Sometimes I think there’s absolutely no need to grow up. (I even lined up my stuffed animals and discussed the idea; we took a vote and decided against it). I mean, there’s so much fun to be had as a nine-year-old, why would I ever change?
Then it came to me (while I was running with scissors down my hall after jumping on my bed for an hour past my bedtime): if I never grow up, I never get to be an administrator. And as we all know, being an administrator is basically the American dream.
See, as far as I can tell, when you’re administrator, you get paid to make big decisions. Now when I say “big decisions,” you might think about frightening responsibility or incredible personal risk. Nope. I’m talking about administrative decisions, you see. There’s a big process to administrative decision making, which, as far as I can tell, includes steps like “make staff do all leg work,” “go to long lunch on University’s tab” and “visit North Korea.” Somewhere in there, there might be golf involved.
These aren’t earth-shattering decisions either. They’re decisions about really trivial stuff, like the kind of tile we should have in the Bender lobby, how much to raise our tuition by and, oh yeah, who gets the privilege of cheating and staying in school and who has to abide by that pesky academic integrity code.
The way I see it, I could have a brilliant career as an administrator. I’m pro-cheating. I think that anyone, anywhere should be able to use any sources available to complete their assignments. I mean, that’s why God gave us libraries and overly-friendly staff members with enough spare time on their hands to knock out a few term papers, right? Come on, when you think about it, cheating is really the best preparation a student could have for the real world. It’s not as though the newspaper I hope to work for in the future is going to care whether or not I cite sources or use original information. And they certainly won’t care whether the signature on my diploma gives me a degree from an institution of higher learning that allows those who create unoriginal work to escape unscathed.
As an administrator, I would make certain that AU’s stellar academic reputation could be further enhanced by constant breech of our academic integrity policy. How would I do this, you ask? Well, first I’d hire a completely competent staff to pen out a frightening, fear-of-God kind of policy that I’d make every professor put in their syllabi. Then I’d name a whole department to enforce the code - maybe I’d call it the Academic Affairs department. Who knows? I’m unpredictable. Then, I’d systematically review and prosecute every offense that came across my desk, with the kind of unforgiving fervor that would make students quake at the very mention of my name…
Except, of course, if a “special case” were involved.
What kind of special case? Oh, it’d have to be something blatant. We’re not talking about a little case of “I reused some research I did freshman year in my graduate thesis” (I’d obviously dismiss this student, even if she was a pillar of the community and an otherwise honorable, overachieving person. Not that that’s a true story, or anything). I’m talking about the kind of cheating that might lead to, say, a story in The Washington Post, notice and punishment from some major national association and possibly even a suspension and eventual firing of staff. That’s the kind of case I, as an administrator, would look over.
Maybe you disagree. That’s fine. As I’ll say to the board, when they review my application for that hallowed administrative position later in life, “Don’t blame me. Blame the guy I paid to write it.”
Jennifer A. Kepka is a junior in the School of Public Affairs/School of Communication and is the Managing Editor for News at The Eagle.