No one really knows when the Ford School put on its first holiday skit-fest, but the tradition goes back at least 23 years. In 1992, IPPS News reported on the latest faculty skit attempt (clearly not the first) with this review:“Jim Levinsohn, Gary Solon, Elena Delbanco, Carl Simon, and Paul Courant once again fail to come up with a funny holiday skit.”
This year’s faculty skit, however, was pretty funny. Susan Collins, dressed as Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games, presided over a faculty promotion process that discounted any actual faculty accomplishments, granting promotions instead in exchange for a faculty "tribute’s" willingness to take on undesirable jobs picked at random from a jar.
During the skit, Alan Deardorff copped to his real area of expertise: distinguished neck ties. David Morse confessed that he’d never actually written a policy memo. Kathryn Dominguez picked up an unanticipated cybersecurity course and was forced to consult the wisest faculty member in the galaxy (Bob Axelrod, played by a Yoda backpack) for assistance. Paul Courant, who had hoped to serve as chief of the Library of Congress Romance Division, was assigned a new course on intergalactic financial planning. Mel Levitsky (played by Rick Hall) was asked to direct the school’s medical marijuana program. And Justin Wolfers was overlooked for the Council of Economic Advisers position, and all others, since no one was sure if he still worked at the Ford School. (Justin Wolfers, by the way, has the acting gene!)
The second year master’s students presented the ABC’s of the Ford School. B, for beta-coefficient, was delivered by Paul Gully (MPP ’16), who admitted that he still wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. The first year master’s students played Rick Hall, Justin Wolfers, and Carl Simon in a round of Ford School Jeopardy. The second year BA students made some creative updates to the lyrics of Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire.” And the first year BA students did some tongue-in-cheek impressions of faculty members and GSIs. The joint-PhD students were apparently working too hard to organize a skit.
Thought the skits were funny? Thought they weren’t? Well, it’s all part of the Ford School experience. For pictures from the party and skits, check out our Flickr album.