Richard Berendzen

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Richard Berendzen

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:19 pm

Triggers. Lots.

Richard Berendzen was the President of American University, a prolifically expansive Methodist-founded educational outfit who also, curiously enough, provided the real estate to get the Army Chemical Corps started. Berendzen is a very vivid illustration of the limits of Wikipedia. Here's the Jimmy Wales Project take on Berendzen's near fall from grace:

In 1990, Berendzen resigned as president of American University after a woman who received indecent calls complained to police, who traced the calls to his office. Berendzen received no fine or community service requirements for this misdemeanor charge, but was sentenced to two thirty-day suspended terms and directed to continue therapy. Earlier, he had checked himself into Johns Hopkins Hospital. Three years later he published a book addressing the calls and his experience as a victim of child molestation. Eventually he would return to American University in a teaching role. Many students would rally around him in an effort to support his return to the post of President of the University, but he declined this call.


Indecent, yeah? Let's see how America's Newspaper of Record commemorated this strange moment in academia:

May 24, 1990

RICHARD E. BERENDZEN, who has resigned as president of American University, pleaded guilty yesterday to two misdemeanor charges of making obscene telephone calls from his office. Judge J. CONRAD WATERS JR. of Fairfax County General District Court sentenced Mr. Berendzen to 30 days in jail on each charge. But he suspended the jail time provided that he stays out of trouble for one year.

''I deeply regret all of this,'' Mr. Berendzen, 51 years old, told the judge. During the phone calls, he talked about ''explicit, detailed, gross and graphic sex with adults and children,'' one of the victims said.

A Harvard-educated astronomer, Mr. Berendzen had been president of the university since 1980. He resigned April 8 and has been under psychiatric care.(AP)


Introductions aside, let's cut to the horror movie:
https://medium.com/@LoriHandrahan2/trad ... 197ad4b85d

In 1990, American University’s president, Richard Berendzen, was calling day cares seeking sex with children when he contacted Susan Eva Allen; a mother operating a home-based day care whose husband was a detective with Fairfax County Police Department. A search warrant was obtained.

Susan Allen recorded more than 30 hours of conversation with Berendzen. He asked Susan Allen if “she and her husband included their children in sex” and begged to have sex with Susan Allen’s children. He told her he masturbated while talking with her and offered to procure a child for her to use as a “sex slave.”

He “described going to sex slave auctions in Chicago and Detroit,” bragged about his abuse of children, his child porn collection, the four year old girl who was his “sex slave” and strapping his wife to a wheel in their basement.

Professor Berendzen never spent a day in jail nor has he yet been investigated for child sex crimes.

In what appears to be clear obstruction of justice, American University protected Berendzen, his career and financial security.

Conspiracy to commit child rape and possession of child pornography are not “administrative” issues. These are criminal matters and must be prosecuted as such. There is no statute on limitation for child sex abuse crimes at the federal level. Professor Berendzen could still be and should be subject to investigation.


Most remarkable of all, not only was Berendzen's career not destroyed, it actually continued to improve. His effusively enthusiastic wiki page lists a prolific and very public career:

Two mayors of Washington, D.C. appointed him chairman of the "Commission on the Budget and Financial Priorities of the District of Columbia," an analysis and report to the mayors, the D.C. City Council, and the U.S. Congress. He was an advisor to the chief of police of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.

...

He has served on numerous boards; e.g., American Astronautical Society, American Association of Colleges, Business Council for International Understanding, Consortium of Universities of Metropolitan Washington Area, Federal City Council, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Points of Light Foundation, Mentors, Inc., Orphan Foundation of America, BlueCross BlueShield of Greater Washington, the Planetary Society.

Berendzen also has directed National Science Foundation and NASA grants and has received awards for outstanding teaching, the most recent in spring 2006 at American University.


Berendzen claimed it was all just talk, and three years later wrote about about himself as a victim in an autobiographical book, "Come Here: A Man Overcomes the Tragic Aftermath of Childhood Sexual Abuse"

Via: http://articles.philly.com/1994-05-15/l ... ornography

At the time, Berendzen couldn't explain anything. What made him call the telephone numbers listed in newspaper ads for day care and ask about sexual behavior with children? Why did he ask one woman if she allowed her children to see her naked? Why did he bring up child pornography, auctions of sex slaves? Why did he claim to keep a 4-year-old girl caged in his basement?

