Wednesday, May 31, 2017

UNC Fraud Penalty (Nothing) Paid In Full

By Professor Doom

     With all the Progressive silliness on campus today, it’s easy to miss a big underlying cause: a broken accreditation system.

     For newcomers, a quick primer on accreditation:

      Scholars came together to share information, and these gatherings turned into universities, with a mission of education: either humanity (by researching new knowledge) or of humans (by the teaching of that knowledge). As these institutions became formalized, scholars met with other institutions to learn from each other on how best to run a university. These meetings became established in the US in the 19th century, a time when travel and communication weren’t nearly so trivial as today; it’s why we have regional accreditation, despite the fact that this is an outdated monopoly system (if “Bob’s SKool of Degree Grantin’ “ opened up across the street from Harvard, it would be every bit as legitimate as Harvard, since both have the same accreditor).

    Accreditation was intended to be a good faith system for universities interested in improving themselves. The whole accreditation system is based on good faith, and so institutions always self-report their own legitimacy. When there was no money involved, and accreditation was voluntary, this was fine, but the student loan scam only provides money to accredited schools…and accreditation was never designed to deal with the inevitable corruption that comes with billions of dollars.

      UNC really highlighted how broken accreditation is. UNC, for nearly 20 years, ran wholesale fake courses in their African Studies Department; time and again faculty complained about the fraud, but UNC administrators investigated themselves and cleared themselves of wrongdoing, time and again. After so many years and thousands of students, the evidence was overwhelming to the point that the accreditor finally noticed.

      The penalty? 1 year of probation where UNC would have to stop committing fraud. Additionally, UNC would have to prove to UNC that UNC was no longer committing fraud, and then UNC would report to the accreditor that it had investigated itself, and shown it wasn’t committing fraud anymore. And, that 1 year is up. All that unpleasantness is just a distant memory now.

       Seriously, we really need to re-examine whether the assumption of good faith in accreditation is such a good idea, and whether the lack of penalties for violation of accreditation really makes sense with billions of dollars on the line. Part of the reason why UNC’s penalty for 20 years of fraud where they actively lied to accreditors time and time again was so light is because accreditation doesn’t stipulate any penalties—good faith, you see, why should there be penalties when the institution means well, right?

      I’ve been at a fake school where acts of academic fraud were an everyday occurrence. I honestly thought the school was defrauding accreditation but…the way how accrediting rules are written, the school can do whatever it wants as long as admin says it means well. It’s nuts.

      Anyway, after the systematic pattern of fraud was simply too well documented to deny, SACS (the accreditor) finally took action:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will not lose accreditation over the academic fraud that occurred there, but it will face one year of probation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges announced Thursday. In October, the university released a detailed report about widespread and long-lasting academic fraud at the university. For 20 years, some employees at the university knowingly steered about 1,500 athletes toward no-show courses that never met and were not taught by any faculty members, and in which the only work required was a single research paper that received a high grade no matter the content.

--one of the many lies admin told, and passed on here, was that the fraud only affected athletes…or didn’t affect athletes, as admin changed their tune depending on what spin they thought might work best. In any event, over 3000 students, many non-athletes, took these fake courses.

          With punishment meted out at long last, admin gladly accepted this “huge” penalty:

"The commission’s decision is the next step -- an expected consequence -- in Carolina’s tireless efforts to ensure integrity in everything we do and that the past irregularities are not allowed to recur," Carol Folt, UNC's chancellor, said in a statement.

      Hey, Carol’s title isn’t twice as long as her name…good for her. Still, I have to laugh at the “tireless efforts” phrase. Admin worked tirelessly to cover up this fraud, destroying the careers of whistleblowers and flat out lying in writing to SACS repeatedly. I really feel the need to point out that not a single administrator lost their job over facilitating this fraud…not even one. Tireless, they say.

       The complete lack of firings is a detail that requires some reading between the lines. The gentle reader should understand that a fired administrator would have nothing to lose by testifying against UNC, perhaps even providing evidence and a detailed account of exactly how deep the fraud went, or is still ongoing.

