National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Fall 2005


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 6:2, Fall/Winter 2005. Copyright © 2005 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


For several years I have edited a small, in-house journal for the School of Education’s Technology Advisory Committee at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), a journal which is distributed to the faculty and posted on the School of Education’s website. Until last issue. The last issue I submitted—while dutifully made available to the faculty and staff—never made it onto the website. No one offered an explanation, and I never inquired about the matter—after all, I was still able to add the activity to my already portly and now largely useless post-retirement vita—but I remained mildly curious about it and wondered whether it was a simple oversight or something “unseemly” I’d written in the newsletter. After some months, I decided that it was the latter and that it was likely the article I’d written about a graduate student at MIT who had developed a computer program that generates random Mission Statements. (Sample: Our mission is to continue to efficiently supply innovative opportunities in order to professionally facilitate high-payoff technology for 100% customer satisfaction. In addition, we strive to continually leverage existing error-free resources such that we may continue to synergistically maintain corporate data.) It was, I figured, simply a matter of poor timing on my part. The university, it turns out, was in the midst of a SACS accreditation visit and no doubt had dozens of vision and mission statement “specialists” poring over its school and departmental websites. My guess is that the dean of education didn’t want to take the chance of offending one of the SACS folks—accreditation personnel are notoriously lacking in a sense of humor—and so requested that the Technology Committee not add my last issue to the school’s website. Fair enough, I reasoned, and that was the end of that.