Foundering endowments, soaring tuition, shriveling federal aid, “whatevering” students… Once an indomitable bastion for freedom of thinking, the beleaguered university can no longer withstand the malignant impact of economic constriction. That is to say, money is tight.
In these cruel economic times, universities that once considered themselves immune to the vagaries of base society’s financial processes have betrayed cracks in their once stolid foundations.
“I never thought I’d see the day when we’d have to put our Ivory Tower on the market,” said Percival Mountebank, a tenured professor of Medieval Sociology at Cornwell College. He gazed off in reverie as he recalled, “I used to spend hours poring through our vaunted collection of Renaissance birth records, unfazed by the distant cries of student test anxiety.”
Unfortunately for Mountebank and dozens of other dusty academics, their institutions appear to have waited too long to unload the symbols of ethereal scholarship.
“At first, we calculated a 15 percent return on investment for our Tower,” stated Jim Croft, Dean of Cornwell. “Now, we have to give it up for destruction! What kind of country is this?”
Croft refers to President Obama’s 2013 executive order to destroy ivory related to elephant poaching. The initial goal of the order was ridding the country of ill-gotten tusks, carvings and assorted jewelry.
Officials have now targeted Ivory Towers. The rift between academia and bureaucracy is nowhere more apparent—or ironic.
As deftly stated by Mountebank, “They’re not even made of ivory!”