Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Which Colleges Are Losing Students…And Why




By Professor Doom

     Despite the intense relentless indoctrination of our public schools, our higher education system has been losing students for years now (six straight years, and we’re clearly heading for seven). Our leaders in higher education have been crying about this as a bad thing. They insist “education is priceless,” and of course want to charge accordingly…but I disagree. Oh, education is valuable, of course, but this is the modern world. Pretty much all human knowledge is available on the internet, and you can watch free videos teaching how to learn ever more obscure skills with little effort.

      It just doesn’t make sense to pay $125,000 (the average) for a random degree under these circumstances. It’s simple reality, and, as humanity has learned time and again throughout history, reality eventually will trump any level of indoctrination.

      A recent chart tracks how our schools have been losing students, but fails to discuss the “why.” I wish to do so, lightly, but first the chart:



     A free market really is an awesome tool for discovery, and higher education is, to some extent, a free market. Yes, government indoctrination assures a steady supply of suckers right out of high school desperately wanting “higher education,” and yes, the government has considerable control over who can give out an actual degree, but bottom line customers get to freely choose where they get their degrees, and this chart illustrates how even in our heavily corrupted system, the free market shows its power.

      The biggest loss in students goes to the “for profit” schools. These places have a strong record of being scams in general, and that word has gotten out. For the most part, they never intended to be around long, simply renting a few slots in a strip mall or setting up some online servers. They preyed on the most vulnerable in our society, or at least the poorest, often signing up kids for huge loans without their knowledge. Only years later do the kids, now adults, learn they’re under crushing debt. Though the debt was incurred through fraud, the system is set up in such a way that even falsely incurred student loan debt is still nigh inescapable. The Federal government has forcibly shut down many of these schools, only to be shocked, shocked to discover that accreditation actually doesn’t have a problem with fraud. It’s good the government shut down the frauds, but the people who created the frauds walked away with billions of dollars, while the students are still on the hook.

      The next biggest loser in the above is the category of “2 year public” schools, the community colleges. I concede the for-profits commit more fraud on a per-student basis, but, bottom line, the community colleges are bigger frauds in the sense that they rip off far more students, and steal the money of everyone in the community who pays taxes…i.e., everyone. The Federal government doesn’t look closely at these schools, which are often academically just as ridiculous as the online for-profit schools. Our  Fed government trusts the state governments to do the policing here, but this is silly: community colleges represent an easy way for a state government to suck in many billions of Federal dollars via the student loan and Pell Grant scams. It’s a huge, massive fraud, over 70% of community college students end up being victimized by their schools, getting absolutely nothing (not even a worthless degree) from their community college, wasting years of their lives while the school rakes in tons of easy money. But the free market is starting to figure it out, and so the true colors of these schools are finally becoming known.

     The third place loser is the category of “4 year private non-profit,” but this is just a statistical blip. These schools are pretty vulnerable to being turned into indoctrination centers, and around 78% of departments of these schools have no Republicans in them—the only way this can happen is with political bias in the hiring. It’s pretty amazing the free market still can reveal that this product is inferior when one considers how these schools represent a fairly tiny proportion of our student population.

     Our 4 year state schools come out on top as the least-foul option according to the consumer, and allow me to explain why this is the case.

     First is legitimacy. Many states can boast of having universities founded over a century ago, when our higher education system was controlled by scholars, who often insisted on tenure. When the modern “debase it all to get as much student loan money as possible” paradigm came on track, these schools and their stodgy old faculty wouldn’t sell out their integrity for dollars. I grant to a considerable extent those days are over, and it seems every month I see tenure destroyed at another state school, to make way for bigger golden parachutes for the plunderers who have taken over our campuses. Even where this hasn’t taken full effect, many state schools settled on a “two tier” system of education—you can still get a perfectly legitimate education, but in the name of growth (i.e., dollars), there’s a fake education system built into the same school as well, with lots of bogus courses. Not all state schools have it, but bottom line the kid at least has a chance to get an education at the state university, a chance he won’t get at other school types.

