“For Stanford, the bigger question today is whether it should revoke Martoma’s degree because he obviously lied his way into the school’s prestige MBA program.”

A cheater named Mathew Martoma
Lied his way to a Stanford diploma.
His scam MBA
Was so artful a play
It deserves to be hanging in MOMA.

Rescind John Eastman’s University of Chicago Degree.

This blog has long argued the importance of rescinding honorary degrees from, er, some of their recipients. Examples:

Bernard Madoff

Theodore McCarrick

Bill Cosby

Lance Armstrong

Sepp Blatter

Donald Trump

Sheldon Silver

James Levine

Almost all of these sex and/or money scumsters eventually lost the honor aura conferred upon them by America’s debauched universities (debauched because, in almost every case, a touch of due diligence would have uncovered enough rumors to stay their hand, but these schools apparently didn’t care).

But what about, say, a law degree? An actual degree you work for and pay for? Is there behavior dishonorable enough to justify rescinding a BA or a JD?

What about an MD? UD has argued that Jumana Nagarwala, who put her Hopkins MD to use allegedly slicing off the genitals of little girls all over the midwest, should have that degree rescinded under… call it the Mengele Rule. It’s pretty easy to argue that people who got BAs under false pretenses (as in the Varsity Blues case, where rejects took the place of qualified applicants because their parents faked their applications and paid various well-connected criminals enormous sums of money to help them) should have their degrees revoked. The principle here is that a legitimate university has a reputation to defend, and when it harbors filthy crooks it should formally, publicly, expel them.

And a lawyer? A student who attends your school in order to learn the laws of our land in order to use those same laws to destroy it? This is much like the 9/11 pilots who attended flight school here solely in order to crash their planes into buildings. It would seem to be rather at odds with the purpose of a legal education, a serious education in the rule of law in our democracy. If I were Chicago I’d be pretty fucking embarrassed to be the school that taught John Eastman the law solely in order for him to twist it to destroy the country. I mean, is my face red!

It’s not too early for UD‘s beloved U of C to start considering a process by which they can cleanly disassociate themselves from this piece of shit.

Okay, so your honorary degree recipients and your coaches are assholes.

It happens. When La Kid graduated from George Washington University, now-disgraced honorary degree awardee Brian Williams gave an address in which he lectured UD on personal ethics.

UD‘s kinda hurt because Williams lied to her in his speech: He said it doesn’t pay to cheat, but it does pay to cheat, and he knows it cuz he’s back at his old job after suffering only un p’tit peu for being a cheat.

University coaches are of course – if they’re any good at all – cheaters. Americans know this and love them for it. Coaches do what they have to do to get ahead, just like Brian Williams.

It almost always does pay to cheat in college sports. Wins matter more than integrity. This isn’t exactly a revelation. As Jerry Tarkanian used to say, “Nine out of 10 schools are cheating. The other one is in last place.” …Cheating pays. We’ve learned this from roided-up baseball players who walked away with tens of millions of dollars, and from white-collar criminals whose sentences paled in comparison to those of small-time crack dealers.

You can blame it on a toothless NCAA, or on a college sports system that values the almighty dollar over platitudes of integrity, or on an American culture that values winning over all else.

I’ll call it something else: The fact that schools cheat – and that they get away with it – is a natural result of the odd marriage in America between big-money athletics and academics.

The reference up there to white collar criminals reminds me of one of my all-time favorite commencement speeches, from Allen Greenspan to the young eager hedgies of Wharton. It’s a fascinating address rhetorically. Greenspan knows he’s talking to many of the most-honed, highest-level cheaters America has to offer the world, people who can barely stay seated in their chair before peeling off and starting a Ponzi scheme; and indeed he knows that the background of his talk is the most recent immense number of immense American corporate scandals… So what’s he going to say? Isn’t it all rather… futile….?

I do not deny that many appear to have succeeded in a material way by cutting corners and manipulating associates, both in their professional and in their personal lives. But material success is possible in this world, and far more satisfying, when it comes without exploiting others. The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake.

All the herbal viagra in the world won’t make this less limp.

Just as it’s especially amusing to watch the winningest coaches shovel the moral shit in their books and speeches, it’s a special treat to watch income inequality’s biggest boosters dish out the do-goodery.

The only trouble mondo cheato ever runs into is when pesky university students decide to get all judgmental about some of the important inspirational people on their campus. It bothers Yalies that Bill Cosby has an honorary degree that their school refuses to revoke. Why does it refuse to revoke Cosby’s degree? Yale says two things in response to this question:

1. It’s never revoked a degree before. (And we all know that timid backwater places like Yale can never do anything new.)

