Thursday, March 06, 2008

If I Were Dennis Lennox

If I were Dennis Lennox I'd take my letter of reprimand from Central Michigan University and treat it in the same masterful way that archivists do the US Constitution. I'd gently tuck it in a glass covered display case and locate it in a dark room with perfectly balanced humidity. (Incidentally, I'd also be begging the university right now for any additional signed copies they might have of that bad boy, what with ebay and all.)


Because I'd go to any length to preserve the document I could forever use as "exhibit A" in an executive job search.

When I got that dream job (which the letter would virtually guarantee) I'd proudly display it in my plush corner office while disallowing any flash photography or strong perfumes. I would then conduct my day to day business as normally as possible, given all the tour groups kicking around my bureaucratically mandated smoke free environs. Just think of all the money I could make in the gift shop.

Alas, its all but a fleeting fantasy and my attitude suffers.

You see, I've had my CMU diploma for over 25 years and have never shown it to anyone. Mice have gnawed on one corner because, unfortunately, I don't have one of those specially built glass cases either. In fact, I think my diploma is in the original envelope I received back when Harold Abel was still the university's President and when tuition was, if I remember correctly, about $35 a credit hour. (Heck, for that I couldn't hire Gary Peters for more than a few seconds at today's rates.)

Sadly, my diploma is no match to the sheet of paper just awarded to Dennis Lennox, who by some university accounts, is a near deranged liar that happens to closely resemble Dick Cheney--at least closely enough to have Dennis' sarcasm thunk off of then unidentified English professor Peter Koper like an opossum does an overinflated radial tire. Either that or some of today's university professors have no sense of humor. (Which reminds me, does Mao-loving Blaine Stephenson still teach there?)

So, as things have transpired so far, Dennis gets himself something really valuable and I'm stuck with a stupid mouse chewed diploma. A mouse that was, apparently, so distracted that he didn't even bother to chew off the edges in a way that make it look even passingly cool.

Nuts! I think I've just been self diagnosed with paper envy.

The Lennox saga can be followed closely at The Peters Report, the Provocateur and Right Michigan.


Anonymous said...

Well said. I hope Lennox sues CMU for a heck of a lot of money. In the meantime, have you contacted CMU to express your outrage?

The Rougman said...

As a matter of fact, on January 23 I sent this note to the university.

Please understand that I write this note as a graduate of Central Michigan University.

The Dennis Lennox affair is a black eye on the institution I love. Where my campus used to be a place to challenge the status quo and common thought, it is now a place of self serving dogma where contesting voices are silenced. Are the administration and instructors at CMU so intellectually vulnerable that the opinions of students must be silenced in order to protect the academic nest?

I have two high school children that will soon be making a college choice. I have had them on campus several times with the most recent being a football Saturday in October. I am discouraged to think that my children should attend school elsewhere given the current climate of intellectual suppression on campus.

CMU has a proud history. That deserved pride should be protected by doing what is right in the Dennis Lennox affair, not necessarily doing what is politically expedient.

The canned response from Mary Jane Flanagan, Executive Assistant to the President of CMU, included this little gem:

By Federal law, all CMU students are entitled to privacy in their relationships with the university. This puts the university at a distinct disadvantage when statements are made that are untrue. The university is limited in its ability to contradict those statements.

In other words, only Federal law is keeping the university from exposing that dirty liar, Dennis Lennox.

Now that this chapter has ended, another letter will soon be sent to the cowards in Mt. P.