Terrified Schlissel Admits: “If We Stop Building, We Die”

In a shocking announcement made last evening, a sweaty and distressed Mark Schlissel shut down critics of the University’s rampant spending by revealing that stopping construction would result in the complete obsolescence of the University of Michigan.

“You don’t understand. None of you could ever understand!” said Schlissel, in a noticeable departure from his usual, affable rhetoric. “This isn’t just about building!  This is about survival!  I’m trying to save all of you! Can’t you see that?”

“It’s incredibly frustrating trying to reason with you while we’re wasting precious building time this very second! There’s no time to debate this—we have to build!  Now!” Schlissel exclaimed, as he frantically ran out of the room, donning a hard-hat and grabbing a shovel on his way to assist in the construction of the new Jeff T. Blau building.

Several key figures in the central Administrative Office confirmed Schlissel’s comments, adding that not only was he speaking the truth, but that his urgency was not in the least bit unfounded.  “We’ve tried to shelter the public from this for as long as we could, but now there’s no hiding it,” confessed University Provost Martha E. Pollack.  “It’s just a fact.  If the University of Michigan ceases campus renovation and expansion, we won’t even be footnotes in history.”

Reportedly, the last time the University stopped building was for a total of three days in 1963.

“That was the closest the University of Michigan has ever come to extinction,” recalled a well-known Professor Emeritus, who wishes to remain anonymous.  “It must not be allowed to happen again.  I can’t bear it.”

Additional sources revealed that it was because of this responsibility that former-university president Mary-Sue Coleman stepped down from the position at the end of last semester.  “Poor Mary-Sue,” lamented Regent Board Member Mark J. Bernstein.  “She just collapsed under the pressure of it all.  She couldn’t take it anymore. Legend tells that she still lies awake at night, muttering about world-class facilities and international rankings.”

However, Schlissel promised that Coleman’s sacrifice, like those of all the presidents before, had not been in vain.  “She did her job, and now the burden has fallen on me to bear,” Schlissel said.  “This responsibility is more than you can imagine.”

“Do you think we like tearing down and rebuilding the Ross school over and over again?”  Schlissel cried, speaking directly to his critics.  “It’s a goddamn nightmare!  Did any of you really think we actually needed another Law Quad? C’mon! Do you think I enjoy schmoozing it up with rich alumni every weekend to keep this train moving?  I’m a teacher!  If it were up to me, I would take that money and put it towards academic research in a heartbeat!  But I’m telling you!  We have no choice!  Those cranes are the only things standing between us and oblivion!”

Schlissel concluded the conference by announcing that, due to the declining pace of construction on campus, the University was introducing new plans to relocate each tree on campus fifty yards from their original position.

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