GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota announced today the selection of it’s new President, Amazon’s Alexa.
The University purchased Alexa during the famous Amazon Prime Day Sale. The purchase makes Alexa the first female and first digital president in the University’s history.
“The search is over,” announced the UND Presidential Search Committee. “For the cost of a few coffees at Archives Coffee House, Alexa has joined the University of North Dakota as its next President. We look forward to her leadership in addition to expertise in nearly every field, which will propel our campus into tomorrow. Purchasing Alexa has saved tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses. And with our Amazon Prime membership and free 2-day shipping, Alexa will arrive on campus later this week. As Amazon rolls out new features free of charge, Alexa will constantly evolve in an efficient manner at zero cost. Plus, her calming presence, delightful personality and her library of jokes is sure to win over both our faculty and our students. She’ll be a big boost to UND’s morale.”
UND says they hope to purchase additional Alexa-enabled devices for every classroom, dorm, and office on campus, giving the University’s new president an omnipresence.
“Students this fall can look forward to Alexa calmly waking them up with soothing music each morning, reminding them to get to class. Her camera will also be watching to ensure all of our students and faculty are living out the spirit and values of UND,” says UND’s Academic Artificial Intelligence Affairs Director Sue Lighting. “She’ll be able to monitor faculty to ensure they are prompt and on time for classes, automatically fulfill purchases through Amazon Prime for equipment and supplies, monitor weather for aviation students, and make careful evaluations and staffing decisions based on advanced algorithms. And because Alexa is a digital assistant, chances are she’s not going to pay exorbitant amounts of money to people she favors for part-time positions. Alexa doesn’t play favorites, unless of course, you have a favorites mix on Amazon Music — she’ll gladly play that for you.”
Alexa will have her work cut out for her. Previous University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy fled Grand Forks after leaving the university in shambles. Kennedy reportedly sought asylum in Colorado where he remains in hiding.
University of North Dakota Alumni Foundation officials are also hoping to test out Alexa’s negotiation skills after ties between the Ralph Engelstad Foundation and UND were damaged under Kennedy’s leadership.
“If edit undo works on a computer, we hope Alexa can apply that same methodology to undo our previous president’s time at UND. In fact, it’d be great if she could just erase any record of the guy,” says Lighting. “And further, if I were Josh Duhamel, I wouldn’t get too comfortable with that honorary degree. He had better ask Alexa the definition of ‘revoke’ if he needs some clarity on the matter.”
While UND is excited for Alexa’s arrival, some are critical of the move citing Amazon’s history of poor worker conditions. State Board of Higher Education Officials say however, that those concerns are a “non-issue.”
“We’ve read the reports about the poor working conditions, hostile environments and low morale at Amazon,” says a spokesman for the State Board of Higher Education. “However, we can assure you the conditions at UND are much worse than Amazon, so we view the appointment of Alexa as the University’s next president an absolute win. When you’re at rock bottom the only place you can go is up.”
In response to Alexa’s appointment as UND’s next president, North Dakota State University says they’re investigating the feasibility of hiring Apple’s Siri for several positions but no final decisions have been made.
“If UND is the Amazon standard of learning, we view NDSU as the Apple of higher education,” says an NDSU official. “While Siri is clearly superior to Alexa in nearly every way, it is refreshing to know that UND has finally accepted itself as the gold standard in second-rate higher learning, just as Alexa is the gold standard in second-rate digital assistants — a fitting president for a fitting university.”
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