2. It doesn’t want to talk about it. Shut up.

UD rather admires Yale’s unwillingness even to try to argue the point. (Northwestern, where UD was an undergrad, is also opting for silence.) Tons of universities have revoked Cosby’s honorary degrees, and they’ve stated their reasons, but Yale’s like eh I don’t know didn’t I tell you to shut up? It’s like Yale acknowledges what UD has been saying which is like Hello? Everybody’s an asshole and the biggest assholes get honorary degrees. Nuff said.

One university leader has, however, been willing to go there. One leader has ignored the wisdom of the keep-mum crowd and gone there. Let us consider Stephen Trachtenberg’s opinion piece in the campus newspaper. Scathing Online Schoolmarm will interrupt his sentences with her commentary.


‘I was the GW president back in the day when we gave Bill Cosby an honorary degree. At the time, he was arguably the most popular Commencement speaker of my tenure. His remarks at graduation were received with an ovation. All attending cheered him. He was celebrated for his contributions to American culture and for his comic genius. [Spectacular dude. Was his dissertation majorly bogus? Should this matter to a university like yours as it honors him? Nah.]

It would appear, on the basis of information only now revealed, that he had, in addition to his artistic gifts, a dark and troubling and tragic hidden side. [Tragic. Da guy’s a regular Hamlet already!] Had we known of that we would not have awarded him plaudits. But we did not.

All today seem well-informed of Mr. Cosby’s seemingly Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. His life and reputation lie in tatters. One can only speculate on the mental health issues that may underlie the behavior that numerous women have reported regarding Mr. Cosby. [There, there. It’s all about his tragic mental issues. Let’s not get all moral about this… But UD can’t help wondering: Why didn’t Mr Cosby, during the century or so during which he drugged and assaulted women, consult someone about his troubling behavior? I guess had he known that he had psychological problems he would not have attacked all those women. But he did not.]

People of accomplishment can, as we know, also have criminal or evil characteristics. I think of Ezra Pound, a man of towering poetic, artistic and critical gifts, and a fascist war criminal who lived out his life in a prison hospital. [Yes. Pound was punished for what he did. And again unlike Cosby, Pound was indeed clinically insane. That’s why he was in a prison hospital. His Bollingen Prize was so controversial that Congress ended – revoked, if you like – the involvement of the Library of Congress in that award program.]

What good would it do to void Mr. Cosby’s diploma? Who actually celebrates it today? He is revealed and reviled. I am not keen on trying to rewrite history. We must own our past and learn from it. There is no Platonic device for awarding honors. We do our best to celebrate the good. We work with the best information available. But being human, we have erred in the past and will no doubt do so again in the future. [Enough platitudes for you? Mr Trachtenberg needs to go back and think about the many forms of public rejection, retraction, and revocation which have been a feature of the moral life of this country – and this country’s traditions – from the beginning. It does a lot of moral good – by way of clarification of one’s principles, and official removal from the community of people who seriously offend it – to void awards whose conferral turns out to have been a sick joke.]

We need to redouble our efforts to avoid such failures of judgement in the years to come but must in humility appreciate our limitations and permit experience to inform our thinking. There is a rough charm to the proposal that we should recall our degree from Mr. Cosby, but it is a blunt instrument that does not do real justice to the dreadful challenge it seeks to address. It does not actually get to right. It provides no real comfort to the abused. [How do you know? Have you heard what the abused have said? The obscenity of their attacker having been protected and even celebrated by the culture has featured prominently in their suffering. One of the reasons it took so long for law enforcement to catch up with Cosby was his many-laureled cultural identity, an identity to which GW contributed.]

Mr. Cosby knows that we no longer esteem him. Everybody knows. He is down. He is out. The degree is as null and void as it can be. It is self-executing. However much he may deserve it, I am disinclined to kick him again to underscore our own virtue. It’s too easy.’ [Oh yes, it’s just our virtue-narcissism at play. How contemptible of us.]

Howard University does the right thing, quickly.

This blog has for years followed universities dragging their feet about revoking honorary degrees awarded to people who turned out to be so dishonorable you could plotz. But having watched the Sean Combs tape we all watched, Howard gathered its trustees and right away not only revoked the degree; they returned his million dollar donation, and they shut down a scholarship program with his name on it. For good measure they issued a public statement… Something to the effect that men who routinely beat the shit out of women don’t get Howard honors.

Liberty University – Doctor of Business Administration.  Liberty University – Doctor of Laws.

These seem to be the only two D. Trump honorary degrees that haven’t been revoked; and Trump can rest easy knowing that a school recently run by the Marquis de Jerry Falwell Junior will never do that dastardly deed, even under current circumstances.