The answers are part of a national discussion about the "cycle" of abuse, and the debate about just how much a person's childhood traumas contribute to - perhaps even mitigate - actions as an adult.

After treatment at the Johns Hopkins sexual disorders clinic in Baltimore, Berendzen blames the phone calls on his failure to deal with the emotional turmoil resulting from abuse he suffered as a child. The doctors linked his behavior to a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, he said, prompted by his father's death and increasing stress in his life.

Berendzen, 56, has written a book about his experiences, Come Here: A Man Overcomes the Tragic Aftermath of Childhood Sexual Abuse, and is making intermittent stops on the speakers' circuit. Late last month, he and his wife, Gail, were in West Chester, speaking to about 100 social workers at a child- sex-abuse conference.

As befits a professor and college president, Berendzen proved himself a well-practiced, accomplished speaker. Some might say performer. He used no notes, yet never missed a beat, right down to the dramatic pauses.


Elsewhere, the article notes:

...what really irked some was that they felt Berendzen, in focusing mostly on his painful experiences as a child, minimized the consequences of his actions as an adult.

When one of the conference organizers, Temple University law student Ellen Levy, asked him if he considered himself a perpetrator, Berendzen back- pedaled: "Of a sort. Not child abuse. It was a misdemeanor. But, sure."

That was the closest he came to addressing the legal aspect. In May 1990, Berendzen pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of making indecent telephone calls. A two-month jail sentence was suspended on the condition that he continue psychiatric counseling.

He never mentioned specifics of those telephone calls to the gathered social workers. A recipient of one call described it as "filthy beyond your most horrible nightmares." He did quote the prosecutor, who said the calls were somewhat "cerebral" and probing.

Berendzen has said that the sex abuse he suffered as a child was not an excuse for his later actions - only an explanation; but there were some who questioned his sincerity.

"This happens a lot when our clients get caught. It's then that they'll start to deal with their victim issues," said Barbara Keller, a supervisor for Chester County's sex-offender program at Human Services Inc. in Downingtown. "I found myself pretty skeptical about a lot of things."


The Kirkus review of his book lays his rationale out in starkly absurd terms:

Berendzen blocked the episodes from his consciousness and lost himself in work, becoming an astronomer, a professor at Harvard, and, finally, president of AU. Workaholism had destroyed his first marriage, but his second was happy and stable, as wife Gail worked with him to upgrade AU's image and put it on the road to financial prosperity; together, they became prominent on the Washington social scene.

But, gradually, disturbing compulsions began to intrude upon Berendzen's carefully controlled life.

He found himself making furtive phone calls to day-care providers who had advertised in Washington newspapers. He would quiz them about sexual activities with children and lead them on with confessions of his own invented exploits. The author never linked the calls to what he'd suffered, and, he says, never got sexual pleasure from them: He was trying to find out, in a confused way, what makes adults use children for such sick purposes.


Bear in mind that the police reports, and interviews with the day care operator he was calling, he repeatedly stated that he was masturbating during the call.

Appropriately, nobody in Chicago wanted to hear his bullshit...
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993 ... ers-clinic

Richard Berendzen, former president of American University in Washington, D.C., was both the perpetrator and the victim of a tragedy. This self-absorbed autobiography, however, focuses only on his own tragedy: his mother's sexual abuse of him. It completely ignores the consequences of the obscene phone calls he admits making to as many as 15 women "who had placed ads in newspapers to provide child care."

Berendzen states that his being a victim of childhood sexual abuse does not excuse his crimes; nonetheless he repeatedly describes the terroristic phone calls as the result of a "compulsion." After being discovered, Berendzen maintained that the calls were made not for prurient purposes but for "data gathering."

