The fall of Dinesh D’Souza

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.


  1. unbound says

    “So why was he being paid a bigger salary than the president of Harvard? Where do these tiny schools get that kind of money?”

    I was fascinated at the amount of money being pumped into Christopher Newport University when I took my son to colleges last year. CNU was a pretty run down facility 20 years ago, but there has been a huge surge in money with several new (and very, very nice) buildings and well as big renovations to each of the buildings (and supposedly the dorm rooms are rated #1 in the nation for comfort). However, they are not growing…they will stay at 8,000 or so students only.

    I wasn’t able to determine where all this money was coming from, but I did notice a few things. There was a significant (but not completely overwhelming) presence of religion on the campus, and the president is a former Republican representative. It really made me wonder if this is a Republican response to all those “liberal” universities…

  2. Jef Powers says

    Will someone please pass the ketchup to the righties; they;re going to have to eat D’Souza’s whole steaming pile of mendacity. They’ll probably need a spoon as well.

  3. says

    I’m fine with non-academics as college/university presidents, but seriously, someone with a BA and a boatload of opinion piece “publications”? What fundraising and managerial experience did he have? The one good thing about making him “president” of that diploma mill is that he got to soak Campus Crusade for Christ for a cool $1 million per year.

  4. sunny says

    reportedly paid D’Souza a salary of $1 million per year

    I thought all you had to do was ask: “Ask and it will be given to you” Matthew 7:7

  5. Paul W., OM says

    I’ll bet a lot of the college’s money comes from a single right-wing Christianist billionaire, and that D’Souza was made president because largely because that’s what that one person wanted, and they ponied up the $1 million a year, plus millions more, to make it happen.

    But maybe not. The King’s College is a subsidiary of the Campus Crusade for Christ, so there could be several CCC honchos who thought it was a good idea—not least to give a leading Christianist lunatic propagandist a title that makes him sound like a Very Serious and Smart and Responsible Person, which they desperately want because he isn’t.

  6. left0ver1under says

    The fall of Dinesh D’Souza

    I can’t tell if that’s a typo or not.

    I would have said “The Gall of Dinesh D’Souza”.

  7. Corvus illustris says

    Liberty University, Regent University, Ave Monaghan Maria University … . There’s nothing to wonder about here. Fertilized with right-wing money, these places sprout up like mushrooms on a dunghill.

  8. Corvus illustris says

    “I’m fine with non-academics as college/university presidents … “

    As an old retired academic who has lived with presidents with and without traces of chalk on their coats, I’m not so fine with the latter. Put those in with a lay board of trustees and you have plenary power vested in people who don’t understand what they’re doing and have only “subordinates” to tell them this. Disasters are the result. BTW, LL.B’s are worse than the B.A.’s; one place at which I worked was only saved because the lawyer president gave the reins to an “Academic VP” and went off trying to get an appointive job in government. It will be interesting to watch Purdue.

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