A Dissertation Upon The Faculty
Not by Charles Lamb
The Faculty is an institution. Just who did the instituting, or why, has
never been ascertained. The person who committed the act has never been willing
to admit it, so this mystery goes down in Emory's annals along with "Who was
Dooley?" and "Why is King?" The Faculty began almost as soon as the college,
and has been chronic ever since. Some people say that it even antedates Parson
Jones' residence in Oxford. But be that as it may, the Faculty has been here along,
long time, ever since Bo Hanner came to class on time away back before Jim
Webb can remember. It survived the hunting and shooting age, the Candler
age, and the remnants come down even into the times of James Edward,; though
in a very degenerated form.
The remnants at times made themselves rather unpleasant to certain stu¬
dents; so unpleasant, in fact, that a few have seen fit to return to their own vine
and fig tree rather than remain in Oxford with these so-called "Highbrows."
The unpleasant friction has caused a movement to abolish the Faculty, and be¬
cause of sundry high crimes and misdemeanors upon the part of these dependents,
the Abolitionist Party has of late been very much augmented.
The advocates of the Faculty-less college have many points on their side:
the reduction of expense, more room in chapel, the use of the class rooms for the
sessions of the Tiddle-de-Winks Club and the Amalgamated Order of Checker
Bugs, freedom from Faculty interference in college affairs. But these radical
gentlemen are prone to act hastily. Let us not tear away on the spur of the moment
a fixture so beautifully appropriate as our moss-covered and moth-eaten Faculty.
It has its faults, it is true—about fifteen of them—but the mere fact that we have
humored it so long shows that it may not be so black (or black and red) as it is
The Faculty is decidedly ornamental. Where can such an antique be found
as King James or such a relic as the Madam? They rank with Grandmother's
spinning wheel and Foxy's wit. Or could anything be quite so delightfully green
and fresh as Paul the Apostle?
It would be far too dangerous to turn such an aggregation of individual idio¬
syncrasies and collective futility loose upon an unsuspecting nation. Muts's
Juggernaut would slay its thousands and Nag's temper its tens of thousands.
For all of this we would be held responsible.
And, lastly, what would Oxford be without Madam's blithesome footfall,
Shingler's rapid-fire laugh and Zeke's humility! "Hamlet" without Hamlet,
"Mother Goose" without Simple Simon, Chapel with no announcements! This,
indeed, would be too much. Generations of college predecessors would call down
fire upon our heads and we of all men would be most miserable.
The remedy is not abolition, but it is placing the Faculty in its proper place.
Let us treasure our beloved Faculty. Let us build a glass mausoleum (lest it
throw stones), endow a Chair of Applied Supervision, install Bass, and let him
each morning, with loving smile and tender hands, brush the accumulated dust
from these priceless Highbrows.