In other news, yesterday the university sawed down several perfectly healthy trees outside of Lorch Hall, home of the economics department. Rumor has it that the trees were removed so that the ugly construction trailers that have been present outside our building for almost my entire career at Michigan, but which disappeared a few weeks ago, can be replaced by more spacious ugly construction trailers so as to facilitate the next round of construction at the busyness school next door.
We saw Grand Budapest on Friday night at the State Theater. It is a complete delight: crazy, original, funny, at times sad, visually rich, and overall just an excellent way to spend a couple of hours. I completely concur with the glowing review by A.O. Scott in the NYT.
People do cheat, even at Michigan. Of the three places I have been, I liked Maryland's process for dealing with cheaters best. It involved (in part) students judging other students, and the students were typically much tougher on cheaters than administrators. Michigan's process works reasonably well too, but is a bit more lenient than I would like.
Western Ontario, at least when I was there, was neither as organized as Maryland and Michigan in how it handled cheaters nor as tough. I had a student at Western who plagiarized on their honors thesis (!). I wanted to toss him out of the program but in the end was only able to give him a low grade. He had the temerity to come back a few days later and ask for more points. That day was the closest I ever came to physically harming a student.
This looks more like an indulgence of presidential vanity than a serious use of either public funds or the president's time to me (and I would note, of course, that such trips are a bipartisan affront to the taxpayer as all recent presidents have done this sort of thing).