     Second is price. Private and for-profit schools can change their tuition prices every week if they wanted to, but state schools often have to go through the state legislature to change their tuition. The end result is that “average” price for a 4-year degree is misleading, as it’s weighted heavily in favor of the far more expensive schools which don’t need approval to raise their prices. No, I’m not saying state governments are not corrupt, but the whole process is much slower than at the non-government schools. Yes, community college is cheaper, but word about the rampant fraud there is getting out—paying fewer dollars in tuition does no good when the courses are completely worthless.

     Just as when you go to a restaurant for lunch at noon and seeing it deserted makes you worry that you’re not at a good place, so too should you use the empirical data above to consider the possibility that the reason students are fleeing certain schools is because those are the types of schools to be avoided.

      Word to the wise, is all.



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Another Professor Fired For Having Standards




By Professor Doom

     A few years ago, a book named Academically Adrift pointed out the results everyone working in higher ed already knew: many college courses have no content. The book showed nearly half of students gain no measurable skill after years of college.

       How could this be? I mean, our colleges charge plenty, and any look at the syllabus and course requirements shows that our students must be reading fairly advanced content as well as writing about all the heady concepts they’re reading about. Academically Adrift found that despite what it says on the syllabus most students barely have to read, barely have to write, in their college courses, and can spend their years on campus without ever having to do as much reading as a single one of my blog posts, much less writing so much.

      In other words, many of our campuses practice fraud. The worst offenders are community colleges, which studies have found to be unhinged—literally what you find on the syllabus and textbooks for the course has nothing to do with what actually happens in the course. Fraud.

     “Why don’t faculty stop the fraud?” is a natural question, but the answer is simple: we’ve tried. Any faculty who attempts to have standards is removed. At the universities, tenure has slowed down this process, but it takes little effort to see tenure is dying as an institution. Even without tenure, an entire department could form a unified front, though I’ve seen multiple faculty fired for trying this.

      The community colleges don’t generally have tenure, and don’t have departments, either. Instead, they’re run from a top-down design, with most faculty utterly powerless. So, there’s nothing to slow the fraud of community college.

      Every few months we learn of new sex scandals on campus that went on for years, decades even. The only reason these scandals are eventually discovered is because the crimes are so horrible, the victims so numerous, that they can’t be covered up forever.

      On the other hand, the academic fraud, though vile, I concede isn’t nearly as horrific as what went on in the Penn State showers. We also don’t have nearly so many victims complaining—not many kids will complain about a free ‘A,’ after all. I assure the gentle reader long running academic frauds are definitely in progress on many campuses. They’ve been going on so long that faculty being fired for having integrity is something of a rare event nowadays, so I feel the need to highlight an example, to show that it still goes on:



     Now, obviously, admin doesn’t tell faculty directly to “dumb it down.” What do they say?

Nathaniel Bork, a philosophy teacher, was fired after questioning the Community College of Aurora's new "student success initiative."


     Doesn’t “student success initiative” sound better than “remove a few more chapters and writing assignments”? It sure does, but the latter is more honest. On the surface you do get “student success” this way, but year after year of removing content leads to students now spending years on campus without having to do anything at all…besides pay that tuition. “Suck up all the student loan money” is a success in administration’s eyes, I assure the gentle reader.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) recently released a report about a community college professor who was terminated for maintaining high academic standards for his students. The higher ed institution was the Community College of Aurora (CCA), Colorado, and the professor was Nathaniel Bork, a teacher of philosophy.


     I cite the link above; honest, there are scholars trying to keep academic standards, but it does no good. Admin holds all the cards. The largest sex scandals are probably going on at the universities (mostly because of sportsball), but the biggest academic scandals are at the community colleges. The gentle reader might recall the huge UNC scandal, but that was revealed, after 18 years, because there were some protocols for revealing fraud that slowly did their job; the community college frauds are essentially immortal because they have no such protocols.

      So what happened when this professor said he would continue to have academic standards?

[I]n September, Bork received a call from his department chair and dean at Aurora, who told him that he was done teaching there -- effective immediately. The college eventually blamed the decision on what it called Bork’s ‘lack of effectiveness in implementing the philosophy curriculum redesign.’


