Stop Spitting in the Egg Nog: Transcript of President Holden Spivey’s End-of-Semester Address to the Faculty at Caribou State College (Portage Lake, Maine)

President Spivey: “With the holiday season almost here, I am thrilled to report that freshman enrollment at Caribou increased nearly 60% this fall when compared with last year.  And our endowment has grown by over $7 million in the past 18 months.  It has been a terrific……yes, Marvin, do you have a question?”

Professor Marvin Squabb: “Enrollment in our Scrimshaw Carving major hasn’t budged over the past decade.  Why isn’t the College doing more to advertise the program?  I never see a billboard highlighting this major.”

President Spivey: “There are only three billboards in all of Aroostook County, Marvin, and two of them are reserved for the opioid epidemic.  Scrimshaw Carving is a hard major to sell in this economy.  You and your colleagues in the Whaling Department might want to consider developing some new programs.”

Squabb: “Maybe we could do that if the conference room in our building wasn’t so cold that we can’t meet there.  The thermostat on the wall hasn’t registered more than 52 degrees since September.  We called Maintenance three times last week, but the custodian just comes over, stares at the temperature display, punches it with his fist, grunts, and leaves.  Students who take make-up exams in that room have to wear a parka, mittens, and a ski mask; they look like Arctic Terrorists.  The Director of Facilities won’t even let us use a portable space heater there.”

President Spivey: “You know full well that a defective space heater burnt down Craven Hall last winter.  The faculty from Craven are now residing on the quad in a bunch of pierogi and falafel food trucks.  Would you like to join them?  You also know that the $31 million donation we received in June from Garth Brooks is financing a magnificent new faculty office building that will house you and your colleagues next fall.”

Squabb: “But I like the view of the landfill from my current office!  I don’t want to move.  Why can’t we stay where we are if we want to?  You never surveyed the faculty about this!”

President Spivey: “We need to raze your building to make space for the $15 million student recreation center that the Maine legislature just funded.  It’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility.”

Squabb: “I heard that it will only have two racquetball courts.  The LA Fitness club in Presque Isle has four.”

President Spivey: “Do you even play racquetball, Marvin?”

Squabb: “No I don’t, but that’s not the point.  The point is that….”

President Spivey: “Let’s move on.  A grateful Caribou graduate has just endowed annual faculty awards of $25,000 each for teaching excellence and scholarly achievement.  The first awards will be given in the spring.  Nominations are due by March 1st.

Squabb: “That’s not nearly enough time for faculty to assemble their application materials.  And I hope they don’t base the teaching award on student evaluations.  They’re incredibly unfair.  Students hate it that I require them to read Moby Dick in the original Latin, so they penalize me on those surveys.  And for years I’ve asked for an on-campus facility to house the blue whales I need for my scholarly work, but the Faculty Research Committee keeps turning me down.  They’re discriminating against me because I’m white.”

President Spivey: “Marvin, everyone at Caribou State College is white.”

Squabb: “That’s exactly my point.  We’re all being discriminated against.”

President Spivey: “I’m not sure I understand your logic, but since you brought up the topic of race, I’m excited to announce that President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will be Distinguished Visiting Lecturers in our Political Science Department next semester.” 

Squabb: “Why couldn’t we get Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan?  Those were real Presidents!”

President Spivey: “They’re both dead, Marvin.”

Squabb: “Like that’s my fault?”

President Spivey: “It’s nobody’s fault.  I just think we should focus on the wonderful opportunity that the Obama visit will give us to….”

Squabb: “Why has compensation for supervising Independent Studies only gone up $3 per credit in the past five years?  I’m working with 14 seniors this fall, and it’s very time consuming having to go on whale watches every weekend because I don’t have my own whales.  I couldn’t even make it to my daughter’s bagpipe recital in Littleton last Friday because I was……”

The transcript ends here.  According to Campus Police, President Spivey leapt from the stage and a scuffle ensued.  The President suffered a minor scrimshaw wound.  Charges are pending.