Friday, November 21, 2014

Professor Criticizes Higher Ed, Uses Real Name: Oops!





By Professor Doom

     I’ve seen many professors criticize what administration is doing, and I’ve seen them punished severely, every time. Even straightforward criticisms like “The Dean’s girlfriend shouldn’t get that job over someone with actual qualifications” is basically a career-ending mistake, as too few legitimate faculty exist to stand against even the most miscreant behavior. 

     Even tenured professors with long and distinguished careers are in immediate jeopardy if they dare try to do anything about the various madnesses infecting higher education. Today, I’ll like to introduce my gentle readers to Barry Spurr, an Australian Professor of Poetry of some note, who dared voice a criticism of the multiculturalism in Australian education in a curriculum review:


     Australian education, like in the US, has been infested with Educationists. While here we have an over-reliance on Gender Studies and African Studies coursework (together demonizing the white male), Australia, it seems, devotes considerable time and appreciation to the aborigine culture there, to the detriment (in Professor Spurr’s learned opinion), of other fields of knowledge and other cultures.  


--“Abo” is short for “Aborigine”

     Professor Spurr had numerous other criticisms, but little different than anything said elsewhere. Australian administrators are every bit as vicious as the ones here. Ok, that’s just conjecture on my part, but, somehow, days after his criticisms, Professor Spurr’s private e-mails from long ago were released to the public, and, somehow, the media was instantly perfectly confident the e-mails were legitimate, and thus these e-mails were quickly published.

     I find it curious that when government agencies get hacked, the media takes a long, hard, time before releasing any information they get, but this guy’s e-mails were released instantly. Hmm.

     I mean, seriously, the time between “criticism” and “private e-mails released” is so short that it’s hard not to consider this as some sort of retaliation. These e-mails reveal some, shall we say, “indelicate racial humor”, as well as further criticism of goings on.

     I concede Spurr’s defense is pretty feeble. That said, we’re talking 2 year’s worth of e-mails here…it’s highly curious that nobody in the media suspects an ulterior motive, or is able to figure out a possible source (hint: administration has full access to all e-mail accounts). Spurr claims the e-mail snippets were taken out of context, and, alas, the media isn’t providing complete transcripts (“for ethical reasons”—I’m glad I wasn’t drinking milk when I read that!). So, despite Spurr’s odd defense, the unwillingness of the source to provide full transcripts, just the parts that make Spurr look bad, leaves me little choice but to at least consider Spurr’s defense.

     Let’s look at a few quotes of what he privately said to see what got the good professor immediately suspended, and is, somehow, being used to justify negating what he had to say about the curriculum review. While no defense is necessary, I’ll add some comments:

Good series on SBS about the Amish in these weeks. Once in their lives, as late teens, they go in a group from Pennsylvania into 'the world' for a few weeks. The progam showed four of them, two boys, two girls, going to the UK this year for this excursion. The juxtaposition of these impeccably mannered, demurely dressed, softly spoken, intelligent (and not self-righteous or morbidly pious) youngsters up against the reality of modern-day Brit was as fascinating as it was terrible.


--How DARE the good professor suggest that devout Christians are in any way superior to British youth and their government education! While most media reports ignore this quote, I think it’s a good quote, since it tells me Professor Spurr is looking up from his books and asking questions about the possibility that what’s going on in government schools is Not A Good Thing. I must continue this passage, because it’s so revealing of Professor Spurr’s character:

This week came the most ironic moment of all. They had gone to spend a week with some minor nobility in their Scottish castle. These toffs consisted of divorced mum and four teenagers - the two girls looking and sounding like low-grade Soho whores (caked with makeup and mascara, grubby denim micro-mini-skirts and 'you know', 'yeah', 'like', 'kinda wow' etc) and the boys, monosyllabic scruffy slobs. 

After every segment, the program has the Amish youngsters commenting on what they're experiencing and this week's took the cake, in this context. It was one of the Amish girls, pretty, fresh-faced, squeaky-clean, beautifully, softly spoken in grammatical sentences and, of course, in a long dress and hair neatly groomed. And this is what she said, while the whores and louts were lounging and cavorting in the distant background: 'We have been very privileged to meet these high class British people. Their world is very different from ours. I never thought I would come to such a place and meet such people of the high class'. High class!!

Hilarious, and she was so innocent I don't think she saw the irony of her well-mannered phrase, as the scum of the earth were behind her. The only class act was hers.

