President Warch announced Thursday in a press release that he has decided to appoint Professor Richard Bjella as his successor. Bjella has agreed to leave his current position as director of choral studies to become President. Warch will retire at the end of the 2003-2004 academic year. President Warch explained his choice by saying that Bjella “seemed like a robust leader with a strong investment in both inspiring and edifying his charges in the grand liberal tradition.”
Bjella’s longstanding rapport with Warch is a matter of common knowledge, but according to Bjella, their bond goes deeper than just professional acquaintance. “I really connect with President Warch,” Bjella explained, “because he’s a real heart person.” Bjella emphasized his point by softly thumping his closed fist over his heart and breathing heavily.
Since his appointment, Bjella has promised sweeping changes to the university system. These include daily campus-wide vocal warm-ups with mandatory 25-second back rubs. Bjella has also expressed his commitment to making Lawrence a more “affirming” environment.
To this end, Bjella plans to call for a campus-wide round of applause at least every 5 to 10 minutes, for some reason. The long-time choral director will also continue to uphold his widely-reputed pledge to having a good word for every student who comes through his door.
When asked about his vision for the campus, Bjella waxed rhapsodic. “You can learn all about the sun – you can study its rays, and the formation of its corona… but have you ever really seen a sunset?”
In a recent address to the Trustees, Bjella explained how his experience as a musician would influence his philosophy of leadership. “You know, giving a performance is a lot like giving a gift. Sometimes, you just have to take the price tag.. off.