If you need another example of the Max Nikias effect at USC, here’s an article in Los Angeles magazine on how Arnold Schwarzenegger gave the university $20 million and got an institute and full professorship named after him to clean up “his raunchy reputation.”
Kind of like how $15 million got a residental college named after Al Cowlings. There was never such a thing as shame in the Nikias era over taking money for any purpose.
I can still remember making a comment a few years ago to a USC official about the unseemly nature of letting big donors rule the roost under Nikias and getting an angry response: “What do you want us to do? Stop raising money?”
It was always painted in black-and-white terms: Either you take money from people who need image rehab or don’t take it at all. You were not allowed to have standards or guidelines.
Ironic that in the previous blog post, I’m writing about Alfred Hitchcock showing up and urging alumni to attend a picnic. Now the famous are engaged in pay-to-play schemes to inflate their images.