--The Professor is being castigated for the use of “whore”, but, again, I want to remind the gentle reader that this is a private e-mail, not a formal discussion. And again, it’s clear the Professor is questioning what’s going on in the world. Does anyone else remember when the British Isles were famous for their politeness and civilized nature? Now, nigh-literally, it’s the Luddites who are the civilized. Why doesn’t media mention this passage at all? Hmm.

     Unlike the media, I’ll show both sides of the good professor’s private e-mails, focusing on the more negative ones next time.




    

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How’s Ferguson’s Community College?




By Professor Doom

     Ferguson’s been perpetually in the news the last few months, over the shooting of Michael Brown. It seems the citizens there don’t reckon they’re getting a fair shake from the police, which supposedly perform a “public service” for the good people of Ferguson. I’m inclined to agree, whatever Brown’s alleged transgressions…but I want to talk a little about the community college in Ferguson.

      In the past, I’ve shown that most community colleges are criminal enterprises, which flaunt Federal law with impunity, and exist mostly to fleece people out of their college loan money, in exchange for particularly worthless pseudo-college coursework.

     Ferguson has a community college, Saint Louis Community College (STLCC) at Florissant Valley. Let’s take a look at the “public service” the community college there is performing. Recall that Federal law only allows college student loan money for work that is at the 9th grade or better. STLCC has a very nice website, it takes all of 30 seconds to see that, indeed, they offer plenty of coursework that is well below the 9th grade. For example, consider



     “Operations on whole numbers” is complicated-sounding edu-speak…it refers to calculations like “7 + 2”. It’s hard to claim this is 9th grade level work. So, like most every community college, it’s highly likely they’re in violation of Federal law. It’s worth pointing out accreditation determines if a school should get student loan money. It’s also worth pointing out that these schools have legions of administrators to make sure the rules are being followed.

     And it’s very, very, much worth pointing out that anybody with a computer and web access can tell right away this school is in violation. Weird how none of these ridiculously highly paid people can perform this task and make corrections…could it be because administration gets first cut of the Federal Pell and loan loot, leaving the students to eventually pay the bill?

     Well, ok, STLCC is only making the same “mistake” lots of schools make, perhaps it’s just a fluke that they’re screwing over their students so. A student starting in that course will be taking 3 years of coursework before he’ll get to a class that will actually transfer to a university or that covers material not available in every high school in the country.


      It’s interesting that high schools with a dropout rate above 50% are considered disgraceful. Shouldn’t that be more or less the standard of schools in higher education too? Especially since, you know, high schools have to take everyone, while schools in higher education can restrict entrance, even if they’re “open admission”. So, with any integrity at all, an institution of higher education can easily break 50% graduation.

     I wonder how well STLCC is doing? 

“…But few earn a degree…The campus’s graduation rate is 6.4 percent,”

     6.4%? Um, that’s quite a bit lower than 50%.

     Hmm, I wonder if that little statistic is plastered all over the front pages of newspapers in Ferguson? That’s a dropout rate of above 90%, a high school that performed like that would be a huge national disgrace. A graduation/transfer rate of 6.4%? Seriously, that’s beyond abysmal.

     Maybe it’s debatable if the people of Ferguson are getting fair treatment from their police department, but there’s no debate that what’s going on in their community college is far, far, away from fair.

     I totally grant that what’s going on at Ferguson’s community college is little different than what’s happening at community colleges across the country: students are being lured in with “cheap” classes, getting suckered into taking out loans and grants for fake coursework that will not help them in any way. Then, 3 years later, most of these students—93.6% of those in Ferguson, but many community colleges are comparable--find out that they’ve been cheated. Some of these young people will avoid crushing debt (although most are just Pell Grant scammers facilitated by scamming administrators), but all will have wasted years of their lives chasing a dream—a dream that ruthless, pitiless administrators will exploit, rather than guide the young to help achieve.

      The wounds that the community college scam are inflicting on our youth may not be as lethal as from the police, or as violently inflicted, or so obvious. Nevertheless, the many small schools of the community college system, far more than police departments, are inflicting horrific damage on the population of this county.

     It’s not enough to simply read this post and say “too bad.” Please, gentle reader, consider printing out a few copies of this, and distributing it to the local schools. The media won’t tell parents of the 6% or so “success rate” of community college, but this information really, really, needs to be spread around. It’s a curious irony that the only way to stop this higher education scam is through education, but if enough people knew what a trap community college is, I suspect it would create far fewer victims.

