It’s 2019 and Ash has finally became the champion of the Pokémon League, but the University of Chicago has once again been denied the coveted title of the #1 ranking among U.S. universities. We, the crack-fueled investigative staff here at The Shady Dealer, have set out to determine why UChicago could not be the very best, like no one ever was. Here are our findings.
Some people interviewed by Shady Dealer staff cited outlandish reasons for UChicago’s loss, chief among them the frantic desire to increase selectivity and a system that fails to adequately staff counseling services despite placing students under a huge amount of mental and emotional pressure. However, we interviewed some much more sensible people who blamed UChicago’s defeat on “the global warming conspiracy” keeping Chicago winters colder and a “Harvard Lampoon cabal” which’s sole goal is to prank the UChicago community.
We have also interviewed Dean Boyer in order to give a voice to the campus administration in the Shady Dealer. (Our editors have granted a one-time exception for such an event.) When we entered his office, wearing hats, sunglasses, and fake mustaches to disguise our reporter identities, we saw a scene of chaos. Papers were strewn over the darkened room, the shades were drawn, and Dean Boyer sat at his desk, hanging his head in shame while an aria from Götterdämmerung blared loudly in the background. Having noticed us, he quickly switched off the music and looked at us with sad eyes.
“I did everything I was supposed to,” Dean Boyer told us. “I worked with President Zimmer to increase the selectivity of the school and raise tuition again, I added more pre-professional majors like business econ, and I even set up a committee to explore switching us to the semester system! I’m just emulating Harvard – that should have gotten us the #1 ranking!” We chose not to point out to him that Harvard has, unlike UChicago, recognized its graduate student union. “I feel like Emperor Charles I and IV of Austria-Hungary in 1918: the beautiful entity I’m responsible for overseeing is falling apart. What am I supposed to do now? How can I make President Zimmer…er, how can I make our institution the supreme leader of schools?”
“Look!” he continued, brandishing the U.S. News & World Report in our faces. “These subcategories are outrageous!” He flung open the report and began reading aloud furiously. “The only area we were ranked #1 in was for campus satirical newspapers!” (This came as a pleasant surprise to us.) “We were ranked #4 in campus boring newspapers, #19 in modern dorm architecture, and #258 in Antarctica research base funding!” We were a little unnerved by his sudden switch to undistilled anger, but we asked him what his plan was to improve UChicago’s ranking.
“I’m pondering going through with the switch to the semester system, creating a new Department of Climatology to geo-engineer the microclimate and replicate Harvard’s microclimate, and seeking a donation from Kenneth C. Griffin to buy out the salaries of all of Harvard’s faculty and get them to come here,” he responded. Visibly cheered up by his plan, Dean Boyer sprung from his desk, flicked the lights on, and skipped out the door.
We last saw Dean Boyer in athletic clothes pushing a boulder up a nearby hill. “I push it almost all the way to the top, then I let it roll down to the bottom again…rinse and repeat,” he said happily. “It’s my daily workout.”