In Search Of the Nutty Professor

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

We Eddie Murphy fans may have to rent “The Nutty Professor” and its various sequels but most college students can find a local variety of the educated dunce at their own institutions of higher learning. Here are a few that we’ve come across:

There’s Beth Conklin, the Vanderbilt University anthropologist who thinks that cannibals get a bum rap.

There’s Dennis Dailey, the University of Kansas (Lawrence) professor who shows his sex education class porn flicks featuring dwarves.

Elyse Crystal. The English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill e-mailed the class to label as hate speech a student’s view of homosexuality as strange and not Christian.

Kerri Dunn at Claremont McKenna College vandalized her own car and fabricated a hate crime, of which she declared herself the victim, before the local police discovered her hoax and the actual offenses that she committed in another state.

Pamela Gann, president of Claremont McKenna, called off classes and organized a vigil when taken in by Dunn’s prevarication but told alumni afterward, “Irrespective of whether the incident was real or a hoax, the tremendous response of our students and faculty in coming together on Wednesday, March 10 was very positive and should not be forgotten.”

And let’s not forget Dr. Winsome Jackson at Sierra College in California, who gave the students in her Comparative Government class 20 grade points for attending a production of “The V______ Monologues,” the hit Broadway play named after a distinctive part of the female anatomy.

Binnie Martin, the Purdue University professor, turned her Introduction to Fiction class into a crash course in lesbian and homoerotic literature while taking the time to misspell the name of one of her favorite authors in the syllabus.

Laurie Reitz, a Michigan Middle School math teacher, livened up a class on mathematical proportions by having the students measure a Barbie doll’ s bust and hips and comparing them to either their own (for girls) or their mothers’, or even Laurie’s, (for boys).

Florence Wagman Roisman, the law school professor from Indiana University, led a successful campaign to remove a Christmas tree from the seasonal display at the school.

Robert J. Torres, the sociology professor at St. Lawrence University labeled as racist a College Republican tract that encouraged the GOP to reach out to Hispanic voters. The pamphlet, in turn, was written by a young man from a Hispanic background.

And here’s the really good news. All of these pedagogues will be back for the 2004-2005 school year!