The paradigms they are a-changin’

University Celebrates New Fiscal Year with Annual Paradigm Shift headlines Diana Senechal’s parody in The Cronk of Higher Education. Mutatus University President Owen Uberkuhn explains his big ideas:

“First of all, we need to change everything about teaching and learning. Videos are in, books are out. Instructors are out, students are in. We’re also getting rid of tenure so everyone’s always on edge. Suspense brings out people’s best. Third–”

“Where should I put this, Mr. President?” asked a custodial worker, wheeling in a six-foot box.

“One in each lecture hall. You should find a hundred thirteen of them in the warehouse.” The worker wheeled the box back out of the office. “Robot spies,” Uberkuhn said proudly. “They look like overhead projectors, but they actually send data to surveillance workers in India. We catch anyone who isn’t embracing change.”

Senior Overhaul Officer Lydia Pyle led a campus tour.

Pyle took us into the main dining hall, where a broad conveyor belt slithered around the room. “You may think the food’s going to come around on that belt, but you’re wrong! It’s the students who will ride it,” she told us proudly. “Then they have to grab food as they pass through the kitchen. It teaches them quick-thinking skills. That’s exactly what the economy is like.”

In the future, Mutatus plans to implement paradigm shifts throughout the year. Possible activities include mass executions, book burnings, merit pay awards, and drastic redefinitions of academic disciplines.


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