Heard on Campus: ‘You lie’
Biology Professor BOB SIMONI did a convincing – and thoroughly tongue-in-cheek – imitation of a certain GOP congressman from South Carolina at last week’s Faculty Senate meeting when he shouted “You lie” to President JOHN HENNESSY. It happened early in the meeting, during the time set aside for announcements from the president. Hennessy had thanked everyone who had helped Stanford take major steps toward taming its financial problems. “As I think you will see from the provost’s report, Stanford will be in significantly better financial position as a result of that,” he continued. “It will mean that we are able to go forward and continue the important work that we do here much faster than we would have had we not had your support and engagement. So thank you all on behalf of the university and future generations of students and faculty. That’s it, Madame Chair,” he said, turning toward electrical engineering Professor ANDREA GOLDSMITH, who was wielding the gavel for the first time.
“Are there any questions for the President,” she asked.
“You lie!” came the rejoinder – an outburst that immediately brought down the house. The laughter continued as the white-haired professor, who is known for his wisecracking, said: “Joe Wilson made $2 million with that rude comment [during President Barack Obama’s nationally televised speech on health care to a joint session of Congress last month]. And even better than that, the House [of Representatives] gave him some sort of reprimand and that was worth another million. So I am hoping to be called down to the dock and reprimanded. And I will contribute my net gain to the university’s financial problem.” Goldsmith played along, saying she’d take up the requested rebuke with the steering committee “and report back on that shortly.”
– Kathleen J. Sullivan
Photo: L.A. Cicero