Mr. Bonzo 

Mr. Bonzo is the pseudonym of Bill Gleason, a faculty member at the University of Minnesota. 

 Best of Bonzo (or worst, according to Mrs. Bonzo)


Draft of New Medical School Policy for Faculty Review

From the Times Higher Education Supplement - 2008


Time for a New Strategy at the University of Minnesota? Or, More Humility and Less Arrogance?


If you click the link you will download a Word file.  Originally I tried to do this as pdf, but could not get the links to work properly, so this is the best I could do. Please let me know (wbgleasonatgmaildotcom) if you have any problems with the files.

Test File: Added 31 December 2007 

This file is a pdf that should contain clickable links that work.  If this turns out to be true, I will convert posts below as time permits.

Athul Gawande has called the attention of people to a very important matter concerning the use of checklists in the practice of medicine.  He has published in the New Yorker and the NYT recently and Mr. B. has quoted him and made (very few) comments.

 Download pdf:

"A Lifesaving Checklist? According to the Government This Is Unethical and Illegal"


Blogger has problems with tables.  Therefore I am placing some tables here that are related to the US News Best Hospitals of 2007 rankings. These are in pdf format.

1. Table of specialty rankings for Minnesota Hospitals (2007)

2. Time course (2005-2007) of University of Minnesota Specialty Rankings



The Red Queen Effect 

BigU’s Ambitious Aspirations
and the Red Queen Effect

"It takes all the running you can do to keep in place!"


The latest College rankings by US News for national universities have just hit the ether. It's bad news - what else - for the ambitious aspirations of BigU to become one of the "top three research universities in the world." [sic]  Where do we stand relative to our actual competition, the other schools in the BigTen?


How to Fill (and Pay For) TCFS?

A Modest Proposal: Schieks Scholars

 Because of the long association of Schieks with football players, perhaps it would be appropriate for BigU to name some Schieks scholars to the football team.  The idea of endowed scholarships comes from BigU's AD, Joltin' Joel Maturi. Mr. B. also explores other ideas that may help to fill (and pay for) the inspirationally named  Twin City Federal Stadium.



We have accomplished our ambitious aspirations to be one of the top public universities in something, unfortunately it has thus far been athletic cheating. The only other college level athletic scandal to rank above us in the top 25 is the basketball point-shaving scandal of the 1950s. The shame that Gopher basketball cheating under Haskins has brought to BigU should not be forgotten in the midst of the current infatuation of OurLeader with athletics as the engine driving future fundraising efforts.


Aurum de Stercore

Aurum de stercore (gold from dung) is an interesting concept explored by Primo Levi in the Periodic Table. The story describes a consulting gig that dealt with the making of lipstick from chicken shit.

There are many other ignoble ways of making money, arguably involving less admirable means. Recently the Dean of the Medical School at Minnesota signed onto the board of directors of Pepsi-Cola.


A plea for a little sanity and honest discussion at BigU about OurLeaders ambitious aspiration to be one of the top three research universities in the world.  This while we are, arguably, tied for last in the eleven schools of the BigTen.  Perhaps a better aspiration would be to be in the top half of the BigTen.  The problem with hubris is eventually you will get called on it...



A blank check is not a good thing to hand to anyone directly, or indirectly, tied financially to the  health care business.

There seem to be many new med schools on the drawing boards, possibly because of a failure by existing ones to turn out enough docs who want to do what used to be called family practice.  Possibly the University of St. Thomas/Allina partnership will be establishing a med school that helps solve this problem.

If BigU is to become one of the "top three public research universities in the world" [sic]  then our med school had probably better be ranked a little higher than 39th. Dr. Cerra (VP of the AHC at BigU) tasks the med school's Dean, Dr. Powell, to come up with a workplan to get BigU's med school to number 20.  The plan is due this November.

Speaking of Rankings

 Or not speaking, if you are OurLeader.  Where do we stand vis-a-vis our competitors?  Who are our competitors? The first annual Bonzo Summary (BS08) attempts to monitor BigU's progress toward world-class greatness.


Bonzo Nights
A Midsommer Nights Dreame

Mr. Bonzo always has trouble getting a good night’s sleep on the Fourth of July. The firecrackers remind him of gunshots and wars, and people he knew long ago who died in battle unnecessarily. They still do.

This Fourth was no different except for a party featuring Filipino cuisine at the house of some friends, Tom and Andy. Maybe it was the cuisine or the pear cider or Mrs. Bonzo and the lovely Linda, but Bonzo, who rarely dreams, had a dream. Maybe it was a hallucination, who knows?  

Uncle Frank  and Aunt Debby give wise counsel to young Tommy  and Andy  who run the Alliance for Edisonian Studies. They urge the lads to solve the impending canoe crisis by  starting a program in canoe quarterbacking at the Alliance.




Documents found on this site were originally posted on the Periodic Table.