His mother was a psychotic, filled with wild fantasies and crazy perceptions. For years, she called him into what became a dreaded location, the middle bedroom, by issuing what became a dreaded demand: "Come here." The episodes of abuse ended, Berendzen reasons, when at 12 he became too old to control.

When one of the women to whom Berendzen made repeated obscene calls between 1987 and 1990 cooperated with police to catch him, his world fell apart. He describes his resultant trials, humiliation and grief as he faced his family, members of the American University community, the press and, briefly noted, the criminal justice system. He tells of weeks of therapy at the Johns Hopkins sexual disorders clinic.

The lessons he hopes to teach? The public needs to appreciate the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse and the problems and pathological behaviors it creates, and recognize the need for psychotherapy for its victims.

Perhaps, but these lessons have been taught before and beg critical questions regarding criminal behavior and personal responsibility. Berendzen agonizes throughout much of this book over the consequences of his detection to his own life and career, to his family and to American University. But nowhere does he agonize over the effect that terrorizing phone calls detailing child sexual abuse could have on women charged with watching children. When appearing on television, ironically, his greatest fear is that he might receive "hate calls."

Then there's the issue of punishment. Berendzen resists it since he believes he is sick, and he receives none: His jail terms were suspended with the requirement that he get psychiatric treatment. Although he lost his presidency, he is back at American University as a tenured, full professor teaching full time.
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Re: Richard Berendzen

Postby guruilla » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:42 pm

Handrahan lists some forty more shady characters affiliated with US universities, with details, then sums up with:

Institutional Betrayal

Are universities and colleges “protecting the institution” and not the children being brutally sexually abused, raped and tortured? As American University sought to hide Richard Berendzen’s crimes against children, other universities and colleges appear to be ignoring and/or hiding child sex abuse crimes by their employees occurring on campus.
https://medium.com/@LoriHandrahan2/trad ... 197ad4b85d

Which makes me wonder if the post-Savile "pedomino effect" we're currently seeing in the UK has flash-fired into the US?

The notion of "institutional betrayal" is a loaded one, in that a nation whose institutions can't be trusted is an unstable nation (liminal period) and that instability can lead to all kinds of results, some of them possibly intended . . .
It is a lot easier to fool people than show them how they have been fooled.
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Re: Richard Berendzen

Postby semper occultus » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:52 am

..thanks for this...( I think :( )

..puts me in mind of the Roger took case...


http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/826 ... h-society/


The Establishment paedophile: how a monster hid in high society

Roger Took was a pillar of academia, with an enviable Chelsea address. He was also a vicious paedophile. Charlotte Metcalf shows how the veneer of social respectability can protect even the worst offenders

Charlotte Metcalf 9 July 2008
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Re: Richard Berendzen

Postby elfismiles » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:51 am

Thank y'all for this thread ... and for the phrase #PeDominoEffect
goodbye farewell adieu au revoir ciao auf Wiedersehen adios sayonara buhbye tata laters
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Re: Richard Berendzen

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:56 pm

This part is what haunts me the most...

Via: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/lo ... erendz.htm

A source said that after campus officials realized that the calls led to Berendzen's office, they told Fairfax police that they believed they knew who had made the calls, but they did not reveal the caller's identity, asking for time to "get him out of there."


A lot of illuminating details afoot here...

Via: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-0 ... aller-tape

She said her husband walked in the door 10 minutes after the first phone call. He took a police report. A tap and recording device were put on her phone right after the first call. She said when her husband made the report he was given a tape by an investigator who told him that police had been trying to identify the caller on the tape for a year. He asked her husband to take the tape home to play it for her.

``As soon as he said hello, I said that`s it and I went to take a shower.`` Law enforcement sources have confirmed that a caller made an obscene call some months ago to a former sheriff who taped the call. A tap was put on his phone but the caller never called back.

...

She arrived home about 5:30 in the evening. ``He called a half hour after I got home.`` Her husband answered. ``I listened on the extension and gave my husband the high sign. He enjoyed talking to my husband as much as me.``

She says the phone calls were extremely graphic and much of the content dealt with children. Law enforcement sources familiar with the tapes describe the caller as being primarily interested in talking about various permutations of group sex. They confirm that in one of the conversations the caller said he had a 4-year-old ``sex slave`` imprisoned in his basement, but they said the caller was confused at times about the age and sex of the child and where the child came from. His hesitations and answers reassured them that the caller was spinning a fantasy and that there was no child in any danger. They also confirmed that the caller described going to sex slave auctions in Chicago and Detroit.

