CofC Professor’s Battle of Wits Leads to Suspension

Professor Robert Dillon cited his sources a bit TOO well...

Boundless Vice | Geoffrey Gill | April 5, 2016 SATIRE

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College of Charleston Associate Professor Robert Dillon has recently drawn attention and headlines for his unpaid suspension from teaching duties at the College. Dillon had been engaged in an ongoing struggle with administrators regarding the components of the syllabus for his BIOL 305L Genetics Laboratory.

The professor, employed by the college since 1982, has long been known for his conservative teaching style and distaste for the reaccreditation process and standardized testing methods. When asked by the college to re-submit his syllabus for the spring semester with a bulleted list of learning objectives, Dillon instead sent back his usual syllabus with an 1896 quote from Woodrow Wilson that education is intended for “betterment, strengthening and growth in spiritual insight” by students, not explicitly enumerated objectives.

This sparked a quote war between Dillon and CofC administrators, turning the organization of an undergraduate laboratory course into a self-righteous and overly academic dick measuring contest. The quotes, listed in proper chronological order of the correspondence between Dillon and the administration, set the tone for the two parties’ ongoing debate over educational oversight:

The administration, sent to Dillion on January 19: “Conservatism is the policy of making no changes and consulting your grandmother when in doubt”- Woodrow Wilson, 1918

Dillon, in response on January 23: “Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.”- Ronald Reagan

The administration, in response to Dillon’s remarks, sent this on January 26: “An obstinate man does not hold opinions, but they hold him; for when he is once possessed with an error, it is, like a devil, only cast out with great difficulty.”- Bishop Joseph Butler, 1895

Dillon, showing his frustration, responded on February 4: “Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.”- Winston Churchill, 1937

The administration, evidently fed up with its professor’s stubborn refusal to comply with a basic and unobtrusive requirement, at this point responded using a quote from Plato’s Republic in the original ancient Greek. The quote, which translates to “uneducated people who have no experience of true reality will never adequately govern a city, and neither will people who have been allowed to spend their whole lives in education,” was meant to call out Dillon for his inability to comply and abject stubbornness, evidently stemming from his long tenure as an educator.

It is at this point that Dillon played his trump card, answering the administration’s latest retort with a string of libertarian profanities rather than a quote, as the rules of engagement for this gentlemen’s dispute entailed. Needless to say, Dillon was immediately sent his suspension notice and asked to “pretty please do the job that he was being paid for.”

When asked about his course of action following his suspension, Dillon responded with an obscure stream of neolithic cave drawings, rather than a verbal or written response. At the time of this article’s publication, it must be assumed that this is part of his research for another quotation-based response.

dillon greek Professor Robert Dillon’s crest, a libertarian flag
altered to show his obvious intellectual superiority
using a Greek translation and a DNA molecule

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This article is meant to be satirical in nature.