Mean Presidents, And Other Campus News

April 20, 2014, 10:48 pm


Your cub reporter

Last week I was reviewing books about blogging for a course I am teaching in the fall. Advice from professional bloggers who actually make money doing this is to post every day. So I did, but curiously, although there were plenty of readers, there were few comments. What’s with you guys? Grading or something? Even sexual mayhem at Dartmouth didn’t rile anyone up! That surprised me, I’ve got to say. There are usually squads of people out there ready to defend the poor lads who are being “falsely accused” and tell me I am a puritan; or alternatively, accuse me of patronizing women. I was reproved for patronizing librarians, who want money and not kisses.

I can understand that. But all I have is kisses. And news:

Here’s the Colby College Library — but where are the books? In storage, that’s where. According to this letter, signed by 44 members of the Colby faculty, the library was remodeled and 40% of the books put in storage without any real consultation with the people who use the library. The renovation began last year — it was announced the Friday before spring break! — while a faculty request to delay the renovations was still pending. ”Books have disappeared into storage, administrative offices have appeared or will arise where stacks of books once stood,” the signers write; “the reference area has been purged and the central floor looks like a massive waiting room, designed for students and other patrons to look at each other in between Google searches rather than engage in thoughtful contemplation and scholarship.” What is left, as they describe it,  is “gutted and spiritless.” Formerly “a place for reflection and deep thought, research and scholarship,” the library now “seems more like a waiting room surrounded by a series of administrative offices.” Interestingly, the President of Colby is William D. “Bro” Adams, who announced his retirement in January. Adams was a key advisor to William Chace during the very few years when Chace was the least popular president in Zenith’s history exactly because he was always doing stuff like that.

University of Southern Maine Update: As of the end of last week, the USM administration claimed it was trying to “avoid deep cuts in faculty, staff and programs[.]” According to Hunter Hackney of the Maine News (April 19 2014), the faculty senate has presented President Theodora Kalikow with a 27-point plan that should accomplish the budgetary savings to save the faculty of four programs and 35 staff members. Kalikow has restored one of the four programs, but three others are still on the block, including American and New England Studies.

OMG! More Liberal Bias on College Campuses! Truth Revolt, perhaps temporarily speechless because Obamacare is hitting its targets, brings it to our attention that even as “the White House seeks to politicize a Kansas high school graduation by sending first lady Michelle Obama there, a new report shows that on America’s campuses this graduation season, Democratic speakers outnumber Republicans more than 2 to 1.” Follow the link to Campus Reform, which did the study, and you will learn to your great horror that although any number of members of the current administration are speaking at graduations around the country (they may have been asked because they are, you know, running the country), “No former Republican President or Vice President is scheduled to give a commencement address.” You can see how grossly unfair and bad for education this is if you read the article. Would you invite Dan Quayle to give a commencement speech? Just curious.

Retiring University of Louisville Official With Big Settlement Agrees Not To Criticize School, so sayeth the Associated Press. Well, if I had a big settlement, I wouldn’t criticize anybody either. But I don’t. So watch out.

OK, Go Ahead, Sue Me: check out this story in LA Weekly News (February 20, 2014) about University of Southern California’s abrupt decision to kill its Masters of Professional Writing program. The story tells a complex story about a program’s demise, one feature of which is a lawsuit by a faculty member who claims she was harassed and terminated because she is Jewish. A Tenured Radical source at USC says all the rest is window dressing: the program was terminated because of the lawsuit, since if there is no program, there is no job this person can be returned to, so — kill the program and lawsuit goes bye-bye! What a sound reason to terminate a couple dozen other faculty who didn’t sue anybody or do anything to get sued.

And Just When You Thought The College Application Season Was Over: Dante  de Blasio, of the most Famous ‘Fro since Angela Davis, is looking at colleges. How they do grow up. So far, he has visited  Columbia and Zenith. Prediction: if he goes to Zenith, he will major in the College of Social Sciences or Film. I have no idea why, but nearly all celebrity children do. Second prediction: Dante will actually attend Brown or Stanford.

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