@ UNO & NU President Milliken: Try Telling the Truth; How Well has Lying Worked Out for Penn State?

September 10, 2012


WASHINGTON, D.C. (exclusive) by Ivy Harper

A few years back, NU’s Regents approved a then-UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck-established  MFA in Creative Writing Program, the Founding Documents of which – in the OFFICIAL NU archives contained the following EXACT language, “…[this] Program is specifically designed for out-of-state students.”

Then, two pages of actual figures were given; a separate line said that the UNO MFA Program would only be “sustainable” with the three times-the-tuition that out-of-state students pay. In the MFA Founding Documents UNO compared itself to six other PRIVATE MFA Programs and listed the comparative OUT-of-STATE tuition figures as “necessary” to the Program’s long-term viability.

I applied to the Program in its first year – and because I qualified for in-state tuition as a Nebraska High School graduate – I was denied admission; yet, I was told verbally and in writing that I didn’t get in because – get this – my writing lacked “energy & enthusiasm.”

I swear to God; I have an email from UNO Professor Richard Duggin, Director of the MFA Program, in which he used that feeble explanation as the raison d’etre for me not getting in.

Months later, however, when I’d started to put the UNO lying pieces together, Duggin called me on a Friday night to tell me he would give me a “recommendation” to America’s TOP MFA in Creative Writing Program.

When I instantly asked how it was that I was somehow qualified to be in – arguably – one of the country’s most prestigious MFA in Creative Writing Programs when I wasn’t good – oh, excuse me, “energetic & enthusiastic” – enough to get into UNO’s Program,  UNO Professor Richard Duggin, realized he’d just OUTED the real reason I didn’t get in; so, he huffily hung up the phone. See, when you lie, you forget how to cover your tracks.

Within weeks, the ACTUAL ARCHIVAL LANGUAGE that described the Founding of this UNO Program – which was archived on the official University of Nebraska/President’s website – had been DELETED, re-written, and sanitized.

A little while later after a lengthy, time-consuming, off-putting wait, UNO could stonewall no longer and was to give me (I’d filed several Nebraska Open Records Requests) documents that would have PROVEN they’d actually had the audacity to create a UNO Program – on the Cornhusker taxpayer dime – that Nebraskans could not get into…ONLY because they paid in-state tuition, UNO bogusly “banned” me.

Next, UNO/NU turned around and said they didn’t HAVE TO give the UNO documents to me because I was “banned.” Talk about circular – but oh-so-convenient – logic.

So, yes, Mr. Degan, of course NU/UNO deletes, alters, sanitizes the Record. Why? Because they can. And they do not care who they hurt in the process. NU – literally – libeled and slandered me and when I said that NU’s actions were unfair, NU’s “counsel,” Mr. Joel Pedersen, flippantly responded in an unmistakably haughty tone, “So sue us.”

As I’ve said many times, all you have to do at NU to have national headlines like Penn State is substitute “academic/financial” for “physical/sexual.”

The financial chicanery that has happened on President Milliken’s watch is staggering: the NU Foundation getting $22-30 million dollars of U.S. taxpayer monies that NELNET fleeced from the U.S. Department of Education; massive credit card abuse; hundreds of ineligible Nebraskans receiving state-of-the-art health care because no one is monitoring it; creating NU Programs that cater to well-off out-of-state and international students.

And the list goes on. And on. Good luck trying to retrieve the real Record, Mr. Degan.

A final point: Are NU’s transgressions as bad as Penn State’s; nothing compares to robbing innocent children of their childhood. Still, NU signing on to “predatory” financial practices is nonetheless, an awful legacy for Nebraska’s once-noble federal/Morrill Land Grant Act University.

Seriously, President Abraham Lincoln weeps in his grave at what Predatory College Presidents/Chancellor have done to the Great Emancipator’s visionary plan to institute an egalitarian Education Nation.

Bottom line: NU’s financial shenanigans and Platte RiVersailles actions are unlawful and the Presidents, Chancellors, and Vice-Chancellors who’ve condoned this wrong-doing should be let go.

They certainly should not be getting new houses in order to “entertain” Ohio State President Gordon Gee, the worst of the Big Ten’s Predatory Presidents.

The NU/NELNET “Partnership” remains an NU black eye the size of Happy Valley, Pennsylvania; the entire $22-30 million “suffering student” windfall that the NU Foundation got – instead of deserving financial aid recipients – should be returned to Nebraska students who are saddled with life-altering, predatory student loan debt.

To recap: the whole purpose of ARCHIVES is that they are supposed to reflect the actual RECORD; they should not be allowed to be “cleaned up” when Ivy Harper, or Common Cause, or Attorney Mike Degan questions NU.

Hey, how well did breaking the law work out for Penn State? Just sayin’

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