I would like to be your next university president
A cover letter to the University of South Carolina
I would like to be considered for the position of president of the University of South Carolina.
It has come to my attention that your current president, push-up enthusiast Bob Caslen, tendered his resignation after someone ran his commencement speech through a plagiarism checker and found out he was ripping off whole paragraphs from a Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama Bin Laden.
The board chairman may have let Caslen off the hook, but in my mind, Graduation Day 2021 is a date which will live in infamy. Now we are engaged in a great online posting war, testing whether the university, or any university so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
Far from plagiarizing, I want to bring a bold new vision to the University of Southern Calif — Carolina. As university president I will bring back Chicken Finger Wednesdays with unlimited dipping sauces. I will authorize WUSC to play Top 40 bops outside of fundraising week. Also I will bulldoze the Greek Village.
Our fundraising callers will have access to the deleted Facebook photos of all alumni from 2004 to present, for blackmailing purposes.
I will enlist the help of our campus police officers to seize all unattended boats on Lake Murray and auction them to pirates.
Finally, I will work with the more reasonable factions in our legislature to impose a $500 million fine on the state’s billionaires every time they publicly utter the words “STEM,” “school choice,” or “hard work.”
With the additional funding, I promise to seal the portal to Hell in the basement stacks of the Thomas Cooper Library for at least another century. Also, more bike racks.
I understand some alumni are concerned about “cancel culture” run amok at the university, which is why I will push for immediate unionization of all faculty, staff, adjuncts, maintenance workers, and food service employees within a 100-mile radius of campus. We must stand firm against threats to academic freedom.
As your next president, I will personally fix every mislaid brick on the Horseshoe. 8 a.m. classes will be canceled forever. Price-gouging textbook publishers will face a fair and speedy trial in the form of a People’s Tribunal.
I understand that your last presidential selection process in 2019 nearly inspired a revolt. Students and faculty shouted “Shame!” outside your doors as the board of trustees caved to pressure from the Trump-loving governor and voted 11-8 to install Caslen over more qualified candidates.
The university nearly lost its accreditation after that sham talent search, and the board of trustees lost legitimacy in the eyes of faculty and alumni. That’s why I propose leaving the next presidential hiring decision in the hands of the only administrator with a shred of public support: Women’s Basketball Coach Dawn Staley. (Coach Staley, if you are reading this: Kicked ball! We all saw it! Y’all were robbed and I’m still not over it.)
Listen, in these uncertain times, a lot of folks are scared. Tuition keeps rising, the urban squirrel population is out of control, and sinkholes are opening up across the state. But let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear … is fear itself.
If you liked whatever that was, you might also enjoy my previous cover letter, “I would like to be your next men’s football coach.” I’m keeping my options open here.
In more serious news, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is salivating at the chance to start executing imprisoned people again. If you live in South Carolina, or even if you don’t, please consider writing a letter to state lawmakers pressuring them to reject Senate Bill 200, which would authorize the state to kill people via electrocution or firing squad.
The ACLU of South Carolina has a form letter to get you started. I also helped write a position statement and Twitter thread for Charleston Democratic Socialists of America if you would like to use that as a starting point.
There are a lot of good reasons to abolish the death penalty, but Kottke put it succinctly today:
Emotionally, intellectually, and psychologically, human beings are ships of Theseus — we are not the same people at 30 as we were at 20 or will be at 40. The death penalty is immoral, full stop.