The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher
Jason Fitger, the central character in Dear Committee Members, returns as the newly appointed chair of the English Department. The future of the Department is grim. The Economics Department has lavishly renovated the second floor and has their eyes on the English Department’s real estate below them. Fitger is missing appointments because he can’t access his calendar. He can’t access his online calendar because his computer doesn’t work. He can’t get someone to fix his computer because he doesn’t have a departmental budget. He doesn’t have a budget because the English Department doesn’t have a Statement of Vision. There isn’t a Statement of Vision because he can’t get his faculty to agree on anything. He tried to keep the statement short and sweet but the ancient Shakespearean scholar on staff refuses to accept a statement that does not contain a Shakespeare requirement for all students. Of course now all the other faculty also want favors in return for their acceptance of the new Statement of Vision. And this is just the beginning of Fitger’s troubles in this new academic year.
Anyone who has worked in academia, spent too much time in higher education, or just needs a giggle will enjoy this one. The quirky characters are varied and by turns strange and delightful. You can’t help liking Fitger as he muddles through bad choices and tries to do his best woefully unprepared for the position he finds himself thrown into when all he really wants is to get his wife back and teach the subject he loves.