St. John Fisher University, Loyola University Maryland, The Citadel in South Carolina, and Georgetown University …

… all stand steadfastly with their much-admired Rudy Giuliani, a man so fine as to have been given honorary degrees from them.

Three of these schools are Catholic, and Catholics tend to be YUGE Trump supporters, so don’t hold your breath waiting for them to revoke the honor, even after he’s disbarred in total disgrace, imprisoned, etc., etc.

Middlebury College in Vermont, Drexel University in Pennsylvania, and the University of Rhode Island have all revoked honorary degrees that each school, in a moment of madness, conferred upon America’s close-to-highest-profile anti-semitic (Look ye to Soros, oh Blind Ones!) insurrectionist. These are godless public or private schools, lacking the spiritual perspicacity to see the Christlike miracle that is America’s Mayor.

And then there’s godless Syracuse, which is as we speak attempting to work RG out of its system. That school, too, fails to perceive the way in which Rudy acts as a vessel of the lord. The three Catholic schools sure as hell do, though, and when Rudy’s carted off to jail they will speak of his having been burned at the stake just like Saint Joan.

Figure it this way: If, for decades and decades, the most laureled person on your campus was Theodore McCarrick, ol’ Rudy don’t look too bad.

Jumpin’ Jesuits! What the hell’s the deal at Georgetown University?

You name the scandal, one of America’s most Catholic educational institutions has a high-profile entry. Georgetown had more Varsity Blues bogus students than anyone else; its longtime tennis coach is just a plain old career criminal; a half dozen priests with Georgetown associations “have [recently] been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.” It took ages and lots of pressure from students for it to revoke the honorary degree it gave to super-sexed Theodore McCarrick, a regular and adored presence in Georgetown’s chapels and classrooms. And so it goes.

And I mean yeah it really goes. Like every month. This month there’s the knotty little matter of one of its football players getting arrested for first degree murder.

Clearly the Jesuits running the school are weenies. A firm hand is needed, and UD recommends as next Georgetown president Pater Edmund Waldstein, a leader of the Adrian Vermeule-sponsored Cathophate-to-Come, who would not hesitate to burn people at the stake.

Begum’s Father Begins to Get It.

England really doesn’t want his daughter. She can exhaust every possible appeal, but it’s way unlikely that a British court will take her back. He’s living in Bangladesh where she can try claiming citizenship, and though Bangladesh doesn’t want this dangerous woman any more than England does, it just might let her in.


The national security argument heard in court was that Begum had aligned with the Islamist group not only by travelling to Syria but by remaining until nearly the last days of the self-styled caliphate, thus showing a high degree of commitment to it.

Security sources have gone further, suggesting Begum was a member of al-Hisba, Isis’s morality police, during which time she carried a Kalashnikov and had a reputation for strictness. Begum also allegedly “stitched suicide bombers into explosive vests”. These are all claims the intelligence community stands by, arguing that women are as capable as men of actively participating in a violent regime.

Does one really have to argue this? Isn’t the correct word “noting,” rather than arguing? Do we have to drag little Irma Ilse Ida Grese and company out yet again? “Legal proceedings, [one of Begum’s lawyers argues], ‘fail to provide swift and practical answers to such acute human predicaments as this’.” You said it babe, and that means that just as there’s no way to confirm intelligence claims that she shouldered a big ol’ gun etc. etc., there’s also no way to confirm claims she warnt so godawful bad as all that … It IS a fucking predicament; but nowhere is it written that an entire citizenry has to shoulder the uncertainty inherent in returning atrociously depraved people to its midst.


In a series of laws in the 00s, Labour allowed government to deprive anyone of citizenship, even if they had been born in Britain, if it was “conducive to the public good” to do so.

Poor Kenan Malik is deprived of his Right Wing Neo-fascists did it argument in yet another lame effort to urge that citizenship is a right that may under no circumstances be taken away. Labour signed off on the law allowing it to be taken away. “In 1870, MPs viewed citizenship as a right that should not be arbitrarily removed by the state.” Ah, the good old days. But of course no one is doing anything arbitrarily. It’s like saying, whenever a child is removed from grossly abusive parents, “parenthood is a right that should not be arbitrarily removed by the state.” I mean, there are justifiable circumstances in these matters, no?

Online Classes: Not Only Skeazy, But Funny!

UD‘s been telling you and telling you that most online classes are trash, trash, trash. Easy to cheat in SO many ways. You can of course pay someone to take them for you. If you do take them, you pretty much learn nothing. It’s a big ol’ ripoff, but no one cares. Students obviously love them; universities make bundles off of them at very small cost. It’s win/win/win/win/win! — if you’re a cynical nihilist, which I guess a lot of people are.