     Is it worth a shot?




     

          

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Repost: Curing Grade Inflation







By Professor Doom

     The recent UNC scandal, where students took completely bogus courses to get a better GPA, puzzled me. See, the average grade in college now is an A-...you really, really, have to be a terrible student not to do well.

    "Grade inflation" is the term used to describe why grades are so much higher now, and it's can be fixed, easily. Allow me to repost this fix to something of a problem.

     First, I want to talk about how grade inflation got to the point that a graduating student with a GPA below 3.5 is now rather uncommon:

     Coursework is a joke, for most courses, anyway. The entire reason for this is the administrative control of higher education, but it’s rather indirect. Administrators only want retention and growth, and education just isn’t on the agenda.

“Exceeds expectations.”
--in order to qualify to apply for promotion at one of my institutions, the faculty would need to have this on his evaluation for three straight years. The evaluation is given by exactly one administrator, in my case an administrator who has never taught a course and admits has no means of evaluating anything mathematically related. By the way, punishment is meted out if anyone hints that there might be some lack of due process there.

      Administrators control hiring and firing, and to a vast extent, control promotion and advancement in higher education. Their primary means of evaluating faculty is through student evaluations. Now, granted, students are probably not the most qualified to determine if the faculty knows what he’s doing…but I do admit it’s better than being evaluated by wildly incompetent typical administrators.

“22%”
--after being allowed to apply for promotion, this is how much of the promotion is dependent upon student evaluations. The faculty voted and agreed that 12% would be all student evaluations would count for, but administration secretly added another 10%. I became unpopular with admin for exposing this.

     While students are more qualified than administrators to evaluate faculty, it’s still a funny business, with obvious consequences. Faculty that catch, much less punish, cheaters are slammed heavily by cheaters when it’s evaluation time—this is why cheating is so prevalent in higher education today, as faculty quickly learn not to even look for cheaters. Faculty that assign “too much work” (this amount decided by students) are also punished by students come evaluation. Faculty that assign tests that cannot be easily passed are punished by students. Faculty that actually fail students are punished severely by students.

      Study after study after study has shown the obvious: student evaluations correlate strongly with grades. Better grades give better evaluations.

“…norms against holding exams except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays…”
--a professor explains a useful trick for better student evaluations. Tests on these days are less likely to interfere with drinking and sporting events, important student pastimes.

      Herpy derpy doo! Is it any wonder at all the most common grade in higher education is A?

"For education, 71% of the grades were A's; in music, it was 67% A's,"
--sorry, I had to take one more dig at Education, it’s one easy target I love to hit. How did no administrator look at 71% of grades being an A and think that maybe the class was far too easy? Realize about 20% of students in most classes get an F, simply because they never show up, so really we’re talking 71% A’s, 20% got an F for never even showing up, and the rest got C for showing up on the last day of classes and begging to be passed. It’s a grade distribution that administrators with experience teaching would find highly suspicious.

 Faculty like me, that assign work, give actual tests, and think it should be possible to fail a course, are a rare (and admittedly, stupid) breed in higher education.

“…it is clear that he was denied tenure for one reason: failing too many students. “
--The administrative stranglehold over hiring and tenure is a major factor in the annihilation of standards, honest. Tenure used to be granted for scholarship and research…but it can still be denied if admin is displeased. Interfering with retention and growth displeases admin.


      Now, many of the fixes I’ve proposed previously will offset some of the problem of grade inflation. I do feel, however, that student evaluations are of some minimal use in evaluating a teacher, and the fact remains that teachers who don’t do their jobs get better evaluations than teachers with integrity. My fixes are very vulnerable to being undone by an institution loaded with faculty that don’t do their job (for example, courses could be taught by Math Education, English Education, Physics Education, Music Education, and Art Education degree holders…those are links to online offerings, for your convenience, and no, you don’t need to know the subject to get into the graduate program, which likewise doesn’t cover the subject. And, of course, you can just hire someone else to take the courses for you).