      So, yes, the complete lack of firings is strong evidence of deep systematic corruption at UNC, corruption that, since all the same administrators are there, could easily still exist. But I’m sure good faith will be enough to protect from that.

       As an added bonus, more administrators were hired to deal with the probation, with documenting that UNC wasn’t doing wrong any more. It’s a substantial document:

In January, UNC submitted a 200-page report to the accrediting body detailing the steps it has taken since the scandal came to light. The university will have to submit a similar update after the probationary period.

      So, they have to write a page a day, more or less. They probably opened up a whole new fiefdom with at least half a dozen vice presidents, each paid 6 figures a year…to write a page a day. I do so love sites that allow comments, so that readers can give a few clarifications to how ridiculous this all is:

Imagine you forged documents for years and your punishment was "send documents to prove you stopped."

     While brief, this comment pretty much sums it all up. For years, UNC submitted fraudulent documents telling SACS how legitimate UNC was. After finally being caught out, UNC’s punishment is, indeed, to submit another document telling SACS that UNC is legitimate. Good faith, you see.

      I’m not a bad person, I generally think the best of people, but I assure the gentle reader that UNC isn’t remotely the only school doing this. The for-profits receive condemnation for their frauds, but the only difference is the for-profit schools are actually being investigated by (more) legitimate bodies than accreditors. The only reason frauds at non-profits (and particularly state schools) are not being regularly exposed and shown to be massive is because there is no legitimate entity to do such an investigation. They’re fully accredited after all, and…good faith!

      It’s weird how so often I disagree with an article’s coverage, but generally don’t have a problem with the comments (ignoring the very brief comments). A rare comment I take issue with:

     About time, but I'm not sure probation is sufficient. I know of schools that have been closed for less. I don't care if this is UNC--this violation is pretty serious. There need to be more than cosmetic changes.

       Schools have been closed for less? When and where? Outside of a few for-profits that were shut down by accreditation (more accurately, the Feds shut them down for wildly blatant fraud, and accreditation lamely decided after the fact that the schools should be shut down), I’ve seen perhaps one other school…but that school was closing anyway. I’ve never seen a state school shut down by accreditation, but then I’ve never seen one realistically investigated. Good faith!

One year of probation for 20 years of unethical behavior. I'm sure some of the NCAA schools who lost scholarships and were not allowed post season play would love that kind of punishment.

     Ultimately, this is why the fraud at UNC was, eventually, caught: it was simply too blatant for the other sportsball institutions to overlook. UNC’s fraud was helping UNC win games, and that was cutting into the sportsball wins at the other schools. But this issue goes far deeper than sportsball, even as I begrudgingly yield my gratitude to college sportsball for its help in revealing this fraud.

     Does anyone not see that this light penalty will motivate other schools, especially sportsball-fanatic schools, to double down on the fraud?

      The completely blind and deaf accreditor who overlooked the decades of systematic fraud and lies of UNC-Chapel Hill? If you open a school in North Carolina, you’ll have to use that same accreditor. Every school in Florida, in Louisiana, in Georgia, or anyplace south of UNC also has no choice but to use this fake accreditor.

     Keep that in mind: every school that uses SACS could just as easily run a 20 year fraud, and now knows that the penalty for it will be a year of probation. Gee, how do parents feel about sending their kids to one of these schools? Just assume good faith by the school, you’ll be fine. I guess.

Really? It's time for SACS to be sacked. Every single institution that has worked hard to earn its accreditation from SACS should sue for fraud over this because any accreditation it grants is meaningless. Talk about an accrediting agency being a discredit to the profession! If UNC's 20 years of institutionalized fraud doesn't merit the permanent loss of accreditation, then nothing does.

