After student protests at the University of Missouri resulted in the resignation of Tim Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri system, Donald Trump said:
“I think the two people that resigned are weak, ineffective people. I think that when they resigned, they set something in motion that’s going to be a disaster for the next long period of time. They were weak, ineffective people.”
Trump added: “Trump should have been the chancellor of that university. Believe me, there would have been no resignations.”
Of course Trump made that statement not knowing fact one about the issues under protest, or about the people who resigned. And of course, he made his statement, essentially, to get himself back onto center stage by being outrageous.
But consider this delicious irony: There’s a thing that once was called Trump University, and it has a rather ignominious history. According to the Washington Post,
Trump University was born in 2004, when two businessmen proposed to offer distance-learning courses in entrepreneurship under the Trump brand. Trump gave his blessing, according to court documents, becoming a 93 percent owner of the new enterprise.
By 2007, the business had evolved to focus on live real estate seminars. But Trump University was not a university in any legal sense, and beginning in 2005, New York State Education Department officials told the company to change its name because they deemed it misleading. The business became the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative in May 2010, and it stopped operating shortly thereafter.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) filed his $40 million suit against Trump and Trump University in 2013, alleging that Trump had illegally operated an unlicensed university and defrauded students. Approximately 80,000 people attended Trump University’s free introductory seminars, according to court documents. About 9,200 of them went on to pay $1,495 for three-day seminars, and nearly 800 paid up to $35,000 for packages that included mentorships and workshops.
So, technically, there were no official “resignations” at Trump U. But essentially, the entire “faculty” was forced out, there was plenty of educational fraud, and lots of unhappy “students. It all came to an end after students protested that they were being scammed.
So much for “Chancellor” Donald Trump, his expertise as the leader of an academic institution, and his credibility as a critic of higher education.