Allen said the caller had led her to believe that he lived in McLean, Va., but the telephone tap eventually led to American University, which has its own campus phone system run by a company in Michigan. She and her husband were told by police to try to get the caller to phone them between the hours of 4 and 6 so that a computer printout could be developed showing where the calls were coming from. Those calls were traced to the private line of the university president, according to sources.

On April 6, according to law enforcement and university officials and to Allen, university attorneys met with the police investigator and he played tapes for them. He did not ask university attorneys to identify the caller, according to law enforcement sources, who said that an agreement was reached in which university officials asked for time to take ``some administrative action against the employee.``

...

Allen is aggrieved about how this sequence of events was handled, in part because she says she got a phone call on Saturday, April 7, from the caller who said she had ``destroyed his life. I said, no, you did... He said, `I hope you have a happy life and I wish you a lot of luck because you are going to need it.` I consider that a threat.`` She said she had no warning of this possible turn of events. ``They had no idea if he knew me. They had no idea if he had my address.``

American University officials have said that Board Chairman Edward Carr had Berendzen`s resignation by Sunday, April 8. It was made public on April 10. Allen said she got a call from a source, whom she declines to identify any further, telling her to watch the evening news that Tuesday because a high- level official was resigning from American University. She said she and her husband watched. ``My husband had to peel me off the ceiling.``


"Sure, we'd be happy to give the perp some time to collect his affairs, gather his wits, you know...destroy the evidence, stuff like that."
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Re: Richard Berendzen

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:55 pm

That Handrahan article really set me off... There are a few things I'd like to add to this thread.

After treatment at the Johns Hopkins sexual disorders clinic in Baltimore, Berendzen blames the phone calls on his failure to deal with the emotional turmoil resulting from abuse he suffered as a child. The doctors linked his behavior to a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, he said, prompted by his father's death and increasing stress in his life.

Berendzen, 56, has written a book about his experiences, Come Here: A Man Overcomes the Tragic Aftermath of Childhood Sexual Abuse, and is making intermittent stops on the speakers' circuit. Late last month, he and his wife, Gail, were in West Chester, speaking to about 100 social workers at a child- sex-abuse conference.


http://www.fmsfonline.org/newsletters/f ... v4_n5.html

In one case, however, a transcript quoting Paul McHugh was read. (Dr. McHugh was no longer present to respond.) What was read made it sound as though Dr. McHugh personally practiced the memory-recovery techniques of hypnosis and sodium amytal about which he has publicly urged caution. We obtained a copy of the transcript that was read, and we contacted Dr. McHugh for his response.

PAUL MCHUGH, M.D.: "The transcript is of my interview on Nightline where I was asked by Dr. Richard Berendzen to join him in discussing how his (unforgotten) experience of sexual abuse as a child may have played a role in his adult deviant behavior. I described several ways that we attempted to challenge his account of sexual abuse. A counter opinion was that he was fraudulently claiming this abuse so as to blunt criticism and escape some punishment for his actions.

"One of the methods we employed was an interview under amytal sedation. It was not our aim to use this sedated state to explore his memory for other experiences in his history. We did, and still do, consider an amytal sedated patient to be vulnerable to influence that can create artifactual memories. Our effort was devoted to observing whether he would admit, under amytal sedation, that he had concocted a child abuse story and might then deny it. Dr. Berendzen held to his memories despite the sedation. We then launched other efforts to confirm or dismiss them. When all our investigations were completed we, as noted in the transcript, concluded that he had been sexually abused and was not untruthful in this matter.

