The Trouble with Student Affairs


Seamlessly switching gears after the Omaha Prize winning Resurrecting Virgil, Dorie LaRue delivers a fast-moving satire of university life that propels the campus novel into the postmodern age. The setting is a once poky state university whose new chancellor is determined to compete with an elite nearby private university. Seizing upon the great equalizer, privatization, and a corrupting system of rewards to inspire the faculty to greater effort, he solves the problem of state school insolvency and creates a quagmire of never-ending greed and cutthroat competition.

Enter Joyce Michalak, the spiritual child of Lucky Jim and Miss Jean Brodie, who hopes to become a member of the tenured living and believes her forthcoming book from Oxford Press will be her ticket— and her talisman. She chooses this time to have an affair with an exchange student from a war-torn land. Can he and a neo millennial generation of students sitting behind laptops, polishing up Facebook pages, text messaging, and secretly recording her classes for YouTube save her from the same lack of moral agency as her colleagues?

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