Friday, February 16, 2007

The University of Illinois will be Chief free! I'm joining the Alumni Association.

Fantastic news. Finally, finally, finally, the University of Illinois is shedding an embarrassing vestige of a racist time and retiring the white dude who jumps around in a Native American costume. Thank goodness someone had the testicular virility to cut off the endless non-debate and modernize our image with one executive decision. I love it.

Progressive alumni of the University, now is the time to reward bold initiative. Send them money. The Alumni Association is here and the University Foundation that will take your gifts is here.

My guess is that the bogeyman of petulant alumni who will withhold their millions from the University are likely to be the people who send the money exclusively to the Athletics Department. And if Athletics takes a hit for a few years, I really don't care. The University's culture and priorities are already too skewed towards the sports teams anyway. Higher education is likely our best economic engine for the next few decades, and we should be pouring resources into higher education to generate economic returns. The dancing Chief was a distraction and worse, a symbol of a less-innovative, less-modern and less-progressive state -- particularly in East Central Illinois where we have the opportunity, still far from fully realized, to attract global talent and capital for technology-driven businesses -- than Illinois actually is.

Congratulations to Chairman Eppley (assuming he goes through with it). Today is a good day for the future of Illinois.

1 comment:

Gilbert said...

Yes! We couldn't agree more. This is a great decision for the university.

We too are going to make another contribution to the UI to mark the occasion, and may even finally join the AA to send a direct message. We've never stopped supporting the Foundation, but never wanted to join the AA before.

PhD 87 and PhD 94