Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dean Dad on strategic planning

Among other things, he says:

In academia, of course, tenure (and chronic cash-poverty) makes setting incentives uniquely difficult. But that's no reason not to try. Even in a tenured and unionized setting, I've found that some people will respond to simple and clear messages, especially when the few goodies that are available are lined up accordingly. (Most won't, of course, and some take a perverse pleasure in using their bulletproof status to claim the moral high ground against any change whatsoever. I can understand loafing, but claiming the moral high ground while loafing still pisses me off. Sigh.) ... [Bold emphasis added]

It reminded me of Richard Feynman's caustic remark -- in his book Surely you must be joking, Mr. Feynman -- about some of the people he encountered in an 'interdisciplinary' conference:

There were a lot of fools at that conference -- pompous fools -- and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompous fools--guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus--THAT I CANNOUT STAND!