Dear Colleagues,

The University will soon announce plans to overhaul the gen ed program recently adopted by the Faculty Senate. The new program, which emphasizes post-apocalyptic survival skills rather than traditional academic content, will be implemented fall semester. We remain hopeful this is not too late.

We realize this may seem like an abrupt shift, especially since the gen ed program we just adopted took seven years to research and implement. But those seven years have featured floods and fires, political chaos, economic crises, and a global pandemic. In the aftermath, there is an urgent need to meet the region’s demand for graduates prepared to succeed in a territory soon to be governed by natural law and vigilante justice. For our future students to meet the challenges of post-apocalyptic life, we must shift our focus from “careers that don’t yet exist” to “careers that haven’t existed for quite some time,” like blacksmiths and town criers.

For some, the pivot will be relatively seamless. Our biology faculty, for instance, will remain critical contributors to general education. They will need to shift their course content away from topics like gene sequencing and biomimicry and instead focus on more relevant issues such as antibiotic-resistant wound cleaning, mushroom foraging, and how to perform safe and healthy DIY abortions (a likely upside to the inevitable collapse of formal government is the return of a woman’s right to choose).

The Twenty-First-Century University is no longer driven by technology, business, or engineering. Those careers will disappear as soon as the grid inevitably fails and society is plunged into perpetual darkness. We won’t need app developers, computer programmers, or specialists in global supply chain management (there will be no global supply chain to manage). Post-apocalyptic success will be achieved by students who can forage, hunt, build shelters, grow their own food, and defend themselves in a hostile and lawless society.

A few specifics:

  • Our ethics requirement shall remain, but with a renewed focus on attending to pre-modern problems such as inter-familial mating, the appropriate timing of group suicide, and when it is okay to eat a deceased family member.
  • Good news for our political sciences, whose “How to Build a Government from Scratch” project will come in handy. We’re going to create an entire class around that project.
  • Some courses will simply require a name change. Foundations of Western Civilization will now be called The Fall of Western Civilization. US History will be called Ancient US History.

In retrospect, we regret letting go of so many horticulturists over the last few years. We’ll be hiring adjuncts to teach several courses on cultivating and maintaining gardens, canning food, and identifying poisonous berries.

We also regret the construction of our newly built, multimillion-dollar student rec center. It seemed like a good idea in terms of recruitment, but in a post-apocalyptic world, climbing walls and Pilates studios offer limited value. The plan for now is to convert all 300,000 square feet into storage for bottled water. Accordingly, our menu of physical education courses will no longer feature “fun” options like Zumba and scuba diving; instead, all students will focus exclusively on archery and cardio.

In closing, we understand full well that we’re violating faculty governance processes, but frankly, we’re way past that. Please continue to check your emails for as long as you have power and internet. We intend to share info by whatever means available (we’re rounding up the cheerleaders and giving them megaphones) as the University prepares to officially declare martial law.