Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Catching Up on my Reading

If I hadn't made a point of checking the Weekly World News the other day – still the best source for Bigfoot, Elvis, and Bat-boy information – I wouldn't have noticed this story.

According to the WWN, a university in India is offering graduate degrees to reincarnated people.

As a dean, a few thoughts:

  • Recruiting the reincarnated is really the ultimate retention initiative.

  • We could skip those tiresome 'new student orientations,' since they already know the drill.

  • In business, they say you make most of your money off repeat customers. These are truly repeat customers, in the fullest sense of the term.

But no good idea is without its complications.

  • The rules for athletic eligibility are murky, at best, on the question of past lives. (Does it count as “redshirting” if we recruit a former NFL player?)

  • Transcript evaluations would be a bitch.

  • What if tenured faculty got reincarnated? Right now, tenure expires only at death. What if death were no barrier?

  • What about degrees based on expired knowledge? “I wrote my dissertation on how voting would make women sterile and insane.” “I was a leading-edge DOS programmer.” “Surely you're familiar with my seminal book, Television: Just Another Fad?”

I'm also not sure how to market to the multiply-lived. “Never Build Another Pyramid – Come Back to School!” (Our previous effort at target marketing was to Presbyterians -- “You're Predestined to Come Here” -- but it met with only mixed success.)

I love Christmas break...