Posts Tagged ‘higher education’

Jerry Falwell Jr. Sues Liberty U. for Damaging His Non-Existant Reputation

November 5, 2020

Jerry Falwell Jr. Sues Liberty U. for Damaging His Non-Existant Reputation

Trump-backingpistol packing attorney Jerry Falwell Jr., once President of Liberty University by grace of God being fathered by university founder Jerry Falwell Sr., recently stepped down as head of LU, world’s largest evangelical diploma mill, following revelations of sexual scandal involving Falwell Jr., his wife, and a hotel pool boy. Liberty University’s code of honor holds that sex outside of “biblically-ordained marriage” is a ticket to Hell, and the disgraced Mr. Falwell slunk away with a mere $10.5 million separation package. 

His sexual shenanigans shredded what was left of Liberty University’s reputation after his shady real estate dealslow-quality online courses, and 2016 endorsement of Donald Trump, but Junior now says he is the injured party after the seamy sex scandal and the university board’s independent investigation of his dubious business operations. Mr. Falwell claims this reputational damage means he can no longer pose as a righteous Christian on the holier-than-thou circuit, or even on morally-challenged Fox News. He’s suing the university for alleged damages.

Fiddlesticks. It’s not as if Mr. Falwell’s current situation leaves him with no viable career alternatives. Liberty U is in Lynchburg, Virginia, an area short on entertainment alternatives, and “Jerry Junior’s” would be a great name for a topless bar.

More:

“Falwell sues Liberty, saying school damaged his reputation,” Sarah Rankin and Elana Schor, Associated Press

“Jerry Falwell Jr. sues Liberty University over reputation damage,” Justine Coleman, Thr Hill

Related:

“How Falwell Kept His Grip on Liberty Amid Sexual ‘Games,’ Self-Dealing,” Maggie Severns, Brandon Ambrosino, and Michael Stratford,, Politico

“Sex, Lies, And Regret: Giancarlo Granda Reels From Eight Years With The Falwells,” Josh Kovensky, Talking Points Memo

“A Trump executive order set the stage for Falwell’s political activities,” Maggie Severns, Politico

Updates:

“Falwell drops defamation lawsuit against Liberty University,” Associated Press

“Jerry Falwell Drops Lawsuit Against Liberty University,” TalkingPointsMemo

“Jerry Falwell Jr. spent heavily on Trump, GOP causes with funds from nonprofit Liberty University,” Peter Weber, The Week

“‘They All Got Careless’: How Falwell Kept His Grip on Liberty Amid Sexual ‘Games,’ Self-Dealing,” Maggie Severns, Brandon Ambrosino, and Michael Stratford, Politico

“Falwell’s Liberty University-Funded Think Tank Relentlessly Pushing Trump Fraud Claims, Says Report,” Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

“In final years at Liberty, Falwell spent millions on pro-Trump causes,” Maggie Severns, Politico

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The Falwell Legacy at Liberty University

September 2, 2020

The Falwell Legacy at Liberty University

Trump-backing, pistol packing attorney Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University by grace of God being fathered by university founder Jerry Falwell Sr., has stepped down as head of LU, the world’s largest evangelical Christian diploma mill. His exit last month followed revelation of sexual scandal involving Falwell Jr., his wife, and a hotel pool boy. Liberty University’s code of honor holds that sex outside of “biblically-ordained marriage” is a ticket to Hell, and students who practice it are automatically expelled. Mr. Falwell Jr. slinks away in disgrace with a mere $10.5 million separation package. 

An early endorser of Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign, Jerry Falwell Jr. forgave him for his adultery and other transgressions. “We’re all sinners, every one of us,” he said. “We’ve all done things we wish we hadn’t.”

Under Junior’s leadership, LU prospered through shady real estate deals, low-quality online courses, and untold hundreds of millions in federal student loans. The university board has started an independent investigation of business operations under Falwell Jr.’s tenure.

More:

“Business partner of Falwells says affair with evangelical power couple spanned seven years,” Aram Rosten, Reuters

“‘She was the aggressor’: Former Liberty student alleges sexual encounter with Becki Falwell,” Brandon Ambrosino, Politico

“Jerry Falwell Jr., Trump’s early and effusive evangelical champion, lifted a president before his own fall,” Eugene Scott, Washington Post

“Liberty University investigating fallen president Jerry Falwell Jr.’s entire tenure,” Theresa Braine, NY Daily News

“My Final Farewell to the Falwells,” Larry Flynt, Daily Beast

Updates:

“Liberty tells staff to refrain from interacting with Falwell,” AP via WTOP News

“The Falwells, the pool attendant and the double life that brought them all down,” By Michael E. Miller and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post

Related:

“A Trump executive order set the stage for Falwell’s political activities,” Maggie Severns, Politico

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How Isaac Newton spent his year in quarantine

August 14, 2020

When the plague hit England in 1665, Cambridge University sent students away and didn’t offer Zoom classes. Isaac Newton explains how he spent his time back home.

More:

“During a pandemic, Isaac Newton had to work from home, too. He used the time wisely.” Gillian Brockell, Washington Post

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Hot Pockets Heiress Guilty in College Admissions Cheating Scandal

February 27, 2020

Hot Pockets Heiress Guilty in College Admissions Cheating Scandal

Michelle Janavs, heiress to the Hot Pockets microwave snack fortune, has been sentenced to 2 minutes on High in a 1880 watt oven five months in federal prison after pleading guilty to helping her daughters cheat the college application process. Ms. Janavs admitted to paying $100,000 to have to have someone cheat on her daughters’ ACT exams. She also agreed to pay a USC athletic official $200,000 to have one daughter recruited to the college as a beach volleyball athlete when her only qualification was owning a swimsuit. On the bright side, some low-security federal prisons have volleyball courts, so maybe Ms. Janavs will be able to coach her daughter after she’s done her time.

Michelle Janavs must also pay a $250,000 fine, was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, and faces two years of supervised release after she’s freed from prison.

More:

“Hot Pocket Heir Michelle Janavs Was Sentenced To 5 Months In Prison In The College Admissions Scandal,” Ellie Hall, BuzzFeed News

“A Trojan horse: USC was the most frequent target in alleged admissions scheme,”
Moriah Balingit, Susan Svrluga, and Nick Anderson, Washington Post

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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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