      And so every degree from a SACS-accredited school should not even mention it came from an accredited school because the accreditation means nothing. When you consider that Penn State’s accreditor likewise couldn’t possibly know what’s going on in the showers (because it could only hear about such incidents from the administrators—good faith!), it’s not much of a stretch to wonder if perhaps no accreditors are doing much of a job.

       We’ll just have to hope good faith is good enough. Too bad you can’t pay tuition with good faith, eh?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Showing Up On Time And Financial Literacy Are Racist

By Professor Doom

     Despite the legions of administrators thought policing our campuses, our universities still seem to put out endless amounts of insanity. I’ve covered the whole “Milk is racist” madness before, but today I’ll highlight two more. First up, trying to teach the sort of behavior that might lead to a means of paying off student loans is, apparently, racist:

    I don’t want to come across as a whiner, as I chose this line of work, but the gentle reader really should get down on his knees and be grateful to never have been subjected to a Diversity Training workshop. YE GODS are these things abominations, utterly insulting the intelligence of everyone involved.

“You should teach pedophiles, murderers, criminals, and black people all the same way.”

--one of many useful pieces of information given to me at a diversity training workshop…I just can’t emphasize how relentlessly insultingly idiotic this “training” is.

     Like many professionals, professors often have some continuing education requirements, albeit its bogus education mostly imposed upon them by administrators eager to justify their jobs. Admin has no idea what they’re doing and, so they shop around to see which trainer sounds nice (Pro tip: put “Diversity” into your corporate name for maximum success) and offers the best kickback to the administrators for hiring them.

      Admin at Clemson University decided to blow $27,000 on “training” materials, and, as is always the case with diversity training, it’s pretty stupid stuff.

One slide features a guy named Alejandro who plans a meeting between two groups. Each group contains foreign professors and students. One group shows up 15 minutes early. The second group shows up 10 minutes late.

A question-and-answer section then instructs Clemson’s professors that Alejandro would be insufficiently “inclusive” if he were to “politely ask the second group to apologize.” Alejandro would also be wrong to advise the straggling, late people who aren’t respecting everyone else’s time that “in our country, 9:00 a.m. means 9:00 a.m.”

     I’m a professional. I apologize to my students when I’m a minute late to class…that’s how it works. It’s insulting to set a meeting time and then make the other party wait. That’s not culture, that’s  not racism that’s…how reality works. Every culture on the planet uses clocks, it’s just plain nuts that asking people to behave professionally and to apologize for even accidental disrespect is now “racism.”

     There are a few other examples of idiocy in the “training,” but the gentle reader should be curious who actually ordered this training. Didn’t she (going out on a limb) actually look and see what the training would entail?

Clemson’s chief diversity officer, Lee Gill, appears to have approved the $26,945 order.
Gill brings home a taxpayer-funded salary of $185,850 each year, according to The Tiger Town Observer, a conservative-leaning student newspaper at Clemson.

      Yes, of course, the title of “Chief Diversity Officer” is twice as long as the title holder’s name, and so we all know that this is a position that can be safely eliminated without harming a single student’s education. Please, consider how much good could have been done if that “taxpayer-funded salary” of an astronomical $185,850 a year (plus benefits which, by themselves, are more than the yearly income of the average US citizen) were spent on education. We’re talking enough money to hire 4 full time faculty—in other words, enough money to pay for full scholarships for a room full of students (a student generally takes 4 courses a semester, after all). This scholarship idea assumes a professor only teaches 1 course. Professors typically teach 4, to give an idea of just how poorly our resources are being used here.

      Honest, there’s so much money sloshing around in higher education that we could easily fix things with just a bit of common sense, or at least a touch of financial literacy, enough to know spending a fortune on a Chief Diversity Officer won’t do nearly as much for education as hiring teachers and providing scholarships.

     Oh, wait, we can’t have financial literacy in higher education, because, financial literacy is racist, too:

Study: It’s Racist to Teach Students Financial Literacy

     We’re burying our kids in student loan debt, and I’ve complained repeatedly that this is evil…and been chastised by admin for suggesting that there’s anything wrong with exploiting the ignorant, even in an institution that swears in writing (as per accreditation) to act with integrity.

