Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lousy excuse of the day 

Arizona State University will not award President Barack Obama an honorary degree when he speaks at commencement on May 13.

The university decided against awarding Obama the degree because it is customarily awarded for �lifetime achievement,� ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler told POLITICO.

�It�s normally awarded to someone who has been in their field for some time,� she said. �Considering that the president is at the beginning of his presidency, his body of work is just beginning.�
This is silly. The term on a honorary degree is honoris causa. Literally, a degree to honor the recipient, "for the sake of the honor." You waive the rules for taking courses and writing a thesis in order to give someone an award who has never been to the school.

Is Arizona State worried that he won't do enough beyond, oh, I don't know ... elected the first black President of the United States? I may not agree with the man's policies, but I don't think it would cheapen the academic integrity of ASU to give a degree now versus waiting three years or so. I mean, this isn't Yale we're talking about here.

Mr. President, I'm fine with you canceling your address.