Report: Global Studies Initiative to be replaced by new Boyer Avenue Studies Initiative


Jeffrey Gustaveson, Humor editor

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Illustration by Claire Revere.

This past Tuesday, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Pat Spencer announced plans to suspend the Global Studies Initiative for the 2016-2017 academic year. The move is apparently due to the high cost of granting course releases to professors who participate in the program–which involves hiring adjunct faculty to take over classes for professors involved in the globalization of Whitman’s academic discourses–as well as his deep, abiding fear of all things spherical and spinning. In the place of Global Studies, the Provost has created a new program: The Boyer Avenue Studies Initiative.

The cancellation of Global Studies has been met with overwhelming gratitude and relief among the faculty. Said one politics professor, “The world is a big, bad, scary place. Plus, it’s super-complicated and stuff. We’re much better off without having to think about it.”

A biology professor added, “Our students need to realize that what they’re learning should be confined to their immediate surroundings, and Global Studies was making that really hard to convey, what with all of the faculty symposiums about globalizing our scholarship and pedagogy.”

The Provost, wearing a black robe and shrouded in smoke that billowed from his dark office, also spoke about how Global Studies prevented the recruitment of diverse faculty. “Because of the Global Studies Initiative, nearly all of the Whitman faculty were interested in ways to globalize the college’s academic horizons. I knew something had to change.”

To that end, the new Boyer Avenue Studies Initiative is expected to serve as a powerful means for Whitman to attract and retain a talented, diverse faculty.

“Our own Boyer Avenue is a much more fascinating place than that little thing called ‘the whole wide world’,” said the Provost. “Boyer Avenue is at the heart of our campus, and will be the focus of a newer, better Initiative. I expect that through the Boyer Avenue Initiative, we will be able to attract many young up-and-coming Boyer scholars. In fact, I’ve been in contact with one potential professor who is doing some really groundbreaking research on North of Boyer–South of Boyer relations. The conclusions she has drawn about Anderson and Jewett tensions are way cooler than some stupid class about global health, at least. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to bring her to Whitman with the help of my new program.”

Boyer Studies will engage the faculty in critical discussions about how to make their course curricula as Boyer-centric as possible. Students will benefit by having to consider probing questions about their immediate surroundings and no more than those. The study of Boyer Avenue will pervade all aspects of the Whitman experience, in a true forward-thinking, liberal arts manner: physics students will be able to study the velocity of cars racing down Boyer; art students will spend their four years staring at and analyzing that one colorful statue near Mem; philosophy majors can ponder the passage of time by watching the clock tower; and politics majors will consider the relations of power between those with fancy offices in Mem and those without.

“The possibilities for intellectual growth and vibrant conversation are endless!” cooed Spencer.

The Provost does not plan on stopping with the Boyer Avenue Studies Initiative, though. Plans are in the works to limit Encounters texts only to works by Walla Walla authors. Additionally, the Whitman Bubble will be reinforced with steel as soon as possible, to further insulate the school from harmful global contamination.

At press time, a happy group of students converged on Dean’s office, exclaiming, “Now THIS is what the liberal arts is all about!”