James White, interim dean of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s College of Arts and Sciences and proponent of shrinking the college’s share of tenured- and tenure-track professors, apologized for an unpopular comment he made last week to Inside Higher Ed. In an interview, White said, “Never waste a good pandemic,” a play on the phrase “Never waste a good crisis,” as his rationale for introducing his controversial faculty hiring concept during COVID-19.
“I made an ill-considered remark,” White wrote in a subsequent public apology. “In describing the need to be deliberative and thoughtful about how and where we cut, I said, ‘Never waste a good pandemic.’ That was flippant and insensitive. I apologize.” White added, “I should have stuck to my underlying point, which is this: In times of crisis, like the one we are in, we are duty-bound to cut spending in a way most likely to preserve the long-term health of the college and its educational mission and protect the long-term prospects of its students.”