All good Ephs know that Ephraim Williams was a colonel at the time of his death on the Bloody Morning Scout. Trivia question: Who was the last colonel to teach at Williams? I don’t know. Perhaps after the Civil War? Regardless, the next colonel to teach at Williams will be Representative Chris Gibson, R-NY. Questions:
1) Gibson is a retired colonel, US Army. When he starts teaching in spring 2017, will he be the only veteran on the Williams faculty? I think so, but could be wrong . . .
2) Gibson is a registered Republican! How many other registered Republicans are there on the faculty? I assume that Jane Swift, former MA Governor, is still a registered Republican. But, among the tenured/tenure-track faculty, I don’t know of a single one, even among the less-than-five libertarian/conservative leaners. Any pointers?
3) It is unsurprising that Gibson is coming to Williams under the auspices of Leadership Studies, easily the most “right wing” — or at least non-progressive/non-leftist — department on campus. (This is also where Swift makes a home.) Kudos to all the professors involved.
4) What is the backstory? Who introduced Gibson to Williams? Who arranged funding for the position? Given that Gibson was, just a few months ago, a semi-serious candidate for governor, I am surprised by how quickly Williams made things happen. It is certainly convenient that Gibson lives just one hour from Williamstown.
5) Might Gibson’s visiting lecturer position turn into something more substantial and/or permanent? Perhaps. The first semester/year will give Williams a chance to judge him and him a chance to judge Williams. But he is certainly an interesting candidate because he has a Ph.D. from Cornell, experience teaching highly intelligent students at West Point and some (how well-regarded?) published academic research.
6) Perhaps he will inherit Bernard Moore’s old office? We can only hope!