In response to the April 6 story “Adjuncts suffer heavy hit as UA tightens its belt,” I wonder what the efforts of the University of Akron’s administrators to cut the hours and paychecks of its adjunct faculty tell us about the overall quality of education at the university.
It is bad enough that UA, like most large public universities, increasingly relies on adjuncts rather than tenured faculty, who are experts in their fields, to teach a larger percentage of classes each semester.
Now it appears that even more adjunct faculty and part-time staff will be needed in order for the administration to avoid paying a living wage and paying for decent health care and benefits to these workers.
Will the willingness to work for less than subsistence wages and no benefits be the principal qualification to teach at UA?
It seems ironic that while continuing to pump out advanced-degree, liberal-arts graduates who have little hope for employment outside of academia, UA now slashes hours and the hope for benefits of many of those same graduates.
The overreliance on adjunct or temporary faculty has long been a dirty little secret at UA and most other public universities.
These dedicated and hard-working staff members work for very low wages, have no bargaining power, no job security and no hope of advancement. Now that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, what does it say about UA when its administration skirts the intent of the law by attempting to balance its budget on the backs of this lamentable group of public servants?
Everyone concerned about social justice at UA should raise a cry of protest at this detestable decision.
In our sadness, show resolve
We cannot hold back the deepest cry of anguish over the cruel and brutal deaths of Jeff and Peg Schobert. We stand together with every decent person deploring such evil in our communities, and we denounce, with all our strength, all behaviors that contribute to or encourage such evil and inhuman intent.
May God have mercy on us all. In the midst of righteous anger and deep sadness, let us not be pulled into the darkness. Let us stand in the light and love which was so characteristic of our dear Jeff and Peg.
Let us make that choice and hold fast to faith and hope even as we are filled with sadness at our loss. Let us stand with renewed determination to resolve the problems that may allow or promote such violence.
May we all work to find and share the light to overcome the darkness that diminishes our humanity.
Let Akron be ablaze with prayer to turn the hearts that tend to violence and abuse to understanding and compassion.
Common sense and marriage
This is in response to the March 28 editorial “Right to marry” and the April 5 letter “Voices for marriage equality.” Yes, gays have the same right as others — to marry a person of the opposite sex. Societies have always recognized the psychological and physical complementarity of males and females. Therefore, they have sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as beneficial to parents, children and society.
Four national surveys find that from 1.7 percent to 5.6 percent of adults define themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. The activists among them would have us redefine the right to marry based solely on “love” and sexual preference.
If these are the defining criteria for marriage, then, as Justice Sotomayor indicated, all types of unions can qualify, such as multiple partners, incestuous, child-adult and even human-animal unions.
But society also considers the welfare of individuals, families and itself and seeks to protect them. It can therefore be discriminating without being discriminatory, and treat different individuals differently for their and its benefit.
Both opinions called for rational or nonreligious reasons to prohibit same-sex marriage. Scientific studies tell us that gay, lesbian and bisexual persons are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, suicide, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and anal or breast cancer.
Studies also find that compared to traditional unions, gay unions are characterized by more infidelity and that gay parents are more likely to raise children who are homosexual.
Studies also show that children do best physically, emotionally, educationally and career-wise when reared in mother-father families.
Science and common sense tell us that the good of individuals, children and, in the long run, society, is best served by preserving the predominant, age-old definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Raymond J. Adamek
Savings in old schools
With the current renovations of the school buildings going on in Akron, are you aware of how your money is being spent?
As many bystanders stood by to watch the Voris school demolition, trying desperately to catch a glimpse of the building they were denied access to, it quickly became obvious that Akron Public Schools is not doing everything it can to use tax money wisely.
Six multi-stall bathrooms covered with a beautiful marble, porcelain sinks both in the bathrooms and classrooms, antique lights in the auditorium, projector screens and pull down maps in all the classrooms, and original wood paneling throughout the school are just a few of the items that Akron Public Schools did not feel were worth salvaging.
If other Ohio school systems like Ravenna and Massillon are able to hold public auctions to offset the cost of their building renovations, why can’t Akron?
Many members of this community would have paid good money to say they had a piece of Voris, a pencil sharpener from their favorite class, an Ohio map to hang in a den, a set of lockers for their mudroom. There was money to be made in that school.
Instead, Akron Public Schools paid $353,650 for a demolition company to bring the 1930 building down. This included the demolition of the swing space playground that was added in 2005. It cost taxpayers $70,240 for this playground to be built on the school grounds.
Although another organization was interested in the playground, Akron Public Schools didn’t feel the need to separate it from the demolition bid.
We need to be cautious next time the Akron Public Schools comes to this community for another levy.
No cameras in the courtroom
Cameras in courtrooms should be a nonstarter. Witnesses would be reluctant to come forward, let alone testify. Many jurors would be reluctant to serve. Elected judges’ political advisers would urge them to wear TV makeup and make decisions that would not immediately stir the Internet’s nut-case population, which would be impossible.
Trial lawyers wouldn’t be able to bid on the lovely courtroom sketches to hang in their offices. Court stenographers would lose fees from news organizations ordering daily transcripts of salacious testimony and appeals courts would take on the job of assessing witnesses’ demeanors on the stand. They don’t do that now.
The temptation to grandstand would be overwhelming for all courtroom participants. Selective editing by ideologues in the press might require the taxpayer expense of sequestering juries.
Even sotto voce side-bar discussions could be lip-read from a tight camera shot. None of these is warranted. The press just wants ease of reporting.
Unless specifically ordered by the court, all trials are open to the public, including note-taking journalists. If they are lazy, that is their fault, not our judicial system’s.
Duane L. Doyle
Out to take legal guns
I hope the citizens of this great country aren’t falling for the pitch for universal background checks for gun purchases.
Those who would take away our rights have been trying to pull this off for a long time and are now simply taking advantage of recent events.
Nothing in such proposals would have prevented Sandy Hook. Where is the data indicating that universal checks would curb crime? We haven’t seen them, because they are statistically insignificant.
The National Institute of Justice has concluded that the effectiveness of universal checks depends on “requiring gun registration.” So you know what will be next.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a fancy name for a bunch of elitists who are out to take your legal guns. New York’s tyrant, Michael Bloomberg, isn’t giving up his armed bodyguards.