Dr. Michael Morris

"Why are Universities so Funny?"
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library


What is it about universities that make them such hilarious organizations? Why is it that we frequently walk out of committee and staff meetings muttering, "I can't believe it, I just can't believe it. You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried!"?

Why does crucial information in our communication networks flow with the efficiency of blood slogging through the plaque-filled arteries of a cardiac patient with a cholesterol level of 694? What are students thinking when they show up for class in bedroom slippers and pajama bottoms? And how do professors and administrators manage to transform themselves, on a moment's notice, into puffer fish experiencing a bloating frenzy? Michael Morris has been teaching in universities for over 30 years, and he thinks he's discovered the answers to these pressing questions.

Biographical Information

Michael Morris is Professor of Psychology at the University of New Haven, where he directs the Master's Program in Community Psychology and does research on ethical conflicts in program evaluation. He served as the first editor of the Ethical Challenges section of the American Journal of Evaluation, and his research has appeared in Evaluation Review, Evaluation and Program Planning, and the American Journal of Community Psychology, among others.

His books include Evaluation Ethics for Best Practice (Guilford Press, 2008), Poverty and Public Policy, and Myths about the Powerless. A trainer in evaluation ethics throughout the United States and abroad, he received his Ph.D. in community-social psychology from Boston College. His hobby is writing and performing humor, and his proudest accomplishment came in 2008, when he was a finalist in the New Yorker magazine cartoon caption contest. He did not win.