Penn Frat in Hot Water over Christmas Message with Beyonce Blow-Up Doll

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The Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Penn is in trouble after a member posted a Christmas message featuring a photo of frat members — and a blow-up doll (supposedly) meant to resemble Beyonce. The blow-up doll is in the upper-left hand corner of the image. Most of the frat brothers are white.

After an outcry, Phi Delta Theta President Jimmy Germi told several minority student groups on campus the toy was a Beyonce blow-up doll meant as a gag gift at the frat’s Secret Santa swap — but that “once removed from the packaging, it bore no semblance to the artist beyond skin color adding to its offensive nature.” (Here’s guessing it’s this one, on sale at Spencer’s and Amazon. That’s been on sale since at least 2010.)

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Penn’s Gutmann Criticized for “Die-In” Pose

When protesters invaded Penn President Amy Gutmann’s holiday party Monday night, she made a snap decision: She joined them in a “die-in” — a protest that’s become popular in the wake of two grand juries’ decisions not to indict police officers for killing black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.

Now she’s being criticized by Eric Rohrback, president of Penn’s police officers’ union.
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Protesters Invade Penn President’s Party

Protesters took over Penn President Amy Gutmann’s holiday party Monday night, demonstrating in support of Philly schools and with recent events in Ferguson and New York on their mind.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports the activists want Penn to pay a $6.6 million payment in lieu of taxes — known as a PILOT — to the school district. Penn is a tax-exempt institution.

The students, who were members of Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation and SLAP, first laid on the ground for four and a half minutes in memory of Michael Brown, the Ferguson teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer. Caught off guard, Gutmann joined the protesters, lying down on the ground to participate in the “die-in.”
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Obama Adviser Apologizes for Penn Comments

The presidential adviser who told a Penn audience that Obamacare passed, in part, due to “the stupidity of the America voter” has apologized for his comments.

Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor, made the comment at a Penn conference on health care more than a year ago. Video of the comment had emerged in recent months, fueling a new round of GOP criticism of the law.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber said in the video. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the America voter, or whatever.”
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Penn President Amy Gutmann Is 4th Highest-Paid in Nation

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Amy Gutmann and Jim Gardner at Thinkfest.

Penn President Amy Gutmann is the fourth highest-paid president of a private United States university, according to an analysis released by The Chronicle of Higher Education today. Gutmann made $2,473,952 in total compensation last year, including $1,123,376 in base pay.

She was the highest paid president in the group of colleges that the Chronicle considered Penn’s peers, making $794,885 more than the second-highest paid president in that group (Susan Hockfield of MIT). Only the presidents of RPI (Shirley Ann Jackson), Quinnipiac (John Lahey) and Columbia (Lee Bollinger) were paid more than Gutmann.

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Penn Law School Is More Conservative Than You Thought

A new analysis by FiveThirtyEight of Supreme Court clerks shows that Penn has some of the most conservative Supreme Court clerks of any elite school in the country.

Of the top 11 clerk-producing schools — Penn is tied for 10th with Northwestern — only the University of Virginia has more conservative clerks. The chart does show that all schools produce a wide range of conservative and liberal clerks.

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Penn Named Best University … Security

The University of Pennsylvania’s public safety division ranked first in its sector in the annual Security 500 rankings from Security magazine. It was the eighth consecutive year Penn topped the rankings for universities.

Penn has beefed up its security since the campus got a reputation for crime in the 1980s and early 1990s. Maureen Rush, Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of the Penn Police Department, joined Penn in 1994. Per The Daily Pennsylvanian, security contractors at Penn have doubled under Rush. Penn now has almost 800 people working in public safety in the 2.5-mile zone.

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