Colorado at Boulder Dean Offers Mea Culpa

December 7, 2020

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.”

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