Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Opening Day

Yesterday, the Chancellor, Dean and other administrators gave their opening day speeches. It was a strange group of speeches. No one talked about the real problems on campus, the budget cuts.

The chancellor gave perhaps his worst opening day address since I have been hear, almost mumbling through a list of planning initiatives. The speech was pure bureaucratese, devoid of substance or seriousness.

The bright spot is the new dean of student affairs, Petra Roter, who gave an amusing, spririted overview of the positives for students on campus. She completely avoided the parking issue, because it might mean realism would invade the sunny positive speeches.

Dean Zimmerman, in his address to the COLS, could not avoid a bit of negativity in his speech. Several times, he declared he didn't want to talk about the budget, though it was clear he did. Instead, he talked about some of his inititatives to convince a broader public of the need for liberal arts education. As usual, his remarks were cogent and interesting, but emphasized our weakness in self-promotion.

All in all, the event struck me as particularly empty. I was waiting to hear something substantial, but there was nothing but platitudes.

No comments: