Following up on the College Cuss Controversy.
Mean Reporters Make College President Cry
University of Colorado President Betsy Hoffman started to cry this week when reporters at a finance and budget conference tried to question her about saying a derogatory term, THE C WORD, could in fact, be a term of endearment.
The CU president, a medieval scholar, told the Herald that she was thinking back to the 14th century poet Geoffrey Chaucer.
According to the newspaper, Hoffman said, “I was immediately sorry.” She said that the lawyer “kept pushing me. He was very nasty.”
“I knew as soon as I said it that it would come out in the papers,” Hoffman told the Herald. “I should have said, ‘Read Chaucer’s The Miller’s Tale. ”
About that time, Hoffman began to cry.
As I pointed out in the first article, the dreaded “C-word” is a curse word even in the Miller’s Tale. And that was not an apology, as she was sorry she got flustered, not that she thought she was wrong.
It sort of amazes me that a reasonably asked question by a reporter upsets her, but a vicious verbal assault on a women, in conjunction with sexual misconduct doesn’t seem to bother her enough to condemn it in court.
The flap over the deposition drew a full range of reaction from CU regents and one of the commissioners who recently investigated CU’s athletic department.
Commissioner Jacqueline St. Joan said she felt Hoffman “put her foot in her mouth,” with her remarks on the C-word.
“I see it as a combination of siege mentality and academic myopia about the real world,” St. Joan said.
I think that is an excellent way of describing what happened. She got in over her head, panicked and fired off a boner. Er. What I meant to say was that her remark was not well thought out and made her seem unsympathetic. Whew.
Regent Jim Martin said he understood the context of Hoffman’s remarks and the reference to Chaucer but added that he found Hoffman’s reply “totally inappropriate.”
“That is a vulgar word. She could have just admitted that,” Martin said. “To dig in her heels only further tarnishes the reputation of this university.”
See folks, Jim got it exactly right. Perhaps CU is not in such bad hands after all.
Now I’m going to let President Hoffman think about what she said, and let her decide to use the proper word–sorry.