Your Flourishing University. Trademark!
Dear College Community,
Now that summer break is in full swing, I’m thrilled to officially announce an exciting and forward-looking new office. No, it’s not the Circumlocution Office! — I knew you professors would say that. It’s the Office of Flourishing™, and it’s here to make sure that Team Leader administrators like myself work in synergy with faculty and students on our key deliverable of never-ending joy.
The Office of Flourishing™ is part of the university-wide Strategic Restructuring Project™, which aims by 2030 to reduce all academic departments to a single Office of Education, a subsidiary to the Office of Development and Alumni Donations. We’re so impressed with all of you instructors and your knowledge about things, but we’re not sure that we need quite so many of you, even though you look great peppered around campus — especially in publicity photos!
But as we work towards that goal, we hope to involve you in our Plan for Campus Joy™. Our office strives to radiate exhilaration and progress as we forge ahead into a glorious and advanced future for Student-Clients™ embarking on their Meaningful Lives™. We want them to build rewarding relationships with other human beings just like themselves, manage the occasional stress that can arise in our ComfortPlus™ campus environment, and feel that their lives have a point, even though they do not yet have corporate jobs.
This spring, you may have already seen the hard work of the Office of Flourishing™ in our Motivational Quote Initiative, which has invested in displaying brightly-colored posters all over the quad, transforming the university into a self-help book! Life has ups and downs, and you accept this because it is true is my favorite. That is the kind of profound observation our office is capable of delivering.
Because we value the humanities, we have also organized a series of extra-curricular workshops for the fall, including Shakespeare’s Guide to Being a Better Manager (hint: Be a man!), What Chaucer Has To Say About Your Business Journey, and Team Leadership Inspiration from King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. Please encourage your students to sign up at the new Babbitt School of Business.
We’re communicating with you because we want our initiatives to be transparent — and I don’t mean like the dress I probably shouldn’t have worn to the Goodbye Department of Romance Languages Garden Party. I can tell you I won’t wear it to Benefit That Will Not Benefit Adjuncts next Saturday!
By now you’re probably wondering: When can faculty members find time to Flourish™? It’s particularly hard for female faculty, struggling to balance work and family. Whew! That must be exhausting. Unfortunately, due to the investment in this office, there’s no possibility of a childcare center on campus, so please stop sending e-mails to that effect.
Here in the Office of Flourishing™, we believe you must take control of your life on your own, but also with the help of our office, which is staffed by four people — the same as the number of full-time Classics faculty! Professors, we want to help you to Flourish™ while you’re filling out forms, or Writing Mission Statements to justify the existence of your humanities department, or devising “learning outcomes” so the deans can better understand what a grade really means. You can also Flourish™ while you’re investing in your career by planning your own research and conference travel without the hassle of obtaining university funding, or by planning the next exciting step in your Flourishing Journey™ once your Visiting Assistant Professor position expires next year. And of course you can Flourish™ in the knowledge that we’re re-branding the salary freeze of the last ten years as the Professors Love Their Jobs And Thus Don’t Need Raises Initiative.™
But because we want to reward you educators in a manner that isn’t grossly material, we’re developing an exciting new program in conjunction with the Office of Over-Advising™ that will give you the opportunity to spend several days in the dorms with students: braiding their hair, having pillow fights, piercing their ears with safety pins, and singing “Kumbaya.”
Like you, students can Flourish™ in their day-to-day lives. Please encourage them to Flourish™ by not dwelling on their education debt, or their lack of career opportunities, or their fears of life beyond our supportive community. They can also Flourish™ by avoiding binge drinking — especially at fraternities! (What are we going to do with those places?!) — and by eating their delicious meals provided by Aramark, food purveyor to prisons and cults located deep in the woods.
Fab Nutrition is only one of the very important Lucky Seven Key Steps to Flourishing™ that we’ve devised for students, along with Your Weird Emotions, Money Stuff, Sorta Future Job Stuff, Social Life What-Have-You’s, Spiritual Malarkey, and Your Marginalized Education. Other Fab Nutrition options include the myriad tasty, global offerings of our campus food court. (Please note that all the university’s food service workers and janitorial staff, as well as the facilities and maintenance staff, will not be Flourishing™ as their parents have not paid the Flourishing Fee™.)
Our office strives for wellbeing, although we don’t strive to put a hyphen in the word “wellbeing.” Punctuation is silly. We’re working in conjunction with the Library to re-launch it this fall as the Space of Wellbeing (patent pending), where students will be offered on-demand back massages, herbal tea, pet dolphins, and the constant reassurance that they will go far in life because they’re just great. We’re also planning to install a stunning unicorn statue at the entrance to the building. This magical creature is the first step in our Happier Mascot Initiative™, which aims to replace the university’s Not Happy Lion™.
Finally, we’ll also be coordinating Super Fun Creative Fridays™ for the fall, where members of the campus community can gather together to paint pretty pictures. Art is important — as a hobby, of course. We hope this will relieve the stress you and your fellow faculty members have reported “as a result of receiving constant infantilizing and inane e-mails from absurd, lavishly-funded offices of rainbows and puppies.”
Esmerelda Stooge, Director, Office of Flourishing™