Posts Tagged ‘higher education’

Student Debt

December 2, 2019

Student loan debt has increased exponentially in the past few decades, and now totals $1.6 trillion. Some Democratic presidential candidates want to cancel those debts. Alvin Chang explores the proposal. A Vox video.

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Donald J. Trump, B.S.

August 6, 2019

Donald J. Trump, B.S.

For decades now, Donald Trump has been telling everyone he’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, giving the impression that his degree is an MBA, but that’s literally BS. He got a Bachelor of Science degree from U Penn, without honors, having transferred in after spending two years at Fordham. It was a BS in finance, so it should be no surprize that his finance policies are BS.

Mr. Trump implied that Barack Obama was only accepted to Columbia through affirmative action, but he got into Penn through “affirmative action for the rich.” Donald Trump’s admissions interviewer at Penn was a childhood friend of his older brother, Fred Trump Jr., and his multi-millionaire daddy sat in on the interview. While admissions to Penn are now super-competitive, in 1966 the school accepted 40% of applicants.

Mr. Trump, a ghost to most Wharton classmates, claimed none of Mr. Obama’s Columbia contemporaries ever saw him. Barack Obama went on to graduate from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. Donald Trump has used friends, bribes, and threats to prevent public disclosure of his own high school , Fordham, and U Penn transcripts.

More:

“Trump has referred to his Wharton degree as ‘super genius stuff.’ An admissions officer recalls it differently.” Michael Kranish, Washington Post

“Michael Cohen testimony: Trump, a Wharton alum, told me to threaten colleges to not release grades,” Patricia Madej, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Can Wharton Revoke Trump’s Economics Degree Now?” David Rothkopf, Daily Beast

“Former Wharton Professor: ‘Donald Trump Was the Dumbest Goddam Student I Ever Had.'” FrankDiPrima, DailyKos

Related:

“Donald Trump Jr. mocks college admission scandal, despite his past at Penn,” Oona Goodin-Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer

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NCAA Basketball Pays Off for Everyone But the Players

April 8, 2019

NCAA Basketball Pays Off for Everyone But the Players

The college basketball finals are about to decide the new championship team. Each year the 32 Division I conferences are paid millions by the NCAA based on what teams get into the “March Madness” tournament and how far they advance. Last year’s payout was $216 million. The 2018 tournament television and marketing rights brought in $844.3 million, mostly from TV contracts with CBS and Turner Sports. The TV deal grows annually, and will pull in $8.8 billion in 2024.

The league makes millions. Colleges make millions. Coaches make millions. Players make nothing. For decades, universities have claimed that not paying their ballplayers preserved their “student-athletepurity, something more difficult to rationalize when their hoopsters drop out, leave for the NBA after a year or graduate despite illiteracy.

More recently, the NCAA justified this situation by citing a clause of the 13th Amendment that allows unpaid prison labor. This jaw-dropping argument is compounded when you realize that the purpose of the 13th Amendment was the abolition of slavery in the United States, and Division 1 college athletes are overwhelmingly African American.

The chorus to reform the obvious economic inequity has been joined by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), whose office has issued a report on the unjust situation. Maybe colleges will end the scholar-athelete sham and get out of bigtime sports altogether, letting the pros run their own development leagues. The NBA has already started their G League as a new entry ramp to the pros.

If you’re horrified that the future of college basketball will be decided by lawyers, know this: lawyers patented basketballs and hoops back in the last century.

More:

“College basketball’s murky swamp of misbehavior,”  George F. Will, Washington Post

Related:

“How Classifying Athletes as Employees Can Save Colleges Money,”  Derek Helling, OZY

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Why Frats?

January 11, 2019

Frats are so … well, fratty. Why do colleges tolerate them? A Vox video by Phil Edwards.

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Pomp and Circumstance: John Waters

June 2, 2017

Film director John Waters addressed the newly-minted graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) last year. Figures; the school mascot is Scrotie.

Related:

“7 Strange Commencement Speeches,” Erik van Rheenen, Mental Floss

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Adulterer and Dissembler Speaks to Impressionable Young Christians

May 14, 2017

Adulterer and Dissembler Addresses Young Christians
On Saturday, renowned sinner and U.S. President Donald J. Trump, flanked by Secret Service agents and 2 Corinthians, gave the commencement speech to graduating students at the world’s largest Christian college, Liberty University. He was introduced by University President Jerry Falwell Jr., the gun-totin’ Christian lawyer famously sired by televangelist and Liberty U. founder Jerry Falwell Sr., who had endorsed Mr. Trump during the election. 1300 LU students and a prominent university board member protested the endorsement.

