The Last Word

Professor of English David Galef takes a humorous look at the Montclair State of the future

Photo: Mike Peters

David Galef

Carrying on our 132-year-old academic mission is quite important here at MSU NU YU (renamed from Montclair State University by its corporate partner, the software company NU YU, in 2035)—which is not to say that we’re not also mindful of the future. We try to strike a balance between the old and the new, tradition and innovation, continuity and change, and the many other balanced catchphrases that NU YU’s automated PR division came up with for this year’s annual report.

We’re proud to announce our Wii School of the Arts, the newest member of our virtual campus, whose physical location is on the server in the bowels of Terabyte Hall. The WSA not only brings our number of cyber-schools to an even dozen, but also expands the definition of Art, from level one virtual museum visits to Kung Fu Seventh Dan. We intend to keep growing and growing, since the frontiers of cyberspace are limited only by petabytes and tuition credits. For information on new programs within the MSU NU YU catalogue, blink on the Red Hawk screen icon and scan downwards and sideways. Long live our credo, Carpe datum!

As for our students, they’re fully plugged in: each entering freshman is assigned a Red Hawk Nudroid, featuring implant options compatible with all soft tissue. As Provost Model 7 proclaimed last year, “Red Hawk Nudroids give our students not just full access to the University but also [Error 404] to the universe itself!” (The Provost has since been rebooted.)

We’re trying to get our real-time faculty to follow suit and embrace the new era, with salary inducements toward personality-enhanced video presentations for the digital archives. As of 2038, all our endowed chairs have become dedicated work-stations. Just to reassure our older alums that we haven’t gone totally virtual: through satellite hook-up, we now feature extension campuses all down the Shore, and see our new onsite platform in Ngari, Tibet!

Though the economy continues to show signs of non-recovery, our graduates have managed to get jobs in fields ranging from web3 data entrants to NU YU intermediate-level internships in Outer Cyberia. And for the third straight decade, we’ve beat out Rutgers, which lost its corporate sponsorship last year and will soon be reopening as Rutgers Cyber-Community Colleges (Rx3, franchises available).

Meanwhile, we retain our guiding beacon. The AI simulacrum of our University president, PrezSez, is still going strong. With leadership like PrezSez, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, the stars know no limit. Just blink at the Red Hawk NU YU icon, and go!

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David Galef, PhD, Professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Montclair State, is a columnist and author whose latest book, My Date with Neanderthal Woman, will come out in November 2011.