     Seriously, that’s how quick it is. Complain, and you’re gone, overnight. Oh, they’ll use long words like “curriculum redesign” but “fraud” really is all we’re talking about here.

      What exactly was the “redesign”?

“…he’d been asked to cut 20 percent of his introductory philosophy course content; require fewer writing assignments, with a new maximum of eight pages per semester; offer small-group activities every other class session; and make works by women and minority thinkers about 30 percent of the course…”


     Please understand, this course likely had already taken 20% cuts to content multiple times in previous years. Just as the “College Algebra” course I taught in community college now holds less than half the material than the algebra course I took in the 10th grade, so too are other courses finding their content reduced by admin to insignificance.

Administrative department head: “Welcome to our new college algebra course. It’s algebra without the algebra.”

--the above is from a state university I worked at.


     I’ve mentioned many times how the math classes have been gutted. The philosophy courses are being dumbed down for the same reason:

“…he was told to keep teaching this way until 80 percent of all student demographic groups were passing the course…”


     Again, this “80% pass rate” is the goal. Most faculty today get this memo, and simply pass everyone, even students who might not even have come to class or done even a single assignment (assuming the course has even a single assignment). Is education supposed to be about learning, or about just making it into the “at least 80%” category?

“…violated the spirit of Colorado law on guaranteed transfer courses to a four-year institution.”


     The above ultimately is the problem. Community colleges suck in students with promises of “we’ll prepare you for university, and we’re cheaper” while the reality is very little of community college is worthwhile. It’s why 80% of community college students get nothing from community college. Imagine if the reality of my previous and documented sentence were well known…would we still waste tax dollars on those pits?

     Alas, that knowledge will likely never be known outside of this blog, any more than the fact that most community colleges have “cleaned” out the few remaining faculty who think there should be standards. For all I know, this will be the last faculty member that needed removal.









Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Another State University System Documents Itself As Fraud



By Professor Doom

     Years ago, in my book, I wrote how a state university had an unwritten policy for faculty to pass 85% of their students. To clarify, any faculty who did not meet this “standard” would find his career cut short. I’ll double down on this by noting the university also allowed students to register for the same course but two different faculty, in the same semester—this led to faculty being in direct competition with each other to offer the most minimal of coursework, with whoever dared to assign even a single page of reading at risk of losing his job—a student which dropped such a “monster” of a professor in favor of an easier professor would count against the monster’s failure rate.

“I can serve coffee and donuts and still not make 85%”

--another faculty at the school complaining how unfair the policy was, as you generally had 20% of the names on the roster never show up and/or drop the course. Less honorable faculty quickly found a way, as my next anecdote will show.


    I said this years ago, and I can understand why a reader would discount such ravings on the internet…but, hey, look, now we see faculty opening complaining about this “unwritten” policy:


     “DFW” refers to the three ways a professor can lose a student in the course. “D” is for the D grade, it’s not failing, but generally not good enough for course credit (i.e., it can easily delay graduation). “F” is for “Fail”—usually the students are given so long to drop a course that only comatose or otherwise clueless students actually fail. “W” is for “Withdraw,” where a student leaves campus; this can happen for many reasons which have nothing to do with the teacher of the course (for example, the student may die, or may be put on military deployment, or may get terminal cancer, among other “remote” possibilities which are regular enough occurrences with today’s class sizes).

“The overall rate is absurd, the lumping of the W with the D and F is absurd, and it captures how integrity is being sacrificed on the ‘don't let enrollment drop’ altar by bureaucrats.”


        Even though a withdrawing student might have nothing to with the faculty, the faculty can still be penalized. The gentle reader should keep this is mind if he considers my best rule for fixing higher ed, namely eliminating all administrative positions where the title of the position is longer than twice the title holder’s name, too draconian…many rules admin uses are so unfair that I feel no need to treat them any better.


Registrar, at a policy change meeting: “Due to a glitch, a number of students in various courses were enrolled in courses accidentally. They didn’t know they were in the course, so never showed up for class or did assignments, and didn’t know what was going on until they received their report card. We need to change the policy to allow students to drop late, for this reason.”

