27.2.03

MISAPPROPRIATING STATE PROPERTY? The latest list of programs from the Faculty Development people is a "Faculty Diversity Workshop for Department Chairs." It's not about choosing maple, oak, or knotty pine.

"The purpose of this workshop is for academic department chairs to share climate issues, discuss communication techniques, and engage in a dialog that promotes awareness and understanding of the needs of a diverse faculty body." Ever notice those compound nouns of the form "x+issues?" Filler. At least one of the words isn't working. Notice also the "share" and the "dialog" and the "awareness." Who is bringing the bong? I bet that the needs of Republicans in any of the humanities departments or of people who lack patience with endless meetings never come up.

"Along with academic department chairs, Provost Legg and a small group of faculty will also participate in the workshop." Oh, so the departments are supposed to lend furniture for the provost and a few friends to have an eight-hour bull session. On a Thursday, during spring break. More evidence that some people lack a life: isn't that a good time to catch up on some reading?

"The workshop will include discussions, video presentations, exercises, and small group activities, and will be led by a nationally recognized diversity expert." Oh goody, Gulag 101. Will participants be graded on how well they play with others, or if they run with scissors? Will there be extra credit for constructive self-criticism? For ratting out counter-revolutionaries?

"This workshop is the first step in developing long-range plans and programs for the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty at NIU."

As. If. We. Haven't. Been. Doing. This. For. Years. Already. What was that definition of insanity?

"Sponsored by Office of the Provost and Pepsi Cola General Bottlers, Inc."

That means Pepsi, who paid the University a large sum of money for the exclusive right to sell pop, gets naming opportunities for such things. What makes this last sentence particularly galling is a session called "Survivor NIU" on the first Friday after classes resume. Subtitle: Doing More With Less: How Are You Surviving? Less well, whenever I read of expense-preference behavior from the central administration.

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