If I Ran The Campus

If I ran the campus
I’d start out anew
I’d make a few changes
That’s just what I’d do
Here’s a simple suggestion
(Avoiding all fads)
I’d have some professors
Who teach undergrads
I hear you all snicker
I hear you all scoff
But I’ve got to believe
That many a prof
Would thrill to be meeting
A freshman or soph
TAs are beloved
They’re always the rage
Because they all work
For a minimum wage
(But do students want teachers
Who are just their own age?)
Remedial classes
I’m sure is a must
For teachers who give
Only A or A-plus
They really must practice
At home, if they please,
Traumatically giving
Some Bs and some Cs
There’s another idea
I can bring to fruition
I know how to cut
The cost of tuition
I really don’t care
Whose waters this muddies
But I’d cancel all courses
Whose names end in “studies.”
This could irritate
The fuddies and duddies
That’s just a start
I’ll do better than that
My curriculum changes
Will cut out the fat
No courses on Buffy
The Vampire Slayer
Or Batman and Robin
Who cares which is gayer?
No bongo or bingo
(Remember I said it)
No study of Yoda
No sex acts for credit
No Star Trek theology
No Matrix psychology
No queer musicology
I give no apology
If I ran the campus
I’d start out anew
I’d make a few changes
That’s just what I’d do
This originally appeared as part of the National Association of Scholars’ “If I Ran The Zoo” series


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

9 thoughts on “If I Ran The Campus

  1. Your poem made me laugh, and of course wince as well,
    the reason for both I must really tell
    as for TAs we have none, but we guard our “C’s
    hoping them rare like a social disease
    Here at Ursinus, we have poets a plenty,
    all of whom know terza rima
    alas of which I can only dreama
    John Strassburger
    Ursinus College

  2. I once tried to write something in Seuss-ian and had a new appreciation for Theodore Geisel and, now, for John Leo.

  3. Hats off to John! Not only is ‘If I Ran the Campus’ painfully
    funny, as is all good satire, but he has the tone and pacing of Dr.
    Seuss down pat. Seuss & Leo have a bright future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *