Undignified Marketing Alert: Pace University

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sTAYFORdUDES

“Come for the food…stay for the dudes,” beckons this campus-wide invitation to a “President and Provost Welcome Reception”   at Pace University.   In the photo above, the President appears at left and the Provost appears at right

Ok, ok, I “get it” that some marketing necessarily must be geared toward a “youth” audience– especially if  folks in  a school’s marketing department are tasked with the job of generating undergraduate attendance at a reception with the University’s top administrators.   But this particular announcement strikes me as (a) undignified; (b) inapt; and (c) not quite the image of a University that its leadership should project.

I, for one, don’t want anyone who is a “dude” to be the University President or the Provost.   “Dude” is casual slang.   I want educational visionaries and business-like rainmakers running the University (a healthy mix of both, preferably).   I do not want “dudes” running the University.  

Assuming (or hoping)  that students will attend the reception because the University President and the Provost are (self-proclaimed?) “dudes”   condescends to the intelligent demands and needs of adult students.   University students are adults.   They want leaders who are adults.   They do not want the President or Provost to be their best friend or wing-person.      

Even if a “dude” President or Provost were ok, why broadcast the fact that the school’s administration lacks diversity?   Some people will claim that “dude” is gender- and race-neutral.   “Diversity” certainly is not the word that popped into my mind when I saw this invitation.

-Bridget Crawford

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One Response to Undignified Marketing Alert: Pace University

  1. Nela Suka says:

    I have to disagree respectfully, Bridget. As a woman in her late 20′s, I can *now* appreciate your perspective on the matter. However, intellectually motivated as I was in college, these events used to bore me to death – I would likely have been far more drawn to an event that posits itself with some amount of humor, than another panel of talking heads/suits discussing things that only peripherally affect my life.

    I do think your point about the gender/race-specificity being exclusionary – I think it would behoove the administration to add more diverse administrators – and not only diverse in terms of race, gender, or sexuallity – younger administrators would be a boon. And that diversity, I bet, would boost undergraduate attendance – especially the last ‘diversity category.’

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