Monday, December 13, 2004

He couldn't catch his own box with both hands 

SCSU President Saigo, under pressure from campus groups including our own Faculty Senate, had a letter printed yesterday in the St. Cloud Times about the Homecoming queen. Talk about being late to the ball! The particulars of the queen are the same -- "challenging gender stereotypes," "homecoming court consisted entirely of students of color," "dismayed by threats," etc. No surprises there -- Roy-Noyz can sing the diversity hymns as well as any university president. However he strikes a rather arrogant tone here:

A definitive feature of universities is that they are places in which new ideas are developed, established ways of thinking are challenged, and people's thoughts and actions are not limited by the status quo. Many great scientific discoveries and social change initiatives have occurred at universities because the intellectual environment encourages creative thinking and exploration of ideas.

This same university environment that provides such a fertile ground for social change commonly leads to differences between the campus and the larger community.

Talk about Visions of the Anointed! It is one thing to develop new ideas; it is entirely something else to eschew any idea written more than fifty years ago. We do not respect the box. The larger community does because, unlike tenured academics of the Department of Something Studies Nothing, failure to respect the box leads to losses in the wallet. We challenge the status quo upon peril of that loss so that risk-taking is not excessive (since money invested in harebrained schemes is lost for use in more productive ones.)

Would only that some chancellor, somewhere, would impose that cost structure on Saigo.