July
19th 2008
Saturday morning funnies

Posted under: American history, jobs, local news, wankers

Well, imagine my surprise when I returned from my recent short vacation to find this little invitation in the mail from the University of Colorado.  (While I live in Colorado and work at a university, CU is not my employer–I work at the old aggie school I affectionately refer to as Baa Ram U.)  My surprise turned to delight when I opened this fine, glossy card, to read that I am invited to meet the new president of the University of Colorado, about whom I’ve blogged quite a bit here, here, and here.  (My overall take on uncredentialed politicians who presume to lead universities is here.)  Check it out below–the party is at the Potterville Country Club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side note:  I’ve never seen an academic’s spouse advertised like a warm-up act, but I guess it’s just further proof of the different ways that politicians think compared to people in academia.  (I don’t even know if my current Dean is married, and although one of her predecessors was married, I never met his wife, even when he hosted a nice luncheon for junior faculty at his house.  And, I’ve never seen or heard anything featuring the presence of the wife of the current president of Baa Ram U. or his immediate predecessor.)  Does anyone else think this is strange?

Five years ago, I donated a modest sum to a scholarship in memory of the historian and CU Professor Emeritus Jackson Turner Main upon his death, and I suppose a good deed sent to the development office never goes unpunished, which is why I get invitations to all sorts of parties for fancy donors to CU.  As if!  It reminds me of the Christmas card I got from George W. Bush and family in 2004–I had been a major donor to Kerry, so I wonder if the Bushies were just reaching out in case I wanted to make friends with the other team in victory.  Yes–it was the official White House Christmas card.  I also wonder if they sent the card out to Kerry donors to gloat!  (Maybe that’s what Benson is doing to Historiann?  Probably not–as they old saying goes, money talks, bull$hit walks, and they don’t know about my secret identity as Historiann.)

So, anyway, back to the current invitation on my desk:  what do you think I should wear?  (The invitation says “business casual,” but I don’t even know what that is any more.)

8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Saturday morning funnies”

  1. Cero on 19 Jul 2008 at 5:32 pm #

    I´ve seen university presidents interview for the job with their wives present … I think they are thought of lot more like presidents of republics than other administrators are. Remember the old fashioned role of the faculty wife – I think it hangs on and gets writ large.

    The Paper Chase will tell you what to wear, she is good at that. I think it means nice shirts and jackets but not suits and ties. You could wear a very cool leather blazer (an idea I got from her). My default for this is an elegant skirt and sweater – I figure business casual means fancy but not party and not tailored, since I reserve tailored things and suits for business formal.

  2. Indyanna on 19 Jul 2008 at 6:34 pm #

    The prez. of the proverbial other place is coming up to Pottersville to see you? This is cool. U. presidents love that road trip stuff. The best way to NOT see a new president, or even an old one, is either to be at my place (one live sighting, outside of structured situations, in ten years–over a run of maybe three presidents) or to be at the university where the president is technically affiliated. Do universities have tunnel systems so their presidents can prowl around when needed without the risk of running into other campus-based stakeholders?

    I’d say biz. casual definitely rules out flip-flops, and probably a good deal more. People were wilting at SHEAR this weekend in long pants and sleeved shirts, if that’s any guide.

  3. Historiann on 19 Jul 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    I’m not a long pants or long sleeves kind of woman, even in the dead of winter…unless I’m snowshoeing or something.

    Should I really go, just to see his m.o. in cultivating the big donors? (I was just kidding when I asked what to wear, thinking that it would be obvious that I wouldn’t be attending, but Indyanna and Cero have me thinking…)

  4. Rose on 20 Jul 2008 at 8:08 am #

    When we first arrived at our current institution last fall, the wife of the outgoing president was referred to as “The First Lady” of the university, which I thought was particularly strange. She had, however, done a tremendous amount of work fundraising, setting up various town-gown philanthropies, etc., all unpaid of course…so I guess the least she deserved was a fancy title.

  5. Historiann on 20 Jul 2008 at 8:20 am #

    And…she was married to a pol, not an academic!

    This “First Lady” business is a huge scam designed to get free work out of women. I think that if they’re going to do substantial work in the way that Mrs. Garrison did, they should get more than a fancy title–they should get a proper job title with a proper salary and benefits. Why should universities or the state get free work out of women married to pols?

  6. Indyanna on 20 Jul 2008 at 10:44 am #

    Yes to the last point. On whether to go clubbing to the prez. event, I’m all for networking. Even if you’ve already blog-thumped the guy a few times, if he knows about it and has a sense of humor maybe he’s a candidate for upgrading to “revise and resubmit.” If he has an iconic meltdown when you walk in, besides I guess maybe putting some staffer’s job at risk for the invitation itself, there’s more posting fodder! (I have a great– almost Biblical-parable quality–story about university first lady resourcefulness that I heard when I arrived at my current perch, but wouldn’t even dare to think about how to construct it for distribution. If there’s ever a Historiann convention, however, I’ll narrate it at the bar!)

  7. ortho stice on 21 Jul 2008 at 7:41 am #

    Historiann, I hope you attend the president’s reception. It shall be a great opportunity to nibble hors d’oeuvres and sip cocktails while hobnobbing with wealthy buffalo ranchers. Have fun!

  8. SF on 22 Jul 2008 at 12:22 am #

    I’ve got this great Lusty Lady Tee with a voluptuous topless woman wearing an aviator’s hat and straddling a fighter plane. Be happy to lend it to you for the occasion.

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