Me: “Of these students that did absolutely nothing, about how many failed?”

Registrar: “2/3rds failed. The rest got A’s, but complained because it cut into their loan disbursements.”

Me: “To be clear, 1/3 of the students that literally did absolutely nothing still got an A for their coursework?”

Registrar: “Yes.”

--I repeat this story, as it’s eyewitness testimony of clear evidence that around 1/3 of the coursework on that campus was utterly and completely bogus. Yes, I know, I could just as easily cite a book saying as much. In any event, this sort of fraud happens for a reason.

     Now, that’s my own anecdote, above. Let’s see what faculty are saying in the article I linked:

But professors there didn’t know until recently that the rate at which they give D and F grades and see students withdraw from their courses was impacting the tenure and promotion process.


     Now, I’m no jerk, I sure want every one of my students to pass the course. I also have integrity, however, and realize that most of education is self-directed. No matter what I do in class, the student must study to be able to demonstrate that he knows the material. I like having integrity, but now faculty positions are often just to rubber stamp that the student passed the course.

      The average cost of a college degree is well over $100,000. Shouldn’t it mean more than just a bunch of rubber stamps?

      I really think integrity should be an issue here, but higher education is so debased that, strangely, this isn’t the problem:

However one feels about the validity of DFW rates in the tenure and promotion process, what’s clear at Savannah State is that this was never approved through shared governance channels or articulated in the Faculty Handbook. So some professors are apparently being judged on a criterion of which they were previously unaware.


     “Wait. I didn’t know I was being paid to support fraud.” strikes me as a weird objection, but that's what faculty are reduced to today. One usually gets the memo about being at a fake school early on, and certainly over the course of the years it takes to get even a minor promotion as faculty, it should have come up.

      The quotes above are for Savannah State University in Georgia, but I assure the gentle reader it’s a popular unwritten policy at many schools. Another school in the same state said it officially doesn’t happen, but faculty claim otherwise:

Georgia Southern University’s Faculty Senate successfully fought against the inclusion of DFW rates in annual evaluations, in 2012. Gregory Brock, a professor of economics at Georgia Southern who campaigned against the DFW criteria at the time, said this week via email that he was once advised by his chair to “get below 20 percent.”


      I’m sure, in writing, it doesn’t happen, but faculty are verbally told things much like the above many times. So, I claimed to have worked at the past in a state university where the DFW rate needed to be below 15%...and here we see someone else saying it needed to be below 20%.

      Please understand, many faculty get this memo and sell out immediately (I left the place before my eventual firing). I so hated watching praise and promotions heaped on faculty who did nothing for education, even as admin praised their “good teaching” and getting 100% passing rate for the course.

       As I saw in my community college anecdote above, all you have to do to be considered an effective teacher is give everyone in the class an A, even if they never even showed up for class a single time. And yet this is the very definition of “award winning” teaching on many campuses today.

A faculty member who did not want to be identified by name said in an interview that faculty concern “has to do with expectations when it comes to what they need to do for tenure or promotion. They’re now being judged on this new metric, having already submitted their portfolios, with no prior knowledge of it.”

--emphasis added.


       I end by demonstrating the culture of fear on campus is still dominating, as faculty know better than complain in a way admin might know who to fire. Many of our campuses are ruled by thugs who know nothing of education, who occupy our universities for the sole purpose of plundering the student loan money at every opportunity.

      And, clearly, campuses in Georgia fit that description. What’s missing in the article is administration’s role in this, beyond encouraging academic fraud. One comment summarizes this issue nicely:

Well, darn. Looks like D and F students should now result in automatic dismissal of admissions officers. Admit a D or F student, lose your job. Professors don't decide who is admitted and often don't decide who can take their courses. That's admin's responsibility.


     Administration has reduced entrance standards precipitously, and so we have many basically illiterate students flooding our campuses now, paid for by the student loan scam. Faculty could mitigate the damage these students do to themselves by failing them but…faculty who do this get fired.

      Meanwhile, the admin who lowered standards are the same admin who are telling faculty to pass the students are the same admin who are firing faculty who don’t keep that 80% (or whatever) pass rate in the courses.  And the poor kids who are burying themselves in debt for this “rubber stamp degree” won’t find out until years later how they’ve been defrauded by this system.

