Sue Rasor-Greenhalgh’s Aug. 19 letter (“University in transition”) misrepresents the true issues facing the University of Akron in a way that doesn’t inspire much confidence in the administration’s capacity to improve the academic reputation of the university, to say the least.
Rasor-Greenhalgh acts as though columnist Bob Dyer has committed some appalling heresy for “trash[ing]” our local university, questioning also his purpose in writing the column at all (“Graduation stats at UA horrendous,” Aug. 11).
The purpose of his article was clear and necessary: To notify the public, as both readers and taxpayers, how misguided the aims of the university and its administration have been over the past decade or so. Dyer believes that the university should be held accountable to the public that plays a large role in funding it.
That means, as much as Rasor-Greenhalgh may like to think otherwise, that UA is not a private operation, and as such has some responsibility to be transparent in its performance, even if such transparency has to come through someone unaffiliated with the university.
Rasor-Greenhalgh is upset that Dyer would seek to “discredit one of the largest employers in the area,” similar to the “too big to fail” mind-set that led to 2008’s financial meltdown. She ought to have the opposite mind-set. Imagine how many more highly qualified students, professors, administrators and others the university could attract if it took the pains to help more than 14 percent of students graduate in four years.
Success would be its own reward, employment at the university would be allowed to rise. The community as a whole would benefit.
It seems almost unconscionable to me that she would still seek to defend building projects that, among other things, have served mostly to fatten the president’s own wallet through a variety of bonuses.
I’m sure Dyer isn’t opposed to the university’s “progress” on aesthetic grounds; rather, he recognizes that the university’s first responsibility should be to its students, and if countless millions are spent on construction rather than brains, then the students are not being well-served.
The one point she does add to the conversation is her comment about Akron’s role as an “open enrollment” college. She is correct to say that if it is the university’s duty to offer the chance of a college education to those who may not be qualified or ready for university studies, then we must be prepared to accept lower rates of success. The “almost criminal” part that Dyer wrote about, however, was the fact that the administration is willing to take in underperforming students (and their money) without offering them the support necessary to succeed. “Open enrollment” cannot be used to justify UA’s 14 percent graduation rate in four years, so let’s get serious.
Was there ever a more hypocritical political philosophy than current Republicanism? First, they say they hate big government, but then they want to abolish women’s reproductive rights.
That’s about as “big” in the way of interference as it gets. Then, when unwanted children are born, Republicans are loath to help their survival in any way.
However, I do give them credit for being straightforward about one goal: They believe that not only should the rich rule, but also that they should acquire as much more treasure as possible at the expense of the poor and middle classes. Such greed is shameful.
By the way, 45 years ago, I was a registered Republican.
Closed for comment
The Aug. 12 letter “Burden of sewer project” described the burden on seniors the proposed sewer rate increase in Akron would cause.
Unfortunately, I believe the public comment phase ended some time back. One hopes that church members made their voices heard during that time, but judging from reports, U.S. District Judge John Adams does not view the cost to Akron taxpayers to be burdensome.
John S. Pangyanszki
Forget about getting help
Sometimes I don’t understand where some of the letter writers from Norton come up with their sure-cure ways to pay for water and sewer services in our city.
I would like to pick one sentence from the Aug. 14 letter “Norton must move forward.” It reads: “The only feasible way to help the entire community is to bring federal and state dollars back home to reduce the burden on everyone.”
The state is low on funds. The federal government has just reached almost a $17 trillion debt, and it keeps growing. Taxpayers fund both the state and federal treasury departments. With these types of figures, who would indirectly pay for our water and sewers? I definitely believe China would have a hand in it.
In a related issue, the city of Akron needs to rebuild its sewer system, with no state or federal funding available. The bottom line is that we have no money to hand out.
Fred C. Pall
A last line of defense
I was watching reports on the slaughter in Cairo. There were many citizens who were protesting the ouster of their duly elected president by the military. There were many citizens who were being murdered by the military and other police organizations.
A reporter on the scene was interviewing one of the protesters, and he said, “All we have are our bodies.” In other words, they have no weapons to defend themselves.
The first thing that came to my mind was that law-abiding American gun owners should never give up their right to keep and bear arms.
It seems ridiculous that we would have to defend our lives against our own government, but governments always seem to get power-mad for one reason or another, and almost nothing can stop them from holding and gaining more power.
It’s history in many countries. We may not be able to prevent it with our guns against the weaponry of our government, but we could surely slow it down and possibly change minds. In my opinion, no government can be trusted. To those in power in this country at this time, nothing seems to be out of the question. Don’t trust a politician who wants to take away your gun rights.
Goodyear can’t come up with $30,000 a year to support Soap Box Derby scholarships — money for a home town program?
Seems to me a company with a $4.5 billion capitalization and $21 billion in annual sales should be able to find that much money under its seat cushions every year.
In criticizing the Obama administration for acting independently several times (“A president who mocks the separation of powers,” Aug. 18), Charles Krauthammer says, “In this country, the president is required to win the consent of Congress first.”
Problem is, Congress is rendered moot (and mute) by a nest of stagnant Republicans who never consent to anything that smacks of Obama’s legislative agenda.
Like the unlicensed kid who drives his injured brother to the emergency room, he may be operating illegally, but someone has to act, and Obama is the elected driver.
At our expense
The introduction to George Will’s Aug. 19 column (“Dumb sequester starves basic medical research”) seemed to deliberately ignore the point expressed aptly at the end of the third paragraph: “Yet, much research proposed by extraordinarily talented physicians and scientists cannot proceed because the required funding is prevented by the intentional irrationality by which the sequester is administered.”
The deliberate implementation of poor budget choices by this administration highlights President Obama’s preference for his personal ideological and political agendas over the needs of the people and institutions of this nation.
War on chickens
I have read that Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, not being content with his party’s war on women’s health rights, voting rights of liberals and other issues, has decided to open up another front — against chickens. King has decided that the space chickens have in their cages needs to be reduced.
I have heard some say that chickens are stressed by the space they have now. Clearly, it is time to draw a line before the righteous hostility of some conservatives generates any more dubious proposals.
Douglas P. McFarling