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Congrats Sylvia, I Guess

The following comes to us off of a public listserv at the University of Rhode Island:

Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 16:41:45 -0400
Reply-To: michael vocino
Sender: URI General Discussion List
From: michael vocino
Subject: SYLVIA SPEARS MAKES GOOD..BUT SOME AT DARTMOUTH DON’T LIKE IT

Sylvia Spears was a former administrator here at URI….but the university didn’t take advantage of her MANY talents…so she left…went to Dartmouth…where they didn’t let bull like pieces of paper stand in the way and they appointed her Acting Dean of the College…can you imagine! Bravo Dartmouth!!!!

Go Sylvia! No one deserves it more…but the conservatives at Dartmouth are giving her a very hard time:
http://www.dartblog.com/data/2009/08/008607.php

michael vocino
professor, library
professor of film media
university of rhode island

At first, I could not follow the tone of this missive. Was the writer being ironic towards Sylvia Spears, or congratulatory? Or was he mocking Dartmouth, which seems to him to have a less restrictive attitude than URI towards the formal qualifications required of its deans? The phrase “they didn’t let bull like pieces of paper stand in the way” is curious, don’t you think? After all, Sylvia does have a URI Master’s degree in “Speech Communication” and a URI doctorate in “Human Science and Services.” These degrees would seem to meet the writer’s standard of being pieces of paper.

And how is it that my insistence on prior experience and training for a demanding job constitutes being a conservative? Don’t liberals require the same things?

All in all, let’s simply conclude that Sylvia Spears does have her fans, and leave it at that. We’ll all see soon enough whether Professor Vocino is accurate in his judgment.

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