True Story: The President of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee will leave office when her contract expires on September 1st. Among other things, she has been criticized by students for “failing to deal with mold in dormitories.”
A similar saga is unfolding at Sebaceous-Hamilton College in Blakely, Georgia, where the President, Sterling Bagby, has come under fire for failing to deal with mold on faculty members.
According to Melanie Torpz, a junior majoring in Communications, the average age of a tenured professor at Sebaceous-Hamilton is 102. “It’s ridiculous,” complains Torpz. “Many of my professors just stand at the front of the classroom and lean on the lectern; their eyes are closed and they’re totally silent except for an occasional weird gurgling sound. The other day, my Biology prof’s hand seized up during her PowerPoint presentation on evolution in the Galápagos Islands. She clicked through 430 slides in about 90 seconds. I learned nothing that day….just one big blur on the screen, and then the clicker started to smoke. Shouldn’t there be a mandatory retirement age or something?
“And my History professor wears his gray Confederate army uniform to class every day. When I asked him where he goes to participate in re-enactments of Civil War battles, he snarled at me and yelled, ‘What do you mean, RE-ENACTMENTS?’ I got really scared.”
President Bagby vigorously defends his senior faculty, claiming that they are “well-seasoned, like a good pulled-pork sandwich.” He notes that students often think professors are asleep when they are simply using that “quiet space” as a vehicle for stimulating class participation.
But what about reports that some older faculty are literally moldy, triggering allergic reactions in vulnerable students?
“We hose down those professors immediately,” says Bagby. “Every classroom is equipped with a functioning fire hydrant and a teaching assistant. And we are just as quick to handle incidents where forgetful faculty, regardless of age, show up at class with old peanuts or live scorpions in their pockets. We hustle them out of there tout suite.
“As we like to say at Sebaceous-Hamilton, it’s not how old you are, it’s whether or not you’re carrying predatory arachnids.”
Amen to that.