"Notice that at the start, our diagnostic opinion was not settled by the patient's report. Rather efforts were directed towards verifying or rejecting his account of events that had happened years before. We believed and still believe that we were ultimately acting in the patient's interest by retaining an initial skepticism towards his claims and in launching a good faith effort to confirm or reject them. We encourage similar efforts -- not necessarily of an identical kind -- to challenge childhood memories when subsequent treatment and management will depend upon their accuracy."


http://www.kspope.com/memory/lofrev3.php

The Myth of Repression documents how court involvement has raised complex practice and policy questions about memory disturbance, acceptable interventions, and personal responsibility. The highly publicized case of American University President Richard Berendzen illustrates many of these questions. The same day President Berendzen resigned, he entered Johns Hopkins (Spevacek & Gonzales, 1990). The police had caught him making what were described as "terroristic," obscene phone calls (Vatz & Weinberg, 1993, B4).

When staff at Johns Hopkins injected sodium amytal, Berendzen began talking about childhood abuse (Brown & Sanchez, 1990, A1).

He was sweaty and woozy and groggy.... And the psychiatrists who surrounded his bed kept bombarding him with questions.... He slept for a few hours, and then ... it was time for group therapy. Still groggy, he staggered down the hallway and slumped into a seat among the child molesters and the rapists and the exhibitionists who were his fellow patients. "And this doctor suddenly riveted me to the wall--wham!--with these questions and everybody's staring at me and he's going back to all these things when I was a kid. And the first thing that jolted me was: How the hell does he know that?" (Carlson, 1990, W12)


During this time, according to a reporter, Berendzen "told them about events that he'd totally forgotten" (Carlson, 1990, p. W12). He himself noted that when he engaged in sex with his parents, "Once it was over, it was erased" (Berendzen & Palmer, 1993, p. xi). In treating Berendzen, the Johns Hopkins staff also used age regression (Berendzen & Palmer, 1993, p.123), guided imagery (pp. 154-155), focus on a famous case of alleged child abuse (p. 122), imaginary letters to his mother (pp. 131--132), and bibliotherapy that included symptom checklists (p .157) . In light of staff assurances that Berendzen would always be treated just like any other patient (p. 152), it may surprise readers to learn of patients' constant access to staff: "McHugh said that even though Berlin was my attending physician, he wanted me to have his home number and told me to call if I ever needed him" (p. 153).

The Johns Hopkins evaluation allowed Dr. Paul McHugh, chief psychiatrist and FMSF board member, to reach a number of specific conclusions. Appearing with Berendzen on television the same day of the court hearing, McHugh compared the phone calls to "a kind of foreign body imprinted in him earlier in his life" ("Berendzen pleads guilty to obscene calls," 1990, p. 2). McHugh concluded that the phone calls were symptoms:

We concluded that Dr. Berendzen is a patient, and this behavior that he has had, of these telephone calls, are symptoms of that patienthood, that he is suffering from-- in a kind of post-traumatic disorder, provoked by serious--the most serious kind of sexual abuse to him when he was a child. (p. 2)


McHugh's report to the court asserted that the calls were not obscene (Berendzen & Palmer, 1993, p. 187). A woman who had taped some of the calls noted that one involved the graphic description of "a four-year-old Filipino sex slave locked up . . . in a dog cage.... And the only thing that she was fed was human waste" ("Berendzen pleads guilty to obscene calls," 1990, p. 1). McHugh's report to the court emphasized that these nonobscene calls had nothing to do with Dr. Berendzen's prurient interests but were an attempt to bring resolution to his own abuse-caused patienthood (Cohen, 1990, A21). The report submitted to the court emphasized that the patient was now sound psychologically and physically (Spevacek & Gonzales, 1990, A1). Finally, "Dr. McHugh said after the weeks of treatment that Mr. Berendzen will 'never indulge in that behavior again'" (Vatz & Weinberg, 1993, B4). The history of child abuse was highlighted in the court hearing less than a month after he had entered the hospital, and he received a suspended sentence.