“there is a clear expectation from administrators …that 70 percent of students should pass.”
Wow, and I thought the 85% passing rate mandated at a university I taught at was unusual. Faculty that don’t meet a percentage ‘suggested’ by admin are removed. I again point out, that both this institution and the one I was at were fully legitimately accredited. How can grades mean anything when admin determines grading policy? The students realize that most of them will pass, so are highly unmotivated to study. Even if a student fails, he can just take the course again, and probably get into the lucky % that are guaranteed to pass. Imagine if medical doctors got their credentials that way…


     Because of grade inflation, GPA is completely meaningless. This is unfortunate, because GPA is one way for a prospective employer to distinguish one college graduate from another.

      So here is at least a partial fix: grades aren’t assigned by the teacher of the course. Instead, students must take tests constructed and graded by someone not teaching that particular course section. For more writing-intensive courses, the papers would still need to be graded by people not teaching the course. Now a teacher can’t boost his evaluations just by giving easy grades and no assignments. A teacher can no longer load up the course with bogus assignments without anyone knowing about it (trust me, it happens. A lot. Edit--I wrote this essay long before the UNC scandal became common knowledge).

      This sounds like a radical, unworkable, idea, but wait just a second. The SAT?  ACT? PRAXIS? PARCC (at some point I’ll talk about Common Core, honest)? GRE? GMAT? These are all tests that grade students, at least if you’re willing to consider a score as a grade, with both grade and test given by people that did not teach the students. My idea might be untried, but it’s hardly without unrelated precedent.

     This doesn’t get faculty off the hook for grading student work, of course—they’ll just be grading someone else’s students’ work. I imagine there will be lots of standardized testing in any event (keep in mind, almost all Psychology courses are graded via Scantron machines anyway). There should also be an exit exam for degree holders—just a general exam to see if the graduates are actually learning anything and gaining skills. Academically Adrift has shown higher education is a flat out embarrassment, and a double embarrassment considering the vast sums of money involved. Administrators don’t care if students don’t learn…but educators and people of integrity do, and something needs to be done.

      I imagine “But teachers will just teach towards the test!” will be given as protest against this idea. It’s a protest given against high stakes testing today…but it’s a protest only given by the ignorant or intellectually dishonest.

“43%”

--this is the average grade for one year at one institution I taught, for their departmental exam. Yes, that’s a very solid F; it was a multiple choice exam, so even a toaster would score 25%, to give an idea of how little the students were learning. Nevertheless, the average departmental grade was still A. Why? Because the teachers were not obligated to use the departmental exam when they give the final grades for their students. The students had to take the test…it was just irrelevant. Honest, grades mean nothing now. Professors receive praise from admin for giving an A to every student. Professors that don’t get praise, get fired.


      Let me help out the ignorant that make such a protest: when I teach, I already teach towards the test. Granted, I teach towards the test I make and give, but I’m still teaching towards the test. I make absolutely sure that students have every opportunity to learn what will be on the test, and to gain those skills. Every teacher already teaches toward the test.

      I’ve never heard of a teacher that deliberately teaches only the material that won’t be on the test.  What a silly thing to do, what a silly protest “teachers are just teaching towards the test” is…that’s what teachers always do (except for the thoroughly psychotic ones, which is what student evaluations can identify with 49% accuracy). Instead of teaching towards “my” test on calculus, I might teach towards a standardized calculus test. Perhaps that won’t be as easy for me, but it’s not so great a change.

 


     Last time around I proposed my least workable fix for higher education, addressing the problem of grade inflation. Grade inflation is a natural consequence of student evaluations being basically the only means of evaluating faculty, since a student evaluation is just a reflection of the grade the student thinks he’s going to get. My fix, let grades and tests be given not by the teacher of the course, is great in theory, and not without precedent…but has a few problems beyond simple resistance to change, a resistance that will be very strong by corrupt typical higher education.  


Student: “How come we didn’t do any of this any of the other times I took this course?”
--quite often I get students that have taken, and failed, math class three or more times with other faculty. As these students systematically take faculty until they find one that can pass them, they eventually end up in my course. Often they fail. Then they go to another faculty, and pass. Sometimes I get hate mail from students saying “I finally found a good teacher,” little realizing that the reason they finally could move ahead was I gave them a push.


