When he assumes his office in Woodbridge Hall this June, President-elect Peter Salovey will face a number of institutional challenges — few with clear solutions. But in fact, our University’s most pressing issue is the one staring our future president back in the face. It is the issue right under his nose.
It would be a grave mistake for Salovey to believe he can face the challenges ahead without the friendly caterpillar that once adorned his countenance. It is time for Yale’s most treasured tonsorial achievement to return triumphantly.
President Salovey must be brave; this we believe. The leadership of our University has been embodied by 23 white men; it will take strength for this also-white man to distinguish his image.
If Salovey believes in hair, so will we.
We want a president with the courage of his convictions. Nicholas Dirks, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, has doubled his university’s follicular fortitude, bolstering his proud soup-saver with a parallel one across his brow. We cannot let Yale fall behind. Baldness plagues our provost; a shining scalp is the scourge of our police chief.
If there is a place for walrus whiskers at Yale, there will be place for mutton chops, mohawks and mullets. If there is a place for one proud nose-warmer, there will be a place for every one of us. If we know our president for his bigote, there will be no place for anti-beard bigots at this University.
But there will be a place for a small family of birds to nest.
Our leaders are fallible; this we have seen. Even Salovey has succumbed to the temptation of the razor. Mistakes have been made. But Salovey must believe that past wrongs can be righted. And just as hope springs eternal, so does facial hair.
Today, the first of April, we must ask you a question: President-elect Salovey, is your face cold?