“Guess the Blather”™ contest winners

It’s time to announce the winners of our first annual “Guess the Blather”™ contest. We will have other reaction to UNC-CH Chancellor Moeser’s address — our usual, cogent analysis, of course — but for now it’s time to end the speculation and announce the winners. Here goes:

• The Closest Prediction Award goes to our own George C. Leef, who contributed this prediction:

I predict that at some point in The Speech, Moeser will say something like this:

“Our great university is like the Little Engine That Could, chugging away to bring economic growth and progress and diversity to all the good boys and girls of the state. Unfortunately, the Little Engine isn’t able to go as fast as it could because the miserly tightwads in the General Assembly have not been keeping our lovely tracks in good repair and have even allowed mold to grow in our roundhouse. If only more students from foreign states like New Jersey could come down here, bringing more fuel for the Little Engine, it could go scooting right up that mountain!”

Now although Moeser didn’t opt for that analogy, he did speak of how our “already great American research university” is “transform[ing] people’s lives each and every day across North Carolina,” and he quoted Michigan’s Dr. James Dunderstadt of the “important university commitments such as academic freedom, tenure, broad access, and racial diversity” (nothing about teaching).

There was no overt mention of tightwads in the General Assembly, however, although Moeser did praise “the strong efforts of Governor Mike Easley and the General Assembly [for] shield[ing] our state’s universities from the full force of budget cuts.” Nor was the funding issue about infrastructure. Yet Moeser also did hold forth that the “state’s elected leadership, including the General Assembly,” needed to do something about UNC-CH’s “vital compensation and benefit issues that are adversely affecting our ability to retain and attract the best faculty and staff” or “[w]e could quickly lose the essence of what has made Carolina great.”

Moeser did touch on bringing more students from out-of-state. The “current 18 percent enrollment cap on out-of-state freshmen may impose a barrier to our enrolling more academically outstanding students” (take that, you dumb in-staters) because it will “help stem the ‘brain drain’ leading many of North Carolina’s best and brightest to attend out-of-state colleges that enroll more geographically diverse student bodies,” including those who are “admitted to Carolina [but] who decline our offer.” Moeser concludes that “[b]y doing so, we can create a more geographically varied and more intellectually stimulating” — (take that, you dumb in-staters) — “environment that will be more attractive to these exceptional North Carolinians as well.” Furthermore, this “good public policy” will further “[o]ur vision of becoming the nation’s leading public university [which] is for the greater benefit of the people of North Carolina.”

(I get an honorable mention on the above, as I told The Jerry Agar Show on WPTF 680 AM that I fully expected Moeser to “justify increasing out-of-state enrollment on the basis of favorite academic buzzwords; for example, they [the out-of-state students] will contribute to our diversity, which is what makes us great.“)

• The Too Funny Not to Post Award goes to Bob Lee Swagger of ZiggaZoomba.com for these predictions:

Possible Moe Issues …

• Moe reveals he still trails Dickie Baddour in total number of obscene e-mails received, but gap is narrowing. …

• Moe planning to “hire Roy Williams” every 60 days to assure an occasional approval rating spike. Alexander Julian agrees to be wardrobe consultant for UNC BB team appearance at press conferences.

• Moe says current deemphasis of Football timed to allow construction of Kenan area parking decks and Al Qaeda Student Center.

• When queried about upcoming Ann Coulter appearance, Moe replied “who”? …

• Moe defends South Building attacks on campus “Christians” … “if we don’t draw the line somewhere with these fringe groups we might end up actually obeying the US Constitution and who knows what that might lead to.”

• Moe reveals that in monthly Triangle covered dish luncheons with MAF, Molly, and Nan … he always has to bring the jello salad … thinks that’s unfair.

• Moe asked John Bunting if he would like for Moe to give him a public vote of confidence … Bunting pleads “Please NO , I have enough trouble as it is.”

Thank you to all who contributed — and if you didn’t win or at least make us laugh (sorry, JM), better luck next year!