The University of Florida typically is eager to get publicity as the university tries to move into the Top 10 Public Universities in the U.S. News & World Reporting rankings.
But today’s coverage wasn’t what the university had in mind.
UF is making headlines and is on TV news not because of studies on student learning or grants but because of zombies.
Posted on UF’s Academic Technology Web site was a report entitled “Zombie Attack: Disaster Preparedness Simulation Exercise #5.”
The report was posted right along with UF’s other Disaster Recovery Exercises — on the Academic Technology e-Learning Support Services. The zombie report was taken off the AT Web site this afternoon.
The Gainesville Sun’s UF higher ed reporter Nathan Crabbe’s story posted online this afternoon includes a composite photo of zombies at the UF football stadium. I noted that the photo is for sale.
The Orlando Sentinel, The Miami Herald, Fox in Tampa, the NBC affiliate in Chicago…the list is growing of news organizations that are picking up the story.
And this is just the kind of story that is designed for reader comment.
With all the concerns at UF with budget cuts, H1N1 flu, faculty and staff layoffs, this “humorous” report (as its author termed it) doesn’t seem very funny to many of us.
UF officials may wake up with a headache from this story that will rival Tim Tebow’s concussion headache.
I don’t think it is fair to judge this based on the context of budget cuts, H1N1 flu, etc. Granted, those are serious problems. But there will always be serious problems. Isn’t it OK to still have a sense of humor, too? This “plan” had nothing to do with all the problems the university is having to deal with.
You’re right that humor can be at its best in difficult times. Part of my reaction may have been that I had just been trying — unsuccessfully — to find technology assistance on the university’s Web site for a real issue. So I was less interested in the humor of a potential zombie invasion than just having the information I needed for teaching class. For this approach to humor, best not to have posted it on the university’s server or to use the university’s official logo.