President Joe Biden lashed out at a college academic dean on Thursday as he toured North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
During the tour, Biden promoted the idea of raising government grants to fund historic black colleges and universities, noting many of them did not have enough capital to invest in their technical programs.
“You have the talent, you just have to have the opportunity,” Biden said.
When Robin Coger, the Dean of the College of Engineering interrupted Biden to talk about the wide range of universities in the country, Biden appeared annoyed.
“Believe me, I’ve been to more of them than you have,” Biden said.
“I bet you… you may have, I don’t know, we’ll compare notes,” Coger replied politely, noting that Biden’s investment programs would help “all universities.”
Biden continued making his point after the interruption, talking about the importance of investing in lesser-known colleges.
“The assumption is that unless you are at a significantly endowed university with a long pedigree and so on that the students don’t have the capacity,” he said. “I’ve never believed that.”
“We know quite better than that,” Coger replied. “So you’re right.”
“No, but let me stop for a second, I’m the — I’m a professor,” Biden replied.
“You are the president and that’s all that we need,” Coger replied.
Biden: “I’m the—I’m a professor.”
Woman: “You are the President, and that’s all that we need.”
Biden: “No, I’m Professor Biden from Penn.” pic.twitter.com/aiii6zBjr2
— Julia (@Jules31415) April 14, 2022
“I’m Professor Biden from Penn,” Biden replied, referring to his largely symbolic role as a paid professor at the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania from 2017-2019.
He continued speaking adding his signature phrase “all kidding aside” to reduce the tension in the room.
Biden was paid more than $900,000 at the university in the newly created position of Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor.
The president again referred to his job as a professor during his speech to students in North Carolina.
“I’ve been to a lot of university campuses, as a matter of fact, for four years, I was a full professor at the University of Pennsylvania,” he boasted.
Biden frequently talks about his role as a “professor” at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Some of you know, before I became President — I’m sure you all know this — I was the Ben Franklin Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania,” Biden said during a speech on the Post Office noting he put a portrait of Franklin in his office.
“Because if I didn’t put that up, there’d be no — nobody I knew would get into University of Pennsylvania Biden said before adding, “I’m only kidding. That’s a joke.”
In an interview with historian Heather Cox Richardson in February, Biden also burnished his academic credentials.
“You make me miss being a professor at Penn,” he said, noting he “took a professorship at the University of Pennsylvania on presidential politics and history.”
“I really enjoy teaching and writing,” he continued.
During a speech at the State Department after becoming president, Biden again spoke about his role as a professor.
“I want you all to know in the press, I was the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Presidential Politics at Penn.” he bragged.
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