As reported by McHugh, Berendzen, and the media, these events highlight some intensely discussed questions about working with adults who claim to have been abused as children after a long period during which, in Dr. Berendzen's words, they "somehow don't remember it any more" ("Berendzen pleads guilty," 1990, p. 4). When child abuse is reported 40 years later, can clinicians or forensic specialists decide with certainty that it did or did not occur? Are sodium amytal, age regression, guided imagery, probing memories of famous cases of alleged child abuse, assigning reading materials containing symptom checklists, and similar techniques useful in assessment and intervention? Can interrogations conducted in a darkened hospital room or an intensive therapy group distort findings? Can the possibility that a forensic expert may appear on national television with the patient affect the process and outcome of a forensic assessment? What, if any, are the implications of forensic expert and patient appearing on television shows together? Can a clinician determine whether a patient experienced prurient interest during phone calls, and what are the assumptions underlying making this distinction? Have sufficient controlled research studies been published in peer-reviewed journals to provide an empirical basis for assuring courts, after less than a month, that someone who has made non-obscene but illegal phone calls in the past will "never indulge in that behavior again"? Can childhood abuse suddenly cause the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder 40 years later, and if so, can a course of assessment and treatment of less than one month bring about such a complete recovery that the patient is now sound?

Two profound policy questions are: (a) should a person who only after arrest claims a history of child abuse be exempt from jail and fines for seemingly abusive and illegal behavior? and (b) are the forensic uses of mental health syndromes scientifically based and consistently applied? For example, McHugh's colleague at Johns Hopkins, John Money, criticized the FBI's handling of the complaint against Sol Wachtler, chief justice of New York State's highest court, arguing that no one should hold Wachtler responsible for his actions because he suffered from advanced symptoms of an erotomanic delusional disorder, which is a devastating illness (Derschowitz, 1994, pp. 323-324).


"A group of families and professionals affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in Baltimore created the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in 1992"

I forgot that it was created as late as 1992; I misremembered it as sometime in the eighties...

"McHugh's colleague at Johns Hopkins, John Money"

http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/ ... 30&p=41710

John Money, professor emeritus of psychology at Johns Hopkins University, gave an interview to Paidika about "genuinely, totally mutual" sex between boys and men. In the introduction to a Dutch professor's 1987 book called, "Boys on their Contacts with Men: A Study of Sexually Expressed Friendships," Mr. Money wrote that opponents of pedophilia are motivated by "self-imposed, moralistic ignorance."


Always good to remember that people who sadistically rape or torture are very likely to have been victims themselves when they were children or otherwise in a defenseless position. Even an institutional monster like Jimmy Savile didn't commit his crimes like a supervillain, in a moral vacuum or a sheer power grab situation. He was a victim himself as a child, you can bet on it. It's all just sick and sad... In saying all of this I'm not pretending to tell anyone here something they don't already know. Just want to reconnect to the realities of why these things happen and why it matters, for my own sanity.
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Re: Richard Berendzen

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:56 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/12/11/us/ho ... -does.html

How Powerful Is as Powerful Does

By BARBARA GAMAREKIAN, Special to the New York Times

Published: December 11, 1985

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10— He does not hold elective office, nor is he a political appointee. And she is not a leading lobbyist, lawyer or leading society figure. But Richard and Gail Berendzen, a couple with no obvious claim to the sort of power that runs this town, have nevertheless become one of the capital's power couples.

Dr. Berendzen, a former professor of astronomy who is now president of American University, calls himself ''an academician.'' Unlike most academics, he and his wife are seen everywhere: White House dinners, embassy parties, charity balls, Kennedy Center premieres, museum openings, Georgetown cocktail gatherings.

They were also among the envied few invited to the British Embassy last month to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales. And a steady stream of well-known local and international figures visit their spacious home in northwest Washington. The goal? ''My job,'' Dr. Berendzen said, ''is to tap the unique resources of this city and to get to know the power leaders of Washington who can be beneficial to the university.''

He seems to be making progress, to judge by a much-increased endowment for his 11,000-student university, an enriched curriculum, an expanded building program and a significant jump in test scores for entering freshmen.

Dr. Berendzen successfully enticed the Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi to donate $5 million toward the construction of a university convocation center. And he has brought in as visiting professors the playwright Josh Logan and Jihan Sadat, widow of President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt.

