|Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar
Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar testfied Wednesday as the lawsuit by Gibson’s Bakery has reached the punitive damages phase:
It was an odd day in the Ohio courtroom today. Oberlin College, which got socked with an $11.2 million verdict last week for their role in defaming a small business as racist, spent half the day saying they weren’t as bad as they seem, and the other half claiming they were much poorer than they seem.
As this Gibson Bros. v Oberlin College lawsuit hits the end of the line, with the jury deciding on whether “punitive” damages will be assessed to Oberlin College, much of the testimony today consisted of the jury hearing how much cash the school has. Or doesn’t have.
But at any time when one tries to define the monetary value of anyone – large institution or ordinary person — it usually comes down to how one might interpret what such fun terms as “revenues” and “expenses” and “deficits” actually mean. Sometimes those terms get interpreted in different ways to get the dollar number one wants.
Oberlin College was so hellbent on getting the message out that their cash liquidity was in such dire straits — as the eight-person jury was figuring out if they wish to add $22.4 million to the school’s legal verdict bill — that they brought out the school’s president, Carmen Twillie Ambar to the stand to tell that part the story.
“We’ve created deficits … and over the next ten years, if this continues, that is unsustainable and we will not exist,” Ambar told the jury. She even indicated the school’s grants — about $60 million a year from the school, and lots of students get those scholarships as only 10% of them pay the full $70,000 a year — were important to preserve as “the accessibility of education” was a key component of the school’s purpose. . . .
Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings, the Oberlin College vice president for finance and administration, was brought to the stand by the plaintiffs’ team to go over the numbers and show how the school had lots of money and how a few million more on this verdict wouldn’t hurt them. . . .
The college has more than $1 billion in funds and net assets according to the latest IRS 990 form, an endowment fund that had grown from $440 million to $887 million in the last 20 years, and because of its non-profit status, pays no taxes on any property it owns.
It also had 18 members of their administration making more than $100,00 a year. The president and chief financial officer of the school were both making more than $500,000 a year. . . .
As for [Oberlin Dean of Students] Meredith Raimondo, she was brought to the stand for a short period in what seemed like an excuse for the plaintiffs to show the jury more emails and texts she was privy to or that originated with her. The punitive stage demands the jury find “malice,” in their deliberations, and these emails and texts tended to prove some of that. . . .
|Donica Thomas Varner
I have a little sympathy for students who might be kicked out if the college folds, but it seems that a substantial number of students, or at least a highly vocal minority have joined the SJW mob.Judge John R. Miraldi had ruled yesterday that an email written by Donica Thomas Varner, Oberlin College’s Vice President and General Counsel, who has been in court since day one, was inadmissible.Notice that all four of the Oberlin administrators named here — Ambar, Vazquez-Skillings, Raimondo, Varner — are women. Is that just a random coincidence or, as I suspect, is it a result of deliberate anti-male discrimination at Oberlin? Three of them (Ambar, Vazquez-Skillings and Varner) are women of color, and we might further suspect that this reflects anti-white prejudice at Oberlin, which could be of interest to the jury in Lorain County, which is 85% white. Given that this is a case involving Oberlin students making false accusations of racism against private business owners, do you think the jurors will be moved to sympathy by Ambar’s reference to the college’s “unsustainable” deficits?
Oh, and Ambar is being paid more than $500,000 a year to preside over the social justice warrior training camp at Oberlin, while the annual median household income in Lorain County is $52,066.
Where I come from, there’s an old saying, “Payback is a bitch.”
Incidentally, Oberlin is reported to have an $884.7 million endowment. I think they can take the hit.
Update from Ace, Bake Me a $33 Million Cake, Bigots: Oberlin Socked With Over-the-Maximum Punitive Damages Penalty of $33 Million, Bringing Total Judgment to $44 Million + —Ace of Spades
Learn to code, bitches.
Stacy McCain: Maximum Punitive Damages: Jury Rains Fire and Brimstone on Oberlin College
If you want to understand what happened, begin with this: Oberlin’s administration promoted to the post of Vice President and Dean of Students the college’s former Title IX coordinator, Meredith Raimondo. In 2014, Raimondo had been named “Special Assistant to the President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” whatever that means. According to testimony at the trial, Raimondo handed out leaflets urging a boycott of Gibson’s, describing it as “a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”
This was a grossly stupid thing to do and yet, Raimondo is an allegedly educated person who is being paid more than $100,000 a year in an executive supervisory role at an elite college where the annual cost of attendance is $71,390, including room and board. Dear God, I wouldn’t trust such an incompetent dimwit to supervise a Cub Scout picnic!
It would seem that Raimondo’s only qualification to be Dean of Students is that she is (a) female and (b) has the “correct” politics. That’s apparently the employment policy at Oberlin, as at all “elite” schools — any liberal woman with an advanced degree can get hired, and who cares if she’s grossly stupid and irresponsible? Campus life is so well insulated from real-life consequences that this stupid woman’s incompetence doesn’t really matter until one day, she engages in a deliberate act of defamation and — oops! — there goes $33 million.