, however.

#2: Choose a really cheesy school. As a product of the local culture of Albany politics, SUNY could hardly be called non-cheesy. It remains however a mildly respectable sort of location – the sort of school where, once the fraudulence of high-ranking administrators is revealed, someone on campus will actually care. Place yourself instead in a school (Southern University; Chicago State University; almost any university in Saudi Arabia) where no one cares.

#3: If you must join a non-cheesy school, make sure you are besties with the school’s president. James Ramsey protected generations of fellow scammers at the University of Louisville; and though this is hardly a guarantee of serious longevity for you (since presidents like Ramsey may themselves have rather short shelf-lives), it’s your only hope. Like the protagonist of Black Widow, you are going to have to find out what the president loves – handball, hockey, humpback whale watching, whoring – and do that thing with him so as to create an unbreakable bond.


UD thanks Eric.

Nice work if you can get it.

Over at Chicago State University, the board of trustees handed Thomas Calhoun Jr. $600,000 in severance pay as they showed him the door after just nine months at the university’s helm.

Universities on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Like the guys in The Hangover, Chicago State University and the University of Louisville wake up every morning amid mysterious and elaborate wreckage.

In the case of Chicago State it doesn’t help that the state of Illinois is currently without a budget; but over the last decade or so Chicago State has fucked itself up royally with no help from things like budget standoffs. One of the nation’s great drop-out factories, Chicago State goes way past corrupt to inexplicably self-destructive. It can always be found spending heavily on whistle blower cases it always loses. In order to spend even more, it’s pressing its latest losing case up to the state Supreme Court. All of this while handing out potential layoff notices to everyone on campus.

At Louisville, some members of the board of trustees are finally organizing to give that school’s grotesque president the heave-ho. The president’s fellow good old boys on the board are launching some hilarious attacks on these critics.

[Bob] Hughes alleged that the dissident trustees are elitists who didn’t go to U of L and wouldn’t send their children there, and that they are trying to replace Ramsey with someone who is related to one of the trustees.

The intellectual elite! At a university! And they won’t send their kids to one of America’s most depraved universities!

UD thanks Wendy.

Tax Syphons, Law School Edition

Scummy for-profit universities are by now a notorious national scandal; Paul Campos reminds us that that you can get the same thing in a law school:

[S]chools accredited by the American Bar Association admit large numbers of severely underqualified students; these students in turn take out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans annually, much of which they will never be able to repay. Eventually, federal taxpayers will be stuck with the tab, even as the schools themselves continue to reap enormous profits.

It’s the very same scheme as the college scheme we’ve followed on this blog for years.

Campos features an amazing story that could have come out of North Korea (or, even worse, Chicago State University). The worse a university (the worse a country), the more repressive it is, particularly about threats to its propaganda machine. A candidate for dean at arguably America’s worst law school (one of the for-profits) not long ago tried to give a truth-telling presentation to its faculty. As the candidate spoke about the school’s astonishingly, cynically, low admissions standards, the school’s president stood up and told him to stop immediately, to leave the room, and if he didn’t leave, the president would call security.

The life of mind’s a beautiful thing, ain’t it? America can be proud of its ABA approved law schools and their commitment to the robust exchange of ideas…

I mean, to be sure, if fellow travelers, fair weather friends, and enemies of the state happen to appear among us, it is not only our right but our duty to rise up as one and eliminate them from our midst…

Low-ranking not for profit law schools, Campos points out, are pretty much just as brazen in their sordid profit-taking.

A glance at New England Law’s tax forms suggests who may have benefited most from this trajectory: John F. O’Brien, the school’s dean for the past 26 years, whom the school paid more than $873,000 in its 2012 fiscal year, the most recent yet disclosed. This is among the largest salaries of any law-school dean in the country. (By comparison, the dean at the University of Michigan Law School, a perennial top-10 institution, was reported to make less than half as much, $420,000, in 2013.)… Richard A. Matasar, a former dean of New York Law School, was, until his resignation in 2011, quoted regularly in the national press about the need to reform the structure of legal education, even as he collected more than half a million dollars a year from a school with employment statistics nearly as poor as those of [for-profit law schools].

“[A]t least five other UIC nursing dissertations [had] higher plagiarism index scores than hers, and at least 30 other UIC dissertations [had] high or problematic plagiarism scores.”

The sport of competitive plagiarizing is upon us, in which people accused of plagiarism use the same software their accusers used, in order to demonstrate that everybody plagiarizes. In fact, some people plagiarize more than the accused do, so why are the accused being singled out?

How many of these objects of plagiarism claims, though, can lay claim to the title of provost? Your chief academic officer may herself be a plagiarist?

This must be Chicago State University, corrupt dropout factory extraordinaire. (Background here.)

So the provost is suing the school that passed and is now investigating her degree (privacy issues), which for CSU means another embarrassing high-profile lawsuit to go with the free speech one FIRE just filed against the school, and the just-concluded one in which a judge made CSU pay a whopping three million dollars to a campus whistle blower against whom the institution retaliated.

I’m sure the taxpayers of Illinois, who pay for this school (I don’t think it has any students anymore… maybe a few…?), take comfort in the fact that the money they’re paying for the provost’s salary is going to someone who apparently plagiarized less than some of her classmates.

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