      Oh well, at least the leaders who run our higher education system will get to retire on some nice lakefront property.




Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Obvious Education Fraud




By Professor Doom

     Time and again I’ve claimed that much of what goes on in our higher education system is fraudulent. I concede that this is just a blog, and I encourage the gentle reader to read all things online with some level of skepticism, to think through the implications and see if the conclusions read online are even reasonable, much less true.

      A recent-ish Lew Rockwell column cited some statistics about education where the conclusion of massive fraud becomes quite reasonable. As always, I have some things to add:

Bottom of Form


      The author, much esteemed Walter Williams, begins his discussion with some relevant statistics regarding our public school system:

Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math.


       The author breaks things down by race, but I want to focus more on the fraud. The sentence above asserts “proficiency,” that is, high-school level ability in reading or mathematics. Those are some pretty terrible numbers, but let’s reinforce them with another stat:

Nationally, our high school graduation rate is over 80 percent.


      The conclusion of fraud at this point is quite reasonable. If only 25 percent of our 12th graders are proficient in math, for example, it is not possible for 80% of our students to graduate under a legitimate system which requires proficiency in the graduates, after all. This is what government has done to our basic education system: corrupted it to the point that a high school diploma is meaningless. In times past (as in, the time of my grandmother), graduating from the 8th grade was considered quite good…but a high school diploma of today is hardly as meaningful as an 8th grade education of a couple generations ago.

It’s grossly dishonest for the education establishment and politicians to boast about unprecedented graduation rates when the high school diplomas, for the most part, do not represent academic achievement. At best, they certify attendance.


      I quote the above for future reference, our leaders patting themselves on the back for their “great success” in graduation rates when any casual look at the numbers reveals considerable fraud.

      Now let’s get to the fraud in higher education:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of white high school graduates in 2016 enrolled in college, and 58 percent of black high school graduates enrolled in college. 


     These numbers are broken down by race, but overall nearly 66% of our high school graduates go on to college immediately after graduation. The fraud here is evident: how can it possibly be that 25% of our high school students are ready for college math, but 66% of them are accepted into college?

     The answer, of course, is remediation. Wide swaths of our students go into remedial programs. These are dead ends, and around 90% of students going into remedial programs get nothing out of college but expenses, more likely debt, and a big waste of time. Even those who manage to get a degree out of college often get degrees of minimal, if any, value.

      It’s a huge waste, and the numbers are self-evident.

One study suggests that more than two-thirds of community college students take at least one remedial course, as do 40 percent of four-year college students.


      I don’t know this study, but I’ve shown repeatedly that some 90% of community college work is non-college, often lower than 9th grade material. Students come into college needing considerable remediation, the numbers are very clear here…let’s consider an implication.

      We have many students coming onto campus needing remedial work in reading/writing, and mathematics. So they take a remedial English course, and a remedial mathematics course. Fair enough.

     But a student needs to be a “full time” student to get that sweet student loan and grant money which flows most prodigiously into administrative pockets. To be full time, a student needs 12 credit hours.

     3 credit hours goes to that remedial English.

     3 credit hours goes to that remedial mathematics.

      The student needs 6 more credit hours…what to do with students not ready for college material? Load up the course catalogue with many bogus courses which, quite obviously, can NOT be college level (because the student is not college level). Thus we have all these silly Gender Studies and Impact of Michael Jackson and Sexual Deviancy courses all over campus. They’re not academic, they’re not educational…they just soak up the money of the hopeless suckers students while they’re on campus.

     The situation is, of course, worse in sportsball:

During a recent University of North Carolina scandal, a learning specialist hired to help athletes found that during the period from 2004 to 2012, 60 percent of the 183 members of the football and basketball teams read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels. About 10 percent read below a third-grade level. Keep in mind that all of these athletes both graduated from high school and were admitted to college.