      I grant this isn’t feasible for highly specialized coursework (i.e., graduate school, which I hope to get to later—I’m sorry to keep saying “I’ll get to this later”, but higher education is fraudulent on so many levels, that even though I’ve now posted over 100,000 words on it, there’s still much to cover). It almost certainly won’t work for heavily skill-based work, like, say, piano playing. I should probably address the latter, because it highlights yet another problem: why are all degrees 4 years long? It’s so bizarre that, according to higher education, it takes just as long to train a chemist as it does to train a high school guidance counselor or a parking lot attendant

     Administrators and Educationists in higher education devote a positively stupid amount of time looking at education, but this obvious issue has yet to come up, at least as near as I can tell.  I guess “not every degree should take the same amount of time” is too radical an idea for now, however. A related idea is “why does it cost just as much to take a course in the factual truth of calculus as it does to hear the questionable arguments of diversity or the material of 3rd grade math?” but now I’m getting way off topic.

     Back to the original idea. Putting testing and grading out of the teacher’s hands (at least, for his own students) would go a long way to restoring legitimacy to higher education. 

     Unfortunately, it will take years before that sort of system is fully implemented, assuming schools had the guts to do it.

     I have another fix that is quite trivial to implement, would serve in the interim, and would serve even after a more sane grading system is set up. Here goes: give an exit exam to all graduating students. An exit exam upon graduation would give employers a far better measure of what the degree means than the utterly useless GPA of today. Just one general exam to verify the students have learned a little something, before the degree is awarded.


“$2300”
--as a student, I was on the honors council of presidents—a student “club” consisting entirely of presidents of other student clubs. Our sole source of revenue was selling a tassel that we sold to graduating students to put on their cap at graduation. Our monthly irrelevant meetings were VERY well catered, as the above was our average yearly revenue.


     Would graduating students be willing to take one more exam? Absolutely. Already, students get their degrees held up for unpaid library dues, making them take that one more exam before they get the degree would be trivial.

      Unlike my grading system, such exams already exist. For example, the GRE General exam would work perfectly for this purpose, since it’s specifically intended for college graduates. I don’t work for ETS, the makers of the exam, but that exam has been around for years, with no major cheating scandals, and nothing but legitimacy to it…the latter is the kind of thing higher education needs.

     The scores on the GRE aren’t the easiest to interpret…but they could be converted into percentiles that anyone can understand. No longer would “average” be an “A”…average would be around the 50th percentile, right where it should be. It would no longer be possible for everyone to get an A.

     Doing poorly on the exam wouldn’t prevent the student from getting his degree, any more than a relatively low GPA did back when low GPAs were possible. It would just be another number to put right next to the useless “4.0 GPA” that everyone has on the resume. In times past, the GPA was part of how someone evaluated a resume, but since GPA is now useless due to corrupted higher education, the GRE (or other standardized) test score could be used instead.


“Our best students average over 20 on the ACT!”
--local high schools take pride in having students that do well on standardized tests. I’m not wild about standardized tests, but we need them, as I’m less wild about the absolute fraud of higher education. Seeing as these tests already exist and are cheap to implement compared to college tuition, why not use them?


     And just like that, the completely bogus degree students could be separated from the students that actually had to do something to get their degree. It would also go a long way to eliminating the unjustified “legitimacy” of accreditation. An unaccredited school that turns out graduates with high GRE scores will humiliate, humiliate, humiliate all the accredited schools that crank out graduates that can’t break the 25th percentile on the GRE. Think about that for a second: an unaccredited school right now has nothing to offer students besides “we can’t give you federal loan money.” Easy grades? Nope, accredited schools already offer those. Easy courses? Ditto. Easy degrees? Ditto. But schools that can show their students do well in controlled settings? That’s a plus.

     In fact, schools that can’t get students to do well on the GRE will probably get questions asked of them, questions that nobody asks now, like “why is education so unimportant at this school?” and “Why do your college graduates consistently perform at the sub-high school level?” I bet universities that crank out students like that and get asked such questions will suddenly look into that “integrity” thing I keep talking about.

      I used to end my essays with a homework question, and I’ve been remiss of late in challenging the reader to think about what I’ve written. So, it’s long past time for an assignment:

     Administrators have known for years that most degrees are bogus and worthless. Administrators have also known for years that GPA is meaningless. Perhaps I’ve said some unduly harsh things about administrators. However, I seriously doubt I’m so blazingly brilliant that I’m the only one to come up with an idea of an exit exam for college graduates to alleviate the irrelevance of GPAs and even degrees.

     Homework question: why does the gentle reader suppose no administrator at any institution, from sleazy to ivy league, has taken even the simple step of an exit exam to encourage legitimacy to their institutions?

