Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will apparently not be giving the commencement speech at Rutgers after all, leaving the New Jersey school with a time slot to fill. What to do?
The university will now tap someone as its commencement speaker who is probably lower profile, less controversial, and OK with the idea that the only reason he or she is speaking is because the original selection bowed out. My suggestion is that commencement ceremony organizers do not select a substitute, ask Rice about how long her speech would have been and simply have everyone in attendance sit there for that length of time.
Did I mention that Rutgers is in New Jersey?
Oh, and there’s this:
Rutgers, of course, is also the university that paid Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi $32,000 to tell its students to “study hard, but party harder” in the same year that it paid commencement speaker (and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author) Toni Morrison $30,000. This suggests to me that the Rutgers community is ignorant not only of the value of free speech, but of worthless speech as well.
Let’s not be unkind here. Snooki has written four books.
Update: Rutgers went with paralyzed football player Eric LeGrand — then disinvited him in favor of ex-Governor Thomas Kean.