      Some schools do attempt some limp teaching of fiscal responsibility, but those courses are now receiving criticism, not for being weak, but for being racist. Seriously:

      …these courses are actually racist, argue two professors in a newly published paper in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review.

The paper, written by Duke’s William A. Darity and the New School’s Darrick Hamilton, argues that financial-literacy courses presume that the problem is simply that students of color lack of financial responsibility or financial knowledge…

     You know, if these courses were specifically targeted at a particular minority, this claim might be viable but, like most every course on campus, it’s not intended for a particular group, beyond “kids fresh out of high school.”

      Some more of their claims:

The real problem, Darity and Hamilton argue, is that too many black and Hispanic students begin at a disadvantage; they’re poor, and without money, and so financial-literacy programs are irrelevant.

     Huh. Let’s try that with other topics. They’re poor, and without parabolas, and so algebra courses are irrelevant. They’re poor, and without sonnets, and so English literature courses are irrelevant. Honest, I’m trying here, but this is so stupid that it defies any attempt at reason.

      How insulting is it to assume that blacks and Hispanics will never, never, have money? How is it not racist to assume there are no blacks and Hispanics with money? It really seems like the professors are the racists here, or at least deeply ignorant of the foundations of American societal structure (or at least professional sportsball, where one is hard pressed not to notice any blacks or Hispanics there with a great deal of money).

      The solution to this perceived problem of racism in trying to teach people not to hurt themselves taking on unpayable debts is good for laughs, at least:

A non-racist solution: Taxpayers should fund so-called “baby bonds” for children born into low-income families, Darity and Hamilton propose. By the time these children reach college age, depending on their family’s wealth, they would have between $20,000 and $60,000 in federal funds set aside for an education or business endeavor.

       This is practically a joke unto itself. I should be obligated to just turn over this money to every 18 year old from a poor family? Even if I accepted this as sane, the numbers are wrong. A typical college education *today* runs around $100,000, and tuition (more accurately, expenses related to going to university) is increasing 8% or more a year. This means that by the time today’s newborn reaches 18 years old, a degree will be $400,000.

     Thanks to government-induced inflation, those “baby bonds” will hardly put a dent in the cost of higher education. Whatever should we do?

      Oh, let me guess: inflation is racist, too?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Higher Ed’s Tampon Socialism Follies

By Professor Doom

     Yes, the old sage ranting “it’s all crap” or “we have lost our way” is a bit of a cliché, but I honestly have more than just my own experience and opinions…I have evidence.

      Maybe it’s just a matter of opinion when I say standards have fallen…perhaps my memory (and my old tests) paint an incorrect picture of the reality of higher education decades ago. Perhaps riots against free speech have always been common on campus, and I just don’t remember them. Perhaps the minimal pay for the teachers and incredible pay for the administrators has always been how it worked and I just never noticed.

      But, gentle reader, I promise you, the campus restrooms I went to in the past did not have tampons in them. I go to men’s bathrooms exclusively…and I really think I would have noticed if such things were there.

      Today, men’s rooms on campuses have tampons in them. I’m serious. The purpose of higher education is supposed to be about education and research…and not about providing feminine hygiene products to everyone. It’s not just one campus, either, as I’ve covered this new front in the social justice war before.

      Seriously, we’ve lost our way. I want to focus on another campus which has abandoned higher education in favor of social justice feel-gooder-ism (note: this is not the same as DO-gooder-ism), because what’s going on here is such a great experiment of socialist policies. Yes, knowledgeable people can predict the outcome, because all such experiments have turned our poorly (much like with gravity), but for educational purposes, there’s little harm in doing it again.

