The University of Nebraska is home to the newest Reality television show. Harvey Perlman, Chancellor, recently agreed to a deal with NBC that allows them to use the Lincoln campus as the background for an abusive, ex-drug addict rockin' roller (Tommy Lee) turns good guy TV show. Perlman sent the following email out to all staff AFTER the deal had been inked.
10/07/04 05:09 AM
To firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
From Chancellor Perlman: Reality TV
By now, the few of you who may have still thought otherwise, are probably convinced I've lost my mind. A reality television show on our campus? Tommy Lee? I'm sorry I was unable to brief you in advance before the recent news articles but we were bound by a confidentiality agreement with NBC.
Yes Harvey, there are a bunch of us that know you have lost your mind. The confidentiality agreement was in place so NBC could get the deal signed before the public found out about it and raised a fuss. Have you forgotten that you work for the people Perlman?
It is true we have allowed them to film on campus. We have done as much due diligence as we could including weeks of meetings with producers; we're satisfied that the show will not portray the university in a bad light.
Due Diligence is right, you had to make sure that the 30 pieces of silver was going to be enough to offset the criticism of your decision. The very fact that you agreed to such a thing puts you and the University in a bad light Chancellor.
The essence of the show is that a rock star, with a questionable past, seeks redemption through higher education. We believe the effort will be serious. We think that is a good message and one with which the university can associate.
The essence of the show is a washed-up rock star with a deplorable past seeks recognition and money, and is using our institution of higher learning to get it. It is a good message alright but you didn't need Tommy Lee, we already have a washed-up football coach here for the same reasons. Recognition and money.
Beyond the message, our campus will be featured in a prime time show on a major broadcast network. While few of us may put reality television shows on our top ten programs to watch, they are popular with students whom we are trying to recruit to the university.
Prime Time is right Harvey, now everyone in the country will know about Nebraska and the students you want to recruit; Abusive, drug addicts and the fans that adore them. No Chancellor there is no beyond the message, that is the message; If your a drug addicted abusing good time rockin' roller head on up to Harvey's Crack House. (Formally University of Nebraska Lincoln)
There are of course some risks here as well and we recognize them. On the other hand, the potential for this exposure seemed worth the risk. We think the depiction of our campus environment, the faculty, and students who are featured will be positives for us.
I don't think you have thought through the risks, or you just don't care Chancellor as long as the 30 pieces of silver was not conterfit. If you don't think, they are portraying the University in a good light Perlman at what point and how will you stop them? They have a signed contract and a license for artistic expression.
We have turned down a number of reality opportunities. I would be more concerned if this were being produced for cable. But we believe NBC is a responsible network and the show will be responsibly produced.
Turned them down until they came up with the silver, I'm sure. I guess it depends on what your definition of responsible is?
The producers are also making efforts to engage some of our students as interns and to give them experience in making a major television production. And, the buzz and energy of having this activity on campus are also positives.
Ok so the brass at NBC had to agree to a few token extras to sweeten the deal, I can hang with that one. It is definately a good experience I won't short change any student on that one. But yea when you got a good time rockin' roller cruising the campus BUZZ would be the right word to use. Although that is not an activity I would like to see on Campus.
We understand the background of Tommy Lee. We do not approve of some of his past conduct. On the other hand, education is one of the ways a person can redeem himself for past mistakes.
You understand his background and you still agreed to this? Or were you just hoping for a shot at meeting Pamela Anderson? Sorry to burst your bubble Harvey but they broke up a long time ago. Redeem his past mistakes? Ok so is Tommy Lee going to be a real student, enrolled in real classes, earning real credits for one whole semester, or if he actually gets good grades will this be a continuing series? Can we vote him off campus??
He will be living off campus. He has agreed to abide by the Student Code of Conduct while he is in Lincoln. He is open to participating in some activities, off camera, that will benefit the university and its students.
Of course he will live off campus, so he can keep a well stocked bar and a refridgerator full of beer. Does participating in in off camera activities include hosting all the beer bashes at his high dollar town house? (Where ever that may be) Other than a few bucks in someones pocket and the very valid experience very few of the students will get in media production, I have yet to see any benefits. Well unless you count the Tommy Lee/Pam Anderson porn videos and the free beer out to the Lee mansion.
Again, in the end, while recognizing the risks, we decided the potential for our recruiting efforts was worth it. I hope that turns out to be the right judgment. I am tempted to say something like, "if it doesn't work you can vote me off the island" but I've already used that line. (ed ...sounds like an off hand way of telling us your the boss and we can all to go to hell if we don't like it.) All I can say is join me in keeping your fingers crossed.
Actually it doesn't matter what you recognize at this point Chancellor, you have signed all that away in NU red, and it won't be the Island we vote you off of if this fiasco doesn't work out. You HOPE it turns out to be the right judgement? Cross your own fingers Harvey it sounds like you have doubts of your own and STILL signed the deal. Is that the same thing as saying you HOPE that hiring Callahan is/was the right judgement? Like I said 30 pieces of silver. Twice over.