Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Last Refuge of the Scoundrel

Professorships. From The New York Times:
More recently, Parsons the New School for Design announced that John Galliano, the celebrated clothing designer who lost his job at Christian Dior after unleashing a torrent of anti-Semitic vitriol in a bar, would be leading a four-day workshop and discussion called “Show Me Emotion.” 

And David H. Petraeus, the general turned intelligence chief turned ribald punch line, will have not one college paycheck, but two. Last month, the City University of New York said he would be the next visiting professor of public policy at Macaulay Honors College. On Thursday, the University of Southern California announced that Mr. Petraeus would also be teaching there; he will split his time between coasts. 

The traditional path to an academic job is long and laborious: the solitude and penury of graduate study, the scramble for one of the few open positions in each field, the blood sport of competitive publishing. But while colleges have always courted accomplished public figures, a leap to the front of the class has now become a natural move for those who have suffered spectacular career flameouts. At this point, the transition from public disgrace to college lectern is so familiar that when Mr. Galliano merely stepped foot on the campus of Central Saint Martins, an art and design school in London, speculation rippled around the world — incorrectly — that he would soon be teaching there. 

Though they rarely pay much, arrangements like these have obvious benefits. For the new professors, the jobs offer a chance to do something positive rather than sitting home with their regrets, and to begin rehabilitating their image by associating themselves with intellectual pursuits. The students get to learn about history from people who made it — though the lessons generally steer well clear of the professors’ less noble accomplishments. And the colleges get to hire someone who might otherwise be out of reach. (Read entire article.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

Running a college is a business and they like celebrity names in order to draw students. Sad but true.