Ed Brayton has already covered the details of the fall from grace of Dinesh D’Souza, who has resigned from the presidency of The King’s College, an evangelical school whose mission seems to be to produce Christian warriors who will shape public policy.
Although I am in the world of academia, I had never heard of this school until media reports came out of D’Souza’s hiring in August 2010 and the upheaval it caused, with the provost Marvin Olasky resigning in protest. What surprised me is that the school reportedly paid D’Souza a salary of $1 million per year. This is a tiny school whose ‘campus’ consisted of four floors of a building in Manhattan and has a total student body of a few hundred. So why was he being paid a bigger salary than the president of Harvard? Where do these tiny schools get that kind of money?
An American university president’s job has become largely that of a full-time fund-raiser and schmoozer of alumni and potential donors, leaving the actual running of the university to the provost or equivalent. They are supposed to earn their pay by bringing in money. It could not have helped D’Souza that he was instead spending his time gallivanting around the world engaged in vanity projects such as producing a hatchet job documentary on president Obama, making the preposterous claim that Obama has a deep and abiding hared of America forged by the anti-colonial views of his father.
D’Souza’s scandal would not have been, by itself, sufficient for him to be fired. Christians love the sin-and-redemption narrative and right-wingers are quite willing to overlook things like that, with Newt Gingrich being the prime example. I suspect that there was buyer’s remorse about hiring D’Souza and that the college trustees gratefully accepted this opportunity to get rid of him without having to admit to making a mistake.
In an interesting aside Warren Cole Smith, the reporter for the religious publication World who originally broke the story had formerly worked for the college until D’Souza ended his contract and the Editor in Chief of that magazine is none other than Marvin Olasky. Revenge, anyone?
But don’t shed tears for D’Souza. There is plenty of room in the right-wing universe for pseudo-intellectual hucksters of color who are willing to serve the oligarchy by trashing the poor, women, and other people of color, all the while claiming to uphold Christian values. (See David Session’s chronicling of D’Souza’s opportunism.)
He’ll probably get his own show on Fox News.