What can we learn from USC medical school dean’s drug induced parties?

The story of former USC Medical School Dean Dr. Carmen Puliafito has to be one of the most salacious stories to hit higher education in recent years. In an explosive story in the Los Angeles Times, reporters detail Puliafito’s history of drug use and partying with prostitutes and criminals. How could an incredibly successful dean be wrapped up in something like this? How did he get away with it? In today’s post, I want to suggest what we can learn from USC medical school dean’s drug induced parties.

Former USC Dean Carmen Puliafito. Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

By many accounts, Dean Puliafito was enormously successful prior to his retirement after 10 years of leading the USC Keck School of Medicine. Puliafito personally helped raise $1 billion in gifts and led a school on the rise in the rankings. Keck brought in students, $200 million in research grants, and was a centerpiece of USC’s rise to national prominence.

However, there was more going on with Dean Puliafito. Much more in fact—so much so that they won’t be able to make a Lifetime movie about him because no one will find it believable!

The demographics of college presidents

Higher education has a diversity problem. I suspect most of us know that higher education leaders are often older, white men. Recently, the American Council on Education (ACE) released the long-awaited report, American College President Study 2017. The ACE president studies are the most comprehensive available and provide a wealth of insights into the presidency. In a series of posts, I am going to consider the major findings of the study and the implications for higher education. In today’s post, I will examine the demographics of college presidents to see how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.

The demographics of college presidents

Drew Faust was an exception as a woman leading Harvard. Photo credit: Encycopedia Britannica

Controversy surrounding college athletics history class at UNC

As the University of North Carolina continues to seek an end of the athletics controversy that has roiled campus for more than six years, the removal of a history class on athletics from the fall schedule has raised governance questions. I argued that much of the controversy at UNC centered around governance problems at the institution and the decision to cut the athletics course has many asking if UNC still has a governance issue on campus. In today’s post, I want to discuss the facts behind the case and the relevant governance issues at play in the case.

Controversy surrounding college athletics history class at UNC

Photo credit: goheels.com

The current controversy is focused on the class, “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956 to the Present.” 

Ten Years Since the Shooting at Virginia Tech

April 16, 2007 is one of those dates of national tragedy that seem to mark a point in time where we can say things will never be the same again. It has been ten years since that horrific day when a mentally troubled student at Virginia Tech shot and killed 32 and wounded 17 more. In today’s post, I want to remember the events of April 16th and reflect on where we’ve come in higher education since that time.

Ten Years Since the Shooting at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Memorial – Photo Credit: Alan Levine

There was Columbine before and Sandy Hook after (and countless other tragedies throughout), but the shooting at Virginia Tech was an event that shocked the nation generally and higher education specifically.

I suspect all of us that were teaching during that time wondered what we would do if that had happened to one of our classes.

There was anger, frustration, and above all, sadness.

Scott Walker and Republicans try to increase faculty teaching

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is joining Republicans in other states across the country in seeking to push professors to earn their salaries by teaching more. Walker cites raising college costs and a decrease in the among of time professors spend in the classroom. In today’s post, I am sharing a thoughtful piece by the Associated Press that looks at Walker’s proposal as well as similar efforts in other states. I provided background information and a quote to the story.

Scott Walker pushes faculty

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Republicans Press Professors to Spend More Time Teaching

By Todd Richmond

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin chemistry professor Robert Hamers has a jam-packed day ahead: an hourlong lecture, a conference call with colleagues about nanotechnology, meetings and plans to check on students in the lab.