This is, of course, a technical term. Whereas lying presupposes some acknowledgment of — and perhaps even a certain regard for — the truth, bullshitting is only concerned with the effect of the given utterance on its recipient. The California Professor was reminded of the distinction by UC President Yudof's repeated justification of UCD Chancellor Katehi's $400K salary, which represents a 27% increase over her predecessor's. While defending the appointment, and not for the first time, Yudof has pointed out that Katehi is one of the nation's leading electrical engineers and has 16 patents.
Do you know how many people like that are in the UC System? What about people with thirty-two patents — should their salary be $800K? (That would — I shudder at the thought — begin approaching the salary of the UC President). What about Nobel laureates and other world-renown faculty at UC?
The truth is that Yudof's argument is totally bogus — in a word, bullshit. It is of course true that Katehi is a respected scientist, barely tainted by the Illinois admissions scandal. But the scientific credentials have nothing to do with her appointment at UCD, which is just another instance of executive compensation run amok.