An upstate reader sent me a story from today’s Cornell Daily Sun:
Deputy Provost David Harris will take an extended leave from Cornell to serve in an appointed position in the Obama Administration . . .
Good for him. What’s the position?
Harris will serve as the deputy assistant secretary for human services policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation under the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Human services”? As opposed to, like, canine services or arthropod services? What does a deputy assistant secretary for human services policy actually do, if it’s not impertinent to ask? (Which it shouldn’t be, since my taxes help pay the guy’s salary.)
The Office of Human Services policy “focuses on welfare, poverty, service delivery issues, data for research, policies affecting children, youth, and families, and economic matters affecting the [HHS],” according to its website.
Plainly work of vital national importance. As Professor Harris says: “Obviously poverty is a huge problem in this country, lack of opportunity is a huge problem in this country.”
Poverty doesn’t actually seem to be much of a problem in the D.C. suburbs; and and the Obama administration has opportunities a-plenty for deputy assistant secretaries.