By Jay Pinho
In a major coup, SIPA announced today that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will join its faculty in the fall. In addition to his responsibilities as an assistant professor, Berlusconi will co-chair the newly formed Institute of Failed European Leadership (IFEL) along with recently hired faculty member George Papandreou.
Together, the two disgraced politicians will teach several classes next semester in the burgeoning new field of “reverse development,” the study of abject failure in national leadership. Berlusconi will be teaching a new course, entitled “Economic Prosperity: How to Leverage a Media Empire for Personal Gain at Public Expense.”
“For me, this represents a high point of my career,” said Berlusconi, who spoke to The Morningside Post via Face-Time as an unusually large coterie of nurses loitered in the background. “Owning AC Milan? Now that’s a close second.”
Papandreou, who is frequently spotted offering imaginary public sector jobs to area homeless people, was similarly enthusiastic about his new role. He emphatically declined, however, to speak on the record about any aspect of his tenure as Greek prime minister.
The new institute will be sponsored by the German foundation Austerity Now, which, according to its website, is funded by the “blood, sweat, and tears of the European working class.” And the competition for its chairmanship was surprisingly fierce.
Former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was an early candidate. But measured against his rivals’ far more impressive career experiences driving perfectly developed nations into fiscal catastrophe, his more meager contributions fell short. Ultimately, Zapatero could match neither the silver-spoon inheritance of Papandreou nor the indiscriminate sexual foibles of Berlusconi. He has since joined many of his fellow citizens in the ranks of the unemployed. El País reported that he is applying to lead Los Indignados.
Privately, senior SIPA officials expressed frustration about their inability to recruit former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who will be teaching a course called “Ignoring Immigrants: How to Squander the Potential of France’s Marginalized” at Harvard’s Kennedy School next fall.
“Shit,” lamented one SIPA dean, who preferred not to be named. “Fuck Harvard.”
This article appeared in the Mar. 12, 2013 print version of The Morningside Post.