By Professor Doom
Our “leaders” in higher ed have had a blank check for decades, literally able to do whatever they want as long the student loan money kept pouring in. The kind of corruption this has led to is breathtaking, and I assure the gentle reader that the horrific activities at Penn State, the intergenerational fraud at UNC, and widespread systemic plundering of student loan money are really just data points here, and should not necessarily be viewed at outliers.
Granted, I suspect our obviously corrupt FBI, obviously corrupt CIA, obviously corrupt law enforcement system, obviously corrupt defense department, and, heck, obviously corrupt wide swaths of our government are hardly doing any better. Perhaps if Epstein isn’t suicided we’ll finally get a real peek inside just how foul that system is, but I digress.
A recent cascade of scandals at University of Southern California highlights just how much can go on in one campus, and the article I’m quoting from misses a few as well as not quite understanding the implications of the exposures. Let’s get it on:
This month, the University of Southern California paid the University of California, San Diego, $50 million and apologized for poaching its faculty.
Only two sentences, but plenty to unpack in the above.
First, it’s hard to believe “poaching faculty” is a thing, but if it is, our schools constantly raise tuition because they keep telling us they have no money. But there’s money for poaching faculty?
Second, if there’s no money, how does the school have a spare $50 million laying around to pay for their transgression, against only one other schools?
Third, and most critical, why is this even a problem worthy of a fine? Schools “poach” coaches away from each other all the time, it’s part of why the school coach can easily make 7 figures or more, and even Poo-Bahs find themselves being “taken” by other schools. Since when did universities become a cartel where they’re not allowed to bid on faculty like everything else?
In July 2017, the Los Angeles Times published a jaw-dropping story about the dean of USC’s Keck School of Medicine that involved drugs, prostitutes and criminal behavior.
The interested reader can click the link but this is just run-of-the-mill stuff, although I point out that, as faculty, I need a pretty much spotless record to get even an entry-level position in academia. But for some reason a Dean can score a $150k a year job despite a record more spotted than my lungs.
The person who replaced the medical school dean was removed for disreputable behavior.
Replace the scummy dean and you get…another vermin. Why is it that our “leaders” in higher ed are so disreputable?
A doctor was alleged to have molested nearly 100 young women.
It isn’t, of course, that the doc molested 100 young women, it’s the very clear evidence of a cover-up, because you can’t get to 100 without at least a few complaints. This is the thing I’m really getting at here, is the whole leadership is corrupted.
The dean of the school of social work allegedly participated in a pay-to-play scheme with a politician and his son, running up a $40 million deficit.
Our country is bogged down with “open admission” schools, but everyone with half a brain (perhaps 20% of the country?) knows these schools are rip offs. It’s quite fascinating how the big push to make higher education available to “everyone” has only forced the price of legitimate education to rise dramatically, even as the fake education “everyone else” gets also rises dramatically.
And an administrator and three coaches in the athletic department received bribes to help unqualified students gain admittance to the university.
Granted, this is “the admissions scandal” which I’ve already mentioned a few times, but it’s funny that apparently there’s no scandal USC can not find itself involved.
In another series of embarrassing incidents, the interim president replaced the business school dean for his alleged failure to monitor sexual harassment -- and then encountered dozens of business leaders rallying to the dean’s defense. A member of the Board of Trustees even hired a lawyer to help the dean sue the university. When the chair of the board scolded the trustee, other members reprimanded the chair. The faculty publicly rebuked the board, and in turn, a trustee criticized the faculty as a know-nothing mob.
Again I feel the need to explain what the immense fustercluck being described above really indicates. USC is incredibly, deeply, corrupt. It’s so corrupt that there isn’t one faction ruling over it all, there are multiple incredibly corrupt factions running incredibly corrupt schemes on this campus, so many that there’s no way to untangle the mess. This is a real “nuke it from orbit” situation, as there’s simply no reason to suspect there’s any legitimacy anywhere on this campus, and no way to find it in any event.
The article I’m quoting from is utterly clueless as to what’s going on here:
These scandals and fights are all the more remarkable because the university had seen a spectacular rise over the past 20 years. The president had led a $7 billion capital campaign and opened a $700 million new campus in the fall of 2017. The quality of the faculty and student body had surged. The institution had risen in reputational rankings.
“All the more remarkable”? Nope. That $7 billion dollar campaign only led to 10% of the money being even theoretically spent on higher education. The remaining $6.3 billion paid for massive, massive, corruption and nothing more.
The article points the finger at the Poo-Bah, who admittedly oversaw much of the corruption but…no, it’s much, much deeper than just one foul demon ruling over a legion of lesser administrators. The signs are very obvious that there are multiple layers of corruption going on here, each so focused on their own vile activity that there’s nothing to stop the other corrupt activities.
The real issue here is: how much is enough? At what point can a school be shut down as a real menace to the taxpayers supporting it? This place is pure evil on multiple levels, is dedicated to evil, and there’s no talk of simply shutting it, bulldozing the whole place, and letting the fields go fallow.
As always, there’s only one reliable method of stopping this evil, and that’s by refusing to fund it any more. End the student loan scam.
The part that caught my eye was about the rise in the rankings.ReplyDelete
It seems to me that the already and obviously rigged rankings will become even more crucial as more and more colleges drop out of the legitimate education business.
Have you discussed the "independent" rankings business? If not, your insight on that foul mess would be very interesting.
I'm not sure I have enough insights on the college rankings to be relevant. They're pretty much rubbish--a good school is a good school, and nobody remembers if the good school was ranked 4th or 9th, ten years ago.Delete
Even if it wasn't pointless and silly, the "independence" as you say of the rankings is pretty dubious. That the rankings are even worth being corrupted is a little interesting, I suppose.