Thanks for coming today. I am honored to join this up-and-coming university. It is such an exciting time to be part of your community. We are moving up the rankings, producing world-class research, and attracting the brightest students around.
I want to first thank the Board of Trustees, the outgoing President, and everyone else involved in the search. I was impressed with the rigor and absolute secrecy of the process. I didn’t even know what I was interviewing for! But I also know that many of you feel that you were not involved in the hiring process, that it took place behind closed doors with no community input. I’ve also heard that many of you are concerned that I didn’t meet a single member of the faculty or staff or talk to any students. All that is true. I don’t really know any of you. But I am here today to fix that. I want you to get to know me, the real me, not the clean-cut, gray-haired silver fox pictured in the university newspaper. And now that all the secrecy is behind us, I can really open up and show you the kind of person I truly am.
Before I do that, I want to introduce my beautiful wife, Angie. Angie will be starting as a first-year student this fall. But don’t treat her any differently. She is a hard worker. Just ask her parents. Really, you should ask them, because they won’t talk to me. But Angie and I love each other deeply and the laws of this state clearly allow 18-year-olds to marry. Next to Angie is my little baby Amy, as well as my ten adult children from previous marriages. My other wives could not be here today. OK, not exactly true. The courts say I am not allowed to be within 100 feet of any of them, so technically they could be here if I weren’t.
As you probably read in the newspaper reports, I come from an academic background with a Ph.D. in Applied Physiological Engineering. Again, not quite accurate. Applied Physiological Engineering is something I made up. Truthfully, I have no advanced degree at all. Nothing but my trusty GED. But don’t let this fool you — I understand students. I myself was a student once, a very, very bad student. And I failed a lot. But then I succeeded really big. And now look at me — president of Big Fancy University. Man, it really feels great to get all this off my chest. I was really struggling to keep my shit together during all those secret search meetings!
As for your great university, I really have no clue what you guys do. I’ve never run anything. In fact, I’ve never been gainfully employed. But don’t fear: I have a really good strategic plan built on some very general ideas that I’m sure you can work with. We are going to celebrate achievement, excellence, diversity, entrepreneurship, and learning, especially learning because, from what I can tell, it seems to be very important here.
I know our university faces challenges — state budget cuts, changing student demographics, rising costs. How do we continue to grow into the world-class institution we are meant to be? Well, to be perfectly truthful here, I have no fucking idea. But we will make it work. If an unqualified nobody like me can make it to the top of the academic pyramid there really are no limits for any of us. Wow, I feel so much better. I hope you feel good too, because I feel terrific, like I can finally breathe!
Since I am on the topic of honesty, I have a few more small details I want to get off my chest. My real name isn’t Richard but Rocky Mountain. I have really hairy underarms. I see seven psychologists, three mandated by the courts. I hate animals, particularly red ones. I save my urine and like to work naked from the waist down. I believe that the world is flat, that the moon landings were faked, and that the CIA is listening to my thoughts. But you’ll be relieved to know that they cannot hear anything since I drilled a large metal plate into my skull that blocks all secret radio transmissions. I also communicate regularly with the alien life form that lives in my very hairy left armpit. He’s the one that told me about this job, and he is an excellent life coach.
Again, thank you all for coming. We have big things ahead of us! With openness and honesty, we can achieve all that we dream. I hope to talk to each and every one of you in the coming weeks. Most of my communication will be through mental gamma rays but you can always drop by my Space Office on Mars for a face-to-face chat.