Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Poem about Your University's Brand New Institute

The Office of the Provost has approved
A one-year planning grant
To establish the Eudaimonia Institute
For the Study of Human Flourishing
Under Capitalism.
We thought that we would do this while
You professors
Are away for the summer
So maybe you won’t notice.

“Eudaimonia” is Greek for “This university
Is run by corporate stooges
And is doomed.”
The term comes from Aristotle,
Which immediately legitimates the Institute
As totally not a joke.
We will be spending actual, real,
Non-Monopoly money to study “wellbeing,”
Which was a major interest of Aristotle’s
And central to his seminal work The Poetics.

The nature of #wellbeing is
Not yet fully understood,
But our initial research suggests
That it has something to do with
Yoga at sunset, baby koalas, and
Rooms filled with gold coins.
We seek to understand
The meaning of this term
And, in all likelihood,
To actually publish papers
On the subject
On our blog called
Education is Fine,
But Money Is Great.

James Smith, the Presidential Chair
In Business Ethics,
(Yes really)
Will serve as
Executive Director of the Institute
And will continue to serve
As Executive Director of
The university’s Named After A Bank Center
For the Study of Capitalism,
(Stop laughing)
Where students do not read
Whole, complete ancient Greek texts
But only the most important words from them. . . .

– Susan Harlan

More here

1 comment:

John said...

I should note that I probably would not like Susan Harlan's politics any more than I like the bizarre centers and institutes that billionaires really are funding at universities all over the country. The argument over them exposes what I continue to regard as the real problem, our complete lack of consensus about what education means. Since there is no agreement about what colleges ought to teach, there is really no counter-argument to overt politicization whether from the left or the right.