Half a century ago, Clark Kerr, the Chancellor of the University of California, remarked that the modern university is "a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over car parking." [He also observed in his influential book The Uses of the University that a university president is expected to achieve three goals: "sex for the students, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty." He thought only the last presented a problem.]
I am here to testify to Kerr's prescience [about parking -- I remain mute about the other matters.] I am teaching a course at UNC Chapel Hill that meets in the Philosophy Building, Caldwell Hall [the second oldest building on campus, and the most handicapped-inaccessible building I have ever seen.] Inasmuch as Caldwell is some distance from reliable public parking, I need a permit to park in a nearby campus garage, the Cobb Deck. For the past week and a half, much of my time has been spent attempting to navigate the UNC system, ConnectCarolina, and satisfy its increasingly rigorous demands, all apparently issuing from an obsessive concern with security. At this point, well into the second week of the semester, I still have not managed to obtain a parking permit, despite the heroic efforts of several Departmental staff.
Oh, by the way, in ninety days, my password expires and must be re-set. Seriously.