Phonies and frauds

What kinds of people want impose their will on academia? Mainly it seems to be bozos who know nothing at all about it. Take a look at the guy who wants to impose political quotas on faculty hires.

An Iowa lawmaker who is pushing a controversial bill that caps the number of Democrats that state universities can hire as professors claimed on a government web site that he got a “business degree” from the “Forbco Management school.”

But State Sen. Mark Chelgren’s alleged alma mater is actually a company that operated a Sizzler steak house franchise in southern California and he doesn’t have a “degree,” Ed Failor, a spokesman for the Iowa State Republicans, told NBC News.

“This was a management course he took when he worked for Sizzler, kind of like Hamburger University at McDonald’s,” Failor said. “He got a certificate.”


Clearly, this genius is outraged at the injustice of not being able to get a faculty appointment at the Harvard neurology department because he’s Republican, and was forced to take his second choice position, learning how to flip steaks for Sizzler.

I’m going to suggest that instead of wrecking Iowa state colleges, he instead use his prestigious qualifications to work for one of Donald Trump’s restaurants.


  1. says

    That’s not quite a fair characterization. He didn’t learn how to flip steaks — it was a *management* course. He learned how to tell people to flip steaks.

  2. Siobhan says

    Again, you cannot run the most anti-intellectual politics in decades and then complain when your politics aren’t represented among the fracking intelligentsia. That would be like complaining your house is on fire after dousing it in gasoline.

  3. cartomancer says

    The universities of Oxford and Cambridge used to actually have their own MPs in the English House of Commons, to represent the important concerns of academia and the world of education. Sir Isaac Newton was one of the Cambridge ones for a while.

    I have a feeling this practice probably ought to be more widely adopted.

  4. says

    Maybe I am ascribing too much sophistication to him, but when I first saw the bill I thought “hey, careful: Chelgren’s game here is pretty obvious”: Of course Chelgren doesn’t believe the bill has any chance (I mean, the legal problems would be pretty obviously insurmountable and that should be obvious even to the dimmest bulb). But he never intended it to pass. Rather, he submitted it to make provoke “librul snowflakes” into responding, record those responses, and then try to use those responses against those responders whenever any question of affirmative action arises in the future. Of course his suggestion is not comparable, but I suspect that it will be eminently possible to quote-mine many responses to the bill and use them in any debate over affirmative action. “Hey, in February 2017 you yourself argued that university appointments should be merit-based” or “the relative absence of certain groups in certain academic fields is, even according to yourself, not evidence of discrimination or ‘glass ceilings’,” and so on.

    Am I the only one to think this is his game?

  5. blf says

    Iowa Pol’s Bio Changed After ‘Sizzler U’ Discrepancy Emerges:

    Chelgren continues to be described on the Senate web page as having “attended the University of California at Riverside majoring in astro-physics [sic], geo-physics [sic] and mathematics.” He told NBC he took classes for three years but did not graduate.

    University spokesman John Warren confirmed that Chelgren attended the school in 1992 and 1993 “with a major in physics.”

    When asked to explain why when he only went to college for one year, Chelgren said he also earned an associates degree in science from “Riverside Community College” in California.

    This point, about Riverside, is not followed-up in the article. Who knows what he really did, where, when, or what happened…

    The article does go on to note, also without any explanation / follow-up, “In pushing for passage of Senate File 228, Chelgren claimed his own experiences with liberal professors” is why he introduced the bill.

  6. sayke says

    If you Google image search his name, there is a disturbing number of pictures of him dressed as some kind of scantily clad redneck chicken. I mean, a disturbing number would be anything more than zero, but there are a fair few.

  7. archangelospumoni says

    I went to his site and “signed up” for his legislative updates, perhaps under what could be construed as a naughty name. Somehow his educational past isn’t there now.

  8. Zeppelin says

    It’s funny the way these staunchly anti-intellectual, anti-academic types will just leap at the first opportunity to claim some degree or title for themselves, no matter how spurious.

  9. Anri says

    But what’s wrong with Sizzler?

    (Eats at a Sizzler.)


    (Actually, it’s been literally decades. I seem to recall them being better than Ponderosa, but that’s a very low bar.)

  10. nomadiq says

    Implied assumption: all academics must be US citizens.

    What if I’m a member of the Melanesian Liberal Party? Hint: not that liberal.

  11. jrkrideau says

    # 11 nomadiq

    He’s a state level republican politician. He probably does not realize that people outside of the USA can actually read let alone teach.

    One should never underestimate the provincialism and isolationism of an American politician particularly modern day Republicans.

  12. Rey Fox says

    They really should have a trebuchet in front of every legislative house for every lawmaker that pulls such a BS shenanigan. Into the basket with him.