      Please understand, many of the students coming on to campus aren’t simply “1 semester” behind college material; in fact, only a tiny minority of students are so academically elite. My own eyes from my community college years tells me the bulk are around 8th grade in overall skill level. Many community college campuses have mathematics courses addressing basic addition and subtraction, 3rd grade material…and anyone who bothers to look at the course offerings can see this with their own eyes.

      We have fraud here no matter how we look at the situation. It clearly takes 4 years to bring a student from 8th grade to 12th grade. If it didn’t, then our public schools are frauds for taking so long. Yet colleges claim they cover 4 years of education in 4 months all the time. So, are our colleges lying, or our schools? (Warning: trick question!)

      Much as our leaders in the public schools boast of their “success” even though it’s obvious fraud, so it is our leaders in higher education also take pride in their bogus success.

      I agree with Walter Williams’ conclusion:

I’m not sure about what can be done about education. But the first step toward any solution is for the American people to be aware of academic fraud at every level of education.


      If the people only knew about the huge fraud of the community colleges, they would (and should) close them down overnight, and the same can be said of quite a few universities as well.

      I can’t claim to know what can be done about our public education system (beyond simply closing it all down), but I suggested a series of solutions for fixing higher education in my book.

       But, as Mr. William’s says, first people need to know about the obvious fraud here…

   







Thursday, July 5, 2018

Move Over Penn State: Michigan Sex Scandal 5x Worse




By Professor Doom

    Last time I covered the sex scandal at USC, which was far larger than Penn State in terms of numbers of victims. Sadly, we have so many major long running sex scandals on our campuses that it’s helpful to categorize them.

       USC might end up having the most victims. Penn State may well be the most horrific, but in terms of court penalties, it was “only” $100,000,000. Another scandal just dominates this not-exactly paltry sum:



      I remember as a kid talking about someone “winning” a million dollars, a sum of money my young mind found incomprehensibly large. But now we have a campus sex scandal so large that literally half a billion dollars is what the court sees as fair compensation for the damage done. I rather suspect this sum is incomprehensible to many, so to put it in context: towns have been destroyed by natural disasters, and that kind of damage is roughly comparable to what was allowed to happen at Michigan State. These bastards destroyed a small town with their coverup, at the very least.

      I covered this scandal a bit before, focusing on how the Poo Bah, almost certainly not truly involved, nobly fell on her sword in a futile attempt to remove even a bit of tarnish off Michigan State.

      Trouble is, this scandal was yet another multi-decade cover-up involving hundreds of victims, the sheer size and duration of which is utterly impossible without there being a deep and deeply corrupt infrastructure solidly in place at MSU.

      I gave the President of Michigan State a pass, since there was evidence that the structure was in place years before her ascension into power. What is not in evidence? Any indication that the corrupt infrastructure has been exposed and rooted out.

Michigan State will pay $500 million to survivors of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse in what is believed to be the largest settlement ever in a sexual misconduct case involving a university.
Attorneys representing 332 claimants reached an agreement…
     
      It’s nice that these victims will get several hundred thousand apiece (once lawyers and others get their cut)…but where are the mass firings and criminal prosecutions?
As part of a plea deal, Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in state prison for criminal sexual conduct.

      Sure, yeah, the guy doing the molesting goes to prison. But what of the many administrators who silenced victim after victim after victim for over 20 years? How can I be the only person to think this is a relevant question?
 A recent report conducted by a law firm for Michigan State said members of the campus community who were surveyed in the past year "overwhelmingly concluded that there is room for significant improvement"…

     Yeah, no kidding, they probably paid that law firm hundreds of thousands of dollars to come the conclusion that things could be improved here.
University spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said school leaders will now work on a way to pay the bill.

    I’m screaming inside. The “leaders” will work on a way to pay the bill? Will any of the leaders pay? No. The taxpayers will pay. That the taxpayers have already paid for the huge student loan scam which allowed the corrupt infrastructure to be built leading to this settlement should be a factor here. How about rooting out the corruption and getting those guys to pay a little? It’s easier to nail the taxpayers, I suppose.
      Allow me to present just one small headline giving a hint how they could pay this bill:

The Diversity Staff at the University of Michigan Is Nearly 100 Full-Time Employees

If you fell out of your chair upon realizing that the University of Michigan has a full-time diversity staff of nearly one hundred employees, one of whom earns more than the president of the United States, you can be forgiven.

