On Campus
Jan 02, 2018, 07:02AM

The Virtual University of Tomorrow... Today!

Located at the corner of real and world, our Virtual University is in the business of amazing people!

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The virtual university was located at the corner of real and world. It was in the business of amazing people. It was where the future started today. It was a place without limits as well as a place where you could push those limits. It was different on purpose; it was where everybody counts; it was imagining the impossible. “Live unbranded” read their trademarked logo, which was a big fat “$$$” to signify all the student loan money they siphoned into their corporate bank account.

The virtual university didn’t have any actual students or faculty, because who needed them? Those boring old mopes and pajama-clad dopes only got in the way of creating your best self and daring to dream. It didn’t have classes because you needed to learn at your own pace at your own place, a place that let you take charge of the now and supercharge the forever. It did have a 150,000-square foot gym that had cost $100 million to build, because education was a vacation to find your vocation. It paid its legendary football coach almost that much to coach the 85 uncompensated mercenaries who drew capacity crowds of virtual alumni to its 200,000-seat KFC Double Down Athletic Megatorium.

The virtual university had thousands of real administrators: assistant deans and assistants to the assistant deans and assistant dean’s assistant’s assistants. What they did was anybody’s guess, but it certainly wasn’t nothing. At the very least, they created things like the Strategic Plan for Growth, the Mission Admission Statement, Initiative 2020, Initiative 2021, Initiative 2022, and the Dynamic Interdisciplinary Research Brandcast. Each of these ambitious programs was outlined in a PowerPoint presentation so hollow and amorphous that it was faultless, virtually as perfect as the virtual university itself.

The one problem with the virtual university was that it remained tethered, at least in theory, to whatever the university had done before it, all the moribund mortarboard-and-gown Hogwarts-ing that struck outsiders as being so 1,200 AD-and-later. This lingering referent, with its connotations of the “three Rs” of the liberal arts, couldn’t be effaced–not yet anyway; we don’t have the technology. But goodness, if it could: imagine a university divorced from its old-timey tweed coat and pipe-smoking function, floating aloft in the free air, nothing but slogans and strategery and sweetheart deals for the lucky associate and assistant deans who work there.

“We don’t dare to dream,” read the Virtual University’s Mission Admission Statement, “we prepare for it."


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