Mrs. Sadat put together a seminar series on ''Women in a Changing World,'' with Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, Coretta Scott King and Barbara Walters as guest speakers. Other visiting lecturers have included Paul A. Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the Supreme Court.

'Has Obviously Struck a Chord'

''Berendzen has obviously struck a chord in Washington,'' said Nancy Clark Reynolds, a Washington lobbyist who serves on the university's National Advisory Board along with such people as S. Dillon Ripley, Walter Cronkite, Farrah Fawcett, Agriculture Secretary John R. Block and Senator Paul Laxalt.

That board is one of three university boards Dr. Berendzen said he had ''invented'' so as to call on the influential likes of Cabinet officers, ambassadors, members of Congress and others to serve as members.

Dr. Berendzen has also added to his board of trustees not only Mr. Khashoggi but also some of the major money people of Washington: real estate developers, bankers and business leaders such as Forrest Mars Jr., Irene Pollin, Luther H. Hodges, Sheldon W. Fantle, John W. Heckinger and Sondra Bender.

''He has made it his business to get to know the engine that runs this town,'' Mrs. Reynolds said, ''whether they are well-to-do business people or politically well-connected, and he's parlayed his strengths and talents into making American University a visible part of the community. I think he wants to make it the Harvard on the Potomac.''

Although Dr. Berendzen's approach to bettering the university has not met with universal approval - he once wore a suit of armour to an especially contentious faculty meeting -he contends that all the socializing, all the travel, all the speeches, all the television appearances and the putting together of what he calls ''the wealthiest board of trustees in the nation'' are paying off and helping make American University ''a national university.''

He cites an endowment that has more than tripled in five years, to more than $15 million, to the university's largest campus building expansion since the 1960's, to an enlarged study-abroad program, to an enriched curriculum and to an average SAT score for entering freshmen of 1100, up 150 points since 1978.

In the past American University has not been considered ''first rank'' in its academic standards, says Dr. John W. Chandler, president of the Association of American Colleges.

''But it seems to me,'' he said, ''that Dr. Berendzen's strategy for improving its quality has been sound, publicizing the university, getting people in important positions to pay attention to it. And in terms of faculty distinction, he and his colleagues have been successful in attracting some eminent people.''

Dr. Berenzden acknowleges that part of the appeal for Washington business leaders who serve on the university's board of trustees is that social occasions at the Berenzden home place them in the company of the Federal Government's political power elite.

''What we have found,'' he said, ''is that we have become the leading place for people who are individually extraordinarily successful in one domain to meet people who are famous in another domain. I know there is a fair amount of discussion in the corners about things other than American University. But that's fine. Whatever works.'' The Berendzens average 11 social functions a week, Dr. Berendzen says, and while he is at the office, Mrs. Berendzen works at what he calls ''the women's network'' of university outreach programs, volunteer work and diplomatic luncheons.

In the 1983-84 academic year, he kept a journal on all their comings and goings, and his musings will be published next month by Adler & Adler. The book's title: ''Is My Armour Straight?''


Kashoggi Gift Stirs Controversy At American University - Jan. 15, 1987

Despite the prominence of the Khashoggi issue in the student newspaper, Berendzen said he had received ''no letter, no postcard, no telex - only one anonymous call,'' objecting to the link to Khashoggi.

''In terms of there being some vast student uprising, who knows, may be there will be, but so far it hasn't happened,'' he said, noting that students were cramming for final exams or on vacation for most of December. The 11,000- person student body returns from the Christmas break next week.

One faculty member, Jeffrey Richelson, an assistant government professor, said he told his students that the center should be named the ''Khashoggi Sports and Guerrilla Warfare Center.''


One last thing: The Million Dollar Disgrace - November 16, 1990

Richard Berendzen, the former president of American University, was asked to resign this spring when it was discovered that he had made obscene phone calls from his office. He remains a tenured professor. The trustees of American University -- without consulting anyone in the campus community -- have offered Dr. Berendzen more than $1 million to sever all ties with the school.


"Why did the board like having Adnan Khashoggi as a member? He supplied them with moral vision."
The new way of thinking is precisely delineated by what it is not.
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