The academic custom of tenure grants job security after a thorough review of a candidate’s teaching, research and service. Not all faculty are tenure-eligible. For those who do find themselves in tenured positions, there’s a lot of freedom. It can be used in many different ways, as our academic mice demonstrate in this cartoon.
In this strip, the dean explains how hiring a brilliant finance professor worked out. The prof’s flawed formula wreaked havoc in the financial community, but he got paid off well. This strip was inspired by a Sept. 17 appearance at James Madison University by Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Although Taleb didn’t make this particular point in his talk, his work has mentioned how the purveyors of flawed risk estimates seem to prosper.
On September 2, 2010 “academic mice” debuted in print in The Breeze, the student newspaper of James Madison University. There was also a nice feature article about the cartoon and cartoonist. All the coverage is copyright (c) 2010 by The Breeze.
(Click on each image to get a bigger version to read.)
Some things in higher education are so funny that they deserve laughs — multiple, sustained laughs. I want to draw those things in a cartoon strip so we can laugh together, but without any hurt feelings. How angry can you get at a mouse that talks and wears a mortar board?
The strip below pokes a little good-natured fun at admissions work. Admissions staff will tell you they’re interested in recruiting an intellectually diverse student body — but they can get excited about promising student-athletes too.