Category Archives: Tweed

Taking academe a little less seriously.


Need a New, Important-Sounding Job Title? Try This

The lengthy, jargony academic job title has long been an easy target for critics of the bureaucratization of higher ed. How many assistant deans, vice provosts, and special-assistants-to-the-whomever does a college need?

A new website,, takes that sentiment to the extreme, generating a new, fake job title — and estimated salary — with each click. For example:

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It’s unclear who designed the generator, but people appeared to first stumble upon it over the weekend:


Would Academe Make a Good Reality Show?

Ever think higher ed was ripe for reality TV? You’re not alone. Emily Nussbaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic for The New Yorker, floated the idea on Twitter over the weekend:


Faced With Unfortunate Acronym, George Mason Renames Law School, Again

Shortly after George Mason University announced last week that it would rename its law school as the Antonin Scalia School of Law in honor of the late Supreme Court justice, people on social media began pointing out the new school’s unfortunate acronym:

In response, the law dean, Henry N. Butler,…


The Strangest Ways Students Pay Tribute to Their Favorite Professors


In showing respect for their favorite professors, today’s college students have ventured well beyond the proverbial apple.

An Indiana University at Bloomington instructor was once given chicken livers … five pounds of them, from an adoring student whose father was a butcher. He gladly accepted and enjoyed the tasty treat. One Southern Methodist University instructor was presented with “a limited-edition Snickers bar” that said “goofball” on it. Apparently the student saw it and though…


Instructors, What’s the Oddest Thing a Student Has Done Out of Admiration for You?

Having an instructor to look up to can be vital to a student. Mentors can help students stay in college, provide them with research opportunities, and serve as lifelong role models. But what happens when students take reverence for teachers too far? By, say, getting a tattoo (or two) to show their love?

Yes, that happened. Slate published this query on Monday from a student wondering whether to cover up tattoos in the professor’s honor during advising meetings.

Instructors, has something like th…


How a Rapper Twitter-Shamed a University Into Paying Him

How does a flagship university become the subject of a famous rapper’s Twitter rant? Book him for a speaking engagement, withhold $2,500 from his fee for not fulfilling his end of the deal … then wait.

That’s how the epic feud between Talib Kweli and the University of Utah began, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. After the institution said it was “hugely dissatisfied” and would not pay Mr. Kweli for his Martin Luther King Jr. Day appearance, the rapper took to Twitter, ranting against the univers…


After 10 Days on the Lam, Wayward Goat Is Back at U. of Iowa

The tumult and drama of recent weeks finally drew to a close in Iowa City on Monday. No, it wasn’t the departure of the last presidential candidate or TV crew. It was the recapture of the University of Iowa’s lost goat, missing since late January and the subject of endless speculation, not to mention extensive coverage in the local press.

“We are very happy to report that William the Goat is in custody and back home in a nice warm pen out at the University Research Park,” tweeted the university’…


Iowa State Senator Wants Public Colleges to Cut Ties With Stanford Over Halftime Show

bill in the Iowa Senate would ban the state’s three public universities from collaborating with Stanford University, except in athletics, until Stanford apologizes for its marching band’s halftime performance when Stanford and the University of Iowa faced off in the Rose Bowl.

Introduced on Wednesday by Mark Chelgren, a Republican, the bill asks Stanford to ”publicly apologize to Iowa’s citizens and to the University of Iowa for the unsporting behavior of the Leland Stanford Junior Universit…


U. of Iowa’s Search for Escaped Goat Enters Day 5

The University of Iowa is still searching for a goat that made a daring bolt to freedom five days ago. The male goat escaped Friday morning from a portable carrier while being transferred to an animal-housing facility at a university research park, and it has eluded the university’s animal-research officers ever since.

There have been a handful of sightings in the City of North Liberty, a suburb of Iowa City about three miles north of where the goat went missing, but university and law-enforcem…


U. of Iowa Doesn’t Know Why Its Fight Song Blares From an Empty Building in Niagara Falls

[Updated (1/27/2016, 3:17 p.m.) with expanded comments from a university spokesman.]

A University of Iowa spokesman said on Tuesday that he had “no clue” why the university’s fight song is being played, week after week, in a vacant building in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The mystery was first reported by the Niagara Gazette, which says the song has been repeated on a loop, for several hours at a time, on “most nights for roughly six months.”

The Gazette quoted a local business owner as saying that he ha…