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.

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