Trust faculty?to teach and guide

As recently retired University of Akron professors with a combined 60-plus years of teaching, we read with some interest the May 26 article about the failure of the TrustNavigator success coaches hired by the university last year.

The expenditure of $840,000 to retain seven students is both laughable and sad, but unfortunately not at all a surprise, given the kinds of decisions that are being made by the university president and board.

When we were hired at the university as full-time, tenure-line faculty members (at starting salaries of $20,000 and $32,000), our understanding, and the expectation of our department chair, was that we would teach, conduct research, and participate in university and community service. Within the teaching component, we advised thousands of students over the years.

Evaluations of our work, letters from students, testimonials from community leaders all attest to our success in recruiting and retaining students, guiding them as they made decisions about coursework, mentoring them during internships, and seeing them graduate and take leadership roles in the community themselves.

The reality is that we, and hundreds of our colleagues, have served as success coaches for students for decades.

The solution to recruiting and retaining students doesn’t lie in some pie in the sky promises from outside entities (at the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars). The solution is to hire and support full-time, tenure-line faculty.

Susan D. Witt

David D. Witt

Lake Township

Time to pause?and remember

Memorial Day serves as an important time to pause and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 25,000 Ohio National Guard soldiers and airmen have deployed to combat zones. With dedication, selflessness and courage, they have answered the call of duty. Fifteen of these brave heroes lost their lives.

While Memorial Day is a day of solemn remembrance, it is also a day to celebrate our men and women who gave all so that we might continue to enjoy the freedoms and benefits of this great nation. Each of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen we remember today have my heartfelt gratitude.

Maj.?Gen. Mark E. Bartman

Ohio National Guard

Ohio Adjutant General

Medicare proposal ?puts patients at risk

As a local rheumatologist who treats Medicare patients, I am deeply concerned by a recent proposal from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that could result in further payment cuts for Medicare Part B drugs. If implemented, this would wreak havoc on patients.

Many rheumatologists have already been forced to stop administering biologic therapies to Medicare patients suffering from arthritis, lupus and other rheumatic diseases because the current Part B payment structure does not cover the cost of obtaining and providing these complex therapies to patients. An additional payment cut would drive even more Medicare patients into less safe and more expensive settings — such as the patient’s home or the hospital — to receive needed therapies, if they can access them at all.

The proposed pay cuts are intended to incentivize physicians to prescribe less expensive drugs, but there are very few Part B biologics available to rheumatology patients to begin with, and their costs are all similar.

The current proposed Medicare payment cuts will do nothing more than restrict Medicare patients’ access to safe and life-changing therapies.

Patricia Prinkey

Brook Park