Category Archives: Tweed

Taking academe a little less seriously.


Clown College Calls National Rash of Rumored Clown Scares ‘Troubling’

Ringling Bros. clowns in Sarasota, Fla., in 2014. A spokesman for the circus organization says the panic over scary clown sightings is "a distraction for our clowns, who just want to make people laugh."(Photo by Tim Boyles, Getty Images)

Ringling Bros. clowns in Sarasota, Fla., in 2014. A spokesman for the circus organization says the panic over scary clown sightings is “a distraction for our clowns, who just want to make people laugh.” (Photo by Tim Boyles, Getty Images)

A spokesman for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College said on Tuesday he was disappointed by the slew of recent clown scares on college campuses nationwide and elsewhere.

Stephen Payne, vice president for communication at Feld Entertainment Inc.,…


Sociologist Wants to Dedicate a Monument to the Anonymous Peer Reviewer

Ever feel like your journal submission is a crap shoot? This is the monument for you.

A sociologist in Russia wants to dedicate a large concrete cube at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics to the anonymous peer reviewer. As noted on Igor Chirikov’s Kickstarter page, and in an article by the magazine Nature, the monument would be shaped like a die, with the five visible sides labeled “Accept,” “Minor Changes,” “Major Changes,” “Revise and Resubmit,” and “Reject.”

But that’s not all. With a donati…


Out to ‘Impress’ a Woman, U. of Pittsburgh Student Instead Needs to Be Rescued

A University of Pittsburgh student who, in an effort to impress a woman, jumped between two buildings — but missed — was rescued on Tuesday morning after the police knocked out a wall of a Qdoba restaurant, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The man became wedged between the two buildings in the city’s Oakland neighborhood, according to a city official quoted by the newspaper.

“The young man met a girl, brought her up to a rooftop, and decided to impress her by leaping from one roof to the nex…


Need a New, Important-Sounding Job Title? Try This

The lengthy, jargony academic job title has long been an easy target for critics of the bureaucratization of higher ed. How many assistant deans, vice provosts, and special-assistants-to-the-whomever does a college need?

A new website,, takes that sentiment to the extreme, generating a new, fake job title — and estimated salary — with each click. For example:

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It’s unclear who designed the generator, but people appeared to first stumble upon it over the weekend:


Would Academe Make a Good Reality Show?

Ever think higher ed was ripe for reality TV? You’re not alone. Emily Nussbaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic for The New Yorker, floated the idea on Twitter over the weekend:


Faced With Unfortunate Acronym, George Mason Renames Law School, Again

Shortly after George Mason University announced last week that it would rename its law school as the Antonin Scalia School of Law in honor of the late Supreme Court justice, people on social media began pointing out the new school’s unfortunate acronym:

In response, the law dean, Henry N. Butler,…


The Strangest Ways Students Pay Tribute to Their Favorite Professors


In showing respect for their favorite professors, today’s college students have ventured well beyond the proverbial apple.

An Indiana University at Bloomington instructor was once given chicken livers … five pounds of them, from an adoring student whose father was a butcher. He gladly accepted and enjoyed the tasty treat. One Southern Methodist University instructor was presented with “a limited-edition Snickers bar” that said “goofball” on it. Apparently the student saw it and though…


Instructors, What’s the Oddest Thing a Student Has Done Out of Admiration for You?

Having an instructor to look up to can be vital to a student. Mentors can help students stay in college, provide them with research opportunities, and serve as lifelong role models. But what happens when students take reverence for teachers too far? By, say, getting a tattoo (or two) to show their love?

Yes, that happened. Slate published this query on Monday from a student wondering whether to cover up tattoos in the professor’s honor during advising meetings.

Instructors, has something like th…


How a Rapper Twitter-Shamed a University Into Paying Him

How does a flagship university become the subject of a famous rapper’s Twitter rant? Book him for a speaking engagement, withhold $2,500 from his fee for not fulfilling his end of the deal … then wait.

That’s how the epic feud between Talib Kweli and the University of Utah began, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. After the institution said it was “hugely dissatisfied” and would not pay Mr. Kweli for his Martin Luther King Jr. Day appearance, the rapper took to Twitter, ranting against the univers…


After 10 Days on the Lam, Wayward Goat Is Back at U. of Iowa

The tumult and drama of recent weeks finally drew to a close in Iowa City on Monday. No, it wasn’t the departure of the last presidential candidate or TV crew. It was the recapture of the University of Iowa’s lost goat, missing since late January and the subject of endless speculation, not to mention extensive coverage in the local press.

“We are very happy to report that William the Goat is in custody and back home in a nice warm pen out at the University Research Park,” tweeted the university’…