Think about it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

UNC Just Following the Fraud Template





By Professor Doom

      I really don’t want to give the impression I’m picking on UNC here. The extensive, epic, long-running fraud at UNC is nothing special. I daresay there’s a template for the fraud going on higher education, the only reason I’m discussing UNC is because it’s out in the open, at least in this one place. My book covers in detail what happened to higher education so that this level of fraud is now fairly standard at many supposedly legitimate, state-run, institutions (I don’t reckon anyone had any illusions about the legitimacy of most for-profit  institutions).

     A recent article picks some of the juicier bits of fraud out of Wainstein’s UNC report, but I feel the need to point out, as juicy as they are, they may as well be jerky in terms of such things being new information to anyone that actually works in higher education. I’ll try keep my reminders of “accreditation neither cares about fraud, nor has any means to stop academic fraud” to a minimum.

     So let’s look at what passes as news to people that don’t work in higher education:

“Crowder provided the students with no actual instruction, but she managed the courses from beginning to end,” the report states.”

     What, we had an instructor for thousands of students that performed “no actual instruction”? This is very common in higher education. Due to quirks in hiring, it’s quite possible for someone unqualified, and unqualifiable, to teach in high schools to nevertheless teach at the college level. I’ve seen them, and, yeah, they don’t do any actual instruction. As long as they pass lots of students, admin doesn’t care. A teacher that actually does instruct students runs a risk of student complaints…many professors don’t take the risk, even the competent ones.

“Wainstein’s investigation was yet another in a long series of university inquiries, none of which has managed to bring a close to a scandal that has been repeatedly revived by new allegations…”


     Administration, without integrity, is in a wonderful, wonderful, position to squelch any investigations into administrative lapses of integrity. Wainstein’s report wasn’t even close to the first attempt to expose the epic, widespread fraud going on at UNC. You pretty much have to be an idiot to believe that UNC administration, which managed to squelch all the previous investigative attempts, was ignorant of what was going on. That’s the problem with cover-ups, you see: if you cover up the activity, you can’t honestly claim you didn’t know about the activity. I have to include the weasel word “honestly” in that because administration keeps doubling down on their claims of ignorance and incompetence (not that they’re offering to return any of their massive salaries. Of course).

     I spent about two years trying to expose what was going on at one school; the cover up was complete, the retaliations were firm, and administration’s claims of “we didn’t know we were doing anything wrong” got ever more shrill as I demonstrated their attempts at cover-up. But I digress.

“…some of the most damning new evidence in Wainstein’s report comes in the form of internal documents and emails that the university presumably had access to all along…The report largely absolves high-level administrators of having direct knowledge of the fraud, but it blames a decentralised management style for allowing the fraud to go on for 18 years…”


     So, at best, the report says that all the administrative staff at UNC are wildly incompetent to the point that nobody, nowhere, could connect the dots. Even after years of people telling administration that there was systematic fraud going on at UNC, and circling the dots at every opportunity, administration says they just had no means to tell.

     This, too, is fairly common in higher education today. In the past, administration was drawn from people at the institution, primarily faculty. These people had loyalty to the institution, loyalty to their colleagues, loyalty to the alumni that faculty created. Nowadays, administrators are drawn from outside the institution…they have no loyalty to the institution, so they can casually destroy the integrity and reputation of the institution, and certainly care nothing for the faculty or alumni. Instead, they diligently look for, and exploit, ways to further destroy the integrity and reputation of the school. In return for this, they gain the ability to get a promotion…at another institution down the road, where the plunder begins anew.

     I’m not saying administrators aren’t often wildly incompetent (I’ve certainly documented it enough times), but the current system of fraud is set up so that, despite the intense hierarchy of administration, they can say it’s “decentralized” enough that nobody need take responsibility for anything, and certainly nobody need be in a position to connect the dots. 

      It’s the Penn State excuse all over again: despite report after report of eyewitness testimony of the chamber of horrors activities going on at Penn State, no administrator opened his mouth. Instead, he kept his mouth closed, brushed up his resume, sold out his integrity, and moved on up to another institution.

"We put them in classes that met degree requirements in which
They didn’t go to class
They didn’t take notes, have to stay awake
They didn’t have to meet with professors
They didn’t have to pay attention or necessarily engage with the material.
…"

     The above is a slide from a PowerPoint presentation, created by academic counselors, shown to UNC staffers to get them to grieve the loss of the fake classes, and to get students to sign up for the few that were left before it was too late. 