      

    Now, University of Michigan isn't MSU, but...the money's coming from the taxpayers in any event. I assure the gentle reader that any financial hit to MSU will reverberate through the entire educational system of that state. So why not just close down these Diversity departments?

    These guys get at least $100,000 a year apiece, quite often much more. Eliminating the diversity staff just on this one campus would yield an easy 10 million bucks (more once you factor in the sweet fringe benefits these guys give themselves) a year, but there’s no evidence that they’re even considering such  a reasonable idea.

     Guess what other evidence is missing here? Any indication accreditation will do anything at all to the Michigan State admin for their grotesque oversight.
     They could, and should, withdraw accreditation (destroying that corrupt infrastructure in a way the “leaders” of that infrastructure will never do). Accreditation could easily do so for two justifications. First, by institutional lack of integrity (obvious from the 20 years in which this scandal occurred), which is part of accreditation rules. Second is by lack of fiscal stability, another accreditation rule which says an accredited school must be fiscally secure, obviously not the case with a half billion dollar settlement.
      If the school is not shut down (and it won’t be), we have another problem: year after year, tuition increases and faculty pay remains flat. “We need more money,” scream the leaders of the school. But if the school can come up with half a billion dollars to pay this settlement, why should anyone in the future believe the school doesn’t have money?
      And again I’m asking questions which never seem to come up in press coverage, not that this historic settlement seems to be on any of the big sites much at all. The student loan scam created the conditions for this settlement to occur, and while there’s some balance in the student loan scam eventually paying off the settlement, I still maintain we must end the student loan scam, the better to keep these scandals from happening ever again.






Monday, July 2, 2018

Yet Another Massive Uni Sex Scandal




By Professor Doom

     Your typical state university campus is, to the eye, a beautiful place. From initial construction, each building is generally designed with eye appeal in mind, usually augmented by landscaping, particularly lovingly tended old trees. The student loan scam has enhanced this feature, and the gorgeous stone buildings on our stately campuses are now augmented with glittering glass palaces to hold the administrative lords supported by all that money.

     It’s always a wonder what, exactly these people do. Even after years of consideration, I can offer few answers, and what answers I have are invariably negative, varying between undermining education and protection of rapists and thugs. These are evil activities, but the gentle reader should keep in mind that these people are grown from the student loan scam, a vicious trap which has damaged or destroyed the lives of tens of millions of our kids, entrapping them just as they leave high school. It’s no great stretch to conjecture such evil fertilizer would yield evil fruits.

      It almost seems our campuses are in competition to see which one can produce the largest, most long running sex scandal. One can hope Penn State will rest on its laurels as most horrific, but another state school is making a bid in terms of number of victims:

With scandal over gynecologist's abuse of students growing, Southern California announces "orderly transition" just days after board leaders said they backed the president.

  
    In addition to scale, what allows this scandal to receive its own special award is it has little to do with sportsball on campus. This is noteworthy, because usually when there’s a sex scandal involving sportsball, the “leaders” who run our schools justify their coverup as follows: the sportsball program getting a bad reputation would harm everyone involved in the athletics at the school, and so the victims are considered collateral damage, perfectly acceptable considering all the other harm sportsball already does to higher education.

      The move comes amid a growing scandal over abuse of students by a campus gynecologist, George Tyndall, and other incidents in which the university is perceived to have failed to act on misconduct by powerful officials.


       Universities have wide leeway when it comes to investigating crimes on campus. When a crime is reported, the report goes to a university administrator. Now, when your job only exists because of the great harm you’re doing to kids just out of high school, it’s only natural not to care that much about another young victim. So it’s quite common for reports of crimes, particularly sex crimes, to simply get covered up.

       But the scale here is enormous:

Since the Los Angles Times first reported on the abuse of female students seeking treatment in the campus health center, more than 300 students have come forward with complaints about how they were treated. Some reported having alerted officials about what was going on -- raising questions not just about the conduct of the doctor but of the university in failing to stop abuse.


