David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Pearly Ivory Towers

July 3, 2013:  Pearly Ivory Towers

The Huffington Post has an interesting article this week on the challenges facing Penn State University, University of Michigan, and Ohio State University (I refuse to add the obnoxious "the" to any University name).  Certainly these are jobs with tremendous challenges, requiring leadership that may, frankly, not exist.  The article hinges on this line spoken by one of OSU's administrators:  ""The joke is frequently told in these searches that you're looking for God on a good day." 

While I'm sure every cynical faculty member across the country is dying for me to say that most University Presidents already think they're God, I actually want to take a different tactic.

Would God ever stand a chance during a University Presidential Search?

The Search Firm would want someone who would demand more salary (would God demand any salary?) so that they can line their pockets.

Some members of the Board of Trustees would want someone with more fund-raising experience.  Turning water into wine is fine for parties, but it won't bring in the big bucks.

Other members of the Board of Trustees would want someone with a business background.  God is way too forgiving of less-than-efficient employees.

The faculty would want someone who has been in the classroom.  Being "out in the field" for thousands of years doesn't equate to knowing what goes in the classroom.

Faculty would also demand a Ph.D.  God sneers at terminal degrees; he prefers eternal ones.

The students would want someone more accessible.  St. Peter would just seem like a grumpy old security guard.

The executive leadership team would want someone they could manipulate.  God can see right through them.

The athletic director would want someone who would stay out of their programs.  Every athlete has to praise God after victory.

Human Resources would want someone who actually had three former supervisors for reference checks.  God would simply say, "ask anyone."

The staff union would want someone who understands the importance of paid time off.  This one-day-to-rest crap won't fly with them.

Nope, sorry God, don't come applying to be a University President.  Save yourself the embarrassment.