David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Round Tables & Block Heads

November 25, 2014

So, people are upset that Kean University spent $219,000 for a conference table made in China (damn it, doesn't anyone buy American anymore?).

You can see the table (as much as they can fit into the shot) here:

The outrage is over the $219,000 price tag. I certainly concur.  But there is so much more that meets the eye when you look at that picture.

Let's note a few other interesting tidbits: 

  • Some are not putting a makeshift coaster under their water bottles.  Tsk! Tsk!  At $219K, treat that sucker with some respect.
  • Someone is texting on her phone, not paying attention.  At $219K, people at that table better pay attention.
  • You can't blame leadership for wanting a round table.  It certainly connotes that all men (or if you look at the picture, predominantly white men) are created equal.
  • What good is the map in the middle? The table is so huge, you need to catch a bus to get to the middle.  Can you see the discussion?  "Anybody know where Ferguson is?  Someone lay on the table and point it out to me."
  • Is that glass part in the middle able to spin?  This could be the greatest fondue table ever!  Just keep spinning it round until the white bread shows up in front of you.

It's really a shame that Kean's president isn't named Arthur.  The Kean Arthur and the knights of the round table jokes would abound.

That won't stop me from adapting the "Knights of the Round Table" song from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."  If you haven't seen that, stop reading and go out and beg forgiveness from whatever deity you worship.  (And then watch it here.)


We're Knights of the Round Table,

We meet when we're able,

We do ad campaigns and long-range plans

With story spin impeccable.

We dine well here in Keanalot,

We preen and sheen to get seen a lot.

We're Knights of the Round Table,

Our tasks are formidable,

But many times, our faculty part-time

End up quite unsustainable.

We're Operations mad in Keanalot,

We rule from a room unseen a looooooot.

With PR we're tough and able,

Quite indefatigable,

Between our talks we cut back on chalk

And live of our life of fable.

It's a busy life in Keanalot,

I have to count the green a lot.


By the way, in case you are wondering what my point here is . . . Maybe there isn't one. After all, it is a round table.