CAMBRIDGE, MA. (CJ Press) - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is alleging the Harvard Department of Chemistry violated generally recognized standards and practices in the way it recently hired one of MIT's stars, Professor Daniel Nocera.
"Look, we all use hookers (appropriately gendered to taste, of course), blow and ownership in local car dealerships to attract the best and most talented professors and their groups. But offering a freshly renovated laboratory? That's an inducement too far," said one unnamed MIT professor.
"When Caltech arranged for Greg Fu and his family to have a private day at Disneyland and managed to get him permanent floor seats at Laker games, look -- we got beat fair and square. We can't compete with that," said another MIT professor, shaking his head. "We didn't expect Harvard to resort to the nuclear option with Professor Nocera -- that is, arranging for a Nobel laureate to give him lab space."
In the bidding war for successful and grant-attracting professors, departments of chemistry have resorted to a variety of tactics. It is rumored that Professor Barry Trost was attracted to Palo Alto from his perch at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1987 when Stanford University hired the Beach Boys for a departmental function that he attended while visiting. The offer of a laboratory with a new personal-use 400 MHz NMR and group access to a university-owned Lamborghini Countach was made during (naturally) Brian Wilson singing "California Girls." According to some accounts, Professor Trost was finally won over during Wilson's rendition of "Blue Moon of Kentucky."
MIT's allegations about Harvard's tactics have gone without comment so far. Harvard's strategy has been seen as aggressive in academic circles; it has been rumored recently that over 5000 text messages and an offer of an open tab at Legal Sea Foods were sent from Harvard's faculty to Professor M. Christina White of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Note to the overly literal: this is satire.