     I want to point out something with abundant clarity: NOBODY saw that and thought “gee, isn’t there some sort of academic fraud going on here?”   When this stuff is going up on PowerPoint and shown to an audience, it’s pretty clear there’s nobody around with any sense of academic integrity.

     Incidentally, the academic advisor who created the above slide has moved up and is now at a different campus. Of course. Did I mention that the “news” from this report isn’t news to anyone in higher education?

In one exchange, regarding a basketball player, Crowder asked Boxill if "a D will do."


"I’m only asking," Crowder wrote, "because 1. No sources, 2, it has absolutely nothing to do with the assignments for the class and 3. It seems to be a recycled paper."

"Yes," Boxill replied, "a D will be fine; that’s all she needs."

    What, you mean the professor is politely asking for permission to give a student a D for work that is wildly substandard? “Substandard” is actually a little generous: read the above description of the essay again, and realize the student could have easily have just turned in an Ann Landers column or something similar.

     This level of fraud at UNC is not news in higher education.

     Um, I’ve had an administrator specifically tell me to “help” a student despite clearly failing work, and, absolutely, I’ve felt the need to ask permission to fail students, even those that obviously were doing nothing in the course.

     UNC is not that special, really.

“In a review of 150 final papers written for AFAM classes, investigators found evidence that suggested plagiarism. In three out of five of the papers, a quarter or more of the text was found to be "unoriginal".”


      I had the opportunity to review a few dozen papers from a class by a certain professor, a professor with a reputation for “easy”, and receiving constant praise and promotion from admin. At least 50% of the student papers were OBVIOUSLY plagiarized, but all the students got A’s all the same.

     So, yeah, nothing new here, either. Sorry UNC, you’re not special.

“…Around 2005 or 2006, for example, Roberta (Bobbi) Owen, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, had lunch with Nyang’oro and complained about the "extremely high number" of independent studies he was personally offering. (He sometimes supervised more than 300 in an academic year.)…”


     Hey, did you catch the title there? Not just dean, not just associate dean, but SENIOR associate dean. Part of why tuition is so ridiculously high now, as I’ve shown in detail, is that there are now ridiculous numbers of administrators on campus, and these administrators make ridiculous salaries. Three levels of deanhood watching over…what, exactly? They obviously have nothing to do with education, or maintaining integrity, by their own admission, and the report agrees. So what do we need these deanlings for?

     Again, this is not news. I’ve made procedural mistakes, correctible with 5 minutes of effort, which nonetheless required 3 different administrators to let me know about the mistake. In writing. 

     Again, UNC is nothing special in having senior associate deans.

“…She never bothered to ask how Nyang’oro could possibly handle so many independent studies, the report says…”


     Did I mention the senior chief junior associate mid-level assistant sub-coordinator dean was female? That’s another weird quirk of higher education. I’ve nothing against females mind you, but it’s just statistically weird how that happens. I’m guessing the reason for it is administration doesn’t want to show gender bias in their hiring, so they make sure to bias their hiring to get lots of females in “leadership” positions…I wish my guess were facetious.

      So the guy is covering 300 papers a year, and there’s surprise that a professor is physically capable of that? But…classes with hundreds of students in them are fairly common in higher education now, how come nobody is asking how those classes could possibly have any educational value? It seems like someone should ask that question…

     And, again, professors with more students than they are physically capable of materially helping is common throughout higher education. UNC is not special here at all.

“…McMillan even signed grade sheets for courses he knew he had not taught, the report says. When pressed as to why, he had no good answer for investigators…”

     McMillan was not a tenure track professor, but a “lecturer.” The majority of professors in higher education now are not tenure track, have no job security, and are paid practically nothing. The only reason McMillan was allowed to keep his marginal job was he did what he was told. So, yeah, no wonder he had no good answer. He answers the investigator honestly, and he’s fired.

     And, again, this is not unique to UNC, most of higher education is taught by people in just as desperate a situation as McMillan.

     Ok, I guess it’s time find something else to write about, but before I finish for today, one more thing: UNC, like many other schools that practice this level of fraud, is fully accredited. 

     Accreditation means nothing, since schools self-report their legitimacy. Please, gentle reader, use UNC as an example for how well that self-reporting is working out.