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Dean Khurana: We Can't Do Better

Khurana, finally owning up to it

In the face of criticism for what some students called insufficient communication in the wake of Friday’s emailed death threat, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana said College administrators “can do better” to communicate with students and took full responsibility for their response to the threat at a press conference on Monday.

Khurana then stepped back from the podium, glanced at the assistant deans and University officers assembled behind him, nodded, and returned. 

“Actually, who am I kidding. We can’t do better. Sorry guys. There, I said it, there it is.”

Citing that “we can do better” is exactly the same set of four words he and other officials have said in countless post-incident interviews in the past, Khurana emphasized that his new deanship would not continue down the path of previous regimes.

“Pick your scandal,” Khurana continued. 

“Pick your group that got offended, pick your security scare, pick your privacy breach. Pick your Crimson editorial, pick your newly-formed student activist club, pick your new catchy acronym. Pick your Huffington Post student opinion piece, pick your rally outside of Mass Hall, pick your UC referendum. What do we stand up here and say in response? Come on now, join in saying it with me!” 

Khurana’s statements elicited a cry of “We can do better!” from the assembly, but he quickly exhorted them to, “Please stop chanting that, guys.” 

“I’m serious. We actually cannot do better. We are an excellent institution and we have done very well. In fact, we are the best, and we cannot do better now. So there.”

Khurana then assured attendees that after consultation with other top-ranking University officials, several changes would take effect immediately.

“We understand that you would in fact like us to do better, and that students are particularly unhappy that this email disproportionately targeted specific identity groups,” he read from a statement.

 “That is why, going forward, we will work to ensure that all threats to our student body are spread proportionately across social, religious, gender, and racial backgrounds. This mission is imperative to promoting a more inclusive Harvard. But remember, we really, really can’t do better.”

© 2014