Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
After Dean Samz and Wilcocks announced last semester they were leaving for NYU Abu Dhabi, one more administrator announced their departure. Dean of Internal Labor Rights Liz Smithy is headed to North Korea to establish the country’s first liberal arts college, joining several other founding administrators hailing from colleges like Partmouth and Stampford. She will be leaving tomorrow.
Smithy applied for the position after seeing an announcement in one of North Korea’s government regulated education magazines.
The new school will be called The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s University for a Democratic Republic and feature courses like Semi-Public Relations, Democratic Elections, and Promoting Equality Through Perceived Subjugation. In fact, those will be the only courses offered, under government mandates restricting the availability of course loads. All course syllabuses must pass federal inspection.
Smithy will be the Supreme Dean of Students at DPRKUDR; it is assumed that this position will carry somewhat increased compensation from his Swarthmore post.
When asked about the country’s human rights violations, Smithy said, “I think it’s arrogant to judge another country’s actions based on our own America-centric ideas of ‘democracy’ and ‘rights.’ DPRKUDR students and employees alike will have the right to participate in the democratic process of electing our Eternal President Mal Vroom. What more could you ask for?”
The campus is being built on a nearby island called “Middle Korea”. NK officials argue that allegations of poor labor conditions are exaggerated. Supposedly, the country is trying to improve conditions. The government legislated 15 minute break for every 30 hours worked. However, employers have eight years to comply.
This story is part of an ongoing series about deans departing for foreign countries with poor records for human rights and other problematic things.