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John Silber
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Educator
    (August 15, 1926-September 27, 2012)
    Born in San Antonio, Texas
    Chaired the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas at Austin (1962-67)
    Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1967-70)
    President (1971-96), Chancellor (1996-2003) and President Emeritus (2003-12) of Boston University
    Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts (1990)
    Lost to William Weld
    Chaired the Massachusetts Board of Education (1995-99)
    Wrote 'Straight Shooting: What's Wrong with America and How to Fix It' (1989) and 'Architecture of the Absurd' (2007)
    As a professor, he had a reputation for making students cry.
    Twice the Boston University faculty voted overwhelmingly to demand his resignation.
    The American Association of University Professors complained about him 'running roughshod over faculty rights.'
    He called the English department, where a quarter of the faculty were women, 'a damn matriarchy.'
    Howard Zinn claimed, 'For every important person Silber has brought here, a greater number of people have been refused tenure or left in disgust.'
    On the campaign trail, he became known for 'Silber shockers,' such as questioning medical treatment for the elderly with the comment 'When you’ve had a long life and you’re ripe, then it’s time to go.'
    A state investigation into conflicts of interest found that he had been paid a $386,700 bonus to sell stock in Seradyn, a university biotech company (1992).
    He demanded that a BU-affiliated high school disband its straight-gay alliance, calling the club a vehicle for 'homosexual recruitment.' (2002)
    He was born with a right arm that ended in a stump just below the elbow.
    He and his college debate team partner, Kathryn Underwood, were married for 57 years until her death.
    His oldest son, David, died from AIDS.
    He was credited with transforming Boston University into a world-class research center and one of the nation's largest private universities.
    During his presidency, the University's endowments grew from $18 million to $422 million and its research grants from $15 million to $180 million.
    During one of his battles with the BU faculty, a suspicious fire destroyed his house.
    He said, 'Most college presidents would go out of their way to avoid controversy. I don't think that's the function of an educator.'
    During a debate about the proper label for 'underperforming' Massachusetts schools, he said, 'Changing the name doesn't change the reality. Shakespeare had a good line: 'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.' And a skunk by any other name would stink.'

Credit: C. Fishel


    In 2018, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 39 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 9 Votes: 55.56% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 17 Votes: 52.94% Annoying
    In 2013, Out of 7 Votes: 57.14% Annoying
    In 2012, Out of 144 Votes: 79.17% Annoying
 
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