This book lists 206 examples of stories, anecdotes, and commentaries on the world of higher education. They are based on my experiences as a faculty member for 41+ years, an interested observer of higher education for many years before that, a department chair for 9 years, and on a number of stories I have heard from others. I suspect that I am a lightning rod for unusual situations and stories, since I have seen and heard so many.
You’ll meet some interesting characters and situations inside, including Professor Watch-My-Fingers, the student who did not understand the purpose of a Do Not Disturb sign, dropping the lowest grade, and the student who could not take an exam at a certain time of the month (no, it is not what you think). We’ll also describe the “rule of thumb,” the matched set of luggage, and why every new department chair should make three envelopes. In the book you will also be introduced to the arcane academic languages known as deanspeak and presidentspeak, and the infamous Five-I speech – and how they are related to the theory of mass mental defect.
The stories, anecdotes, and commentaries are grouped generally into several categories:
The Faculty get confused, too
Promotion and Tenure
More faculty responses
Grading, part II
Things you can’t say in class
Do not be misled about either the title of this book or the cover. The Jonathan Swift 1726 essay, A Modest Proposal, a satire about eating children to address a food shortage in Ireland, had no effect on the writing of this book. Nor are there any recipes included within.
As a relatively recent retiree, it was a pleasure to reminisce about my experiences in higher education as I was putting this volume together. I enjoyed the experience. I hope you like reading this book.