And over there, Highlights for Children
How much does a certain university want to be home of the G.W. Bush Presidential Library? The school is one of two local finalists. The other is a much smaller but more academically challenging university, one that doesn't mind the "liberal arts" appellation, which will probably hurt its chances. The conservo-uni has been hustling like mad to make the campus ready for the presence of his Holiness (by which I mean James Dobson or some other Christian prez-polisher). It's a kiss-up fest over there like you have never seen.
Back when I still got a paycheck from the place, I heard a lot about the enticements the school was offering to the Bushies--don't forget, the FLOTUS is an alumna--to assure that the library/museum/conservative-think-tank (oxymoron alert!) would end up here.
To clear the acreage needed for the library complex, the school evicted a few hundred residents of an apartment community the school had acquired over on the easternmost side of the school. Some of the ousted residents were elderly, owned their apartments and had lived there for more than 20 years. They were given no choice. Out by July. The school's reason for the sudden evictions? Mold.
Details of the library offer haven't been made public, but the scuttlebutt among the faculty has it that besides building Bush an enormous pile of bricks dedicated to his achievements as president (wait, I think I threw up a little in my mouth when I typed that), the cronies, er, "staff" assigned to the place will have posh living quarters provided. (President Clinton's library/museum in Little Rock includes a penthouse for him.)
Worst tidbit I have heard about the Bush Library plan is that Karl "I'm the hand up Kermit's ass" Rove would be awarded a permanent, endowed chair in some department (the academic equiv of a featherbed job). He'd mostly likely land in Corporate Communications/Public Affairs, since even the poli-sci department is wary of his infectiously slimy way of doing the poli-biz (watch out for mold!). I heard more than one prof say that if all this came to pass and Rove's fat head floated into view, faculty wouldn't exactly greet him with open arms and tea parties. Is it any coinkydink that one of the rising stars among the public affairs tenure-trackers made tracks for another school this summer? What did she know?
And here's another piece of the puzzle. A Department of Education was quickly tossed together last spring. Adjunct faculty were hired and although there is no office space, classroom space or even a corner of a building dedicated to the new major, it now exists. Why the sudden need for education majors? Ah, back to the Bush library again. What I've heard--and from some folks in the know on campus matters--is that a requirement of a school housing this presidential worship center, er, library, is that it must have an education major. Voila! The Ashleys now can major in PR with a minor in elem-ed. No rich child left behind.
Seems inevitable: The Busheviks will get their library on the campus. And the football team will continue to suck. Can I hear an amen?