Friday, February 8, 2008

The Chancellor and the Robot

(From left - Phil, Chuck, John and Hal)

I see where that apologist for the WCU administration is at it again over at Bardo Express-Empower Your Mind. So, with apologies of my own to J. W. Black, I'm reprinting his latest offering:

The Ballad of John W. Bardo
-by J. W. Black
(to the tune of John Henry)

John Bardo is our Chancellor,
He rules over Cull-O-Whee,
And he’s bound to take us
If we’re ready or not, to the 21st century,
Lawd, Lawd, to the 21st century.

The bosses said to John Bardo
“Your campus is way too small.
You’d better get busy and build it up.
Don’t worry ‘bout them laggards when they squall,
No, no, don’t worry when they start to squall."

John Bardo grabbed his shovel.
He knew what he had to do.
He rolled up his sleeves and he spit in his hands,
Bringing Progress for me and you,
Lawd, Lawd, bringing Progress for me and you.

“Fast'r and fast'r,” cried the bosses,
“Dig just as fast as you can.”
Then they brought in a shovel-totin' robot,
‘Cause they thought it could out-shovel any man,
Lawd, Lawd, they thought it could out-shovel any man.

They sat the robot next to John Bardo,
And they had them both begin.
All the bosses they watched and they waited,
To see if Bardo or the robot would win,
Lawd, Lawd, if Bardo or the robot would win.

Dirt and “other stuff” started flyin’
So thick you could barely see.
John piled it so high the robot laid down and died.
John said, “There’s no way you can out-shovel me.”

The moral of this little story,
The tale that I’m trying to tell,
Is if you get in the way of Chancellor Bardo,
Then you might as well go to hell,
Lawd, Lawd, you might as well go to hell.

The honoree of Mr. Black's ditty has issued a statement from his offices in mid-town Charlanta:

What is clear from the current situation is that there is widespread confusion and different expectations between many internal members of the university community and many policymakers and their constituencies. At the same time, public support for universities is dependent upon university’s responsiveness to the needs of the people who fund them. In these circumstances, it is critical that differences in expectations be minimized. As leaders in higher education, we therefore need to promote alignment of internal and external expectations with regard to economic development and develop and implement a clear and effective communications plans.

Based on that, I'd have to agree with Mr. Black on one point: we do have a "shoveler" of legendary proportions in our midst.

[When the Sylva Herald ran the picture shown above, 12/16/99, they included the following caption...REALLY they did...I guess J. W. Black was too embarrassed to mention it.]

The robot on the right malfunctioned, refusing to lift the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt. The robot did, however, lift a sign, welcoming the large crowd gathered for the occasion.

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