Friday, July 10, 2009

Irony Theme Continued

As mentioned previously, my former employer, Texas Tech, is hiring former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to teach a poli sci course or two. To make this more interesting and more ironic, when asked about the controversy, Gonzalez reached deep into his playbook and said he "was not aware" of the negative attention. I have to admit that it makes sense for him to rely on his strengths, and, clearly, admitting no knowledge is his forte.

It just raises the question of what he is going to say in the classroom, other than various versions of "I don't know." Reminds me of a classic part of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, where the teacher (played by the great Ray Walston) sarcastically commends on Jeff Spicoli's (Sean Penn) answer-- I don't know.

The Lubbock story gets better:

Hance said he received a substantial number of positive e-mails about Gonzales' hire, in addition to nine e-mails opposing his decision. He said he wasn't dwelling on the negative ones because they didn't come from loyal university donors.

Sure, one should only care about one's narrow coterie since extending one's base is too hard and might cause one to get conflicting opinions.

And even better:

Several professors in the political science department, where Gonzales is slated to teach, declined to comment or did not return phone calls and e-mails Thursday. Department Chair Phillip Marshall, however, said Gonzales' recruitment offered "a unique opportunity for students interested in contemporary politics associated with the executive branch."

Marshall said the opportunity to bring Gonzales on board was brought to him by interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Lawrence Schovanec. It was Hance who initiated Gonzales' recruitment last spring after the former attorney general spoke on campus.

As for whether the hire would negatively reflect on the department or Tech: "Time will tell," Marshall said.

Since Phil is not a political scientist and never hesitated to run with the administration's priorities, his statement here is hardly surprising.

Gonzales will be paid about $100,000 annually, Hance has said.

I guess the Chancellor feels sorry for his "self-employed" friend. Now, the disgraced AG can get paid and benefits as well.

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