       Let’s go off to yet another campus, to see how this doomed plan is working out:

     Seriously, how did none of the Vice Presidents of Tampon Supply and Diversity not see this coming? You’re in a men’s restroom, there’s a bowl of somewhat valuable things there…why not grab a handful, at the very least, and give them to your girlfriend? It’s not like you’ll be denying anyone else in the room something they’d want/need. I don’t condone theft, mind you but why should this resource just sit there and rot for the cause of Social Justice?

     I really want to point out how the tampon fiascos are merely another case study in why social programs fail. The whole “we’re doing nice things for everyone, and everyone will play nice because we mean well” is such a beautiful concept, but the reality of how the real world works is far sadder.

       Greed, and inefficient use of resources, has taken over at U of Rochester, but at least it’s hilarious:

Just over 11,000 students attend Rochester University. But in the first two weeks of its Pads and Tampons Initiative, the university has gone through nearly 16,000 tampons and pads—in large part because people keep grabbing them in bulk, sometimes along with the baskets they’re stored in, the student newspaper reported.

--you know, normal thinking people, upon seeing the rapid theft of goods, would stop supplying the goods. Not socialists, of course, because they're just spending someone else's money.

     Almost 50% more feminine hygiene products have been taken than there are students, a huge amount for two weeks.

     This is one of many serious problems with socialism: you make it free, then everyone wants it, everyone takes as much as possible. Eventually it becomes an entitlement, just one more straw that eventually breaks the entire economic system. Honest, whole books have described how socialism eventually fails, in detail (warning: not a light read).

     The initiative hasn’t even lasted a month, and already the university has burned through more than half of their $5,000 budget for menstrual products.

--When the money runs out, I’ll be shocked, shocked, when the people responsible for this initiative refuse to drain their own bank accounts to keep it going. I mean, they honestly believe this is a worthy cause, so of course they’ll spend their own money on it, right?

      Like every other social program, economic predictions of the costs involved are always off by a huge margin. Again, it’s basic economic principle (too bad such is never taught in the schools), but if you lower the price then it increases demand, which reduces supply which should in turn increase the price, lowering demand…but that last step doesn’t happen because the price isn’t paid by the actual user.

      It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about health care, higher education, or, well, tampons, it always plays out the same. The effects are insidious, not just to those in the system, but to those outside of “the protection” the system offers (do keep in mind, the students, male and female, are eventually paying for those “free” tampons, even if they don’t understand exactly how…).

      It’s the same thing in health care—those insured by our byzantine system are sort-of protected, but the ones without the protection? They get obliterated by a ridiculously expensive system.

      Both health care and higher education have been warped by feel-gooder actions. Will the Tampon Socialism Experiment play out differently? Let’s see:

Last week, one member of the Students’ Association made an “emergency run” to a local store and “bought them out of pads and tampons, to the tune of nearly $1,200,” the Campus Times reported.

     I humbly ask the reader to read between the lines in the above action. The store shelves were cleaned out of the “free good.” Imagine a non-college student, in desperate need of a tampon, who, responsibly, went down to the store to get the desired item.

      It’s not there, it’s gone…and now she’s been hurt by the socialist tampon system. For insult to injury, you can bet the store (and all stores near campus) will raise their prices on these products…or not stock them at all, seeing as they’re “free” in the campus restrooms, further harming the people not being helped by the Tampon Experiment.

      It’s sad that there’s nobody on campus with enough knowledge to use the empirical evidence as a demonstration of how all socialist programs function.

       And I’m telling you, higher education was never supposed to be about tampons anyway…

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Accreditation in the Early 20th Century as Opposed to the Joke of Today

A new article soon, but much of what happened in higher education is due to the debasement of the accreditation rules. And, so a review of the what we used to have is in order. A new post is soon, i promise.

By Professor Doom

     I was checking some sources while I was following the money in higher education in my last essay, and came upon a few tidbits worth sharing.

