Today Jacob da Jew posted a defense of Touro College, his alma mater. He calls out two bloggers for "besmirching the name" of Touro without giving it, its full due.
Now I'm generally all for the benefit of the doubt, but unfortunately in this case, it is quite hard to manage. 10 individuals affiliated with Touro have been implicated in a cash-for-grades scandal. Now it is clear that not every student or employee is involved, and that, in fact, it was limited to a small minority of the population. But here's the issue, as reported by Adam Lawson of Modern Tribalist: "With the scope of a dollars-for-degrees scandal at Touro College widening, students are wondering if their diplomas might become worthless ."
The problem is that a university grants degrees, and by doing so it is certifying that the degree holder has fulfilled the necessary requirements. That is all a university has, a guarantee, so when it becomes clear that, that guarantee is untrustworthy, then all students, even those not involved, are subject to suspicion. If the university cannot be trusted to accurately report grades, or attendance, about what else can it not be trusted?
Tzvee's response to the scandal is the one that I have the most trouble with. He says "Remember the Hebrew National ads, "We answer to a Higher Authority"? I guess Touro College does not..." While it is mild by comparison to that of Failed Messiah or DK, both of whom use the scandal as a jumping off point to critique Touro as a whole. Although, to be fair, Failed Messiah lets the critique be implied in this case, he does however mention that, according to the Manhattan district attorney "hundreds, maybe even thousands, of transcripts may have been fabricated or altered."
But don't worry, a commenter on Yeshiva World News' coverage of the story says that "My nephew the lawyer tells me that the alleged scandal involves the Kings Highway division which is not the one used by the frum oilam. Just passing it on." As if that makes a difference how the school is perceived. Although, to Jews, maybe it does.
Mostly I'm just sad about this scandal. It means that many hard-working people, who, for whatever reason, chose to attend Touro, now have degrees that are worth less than they expected.