Posted by: stillironic | December 15, 2009

South of the Border University—4

College of Beyond Belief

As Roland Roscoe, he had asked Gregor to help come up with a new name for the ag school. “A new name will draw new students,” he had said. “Roland is sure of it.” While they brainstormed, Gregor had referred to Roscoe’s suggestions—“College of Farm Implementation,” “School of Agrarian Arts,” and “Basil Yeast College of Pastoral Cunning”—as being beyond belief.

“You’ve nailed it, my man!” Roscoe exclaimed. “The College of Beyond Belief.”

Roland thinks that’s dynamic, inspired even!” But before the new name was nailed above the door, he, as Roscoe Roland, had everyone believing he alone had come up with the idea.

The school had doubled its enrollment recently, which was the fall term following the name change. Discovering this, President Izzard pulled rank and created a position for Roscoe on his staff, that of Director of University Enhancement. Which, Gregor realized, essentially gave a man with undiagnosed multiple personality disorder free reign to roam around campus enhancing.

This also left it up to poor Basil Yeast to deal with the fact that most of the students who chose the college because of its new name had enrolled based on erroneous expectations. Roscoe’s materials marketing the new name had been so ambiguous that students were free to read anything they wanted into them. Yeast had students who thought they’d signed up to study everything from Eastern religions to metaphysical poetry to dance therapy for unemployed tobacco farmers. He’d been especially galled by students who expected to study creationism—agricultural studies are scientifically based, he had fumed.

“This is a travesty!” Yeast complained to President Izzard. “I need Roscoe back to straighten things out.”

“Doesn’t suit,” Izzard told him. The president needed Roscoe out enhancing the campus for the arrival of Metzger, the global warming specialist. “That egomaniac’s arriving soon,” Izzard said, “and he’s a media hound. What matters is your enrollment numbers are up.” In a whisper he added, “TAs  without English language skills. Covers a multitude of sins.”

 

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