It has been a couple of months since Matthew Holland took over the reins at UVU, and while we all wish him success in his new position, there are some on this campus that look at his appointment with some skepticism, maybe even hostility.
So if I could offer one piece of advice to Dr. Holland it would be this:
Grow a beard.
Let’s face it sir, a lot of the faculty members on campus look at your BYU pedigree and cold shivers run up their spines. Many are worried about how you will handle an institution that has grown accustomed to a certain degree of academic freedom. You know what would put many of these fears to rest? A beard.
Many in the community raised their eyebrows when such a young man was named to one of the most prestigious posts in the valley. But nothing else says, “I am a distinguished and learned scholar” quite like a face full of whiskers.
You face some of the most difficult fiscal constraints ever put upon a UVU president, yet many across campus will be expecting you to dole out the institutional largess to their particular programs. A nice long beard would make you look like Santa Claus, even if the legislature leaves us coal in our collective stocking.
A vocal few have been miffed by your past participation in the ultra-conservative group the National Organization for Marriage. You could use a little liberal street cred’ right about now. Nothing is more radical than a groovy hippy beard.
Some rabble-rousers out there have complained about the fact that you are the son of an LDS apostle, as if somehow that connection alone landed you the job at UVU. Flip those silly conspiracy right theories around by disposing of current Mormon fashions and growing a bad ass Brigham beard!
The simple fact is, President Holland, you have a super beard just waiting to sprout. Not since Nixon have we seen a leader so full of testosterone that he has a five o’clock shadow by 10 in the morning. Go ahead – release the beast. Why fight nature? Your face has been trying to tell you something. Will you listen?
Please sir, for all of us: grow a beard.