Thursday, November 17, 2011

University Parking Wars

By Nicholas Stix

I just read an item in the Chronicle of Higher Education that was frivolous, even by CHE standards. The alleged reporter, Don Troop, cited a CBC article that quoted tenured Driver (“Dr.,” for short) Danford W. Middlemiss as saying that he quit his tenured professorship at Canada’s Dalhousie University, over parking problems.

I went straight upstairs, I said, “I’m not kidding this time, I don’t have to put up with this. I’m resigning.”

In an age in which the majority of college instructors are part-time, piece-work adjuncts who labor for subsistence pay or less, without job security, and with few or no benefits, reasonable responses to Dr. Danford W. Middlemiss include:

1. You didn’t quit over parking, so cut it out; and
2. There are people desperate for that job, Pally, so don’t let the door hit you, on the way out.

Actually, since Dr. Middlemiss is an expert in the non-existent field of Canadian defense policy, the best thing Dalhousie could do, would be to eliminate the position.

Unfortunately, typical for the Chronicle, most of the comments came from pampered, tenured drivers who sympathized with the oppressed Driver Middlemiss, and offered their own tales of woe. Except as comedy fodder, those tales were worthless, because although most tenured drivers hid behind pseudonyms, they still wouldn’t name the institutions in question.

A handful of commenters had, however, taken their irony supplements. One quoted Clark Kerr, the sociologist who once ran California higher education, and who gave it its “multiversity” structure of California Community College (CCC), California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC) systems. Kerr once quipped, that a university was "a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking."

Another reader posted a link to a humorous promotion someone at Biblical Seminary (800-235-4021), in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, in the Killadelphia suburbs, came up with.


Video provided by BibSem.

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