PROT U is a satirical novel set on a contemporary university campus in Texas. The story unfolds over the course of one outrageous year at fictional Protestant University of the South, from the start of classes and Rush week in August to graduation in May. The novel's reluctant hero is senior Mike Carter, a hard-working commuter student and editor of the campus newspaper, who just wants to graduate and get a good job. But his investigative instincts are sparked when he uncovers a costly secret plan underway on the campus and reveals it in the student newspaper. Marlin Lynch, ardent football fan and cattle rancher, is the powerful chairman of the board of trustees and author of the clandestine scheme to improve the image of Prot U. The university president, Elmer Weeken, a mild-mannered former biology professor who only wants to return to teaching, passively goes along with the plan. The administration cracks down on the paper, and Mike is faced with the agonizing choice of compromising his journalistic principles and losing the admiration of protégé Jenny Lofton, or defying the administration and jeopardizing his carefully planned future. Mike's adviser, journalism assistant professor Angela Goodwin, is an idealist who wants to inspire students, champion truth and always do the right thing. This would be a lot easier to do if she didn't have to worry about getting tenure, which requires kissing up to the “good ole boys” and keeping Mike in line. The conflicting agendas reach a climax on graduation day.
This report prepared by Eva Augustin Rumpf