Northeastern Illinois University is struggling, but it did have enough money, apparently, to agree to pay Valerie Jarrett, former president Barack Obama’s longtime adviser, $30,000 to be its commencement speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony. And, according to the university’s interim president, Richard Helldobler, it would be “classist” and “elitist” to suggest it’s money not well spent.

Comment: Few are more detached from reality than academics.