Even though Mr. Falwell Jr. has encouraged Liberty University students to carry concealed handguns on campus and keep them in their dorms, firearms were not permitted in Lynchburg’s Williams Stadium during commencement exercises. Oh ye of little faith ….

Mr. Trump urged the graduates to adhere to the basic founding principles of our Republic, Christian Nationalism, critic-bashing, and college football. Since 30% of Americans are not Christians, will their citizenship be revoked? And if you’re counting critics, 58% of your neighbors disapprove of the job President Trump is doing. And of course many people prefer the NFL to college football. No wonder Trump is fast-tracking Deportation Force recruiting.

Related:

“At Liberty University, All Sins Are Forgiven on the Altar of Football,” Michael Powell, New York Times

Update:

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Trump Pays $25 Million Over Phony University

November 21, 2016

Trump Pays $25 Million Over Phony University

On Friday, President-elect and litigious career con man Donald J. Trump, who prides himself on never settling lawsuits, agreed to a $25 million settlement over his fraudulent “Trump University.” You may not have noticed because Mr. Trump spent the weekend distracting the media with his theater criticism.

Donald Trump’s unlicensed “university” was a bait-and-switch scheme, offering free courses that were sales pitches for $1,000 courses, which were in turn sales pitches for $10,000 and $35,000 courses. It’s a wonder the President-elect wasn’t sued by the Church of Scientology for stealing its business model.

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Liberty University Mascot: Donald Trump

October 18, 2016

Liberty University Mascot: Donald Trump

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., the gun-totin’ Christian lawyer famously sired by televangelist and Liberty U. founder Jerry Falwell Sr., has forgiven admitted sexual predator and GOP candidate Donald Trump, whom he had endorsed. Mr. Falwell says he will vote for Trump even if the sexual assault charges are true. Liberty University students, not that forgiving, are concerned about Mr. Falwell’s defense of the Republican creep:

“While he occasionally clarifies that supporting Trump is not the official position of Liberty University, he knows it is his title of president of the largest Christian university in the world that gives him political credentials.”

“… Donald Trump is not just any politician. He has made his name by maligning others and bragging about his sins. Not only is Donald Trump a bad candidate for president, he is actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose.”
— Liberty United Against Trump statement

More:

“Liberty University students protest association with Trump,” T. Rees Shapiro, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Susan Svrluga and Scott Clement, Washington Post

“Liberty U. Students: ‘Donald Trump & Jerry Falwell Jr. Don’t Represent Us,’” Ian Tuttle, National Review

“Evangelical clash over Trump reverberates at Liberty University,” Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor

“Des étudiants d’une influente université chrétienne rejettent Trump,” Le Figaro

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Big Money Buys Nino a Law School

April 8, 2016

Big Money Buys Nino a Law School

A DC area law school was originally named after a Virginia patriot, but just like money can buy you lots of law, it can buy you law schools. George Mason University Law School announced it would change its name to the Antonin Scalia School of Law. Who are the buyers? $10 million came from Charles Koch, who believes there is entirely too much law. And the remaining $20 million? From an anonymous donor, probably in honor of the Citizens United decision.

Washington wags quickly realized the law school’s new abbreviation would be ASSoL or ASSLaw, and hilarity ensued. GMU reconsidered its awkward acronym and changed the name to Antonin Scalia Law School (ASLS). Somebody better tell the American Society of Liposuction Surgery.

More:

“George Mason University learned how hard it is to name a law school after Antonin Scalia,” Tara Golshan, Vox

“ASSLaw is the butt of jokes. So what?” Dave Schilling, The Guardian

“George Mason University Professors Oppose Naming Law School After Antonin Scalia,” Jon Schuppe, NBC News

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What’s In a Name?

May 30, 2014

What's In a Name?

In an effort to attract English-speaking students, Japan’s Kinki University is changing its name. Actually, the old name probably sounds pretty attractive to most American teenagers ….

Kinki U (really “Kinki Daigaku”) refers to the school’s location in the Kinki (aka Kansai) region of Honshu Island, which includes the city of Osaka. Starting next year the school will be known as Kindai University.

More:

“Kinki no more: With eye on foreign students, university opts for new name,” Tomohiro Osaki, Japan Times

“Japan’s Kinki University changes its name due to awkward English meaning,” Justin McCurry, The Guardian

“Japan’s Kinki University decides to change its naughty-sounding name,” Casey Baseel, RocketNews 24

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