Back in September, after 97% of faculty and staff polled said he was unqualified to hold the job, The University of Iowa community was surprised when the Board of Regents selected J. Bruce Harreld as its new president. Harreld, a former Boston Market executive with no academic administrative experience, was up against the president of Oberlin College and the provost of Ohio State University, among others. His entire application packet consisted of a three-page resume, which turned out to inaccurately list his most recent employer, and he was consistently the last choice of every stakeholder group consulted. But he was also the only candidate to speak on the phone with Governor Branstad, and he met privately with the regents during the selection process. Last week, the American Association of University Professors released its report on the matter, which found that the UI Presidential Search and Screen Committee played no meaningful role in Harreld’s selection. According to AAUP, his appointment was a “crude exercise in naked power” on the part of the regents.
I don’t mean to alarm you, but more than 30 American cities have reported a sharp increase in their murder rates this year, and nobody can explain why. Just kidding—I totally mean to alarm you. Murders in St. Louis are up 60% from this time last year. Donald Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. You can buy this shirt and wear it to the mall or whatever. Maybe your grandfather was right, and the last 50 years—the period that begins when we decided everything that feels good is okay, and ends when we gave first-person shooting games to children we taught how to deliberately feel self-esteem—set this country on some kind of course. Today is Friday, and America has embraced an iconography of skulls and luxury. Won’t you demand money and respect with me?
So it’s not just that I remember being 21: the Princeton Review has ranked my University of Iowa the #1 party school in the nation. The way they do it is they take some mice who have never partied before, and then they release them on campus and see how many of them have little stamps on their feet the next morning. Mice who get pregnant have to leave the study and go to community college. The University has basically been running the same experiment for years, but now that it’s achieved scientific results they’re being dicks about it. I quote spokesman Tom Moore:
In each of the last four years, alcohol harm to our students has decreased. It is, frankly, still too high. We are heartened, though, by the steady progress we have made, and are committed to continuing this progress.
Moore then ignited his hair with a flaming shot and fell backwards through the window.