The shabby absurdity of online reveals itself, most recently and most amusingly, in the latest chapter of the endless college admissions scam, which is rapidly filling America’s luxury lockups with our wealthiest amoralists. Karen Littlefair (there’s something wonderfully eighteenth-century-drama about that last name) bought her Georgetown University son out of the bother of actually taking courses by handing Rick Singer thousands of dollars to hire someone to pretend to be the little shit.

Littlefair paid Singer’s college counseling business, known as “The Key,” to have an employee complete online classes in her son’s name, the criminal information states. She ultimately paid Singer’s company about $9,000 in exchange for an employee taking four classes, and Littlefair’s son graduated from Georgetown in May 2018, prosecutors said.

It’s seems so … little fair that sonny boy could be said to have… graduated from Georgetown, a university far too busy dealing with its naughty basketball team, a lawsuit from another Varsity Blues bogus degree holder (Georgetown revoked the degree, but the dude sees no reason why he shouldn’t hit them up with a zillion dollar lawsuit to get it back; and UD is certain wee fair Littlefair Jr. will feel the same way) , fallout from their AMAZING tennis coach, Gordie Ernst, and – UD predicts – their royal-heads-of-Europe scandal) to worry about the legitimacy of some scamster pipsqueak’s degree… But it gets better. I promised some laughs.

One of the classes required video conferences with the professor. Littlefair wrote that her son would be out of the country and that Singer’s employee “should have a stand in for [my son] that is highly briefed.” The Key associate confirmed she would “take care of the meeting” if the son was unavailable by using a “fellow male colleague” to stand in for Littlefair’s son, the documents state.

Littlefair also sent an email asking Singer to do “one more online course” in spring 2018 for credit at Georgetown, and the Key associate then secretly took an online class in her son’s name offered by Arizona State University. The credits were then sent to Georgetown and credited to Littlefair’s son on his academic transcript, the court documents say, helping him graduate.

In April 2018, Singer’s company sent her an invoice for $3,000. She responded that she thought she’d be given a “discount” because the “grade [Key associate 1 earned] was a C and the experience was a nightmare!” according to the criminal information.

Singer replied that he would not discount the invoice because the “process was a nightmare for all.”

Those fucking online courses! Their pathetic efforts to insure that highly paid fakes aren’t taking them for scuzzy people otherwise engaged overseas make them a nightmare for all. And… mes petites! … You gotta admit that when it comes to Thrifty Little Mama Littlefair… Well, allow me to quote Albee’s George: There isn’t an abomination award going that she hasn’t won.

For the next four months, Inmate Littlefair will follow in the footsteps of Martha Stewart and shed sweetness and light upon the meth heads in the next cell.


UPDATE: “[Georgetown officials] are now implementing measures to prevent cheating and plagiarism in online courses…” Good luck with that, Jesuit fathers! Why do you think there’s a nationwide industry in online college scams like this one? Tell me how you’re going to prevent cheating and plagiarism? Do you realize that not only students taking online courses, but people hired to give them, cheat? It’s just as easy for some disembodied entity, hired by some school to present a series of screens to students, to fake her identity, ja? Pocket the money – give ten percent of it to some high school grad drudge who’ll actually handle 200 online humanoids for you – and head for Cozumel.

I’m telling you, the whole thing’s trashy. Ask Arizona State University, which specializes in the con and happily passed along one of Littlefair’s bogus courses to Georgetown.

But although it’s a national scandal, it’s far too useful and lucrative for schools and students to give up the racket. Entire football and basketball rosters would be gutted if it weren’t for bogus online courses! Instead, universities will implement all sorts of expensive, real free-thought-enhancing security measures: Mandatory fingerprinting; pinchy devices on the fingers to check your pulse or sweat glands or something … And please stick your head in this facial recognition machine, after which Mr Ness from the FBI wants to ask you a few questions. Breathalyzer, sperm sample, and inner-cheek swab go here.


UPDATE on the Big Daddies of online education, which most universities emulate in their own online programs: the for-profit companies:

“People just laugh in my face.”

“[The U.N. goal of eradicating FGM by 2030 is] very optimistic, but with an herculean effort by all, it may be attainable. That would mean that in the next twelve years, the cultures that have performed this horrific act for more than five thousand years would end their practice. And with an estimated three million new victims per year currently being mutilated, it means we don’t become complacent, we just work harder.”

The first American surgeon to open a reconstructive surgery clinic has called for Super Clit-Slasher Jumana Nagarwala to lose her medical license.  UD has called on Johns Hopkins University, which awarded her the MD degree, to make a public statement condemning her, and to revoke her degree.

