Philosophy Professor Kenji Tsuchiya of Ochanomizu Women’s University has got a big problem, as related in his column in the weekly Shukan Bunshun.

“For a long time I have been wanting to retrain my ability to write, but it has suddenly become impossible. I have been elected to the dean’s post. When I was elected dean by my fellow professors, I couldn’t believe it. I never thought my colleagues lacked so much judgment. Well, to be honest, I had an inkling of it when my colleagues voted me into the budget committee. They showed their lack of judgment by electing to the budget committee someone who can’t even execute a household budget.

But I didn’t think their judgment was so dulled as to mistake the dean election with voting for the most handsome man in the university. I need a special bonus to assume responsibility for men with such poor judgment.

I am by no means cut out for a dean. I’d probably be a better sumo wrestler.

Like most professors, I did not join university to become a dean. And neither did I marry to get trampled upon. Nor born to this world to be unhappy. However, now that I have been voted, I need a doctor’s letter saying I have developed a cancer. Either that or I must quit deanship and remain a professor.

Maybe I could wear women’s dresses on campus. But I realized I’d probably get away with that. How can you prohibit women’s dresses at a women’s university. Reporting to my office without wearing pants may subject me to disciplinary action.

After two full days of tearing my hair out, I have decided to accept the post. I wanted my colleagues to see the consequences of their thoughtless action. Then I realized I have no idea what a dean is supposed to do. All I can think of is that I would have to take responsibility when an untoward thing happens. (Problem is, I feel that incident is most likely to be caused by me.) Fortunately I am accustomed to apologizing as a result of my marital life.

After I had talked with my predecessor before he left office, I realized for the first time what a burden I have assumed. First of all, I was unable to grasp the nature of my duties after listening to him for six hours. All I was sure of was that visiting Hawaii wasn’t part of my job. Of all the duties I would have to do, what looked easiest was affixing the dean’s seal on the papers. I am confident of putting the seal in the designated place (if I’m in good shape).

There seems to be not a single thing that I can decide on my own. The only authority that the dean can exercise on his own is to call a faculty meeting. And to choose between onigiri or fried fish for lunch.

Two positive things about assuming deanship are that I’ll spend less time at home and there’s no possibility of my being scolded by the dean. What worries me is my health. I will most certainly lose my sleep because in the dean’s chair, I’ll have no chance to doze at the faculty meeting.

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