AUSTIN, TEX ASS - The University of Tex Ass at Austin shocked graduates, alumni, and students' parents with its announcement, printed on the school's 2012 Commencement program, of a new academic program that it has added to its curriculum to honor the memory of a former American president and one of the Lone Star's own: the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Pubic Affairs.
"Surely," the graduating class' valedictorian speculated, "it's supposed to read 'Public,' not 'Pubic,' Affairs. An embarrassing typo must have slipped past the editor."
"No," Susan Binford, the new program's assistant dean, reassured media critic Jim Romanesko,' "there is no typographical error or misprint: our new school is dedicated to pubic affairs, just as the announcement indicates."
Asked what subject matter students of the new program will study, the dean said, "Details are still under discussion, but it is likely that instruction will involve sex education issues, with emphasis upon homosexuality and transgender concerns."
Some students, it is reported, do not approve of the program-or, at least, of its name. "'School for Pubic Affairs' makes it sound as if we attend a college of gynecology," Rebecca Meat complained. "Or is it obstetrics? I get the two confused."
"Maybe Becky needs to take a few courses in the new program," her boyfriend, high school dropout Roger Stanton, quipped.
Alumni were also peeved by the addition of the pubic program. "I didn't spend thousands of dollars to go to a school that is likely to become the laughingstock of academe," Paul Teller, a 2000 graduate who majored in Alamo Studies and cannot find a job, declared. "My alma mater shouldn't expect to receive any more donations from me."
To date, he said, he has contributed $10.19 to the university's fund-raising campaigns.
"It's not like we're going to miss his help," Alumni Center director Alyson Specter said, rolling her eyes.
Some parents threatened to stop paying their sons' and daughters' tuition--or their daughters' tuition, anyway. "I'm not sending my princess to some pervert school to learn how to be a lesbian or a man," Jim Harker, who wanted to remain anonymous, said. "LBJ must be spinning in his grave."
"I don't even want to think about what Lady Bird might have said about having a 'Pubic Policy' program named after her husband," Harker's wife, Madeline remarked.
The university is also considering naming a new program in honor of George W. Bush, another famous Texan and former president. "There's something about the sound of 'The School of Bush' that has an oddly appealing ring to it," the school's president, Bill Powers, said.