Lady Gaga, Homophobia, and Investment Fail

Around the ivies
Around the ivies By Courtesy Wikimedia commons

You might think some Harvard courses have unusual syllabi. Yes, it is possible to emerge from the Coop with a copy of Goodnight Moon for a Gen Ed course, and there’s also that “science of cooking” class everyone and their grandmother lotteried for (but then didn’t get into). For now, though, it seems that the University of Virginia has taken the cake when it comes to bizarre courses. How, you ask?

Apparently, in Charlottesville, students can take a course called “GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity,” which—according to The Cavalier Daily—will “analyze how the musician pushes social boundaries with her work.” We'll keep our poker face on for that one.

At Duke University, the student government senate voted Wednesday to deny the College Republicans funding for the rest of year after allegations suggested that the student group's president was ousted for being gay. The Duke Chronicle reported that the senate voted “against the club as a whole” rather than “individual members,” but e-mails obtained by the senate seem to confirm the homophobia. “The emails include a derogatory 'homosexual image,' gay remarks and racist and anti-Semitic messages,” The Chronicle reported.

In other news, in the same week that the Harvard Management Corporation revealed 11 percent investment returns for the 2009-10 fiscal year, one headline in New Haven was not so peachy. According to an article in The Yale Daily News, the University's most recent tax filings show that the three fat cats running Yale's endowment took home a combined $10.1 million in salary and benefits during the 2008-09 fiscal year—even though Yale’s endowment plummeted by 25 percent in the same period. For many years, the Yale endowment’s CIO David Swensen has been the campus’s highest-paid individual, earning $5.3 million last year—almost a quarter more than he had the year before. Yale’s president, Richard C. Levin, earned $1.5 million in salary and benefits, more than twice the salary of President Drew G. Faust.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This post has been revised to reflect the following clarification:

CLARIFICATION: September 13, 2010

An earlier version of the Sept. 11 FlyBy post "Lady Gaga, Homophobia, and Investment Fail" stated that Yale’s endowment "plummeted by 25 percent last year." To clarify, Yale's endowment fell by that amount in the 2008-2009 fiscal year—not the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

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