Phi Beta Cons

Delaware President has an Emily Littella Moment

Gilda Radner was famous for her Saturday Night Live “Emily Littella” skits where she would go off on a rant about something, only to find out that there was really nothing to rant about. She’d meekly end by saying, “Never mind……”

Something similar has just happened at the University of Delaware when what looked like nooses were found on campus. Acting president Nancy Targett went into full crisis mode, denouncing the “cowardly and reprehensible acts clearly designed to frighten and intimidate,” and scheduling a campus gathering for the next day. But then someone spoiled the fun by noting that the “nooses” were really just the remnants of paper lanterns from a campus event. President Littella — I mean Targett — released a statement acknowledging that the acts so clearly designed to frighten and intimidate actually were not. Nevertheless, she thought the campus gathering was still necessary to deal with “issues.” So, not a complete “Never mind……”

Inside Higher Ed has the story.

Never let a good non-crisis go to waste.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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