Wednesday, March 30, 2011

African Dictators and all that

Little did I know that shortly after I had posted my little recollection of times past with former African heads of State that a new scandal was about to break loose.

Had I lived a little later and gone to the LSE instead of Warwick I might have rubbed shoulders with the scion of the Gadaffi family instead of General Gowon.

Well whatever I don't know what is more scandalous, that unlike the likes of me, he did not have to work hard for his doctorate, or the fact that there are academics up to their necks in it, caught with their pants down who just don't know how to do the decent thing and admit they were corrupted by the money and scared of the Gadaffi regimes propensity to employ roving assassins armed by courtesy of the diplomatic bag.

No the real shame is not that there are academics who are quite prepared to justify this current scandal but that there remain those who justify the even more bizarre convention of the honorary doctorate awarded to wannabe's and celebs who don't even have to employ a second rate ghost writing hack to earn their honorific.

Well Mr Vice Chancellor of Birmingham, you know I do not approve of your proposal to raise undergraduate fees to the max. (because I replied to your general email on the Browne report to say so) I'll bet you didn't know this, I was on the point of applying for your current job when it fell vacant, went so far as acquiring the forms and all.

I regret I did not go through with it now as I had not enough confidence to realise that it's not all foreign travel and dinner parties with the rich and influential, it is integrity that counts. Straight forward academic integrity, and that cannot be bought, for a £9000 annual fee, a VC's salary or some wealthy foreign potentates endowment.

When (if) I graduate with the coveted 666 mark of the shiny aspie, I will have earned it. Never mind the extent to which it will have been devalued by all the base currency of honorary doctorates and the degree mill antics of Universities who ought to have known better.