The University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre will close its doors next Friday, never to reopen. The hub of ideas and US-government-sponsored learning has played host to visiting US bureaucrats and undergraduate West Wing fans since 2009. The closure is being attributed to pressure from the University, as well as America’s complete irrelevance to the 21st century.
“I know we only have two functional missiles remaining and almost no government to speak of,” President Obama said from the tent he moved into after the government sold the White House to minimise its deficit and repair its credit rating, which lay in tatters after the recent shutdown.
“But we still believe that real politics, soft power and American exceptionalism warrant a $25-million centre at the University of Sydney to delude students into thinking we’re still a relevant subject of inquiry.
“Plus think about it: the University of Sydney and the United States share the same initials. China can’t compete with that.”
The directive to close the USSC comes soon after the University cancelled the Dalai Lama’s visit to campus following pressure from the Chinese government. China provides considerable financial support for the University’s Confucius Institute and China Studies Centre. Some say this latest move is a cynical move which prioritises profit over education.
“I can’t believe the Vice-Chancellor has decided to shut down this multimillion-dollar centre for educational excellence and to fire its CEO and board of directors and silence its PR all in the name of getting money and favour from the Chinese government,” said protester James McLean.
“How will students ever learn without sponsored trips from US dignitaries, incredibly partisan columnists from The Spectator teaching them an in-depth analysis of the latest American shows?
“This is a completely cynical move and a dire portent of the corporatisation of the University. We’re meant to be about quality education, not money, goddammit.”
USSC CEO Bates Gill is rumoured to be moving on to head up Microsoft.