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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

Reporting to the Commandant (Collegiate Life at Annapolis)

The United States Naval Academy, with 4000 undergraduates, is one of the most selective colleges in the United States. They recently announced a job opening for a Social Director, reporting to the Commandant, who will oversee many aspects of student life. The successful candidate

will be responsible for providing a comprehensive structured social educational and recreational program for midshipmen (students). He or she will be instrumental in accomplishing the tasks associated with the development of refined manners, punctilious courtesy and a strong sense of decorum and honorable behavior so necessary for the naval officer. The ideal candidate will have the academic preparation, work experience, and proven performance in planning, developing, and implementing etiquette and decorum education…. The ideal candidate will have in depth knowledge and proven skills in military protocol, military and civilian courtesies, diplomacy, dining etiquette, appropriate dance, acceptable attire for different social settings, and conversational techniques.

I don’t think military discipline would be very popular with most of the undergraduates I have known (and this former federal GS-5 employee likes to sleep late). But here is an excellent question for discussion by residential college students and faculty around the dinner table: Does this job description include anything that we in the civilian academic world are missing?

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2016