     Most awesome was an article that listed requirements for accreditation over 100 years ago. Much as it’s fascinating to see tests from the 19th and early 20th century to see how much schools have changed, I find this list of accreditation requirements from North Central accrediting (there are numerous accrediting bodies, but they are all fairly similar) to be amazing:

1. follow respectable entrance requirements

2. offer courses selected from the classics

3. ensure a minimum of eight departments headed by full-time

instructors, each possessing at least a master’s degree

4. provide a good library

5. properly prepare students for post-graduate study

6. have a maximum class size of 30

7. have a productive endowment of at least $200,000.

     Let’s go over this line by line, comparing with the institutions I’m directly and personally familiar with, to see how much has changed in a century. For the bureaucracy wonks, I have aline by line analysis of what accreditation is today…dozens of pages of pure bureaucracy with very little relating to education, unlike the above, which is brief and mostly about education.

1. follow respectable entrance requirements

     It’s hard to believe that there was a time when an accredited school had to have entrance requirements. Now, the vast majority of schools have no entrance requirements, and it’s quite common to have coursework appropriate for an 8 year old, as I’ve discussed elsewhere.

     I hate to sound elitist, but entrance exams need to come back. Too many ruthless administrators are taking way too much advantage of people that have no interest in education, and have no understanding of what it means to take on student debt. Too manydubious fields like Education have blossomed, and thrive primarily by scooping up the suckers that are taken in by administrators.

     Imagine if instead people that wanted to learn something, wanted to work hard, and could show that they could study and learn, were the only ones on campus. Bogus courses would be laughed off campus, bogus departments wouldn’t exist, and sniveling sycophant faculty that were created by such might be in smaller quantity. Perhaps I’m wrong…but has the open system of today really created a much more educated populace, or a much more indebted populace?

     What of those that can’t pass the exams? Well, this is just accreditation, there was a time not that long ago that a non-accredited school could still be a good school, and a school that focuses on high school and lower material probably shouldn’t claim to be “higher education” anyway. I imagine with the fat government loan checks out of the picture, such schools would actually be cheaper…and a serious student can always just go the many (thousands?) free sites on the internet that have such information.

2. offer courses selected from the classics

     I had to laugh reading this, since institutions no longer practice these ideas. This is from such a bygone era. It used to be, students had to learn Latin in higher education (heck, they used to need to learn it in school). I grant that Latin isn’t nearly as critical to the modern world as a few centuries ago, and so it didn’t bother me when students were instead forced to learn any foreign language in lieu of Latin. That’s been removed, too, replaced by a Mickey Mouse “computer skills” course where students “learn” the skills they already know from using a cell phone…that’s been removed, too (computers being so expensive), and now students don’t have to learn anything about any other culture or language.

     There are a few holdout courses, though “classic” math has been reduced to 10th grade math, and most “classic” courses in other departments have similarly minimal requirements, like “Western Civilization”, a course that’s gone from “read a few books” in a semester to “read a few chapters.” The problem, of course, is educators no longer decide what is “classic.” Instead, administrators make such decisions. So, now it’s “classic” to have “Gender Studies” courses and “White People are Evil” courses, and “Home Economics” courses.

     Is it really so elitist to think that scholars should determine what is scholarly, instead of administrators?

3. ensure a minimum of eight departments headed by full-time

instructors, each possessing at least a master’s degree

     This one is another big laugh for me, as an institution I was at for a decade never did have any departments at all, instead an administrator with no scholarly skills determined what the “departments” did. Those days are gone, at least for newer institutions.

     The first advantage to having departments is it’s much harder for an incoming faculty to be completely bogus, to know nothing, to be a fraud, and operate in a department with legitimate scholars. Administrators honestly seem to prefer frauds, and I would often have to work with ignorant “scholars” that clearly did not know what they were supposedly teaching.

     The second advantage is a department won’t have bogus courses; in that institution with the non-scholar admin, the students got their accredited 2 year degrees…but when they went to a four year school, they learned that it would take another 4 years to get a 4 year degree—nothing in the 2 year degree was of sufficient scholarly merit to apply. A department run by people that are expert in their field (instead of filled with cherry-picked educationists by admin) can stop that from happening.

