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College administrators gone wild [SLIDESHOW]

Massive embezzlement, gambling addiction, outrageous sexual harassment, allegations of adultery fit for a Russian novel. Where can you find numerous examples of such degenerate behavior? The American prison system? The Democratic National Convention? Try the highest levels of management at America’s colleges and universities.

Here are the worst scandals among presidents and high-ranking officials at American colleges and universities in the last 20 years or so.

Click an image below for larger version.
  • Marie Thornton, the high-rolling chief financial officer at Iona College, was accused of embezzling over $800,000 from the school and losing all of it at the casinos in nearby Atlantic City. But wait. The story gets better. Thornton was also a Catholic nun. In 2010, Thornton pled guilty to a single count of embezzlement. She was sentenced to three years of probation and 2,000 hours of community service. Photo/Creative Commons - Civlov
  • When it comes to presidents behaving badly, American University deserves its own soap opera. In 1990, Richard Berendzen resigned as American's president after a woman alerted police that she had received disturbingly obscene phone calls. Those calls were traced to Berendzen's office. In 2005, Benjamin Ladner was fired for using school funds for excessive world travel, limo rides, and --- what every serious college president naturally requires --- a personal French chef.
  • In 1999, Lissa Roche carried out threats to commit suicide by shooting herself in the college arboretum. She was the wife of George Roche IV, an employee at Hillsdale College, and she had claimed shortly before her death to have conducted a 19-year affair with her husband’s father, George Roche III, Hillsdale’s revered and long-serving president. Roche III resigned from Hillsdale and retreated completely from public life. He died in 2006.
  • The state of Illinois is a cesspool of corruption, right down to its flagship university. Between 2005 and 2009, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign gave special treatment to dozens of applicants from rich, politically connected families despite their academic inadequacies. Both B. Joseph White, president of the University of Illinois system, and Richard Herman, chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign branch, ultimately resigned in the wake of the scandal.
  • In 1997, the New York State Board of Regents ousted Peter Diamandopoulos, Adelphi University's president, and all but one of the school’s Board of Trustees. At issue was the Board's allegedly rampant cronyism. Diamandopoulos had also carved out a questionably lavish lifestyle for himself that included a ritzy Manhattan apartment and --- according to the New York Daily News --- the second-highest salary among all university presidents. Photo/Facebook - Adelphi University
  • According to prosecutors, Priscilla Slade, the ex-president of Texas Southern University in Houston, fraudulently misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars between 1999 and 2005. She used the money for fancy home furnishings (including some $40,000 on dinnerware alone) as well as landscaping and a security system. In 2008, Slade pleaded no contest to the charges. Photo/Facebook - Texas Southern University
  • In 1991, President Donald Kennedy of Stanford University resigned amid allegations that Stanford had inappropriately billed the federal government to the tune of some $200 million under the auspices of federal research grants. A few of the more outlandish charges reportedly included deprecation on a yacht, an antique toilet, and improvements for Kennedy’s bed. Photo/Creative Commons - Tomwsulcer
  • In 2001, Owen Cargol resigned under pressure just four months after he was appointed president at Northern Arizona University. A male NAU employee had accused Cargol of grabbing his genitals in a locker room. Evidence in support of that he-said-he-said charge included an email Cargol sent to the employee wherein Cargol called himself a “pat-your-thigh kind of guy” (among several other things not as fit to print). Photo/Facebook - Northern Arizona University
  • You know this sad, sordid tale. A former assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulted at least eight underage boys on or near Penn State property. There was a disgusting cover-up; legendary head coach Joe Paterno was fired; and the Board of Trustees forced the resignation of school president Graham B. Spanier. Photo/Flickr - audreyjm529
  • In 2007, the Board of Regents fired President John A. Fallon III (as well as at least one other bureaucrat) based on allegations that Eastern Michigan University had covered up the true nature of the rape and murder of a student in a campus dorm room. According to ABC News, the eventual arrest of the murderer conveniently occurred on the first day when students could no longer receive a full refund for withdrawing from courses of university housing. Photo/Creative Commons - Pwojdacz