Friday, April 10, 2009

Arizono State

I read recently about the president of Arizona State University, and his grand vision of making it one of the prominent research universities in America, and, one of the biggest. It has 67,000 students now, and with some impressive faculty hires, it might make people think of it as someplace other than the breeding ground of Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson and 88 other Major League baseball players.

But now, ASU has hit bottom and it will take a long time for it to recover whatever reputation it had built – a reputation so good that President Obama accepted an invitation to give this year’s commencement speech.

One little hitch, however: The fancy-chapped cowboys who sit on the committee that decides such things decided not to give Obama the standard receipt for a commencement address -- an honorary degree.

That’s right, the Jackie Robinson of politics, a former constitutional law professor, the author of two best-selling books and the Leader of the Free World, has been deemed not sufficiently accomplished to deserve an honorary doctorate from Arizona State University, which has given bushelsful of them to entertainers, big businessmen and a Supreme Court justice and a senator after they were in office only three years.

If I were Obama, I would be gracious, I would go and give a great speech and begin it by noting that I already have enough degrees – one from Columbia and one from Harvard, and while they may never beat the Sun Devils in baseball or football, their degrees are actually worth the sheepskin they are printed on.

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