Yale, Boston College, Northwestern…

… these are the holdouts, the strenuously, stubbornly, principled schools that will NOT revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degree. There may be other schools as well, but UD is only aware of these three.

Even Temple University, which has been Cosby’s whore for decades, just revoked his degree.

And you know what else? The United States of America will not revoke his degree. Or, uh, medal. President Obama long ago said no can do. And why?

There’s no “precedent.” We have no “mechanism.” In this oure antient lande, one may not change that which hath already beene done.


Awright awready! We’re looking into it! Sheesh!


That ol’ can-do, American, spirit.

‘He holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of McGill, Montréal, Laval and the Curtis School of Music.’

Until they took it down, the Royal Philharmonic conductors page included an entry on Charles Dutoit which listed some of his honorary degrees. They took it down because

Monsieur Dutoit
Is hot to trot.
All his Mais non!s
Have come to naught.

Will the schools revoke the degrees?

UD predicts that maybe one will follow the Nevernevernever Yale model (To be sure Dr Mengele performed some questionable surgeries, but we never revoke an honorary degree…), while the others will announce that they are passing Dutoit’s, uh, baton back to him.

An excellent editorial in the Tufts student newspaper…

… which the university will ignore.

[T]he Tufts administration still has not openly acknowledged the [opioid merchants] Sacklers’ role in fueling the opioid crisis. In light of the recent exposés, Tufts should publicly recognize its own complicity in receiving money tainted by the epidemic, resolving to take an active stance against it. In order to align its values, Tufts should change the name of its biomedical school to better reflect the mission of the institution. With any remaining funds from the Sackler family, Tufts should fund research grants for the opioid crisis and further support outreach programs for its victims.

[President] Monaco and the Tufts Board of Trustees should revoke the honorary degree conferred on Raymond Sackler posthumously. There is past precedent for this. Bill Cosby, although never found guilty of sexual assault, had his honorary degree revoked by Tufts. Someone the university has honored has committed an egregious moral, if not illegal, offense, and the university must withdraw its support.

Tufts won’t ignore the, er, Sackler problem forever. But, like Yale, it will hem and haw and harrumph as long as it possibly can.

Will it, like SUNY Buffalo, still burdened with the risible Kapoor School of Pharmacy, decide (Buffalo will probably decide – especially if their man goes to jail) to desacklerize (Clever, UD. Why is it clever? Because it’s very close to desacralize, see.) its biomed school?

Probably. The Sacklers are still dumping their opioids all over Asia. But the decision will be long in coming. From Yale and from Tufts we will hear a long involved contradictory emotional story about what a blessing opioids have been for the world though unfortunately… I mean, to be sure…

Wharton, We Have a Problem.

It all started back in the ‘eighties, with Donald Trump’s alma mater producing so many financial criminals that newspapers started keeping track of the ever-growing Wharton “Hall of Shame.” (Type WHARTON in my search engine for all the gory details.) The tradition persists today, with Wharton featuring prominently in articles with titles like Do Business Schools Incubate Criminals? and The Wharton Mafia. It’s positively embarrassing.

The Wharton School of Business has deified Donald Trump, boasting in its alumni magazine of his greatness and influence. It can’t get enough of him. It’s pleased as punch and bursting with pride to have spawned him…. or at least it was until around 2007. In a recent article about him in the U Penn paper, people are beginning to sound less enthusiastic.

A Wharton spokesperson said that the leadership of the alumni office and magazine have turned over since the publication of the article, and declined to comment further on Trump.

Hm. A bit snippy there… But, you know, it’s one thing to go the silence route (Trump? Trump who…?); it’s another thing – especially given Wharton’s cultural role as National Fraternal Order of America’s Great Insider Traders – actually to come out and repudiate “the worst human being who has ever won a Republican primary.”

UD doesn’t mean revoke his degree or anything. She means that given Wharton’s already filthy reputation, and given Trump’s incessant dropping of the Wharton name alongside his name, the school might consider issuing a statement distancing itself from its most famous graduate.

“A California judge who ruled in favor of the plaintiffs compared Trump University to infamous con man Bernie Madoff, writing ‘victims of con artists often sing the praises of their victimizers until the moment they realize they have been fleeced.’”

Could Republican voters be the next awakened fleecees?


In other Trump/university news: A foreign university has already revoked a Trump honorary degree. Now an American university – Lehigh – has begun talking about the whole honoring Trump thing.

The professor initiating discussion about the Trump degree at Lehigh University specializes in draining away gunk in order to stabilize environments.

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