     More than 300 students and rising. Wow. As is so often the case, the victims duly reported the crimes being done to them, only find the complaints, no matter how severe, falling into a black hole. I have to digress a bit: it’s strange how a student complaint about my assigning homework will cause a deanling to leap into action with official documentation requiring me to cease and desist my deplorable behavior. Were the students here complaining about things even more trivial than homework?

“…photographed female students while examining them, touched them inappropriately and made sexually suggestive comments while examining them. Many of the female students were from China and may have felt particularly vulnerable to him. [The doctor] denied wrongdoing...” 


      It should be noted that the doctor involved has not yet been convicted of anything, so it’s possible this is just a huge media distortion. That said, and much like the Democrats have learned, these types of claims achieve more credibility when there are many, many of them…and we’re over 300 here. Also, the Poo Bah is stepping down over this scandal, adding more credibility.

      I will supply a bit of motive for this coverup, since the usual “protect sportsball” excuse won’t fly here. Our state schools charge extreme tuition to “out of state” students, particularly foreign students. They’re justified in doing so, since they’re supported by tax dollars of the residents of the state. Thus it’s “reasonable” from an administrative point of view to cover up an (apparent) systematic program of sexual exploitation of foreign students…if word got out, it would cut into that sweet tuition money.

The university now says that, "in hindsight," it should have reported him. Since the initial report, more women have come forward to say that they reported Tyndall years ago, leaving many to believe that the university could have prevented many women from being abused had it acted earlier.


      “In hindsight,” indeed. I assure the gentle reader, the only regret our leaders here could possibly feel is the regret of being caught. If any admin actually gave a damn, they had literally hundreds of opportunities to demonstrate as much by reporting these complaints, like it’s done off campus.

      The reader really needs to understand how there’s an entire infrastructure of corruption at many of our state schools, and the article addresses this by mentioning a scandal involving another administrator, with a strong record of drug-related criminality.

      The infrastructure always goes with stonewalls and coverups:

… a series of inquiries over 15 months it made to the university seeking information about the then dean's conduct. In one case, a reporter delivered a sealed note requesting an interview about the matter to [Poo Bah]’s home, only to have the note returned, unopened, the next day by courier with a letter from the university's vice president for public relations and marketing saying the reporter had crossed the line.


     It’s a safe bet the title of “vice president for public relations” is long enough to merit the position being summarily closed, as per my simple guidelines for improving education. In any event, the VP here once again has me scratching my head as to what, actually, the job entails…do note the VP gets over $150,000 a year (plus many perks) to simply return unopened mail. It does raise the question: are so many scandals being covered up that it’s just policy not to even bother reading mail from reporters since it’s not even possible for a reporter to be covering good news?

       In any event, this deanling was removed. Only to be replaced by an even more problematic deanling:

"The woman accused [new deanling] of making unwanted sexual advances during a trip to a conference and then retaliating against her for reporting him, according to the records and interviews. USC paid her more than $100,000…” Later, however, the university promoted him to dean -- at least until the newspaper called with its story.


     Again, this wasn’t resolved in court, but the university forked over $100,000, so it’s safe to believe something was going on. And, knowing that this guy was a menace, a vicious exploiter of the vulnerable, the school realized he was most suitable to be an administrator, and so they promoted him to dean. Again, having worked at state schools, I know how hard it is to get even a $5 light bulb changed “because of budget,” but there’s plenty of money to pay off sex scandals. That kind of money gets written into the budget, unlike money for education expenses.

     After the payout, they gave the guy a promotion. The article doesn’t ask the question, of course, but I will: what exactly is the hiring process where you can get a sequence of people like this? It’s a fair question, as this hiring process is clearly what allows for an infrastructure of corruption on this campus.

     Now, this is all ongoing, but I’ll make the safe predictions of huge golden parachutes for several administrators, and a massive settlement. It’s fitting that both of these will be paid for by the student loan scam, as the entire scandal could only exist because of the student loan scam. I approve of making payments to the victims, though I suspect most of that money will end up going to lawyers and vague “improvements” much like at Penn State.

      That said, I repeat my refrain: just end the student loan scam already.