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21 May Posted by in Academics, Observations | 4 comments

I performed the following takeoff on Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Am I Alone” and “Anxious for to Shine” (from Patience) at the School of Music’s Young Masters Concert on May 4, and then as an encore at the celebration on May 12:

Am I alone and unobserved? I am.
Then let me confess, I am an administrative sham.

My love for meetings is at best but fleeting.
My global lure is but a wish to tour.
My writing pace is a scholarly race misplaced.

Let me confess:
A love of Faculty Handbooks does not ignite me.
The recurrent dose of BOV does not delight me.
I do not plea for P and T by any means.
I do not adore students who are in their teens.

A passion for more metrics does not fire me.
Appeasing SACS and SCHEV does not inspire me.
I cringe at yet another football debate,
Or US News gloating over how we rate.

In short my statesmanship is affectation,
Born of a morbid love of admiration.

If you’re anxious to seem hot in a high provostial slot
as a man of vision fine,
You must talk of innovation without any reservation
and especially if on line.
Of course you must poo-poo anything that’s tried and true
for disruption is the norm.
And woe to those who lecture—they’re a bother and a vexure—
and must be flipped with scorn.
Then everyone will say, in the academic way,
If that provost is planning things that are so far ahead of me
Then what a singularly strategic guy that strategic guy must be.

Eloquently praise interdisciplinary ways
that will make your research pay,
And convince ‘em, if you can, that in a future span
real endowment will come our way.
Of course you’ll show your smarts
about athletics and the arts,
while pressing STEM right to the core.
And with ample future hiring, the world will be admiring
George Mason’s ranking score.
Then everyone will say, in the academic way,
If that provost has clear funding plans like we’ve never ever seen,
Then what a resourceful fiscal star this provost guy has been.

Then a social media passion in the model blogger fashion
must impress the dullest twit.
That an embrace of the future will invariably suit you
though, in fact, you don’t care a bit.
To your deans be ever-rigid, but to students never frigid,
you’re a true prince full of mirth.
And keep the global patter in all languages that matter,
carry Mason ’round the earth.
And everyone will say, in the academic way,
If this provost preaches leadership norms as if descended from on high,
Then how much we’ll miss his leaderly style—though we’re not quite sure why.