Condoleezza Rice, who just finished her role as Secretary of State for the second term of the presidential administration of George W. Bush, returned to her role as professor of Political Science at Stanford. However, in her class, students expressed surprise at a very noticeable change in her style, claiming that she was clearly bullshitting her way through lecture, repeating the same talking points again and again, and dodging student questions.
“I just asked her a very straightforward question, or so I thought,” said International Relations major Anna Hendrickson ’09. “I asked about Russian nuclear proliferation, which as I read, was her specific area of study. But instead of just responding to my question, she became really red and just repeated that at the time of the reading, it made sense to choose the paper prompts that she did.”
The class, called Russia and the World at Large, is Professor Rice’s first class since her return to Stanford. The Political Science department noted her commitment to teaching and the department that she showed in her original stint as professor, and other members of the department were shocked to hear these student complaints.
A fellow professor in the department, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Before she left for the White House, she loved to interact with students. Now I heard that she has cancelled all office hours and will only read prepared lecture slides to her class? Something’s wrong here.”
In the first lecture, Rice quickly swerved off topic. While she was originally talking about the history of Russian relations with the West, she declared vehemently, “Do I regret any of the research that I did? Not at all. To even question my research tactics is highly un-Stanfordian of you and must be because all of you don’t show enough respect to this University.”
Senior Political Science major Alex Frye expressed concern with the nature of Rice’s comments. “It’s as if she’s hiding some sort of truth,” he said. “I wish she’d stop just spewing bullshit at us to try and defend her actions and the actions of others in the department and just tell us the truth. We want to learn what really happened in the Cold War nuclear arms race, but she doesn’t seem to want to tell us.”
When confronted about this style of teaching, Rice calmly declared her right to remain silent and repeated again that she stands by all decisions she has made. “We just don’t know all the facts,” she said.
Upon completing the last lecture of the quarter, Rice declared “Mission Accomplished” loudly, unveiled a large banner, and exited the room.