President Joe Biden lashed out at a university dean on Thursday while visiting North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
During the tour, Biden promoted the idea of increasing government grants to fund historic black colleges and universities, noting that many of them don’t have enough capital to invest in their tech 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 seemed annoyed.
“Believe me, I’ve visited more than you,” Biden said.
“I bet you…you might have, I don’t know, we’ll compare notes,” Coger replied politely, noting that Biden’s investment programs would help “all universities.”
Biden continued to make his point after the hiatus, talking about the importance of investing in lesser-known colleges.
“The assumption is that unless you’re at a hugely endowed university with a long pedigree and so on, students don’t have the ability,” he said. “I never believed it.”
“We know much better than that,” Coger replied. “So you’re right.”
“No, but let me stop for a second, I’m the – I’m a teacher,” Biden replied.
“You’re the president and that’s all we need,” Coger replied.
Biden: “I’m the… I’m a teacher.”
Woman: “You’re the president, and that’s all 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 to 2019.
He continued to speak adding his signature line “all jokes aside” to reduce the tension in the room.
Biden was paid more than $900,000 in college in the newly created position of Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor.
The president again spoke about his work as a professor during his speech to students in North Carolina.
“I’ve been to a lot of college campuses, in fact, for four years I was a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania,” he boasts.
Biden speaks frequently about his role as a “professor” at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Some of you know that before I became president — I’m sure you all know this — I was Ben Franklin Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania,” Biden said during a speech on the post office noting that he had put a portrait of Franklin in his office.
“Because if I didn’t put this in place, there wouldn’t be – no one I know would get into the University of Pennsylvania Biden said before adding, ‘Just kidding. It’s a joke.”
In an interview with historian Heather Cox Richardson in February, Biden also upgraded his college credentials.
“You make me miss being a professor at Penn,” he said, noting that he “took a professorship at the University of Pennsylvania on presidential politics and history.”
“I really love teaching and writing,” he continued.
During a speech at the State Department after becoming president, Biden spoke again about his role as a teacher.
“I want you all to know in the press that I was the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Presidential Politics at Penn.” he boasted.