Is This In the Training Manual for Academic Deans?
| Peter Klein |
Matilda, mother of King Henry II, advising her son on the business of royal patronage (quoted in Danny Danzinger and John Gillinghman, 1215: The Year of Magna Carta, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 2003, p. 178):
He should keep posts vacant for as long as possible, saving the revenues from them for himself, and keeping aspirants to them hanging on him hope. She supported this advice by an unkind parable: an unruly hawk, if meat is often shown it and then snatched away or hid, will become keener, more attentive, and more obedient.
Speaking of deans, I happened to catch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Cyrstal Skull the other day. The film, you probably know, takes place in the 1950s and centers on Indy’s confrontation with a group of Soviet treasure-hunters. Early in the film Indy loses his academic post because of suspected Communist sympathies. At the end, after defeating the bad guys (hope that’s not a spoiler), Indy not only gets his job back, but is made Associate Dean. That this is considered a reward shows how little anyone in Hollywood knows about university life!