     The reference to a master’s degree, as opposed to a doctorate, is again from the olden days, where you didn’t have to have a research degree to teach. Nowadays, there are way too many doctorates, in every field, so it’s no surprise that now it’s common to require a doctorate. I totally respect research degrees, but for jobs-based degrees, the requirements should probably allow for people with actual industry experience as well as (if not superior to) pure research.

4. provide a good library

     This, too, is funny, but only because my school was forced to buy a bunch of books to satisfy the “good library” clause that’s still in accreditation. In days of yore, absolutely, a big collection of books was rather important for learning.

     Nowadays? Not so much. You’re reading this, so you know about the internet, and you can buy a book and have it cheaply delivered to your door in a few days, tops (except for stupid-expensive textbooks, but that’s a scam for another day)…it was a very different world a century ago, and having a big library on campus made much sense back then. It’s hysterical that the only clause that could have been removed from accreditation hasn’t been removed, even as so many of the others are gone now.

     Halfway through the list, and it’s all howlers from the perspective of an educator in the 21st century—alas, not howlers because the ideas from a century ago were so stupid and ignorant, but because they’re generally good ideas that have been abandoned in favor of the stupid and ignorant system of today.

     I’ll address the others next time. Until then, consider that the American higher education system was the envy of the world in the 20th century…are we sure that getting rid of these simple rules and replacing them with massive bureaucratic requirements is such a good idea?


Addendum: You can find Part 2 here.  And you can find Part 3 here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kangaroo-icide: The Real Story

By Professor Doom

     Last time around I covered the school paper’s version of events surrounding the suicide of a student after he got caught up in the school’s kangaroo court system. Bottom line, however, the school paper is just administrative propaganda—they’re entitled to their point of view, though I do wish they were more honest about it. I mean, when The Ice Cream Council says their studies say the ideal human weight is 400 lbs, they state their bias in their name…but the school paper doesn’t give the reader any such fair warning.

     So, now let’s consider the rest of the story, from a source that probably doesn’t have anything personal against the administration of UT Arlington.

Klocke, a straight male, was accused by a gay male student of writing anti-gay slurs on his computer during a class. Klocke vehemently denied the accusation, and administrators who investigated the incident acknowledged there was no evidence to support the accuser’s claims, yet Klocke was still punished.

--emphasis added

     I find it so insulting that I can’t get cheaters removed from class even when I catch them red-handed…but just an accusation of “anti-gay slurs” is enough to get a student punted. Hmm, maybe I should start accusing cheaters of being anti-gay?

     And, with no evidence, just a he said/he said situation, punishment was meted out. What kind of investigation was there?

The accuser claims he was made so uncomfortable by the exchange that he waited until the end of class and spoke to the professor, who allegedly told him to contact student support services. There is no documentation to suggest the professor was interviewed in the course of the investigation in order to corroborate the accuser’s claims. The attorney for Klocke’s father, Kenneth Chaiken, told Watchdog the professor never provided a witness statement,

     In the old days, our campuses weren’t flooded with administrators with splendiferous titles. This sort of issue would go to the dean…he’d talk to the professor, he’d talk to the students, and he’d tell the latter to leave each other alone and that would be the end of it. Now we have platoons of 6-digit salaried admin to perform investigations, and they don’t bother with such minimal investigation methods.

Instead of seeking support services, the accuser reached out to Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Heather Snow, with whom he had a friendly relationship. The accuser was close enough to Snow to refer to her by her first name at times, and Snow quickly became the accuser’s advocate, helping him to draft a complaint against Klocke and conducting the disciplinary procedure without following the school’s Title IX policies.

      Hey, this is remarkably different than the school paper’s “coverage,” right? Now we have the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs taking a personal hand in destroying the enemy of a personal friend…that’s not quite as clean.

