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only 2 months late

So it has come to my attention that Louisiana State University has bestowed upon President Bush (Jr.) a Doctorate of Philosophy in "Science". I never really payed much attention when I saw on TV about his visit at the commencement this past summer. I should've, since it was the graduation of my sister (B.A. in Graphic Design, Magna Cum Laude), but I payed it no mind since I wasn't able to attend (and thankfully so, from what I heard about the whole affair). But, as it was shown to me today in another thread in another place, it was so. What a slap in the face, to have the university I studied in used as a punchline -- a punchline not based on 'party school of the south' or 'benjamin wynne', but a punchline of merit. I had immediately thought of writing a letter to Dr. Kevin Carman, who is the interim Dean of the College of Basic Sciences (and one of my former professors), asking what Chancellor's mixer he had showed up late to have the degree conferred upon the President come with the word "science" on it. The tone of the letter would certainly have been tempered by the fact that I did not like Dr. Carmen at all when I was his student, finding his disinterest forteaching nauseating. But, I have always kept it among my long-term goals to return to LSU to obtain a position in the faculty one day. Whether this is reasonable or not, I really have no clue. I don't know if the position would pay what I'd be interested in or if the quality of their laboratories will have improved from what they were when I used them last. But, either way I would like to keep the option open and taking the dean to task would not aid me much in that endeavor. And anyway, the degree was honorary, as are all degrees conferred on visiting politicians. But it was the name of "science" that really annoyed me, and I feel devalued my own degree with the same word on it. I have always felt opposed to honorary degrees given out like party favors to sit on the many mantles of sitting politicians, celebrities, and dignitaries. What's the point, really, except to show that fame is equal in the eyes of public academia to effort and knowledge. I think all thinking men should sneer at that.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC)

While I think honorary doctorates are fine, I do think they should be bestowed only when the person's career/life has *proven* they are experts at what they do.

e.g. Giving Ray Charles an honorary doctorate in music theory is well worth it, giving him one in "political science" would be a joke.
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