This tidbit from The Onion was forwarded to me from a non-academic friend of mine:
“University Implicated in Checks-for-Degrees Scheme.” To quote the lead:
“The University of Michigan has become the 17th institution of higher learning to be implicated in the checks-for-degrees scandal rocking American campuses, representatives from the Department of Justice reported Tuesday.
“‘We have strong evidence that the University of Michigan granted academic degrees to students in exchange for hefty payments, often totaling tens of thousands of dollars,’ Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey said. “‘In the process, thousands of graduates have emerged with degrees, but few or no skills applicable to everyday life. And many are as unprepared to enter the job market as they were when they first enrolled.'”
And a bit later on in the article:
“‘A course in Chaucer can be a fascinating examination of medieval mores and the evolution of the English language,’ Comey said. ‘Such knowledge, however, has little application in larger society. Students can graduate with majors in creative writing, Latin, women’s studies, and history, yet still not know how to fix a sink, sew on a button, or even properly feed themselves.Virtually the only opportunity graduates have to apply their arcane knowledge takes place during discussions over coffee with their peers, or attempts to impress members of the opposite sex at parties.'”