       To emphasize, despite her massive title, Heather has no business over this aspect of Student Affairs:

The lawsuit alleges that UTA’s Title IX coordinator was not informed of the allegation, even though Snow suggested it constituted sexual harassment. This is a violation of UTA’s policies regarding sexual misconduct, which state complaints “should be made to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators.” Snow was neither.

     There are rules here, you see. You’re supposed to report this to the Title IX Coordinator, who then is supposed to name an investigator, who’s supposed to, you know, investigate. None of that happened, but if it did, after that comes a hearing. 

How’d the hearing go?

Klocke received no hearing, even though he contradicted his accuser’s claims. Had Snow properly reported the complaint to the Title IX coordinator, Klocke would have received necessary protections from the school. By doing things on her own terms, Snow was able to deny Klocke his rights as stated in UTA policy.

     Well, of course there was no hearing. That’s why there’s no indication of what judge made the ruling (and it’s nuts that the school paper didn’t find this an odd omission…). Every campus pours millions into Title IX compliance, hiring platoons of very well paid functionaries. It’s working out great, isn’t it?

Snow took control of the disciplinary procedure that involved a complaint she wrote herself. She enlisted the help of UTA’s associate director of academic integrity, Daniel Moore, and had him tell Klocke he was immediately prohibited from attending the class where the incident was alleged to have occurred. Klocke was completing the course as part of a short, pre-summer semester in order to graduate that summer.

      Wow, just an accusation, of a crime so piffling that even if it were true would merit minimal punishment at best, screwed this poor victim (Klocke) out of months of his life…his graduation would be delayed 4 months. And there’s no recourse.

…someone informed Klocke that this disciplinary record could keep him out of grad school, which Klocke had planned to attend after graduation in the summer.

       Poor kid…does anyone believe our campus court system should be able to do this over such a minimal accusation? Amazingly, Klocke had no way to defend himself from this accusation:

When Klocke was informed that an accusation had been lodged against him, he was not told the name of his accuser. Klocke was also informed that he could not contact anyone in the class, directly or indirectly, effectively denying him any ability to find witnesses to corroborate his story.

      Gee whiz, how did the school paper miss this detail? Oh yeah that’s right, the paper is just administrative propaganda, not a news source.

      On the other hand, the accuser was allowed to gather more evidence:

His accuser was able to remain in the class and find witnesses. He found only one, who didn’t corroborate his account but did say he overheard someone say “you should leave.” This could have been said by either Klocke or his accuser in either of their stories.

      This case is completely vaporous, there’s absolutely no justification for a judgement in any form. The kid killed himself because of this ruling.

--from another site. As an added bonus this place has a picture of the court from my old community college, in official regalia no less. Honest, this idiocy is happening on many campuses across the country.

      Despite the obvious, blatant bias and kangaroo-ism here, administration is doubling down:

“This is a tragic situation and we express our deepest condolences to the family for their loss,” the university said in a statement to Watchdog. “The welfare of our students is our highest priority.  Any loss is a heartbreaking one for our entire community.

“The university followed its policies and procedures.  This is now the subject of a lawsuit in federal court; therefore, we are unable to respond further at this time,” the statement said.

     The university followed its policies and procedures? Seriously, that’s their position. Yes, seriously. Take it from someone with a lifetime in higher ed, admin never, never admits error. I remember trying very hard to convince admin that 12 divided by 5 was 2.4, to no avail. Admin insisted it was 2.35, and there was, quite literally, nothing I could do about it, even as our community college was being laughed at for such idiocy in the face of simple correction.

      I’ve covered this type of weirdness before, and it comes from administration having absolute power: these guys really do believe they can do whatever they want, and whatever they do is, by definition, correct.

     Of course, when they get to a real court of law, reality sets in.

     I’ll make a prediction here for what will happen in the lawsuit held outside of the kangaroo campus system:
1)   The university will settle out of court (7 digits or more), no admission of wrongdoing.

2)Tuition will go up, and another administrator (working title “Vice President Of He-said/He-said Crimes With No Evidence And Diversity”) will be hired for $150,000 a year.