Features

View from the other side of the desk


David Lapakko, Dept. of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media


Although my goal in this (hopefully regular) feature is to present a faculty view of collegiate life, I need to stress that this is not “the” faculty view. I don’t pretend that it is, and you shouldn’t either.

    College faculty have sometimes been put into one box that’s often labeled “liberal” with all of its attendant assumptions. And yes, I probably don’t have to guess, for example, whether Mr. Trump is endorsed by most of my colleagues. But I think the reality is that colleges and universities house a variety of distinctive personalities that defy simple categorization. In fact, it may be the case that academia in general welcomes and embraces a wider range of people (both at the faculty level and the student level) than a place like Applebee’s or State Farm Insurance might be willing to tolerate. Colleges are one of the last bastions of relative safety for people who are a little weird. Thank goodness for that!

Which comes back to me. I’m part of that “weird.” Trust me when I say that a lot of faculty would not consider me a corporate role model. I’m sufficiently loose-lipped and unconventional to make some other people a little wary. Therefore, just take anything in this column as the rants of one lonely soul. I am of the faculty, but I do not represent it.

    These days, we even have a name for the unfairness of asking one person to represent an entire group. We call it a “microaggression.” So please don’t microaggress me! But there’s a silly side to this microaggression stuff as well, and I’ll save those musings for next time.

This article was originally published in the Oct. 19, 2018 issue. 

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