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State of the University Address, 2004

SEPTEMBER 10, 2004

Harvey Perlman, Chancellor

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Conclusion

Whether speaking or listening, there are no happier words than “in conclusion”. In conclusion let me observe that universities in general, and this one is no exception, are characterized by the inherent tension between faculty and the administration. I heard one University president indicate that at his university he had several professors known to be gods – everybody had heard about their existence but nobody had actually ever seen them. At the same time, a faculty member recently sent me the story of the young professor who walked into a café with a shotgun, pulling a male buffalo and ordered a cup of coffee. The waiter complied; the faculty member drank the coffee down in one gulp, shot the buffalo and walked out of the café. The next day the professor returned with his shotgun and another male buffalo and again ordered coffee. The waiter said: “Hey, we're still cleaning up your mess from yesterday, what was that all about?” The professor replied proudly: “I'm training to be an administrator: come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave the mess for others to clean up, and disappear for the rest of the day.”

Nonetheless, your support, or at least your indulgence, for the past four years has been much appreciated. I am convinced more than ever of the potential of this university. This is a special place committed to building the success of its faculty, its staff, and most importantly its student body. I hope you will continue to give your best efforts and your best advice as together we attempt to achieve another higher level of success.

Thank you very much.