Yeezus for president


By Boswell Hutson

Last week, The Daily Illini’s Editorial Board penned a column asking the University community a relatively simple question: Should Chancellor Wise be considered for the next University president? I’m sure thoughts are divided on this issue, as Wise’s administration has been tumultuous to say the least.

I couldn’t help but think, while reading this, that the search for a new president would be more interesting if the hype surrounding it could rival the excitement generated by searching for a new football coach, something else that the University will probably be doing pretty soon, as Tim Beckman is 1-18 in the Big Ten.

In terms of potential candidacy, though Wise “is surely qualified,” “has exemplary experience,” and “has a Ph.D.,” I yearned for something more exciting.

Just as I hope our football team tries to hire Vince Lombardi’s ghost next year, I hope that the administration would also seek some star power academically. I propose we shoot for the moon on the hire of the next president and look no further than one of Chicago’s own: Kanye West.

I know what you’re thinking: “You mean that guy who’s married to a Kardashian?” I know it sounds bizarre, but after a little analysis, it becomes clear that, in absolutely no seriousness whatsoever, Mr. West is the best possible candidate on the planet for the job.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

One of the biggest problems facing the current administration has been maintaining transparency — lack of it has caused sit-ins at Board of Trustees meetings and votes of no-confidence in Wise from 14 different departments on campus.

With West, we’d never need to wonder what he’s thinking because, as countless live rants and a VMA interruption have shown, he’s going to say what’s on his noggin, regardless of ramifications.

The presidential resume of Yeezus, West’s alter-ego, is further boosted by his appreciation of school spirit, something we could use a little more of here in Champaign-Urbana. West even has a track named “School Spirit.” Though this song may have been written in jest of the higher education system, it could serve as a rallying cry for the student body. We could even make it the school song. 

Maybe, then, Deadspin wouldn’t have to lambaste our student section for poor performance at football games.

It’s now been proven that West would be the most transparent and inspiring president in history, but part of what makes his candidacy so good is that he’s not an academic insider weighed down by internal politics. He does, however, have more experience than one might think. 

West himself went to college before deciding to drop out to pursue a music career, naming his first album The College Dropout to chronicle his experience.

Mr. West understands academia, but not enough to get mired in its unfortunate aspects. It’s like that hair dye they advertise during football games called “Touch of Gray,” which allows men to dye a little bit of their hair gray, but not all of it, so they can maintain the illusion of having more experience and sophistication. 

West has a touch of academic knowledge, and that may be the perfect amount to succeed. 

Former University president Michael Hogan had a Ph.D. and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and he was forced to resign after multiple scandals; maybe it’s time to try someone who isn’t already ingrained in academia.

Even given all of Kanye’s intense fame and the pressure that comes with it, all of his work is original. 

In fact, West is a contemporary Shakespeare, forming his own words and inserting them into the popular lexicon effortlessly. A key example comes from the song “All Falls Down,” in which Kanye invents the best adjective in human existence: “ballerific.” Other choice words created by West include “Apologing” (“Can’t Tell Me Nothing”) and “Swaghili” (“I’m In It”).

It’d be a shame not to hire the next Shakespeare — how would history forgive us?

The ball’s in your court, presidential search committee. Sure, you could do the same, predictable hire of someone who has been in university administration for some time, or you can do the right thing and dive head-first into a super awesome Kanye West presidency.

Maybe we don’t have enough money to do it, but we can just raise tuition to $100,000 or something, it’ll get there eventually anyway. 

Kanye West is the president the University deserves. He’s the president the University needs right now. If the University has a problem with West’s lack of a doctoral degree, perhaps they could look to another qualified candidate, Dr. Dre. 

Either would certainly rival the competency of the current administration. 

Boswell is a senior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected].