By Carter Otelle

GRINNELL, IA—This past week, Grinnell College announced via Student Campus Memo that Liz Truss, the ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has been hired as the College’s endowment manager. Per the memo, the newly-created position will give Truss unilateral decision-making power over the institution’s $3.4 billion endowment, as well as veto power on the NCAA D-III Security Council.

Truss achieved international notoriety for her brief stint as Prime Minister. Staying for only six weeks, it represents the shortest term for any Prime Minister in UK history. Her term was marked by legislative stagnation, economic instability, the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and a conspicuous crouton shortage in Wales. Per one tweet posted by an unverified Twitter account and reposted by a misinformation account on Instagram, “[Truss] came, she killed the queen, she crashed the pound, and she left.”

At Grinnell, Truss will be responsible for the college’s enormous endowment, which ranks among the highest per student in the country. The engorged figure has been used for expensive construction projects such as the HSSC and the forthcoming downtown dorms, and to hire administrators in dozens of separate, completely distinct departments, including the Departments of Student Affairs, Residential Life, Student Life, Academic Advising, and Student Academics. Yet, some have called out the school for its allegedly conservative use of funds. Critics point to spring 2022’s dining hall crisis, in which students were forced to lick crumbs off the floor due to a shortage of dishline workers, as evidence for the school’s stinginess.

The B&S talked with Jo Weischnitzelkraftzeug, the Vice Administrative Assistant for Community Development, to learn more about the hiring.

“We were really impressed by Liz’s work,” Weischnitzelkraftzeug told us. “It takes time to build a reputation. But Liz moved with such efficiency, she was known across the world in weeks…that’s what we’re looking for here at Grinnell. Someone who really makes a name for herself, a name for the school.”

In our conversation, she also emphasized the importance of Truss’s British identity. “We care a lot about globality—global-ness? globalizationism?—at Grinnell. We really lean into this idea of Grinnell as the middle of everywhere. And Liz comes from somewhere that’s…I don’t want to say exotic, because that kinda sounds colonialist, but maybe somewhere…culturally diverse? We really think bringing someone from the UK to manage our endowment will help students feel internationally connected.”

“Between this and the Global Café,” Weischnitzelkraftzeug added, “we’re kinda like the UN.”
In a statement released this Sunday, Truss expressed gratitude for the hiring and outlined her plans for the role. “I am honored to receive such a distinguished title,” Truss said. “I feel as though my whole career has been building to this moment.”

Truss detailed her intended reforms to the school’s spending policy. Notably, she proposed freezing all assets and cutting school expenditures by 100%. “Spending causes inflation,” she explained. “If nobody spends any money, prices will stay low. Then the free market’s invisible hand will remedy everything.” Truss also cited job security as her primary reason for accepting the job. “To be honest,” she wrote, “it’s been a tad bit difficult finding a position. My reputation’s taken a hit. But here in Iowa, I’m safe. Per the terms of my contract, I can’t be fired. You can’t vote no-confidence on this, bitch!”

Looking forward, Grinnell hopes to bolster its reputation with further high-profile hires. Other disgraced world leaders, such as Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, have reportedly been in contact with the College regarding a vacancy in the Environmental Studies department.