“In accordance with university policy…”

Continuing on my Treme theme, there is another rant by Creighton Bernette inspired by a memo from Tulane University announcing the cutting of the Computer Science department as well as various Engineering departments. What follows is a great rant on what survives, which is basically the various “useless” identity politics departments. The irony, as the great Luke Waltzer points out, is that not but two episodes later Creighton himself becomes part of the most formidable identity politics movement in history: YouTube.

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6 Responses to “In accordance with university policy…”

  1. Luke says:

    You’re so right, especially the part where you talk about me being great.

    One of the subtle theses of Treme that I’m struggling with is that it seems to be okay if you’re an asshole as long as you have personality, charm, or artistic talent. Between Creighton’s self-righteous rants, Davis’s recurring performances, Janette’s constant sour puss, Sonny’s bitchiness, Antoine’s 4 babies by 3 different women (none of whom he actually fathers), Albert’s vibe towards his kids and subsurface tendency towards violence, Delmond’s angst about where he belongs, and LaDonna’s “don’t f*ck with me” attitude… golly gee, isn’t anyone in New Orleans nice? Maybe it’s the Midwesterner in me picking up on that thread…

  2. Reverend says:

    @Luke,
    Maybe Treme is part of a bigger project for rebranding New Orleans in the image of NYC. I mean the market is wide open given the Bloombergization of the apple.

  3. Luke says:

    You mean because New Yorkers are expert at marketing and celebrating their assholicity?

  4. dwtno says:

    Speaking as a New Orleanian and a Tulanian, we are exceedingly nice! But three months after Katrina was still a time of raw nerves and massive uncertainty. If you recall, there were some in Congress rejecting the idea that the city should even be allowed to recover. During the time frame of this episode, the university hadn’t reopened yet to students, but we were already on the ground rehabilitating the campus infrastructure in preparation for the January reopening. It was very stressful, but there was a goal and it seemed worthwhile to pursue.

    As for the “memo” (we actually call it “the Renewal Plan” – positive spin, you know) a number of departments were eliminated and a lot of undeserving people were let go. There were perfectly reasonable and defensible educational and financial justifications for those moves, but in the end people lost jobs and many lifetimes of work were discarded. Put it in this context, however: immediately after Katrina one of the options on the table was the wholesale liquidation of the university. By December, things were looking up, but we still didn’t know if the students would even come back (they did).

    My interest in this cuts across all levels. I’m a Tulane graduate, an employee, and a graduate student. In the memo John Goodman is reading from, they also cut my Ph.D program in English. I was grandfathered in, but there have been no new English Ph.D. candidates. That being said, they are slowly bringing back the programs that were cut, including new engineering departments in the newly reorganized School of Science and Engineering. The English doctoral program may be reinstated soon, too.

    And finally, ironies of ironies, “Treme” actually shoots on campus from time to time. That freshman English course that John Goodman is NOT looking forward to teaching? It’ll be taught in one of the classrooms I designed and support at Tulane.

    • Reverend says:

      dwnto,
      I can’t tell you how cool it is to get your perspective here, I am letting an HBO be my interlocutor which tells you how much I know, but I am quite please to hear John Goodman’s character will really be in front of a bunch of Harry potter reading Freshman. As for Tulane, do you do instructional technology down there while you are working through your Ph.D.? I did be more than interested in hearing a while lot more.

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