For-profit universities are a pox on the world — these are institutions that take advantage of the ambitious poor, people with aspirations who are trying to get an education, and who believe the lies of the promoters. And these things really are run by capitalists who consider quality last and getting paying bodies in to the often virtual door first.
Laureate Universities are part of the exploitive system, although, to be fair, everyone says “it is not considered among the worst offenders in the for-profit college industry”. Isn’t that reassuring? They also invest a smaller proportion of their revenues on marketing and advertising than Harvard, and their president gets paid less than the head football coach at Notre Dame, facts that are apparently supposed to make us feel better about Laureate but actually leave me disgusted with the priorities of most universities.
Now I learn that Bill Clinton was the honorary chancellor of Laureate Universities. “Honorary” meaning he was not expected to do any real work, but was just endorsing the place and allowing them to slap his face on all their advertising, but he was apparently expecting to get paid. And he did.
Clinton was paid $18 million over 5 years for a few token appearances in promotional visits and brochures.
Eighteen fucking million dollars. $18,000,000. $3.6 million per year. For an honorary position. He got paid as much as 240 minimum wage workers, and didn’t do as much work for it as one malingerer. He did use his influence with the Secretary of State to get Laureate invited to a higher ed policy dinner, though, and seeing the face of the former President of the United States on the advertising probably fooled a lot of rubes into thinking that Laureate was legit, so in a sense he did earn his payola.
But it’s yet another sign of venality and corruption at the highest levels of government, and tells me that, in spite of the mild praise padding every article about them, Laureate is just another well-heeled con job.
I know. Trump University was a worse scandal. That was a cheesy, cheaply gilded “educational” scam befitting a low-rent no-class thug like Donald Trump. Laureate University a tasteful, solid-gold, up-scale scam, which makes it…better?
So once again, another election year, and there’s absolutely no question who I have to vote for in November — there is no question that Donald Trump is a ghastly fascist/racist demagogue and goon, and that we can’t allow the Republican party to hold any power at all. But jebus, why do both candidates have to be so sleazy and unappealing?