The University is advertising for a new Vice Chancellor. Again. Someone has to take up the mantle and lead this struggling institution through tough times, so we at Critic Te Ārohi figured we’d throw our name in the hat. After all, nobody knows Dunedin like we do. Here’s what we sent in.....
To the Selection Committee at the University of Otago,
I am writing to express my interest in the job posting (ref# 6808) for Vice Chancellor at the University of Otago. I can bring a 98-year history of experience in Dunedin, a demonstrated ability to fall short of expectations, and an incomparably reckless attitude towards budgeting: all attributes that define this role.
Obviously, your most pressing issue is the University’s current financial situation. This is precisely why I am an ideal candidate for this role, as I have extensive experience with imploding budgets. That being said, if we actually want to fix the problem, I have already taken the initiative and created a GoFundMe for Otago University (you’re welcome), which I’m sure will suffice. I’m aware that you increase student fees the maximum possible amount every year, which is noble, but not enough. This is why I have also planned a lavish Bankruptcy Gala where attendees may donate large sums of money in exchange for the privilege of watching this world-class institution collapse in real time. After all, nothing says “world-class” like losing hundreds of staff in iconic fashion; just ask the Titanic.
As this is a leadership role, I would like to outline my leadership capabilities. I would define my overall style as “authoritative dictatorship”, which means I can save a lot of money by firing the entire University Council. Chief amongst my skills are conflict resolution, which the University is in dire need of at the moment. I solve every debate with a heated game of paper scissors rock or, if it comes to it, pushing someone out a window.
Mental health is also a major concern amongst the kids these days and, luckily for you, I watch a lot of TikToks so I’m essentially a licensed psychologist. This is why I would immediately dismantle all mental health services on campus and instead allow students to just self-diagnose. It’s way cheaper and honestly just as effective.
Other cost-saving suggestions include reducing the hall diets to cricket protein and hard liquor and burning all of our library books to save on heating. With fewer academic staff there’s less need for textbooks. Plus, we can turn the empty building into a new hall for the anticipated rise in enrolments. Finally, I’d sell the entire Wellington campus before it’s destroyed in an earthquake.
Speaking of earthquakes, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that cutting the Geology Department was probably not as prudent as you thought. Not because we’ll need climate scientists or anything, and certainly not because they provided you with an alternative solution that kept their staff and met your austere financial requirements (which was admirably rebuked, nice one), but because if we’re going to be digging holes this deep, we’ll probably need some geologists. Just a thought.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this: a university is meant to be the “critic and conscience” of society. By definition, I am the Critic. I will leave the conscience part to you.
See you in the interview,
Critic Te Ārohi