Josh Heit's blog


Monday, February 20, 2006

Book Review:

I finished Original Wonkette's first book Dog Days about a week and a half ago. It's okay. A lot of it is very good meta-humor, with a lot of inside-DC references thrown in. The story isn't half bad, although the ending wraps up too quickly, I think, and the epilogue and final twist is unnecessary. (No spoilers here!)

More to come...


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Fun in the Express WeekendPass:

Since the Washington Post Express's Blog Log showed me a lot of love during the Ladner saga (which, since I've barely updated in months, is probably still below), I'll make some commentary on it.

They appear to be big fans of the new why.i.hate.dc, mentioning it in their "Hot Piks" section. Of course, the new author is a friend, AU alum, and former roommate of former roommate. And on the cover is another former roomie, designer Dan Lubrano, who I haven't talked to in years, but recognized immediately.

Hopefully, this is the start of regular blogging again.


Monday, December 26, 2005

It's been two months:

And no content. This is simply a post to note that I'm still here. I'll be trying to actually roll out blogging in the new year on a consistent basis.

If you want a hobby in the meantime, go through the archives and see how many time I've broken that promise before.


Monday, October 24, 2005

OK, so I lied.:

It's officially over.

He's gone for good. "Resigned" as professor and as president. Almost a million in buyout, minus what he's owed, so only a half million (less than one year's salary) net. The almost 3 million deferred appears to be on the up and up. I believe Gottschalk when he says:

It should be clearly understood that these balances accumulated over the period of his employment and reflect investment returns on the amounts contributed. These balances had been held in trust for Dr. Ladner's benefit as deferred compensation. No new cash payments or contributions are being made to these deferred compensation accounts other than one final payment of the annual premium that was already due in this academic year on the life insurance policy.

Should I believe this? Probably not 100%, but I would think the Board would want to keep clean financial statements from here on forward, as it reflects badly on them.

One does wonder though: Was the deferred compensation included in Ladner's salary statements? Or was he getting even more money (probably close to $1 million per year at the peak).

I do agree with Mr. Gottschalk, though, that it's time to move on. A settlement was a much better ending than a protracted lawsuit by Ladner. Now, let's find a new president, and get AU back in the news for things that don't reflect badly on my degree.

UPDATE, 12:42 AM, 9/25. There's a WaPo article out there now. I'm not going to link directly to it because that would be Express-Blog-Log whoring. It classifies the deferred payments as part of a $3.75 million dollar settlement. Again, I think that's lede burying. As Lenny Steinhorn says in the article: "If somebody's due money, the honorable thing is you pay that." And $500,000 is a reasonable expense, in my opinion, to keep Ladner from suing the university. Closure, and moving on, people, that's the important part. And yet another trustee resigns. Down to 19. At least there's now openings on the board for faculty and student representatives, should the board choose to go that way (which, now, I kind of doubt it will barring outside pressure -- Meg?)

UPDATE #2, 8:51 PM, 9/25: Meg has plenty of constructive criticism on the settlement. I may have jumped the gun in calling this reasonable, if the letter from the former trustees is to be believed (they have more credibility, but without documents, it's a he said-she said game).

I've officially moved into wait-and-see mode.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I was a bit skeptical of AU Deserves Better when it started, but it's excellent. I'm going to defer to it for day-to-day news. I will be chiming in here every once in a while though.

Coming soon: Non-Ladner blogging.


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