April 08, 2009, 6:31 p.m.So, is it wrong for me, a lifelong Wildcat, to jump up in praise of the Scum Devils? Finally, someone in academia has got it... that we don't know what Pres. TMT's legacy is going to be, as we have very little history of him as a man and politician. I back ASU's decision 100% in this instance, they are doing the right thing, and it's about time.
The Associated Press
PHOENIX - If President Obama expects an honorary degree when he gives the spring commencement address at Arizona State University, school officials will have to tell him, "No we can't."
Obama, who will speak May 13 to ASU graduates on the Tempe campus, will not be given an honorary degree, an honor universities typically give to commencement speakers.
"It's our practice to recognize an individual for his body of work, somebody who's been in their position for a long time," Sharon Keeler, an ASU spokeswoman, told The Associated Press. "His body of work is yet to come. That's why we're not recognizing him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency."
The school, in fact, has no plans to give out any honorary degrees this year. A six-member academic committee oversees the process, reviewing nominees which usually come from faculty. The group then recommends candidates to the university president.
Recent recipients of honorary degrees at ASU include J. Craig Venter, an internationally known scientist credited for developing high-volume genome sequencing, and Wu Qidi, vice minister of education of the People's Republic of China.
Obama will, however, receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Notre Dame when he delivers the commencement speech May 17.
University spokesman Dennis Brown said it's customary at Notre Dame to confer a degree on every guest speaker. The university tries to select speakers who have made significant contributions to society or can give a compelling message.
But Brown said any comparison of the two schools' differing decision on extending Obama a degree was inappropriate.
"ASU is an outstanding university," Brown said. "Every university has its own traditions and has its own missions. I don't think it's at all fair to gauge one against the other. Everybody's different."
Keeler said people should not look upon ASU's withholding of the honor as a presidential dis.
"First of all, they should inquire as to what the university's practice is before making a judgment by what another university might do," Keeler said.
Unlike Notre Dame, ASU has not heard any protests surrounding Obama's commencement invitation. Many Catholics have been angered by Obama's planned appearance at Notre Dame, the nation's largest Catholic university, because of his decisions to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and his stance on abortion.
"We've only heard the opposite," Keeler said. "Everyone within the university community and everyone we've heard from are ecstatic about him coming."
This also tells me the honeymoon is coming to a close. The rosy afterglow of the post-electioin coitus is wearing off... Like a frat boy on a Saturday at 10 AM, we are beginning to roll over, and see just what we did during that alcohol-fueled night of debauchery.
Let's just hope like most frat brats, we don't fix our mistakes with a little hair-o-the-dog-that-bit-ya'...