March 17, 2004

Delicate Flower Crushed by Oppression!

The beauty of academic wankery stems from the fact that the wankers in question are completely oblivious to their complicity in the messes they make.

Take, for example, the case of a Dean Vera Rorie, whose temper tantrum in light of an anonymous email is truly an event to behold.

You see, brave Ms. Rorie, champion of Emory University's ongoing fight against "I'm not terribly sure what although if white republicans are doing it it must be bad, bad, bad!" recently called off a meeting with the Emory College Republicans to help them get a guest speaker on campus, because someone somewhere sent her a rude email.

Let us all pause here and recoil in horror at the thought--the very thought!--that a delicate flower such as Ms. Rorie should be subjected to language such as "buffoon." I'm sure her tapered fingers trembled over the dictionary as she looked up its meaning. Poor soul. It probably took several vials of smelling salts for her to recover.

Of course, the trauma of this non-event probably goes a long way toward explaining her obviously mentally addled subsequent behavior. Because only someone suffering from post-traumatic stress or a brain hemorrage would hold an entire campus group responsible for an anonymous email that wasn't EVEN THAT RUDE!

Well, either mentally addled or ideologically vindictive and possibly a tad racist. If I were Ms. Rorie, I'd probably stick to the head injury argument--it's a whole lot more flattering.

Via Erin O'Connor.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at March 17, 2004 10:04 AM

Oh it must be nice to be Ed and Ezra (of the Emory College Republicans). I bet it feels good to have such a huge upper hand on this addled Dean. After acting like a child in public, there's nothing to do but apologize and ask for a chance to make things right.

I can't wait to hear her reaction.

Posted by: Tom at March 17, 2004 10:15 AM

The delicate flower analysis is wrong, for women in general. What's going on is the dramatization of everything _because it's more interesting_. Nothing gets settled, and a thousand things wind up going on at once. It's great. Men tend to shoot their way out instead, settling everything once and for all. No hard feelings; but then there's nothing going on either.

The taunt to use is one deriding her for appeasing her feelings over getting her job done, if she wants a job anyway.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at March 17, 2004 02:11 PM

Yes this saga is horrible. But living in the vicinity of Emory, I should mention that there are a lot of good things about Emory, too, such as the Carlos museum, the library, and the film and music departments. Just wanted to make sure no one was getting the impression Emory is all round bad. It's also the only university I know of that has an Annie Hall in its film department and a John Lennon in its music department.

Posted by: Chris Martin at March 17, 2004 03:51 PM

You know, I know Emory. I like Emory. But there are so many things that are soooo Emory that I don't like, and Vera Rorie has always been able to exemplify them. That said, she's an administrator. That's what they do.

Bring on Horowitz -- although the CRs are really just interested in making a stir. Perhaps the problem is that the students have way too much money to spend? In my day, many moons ago, the student activities budget was about $400k a year. That was pretty much enough for every major campus group to bring one speaker guaranteed to annoy the hell out of someone. What I hate? That Rorie has helped create a situation where I feel obliged to side with the campus republicans.

Posted by: Another Damned Medievalist at March 17, 2004 04:00 PM

Dean Rorie sounds like the perfect candidate for the nine of hearts (because all the weaker cards are taken) on the Most Unwanted Academic Administrators deck of cards.

(This deck of cards is being constructed according to the rules of sheepshead, for readers far from the west shore of Lake Michigan.)

Posted by: Stephen Karlson at March 17, 2004 05:03 PM

Remember, Emory is the place at which an assistant director for admissions dealt with an issue of academic freedom as follows:
Christopher Grey, assistant director for Admissions, said April is a bad time for a speaker like Horowitz because his speech would coincide with visits by high school students who are making final decisions about where to attend college. To ignite such a controversy at that time may have “adverse effects” on their perceptions.

“They are expecting Disney World,” he said. “They are expecting roses. That’s what they’re making their decisions on.”

So, he evidently believes that parents are spending $100,000 to send their kids to "Disney World."

From Erin's site at:

Posted by: david foster at March 17, 2004 05:41 PM

Oh, I'm not painting Emory with the Broad Brush of Eeeevillle, here. In fact, when I was contemplating the PhD, that was one of the schools I was going to attend on my advisor's recommendation about their medieval program.

But this woman? An idiot. And there are a lot of administrators and teaching faculty out there who are just like her--a bit too quick to use their position in petty power plays based on narrow-minded ideology.

Posted by: BAW at March 18, 2004 08:25 AM

I have a suspicion about academic administrators. In general, they are not committed intellectuals, or they would be teaching & doing research. They are not talented executives, or they would be in business.

I'm sure there are some exceptions, but in general it seems that something is very wrong with people who pursue careers in university administration.

Posted by: david foster at March 18, 2004 04:16 PM

If you all really want to get back at Dean Rorie, just go to
and help us bring David Horowitz to campus!

Ezra Greenberg
Emory College Republicans

Posted by: Ezra Greenberg at March 21, 2004 01:31 AM