I don't know Connie Drennon, but she is a brave woman, indeed.

The Fairlawn resident recently asked me to float the idea of combining the University of Akron and Kent State University.

Bam.

“Having just read that ... nearly all liberal arts courses at UA, except dance, are taught by nonessential faculty who are being offered (urged?) to take early retirement, why bother having more than a very few such faculty on the UA campus? Why not just enough for the engineering types, nurses and a few other science related students?

“The two schools could be administered as one. Just think, one national search for a new president. No change in school colors. Very reduced costs in administration for two schools that already mirror in too many areas.

“I’ve always thought it a waste. I know South Dakota already has a similar arrangement and it seems to work just fine. For once, those in high places in this state might solve a problem by looking elsewhere.

“As a longtime substitute teacher in this area, I have been in many classrooms and seen the work and ways of many teachers. I almost always found that Kent-trained teachers were far superior to those turned out by UA. One of my degrees is from UA, but I stand by this evaluation, sad to say.”

Combine UA and KSU? No problem. And then maybe we can arrange for the merger of Israel and Iran.

Actually, the idea isn't completely absurd. The schools are only 10 miles apart, and there are plenty of overlaps in curriculum. UA has been struggling mightily to boost its enrollment and control its costs.

And, heck, as Ms. Drennon points out, both schools' uniforms are blue and gold. Best of all, combining the team nicknames would give us the Golden Flashing Zips.

Imagine the logo. Imagine the sweatshirt sales. Imagine the national attention.

On the other hand ... the annual football clash for the right to keep the Wagon Wheel would turn into an intrasquad game, which would likely cut the attendance at 27,000-seat InfoCision Stadium from 300 per game to 30.

Just kidding. Sorta.

(As of this moment, Akron leads the Wagon Wheel series 24–23–1. If Kent wins next year, what better time to call it a lifetime draw and join forces?)

One unfortunate development: There would be one less institution of higher learning to which former UA president/traveling man Matthew Wilson could send his presidential applications.

So, what do you think? Is this something that has merit? Should we explore the concept of a KSU²A?

49 states

Speaking, as Drennon did, of South Dakota ... and speaking of off-the-wall ideas, as Drennon also did ... a movement is afoot to combine North and South Dakota and call the new state MegaKota.

When the idea was floated earlier this year, more than 3,000 people immediately signed a petition. A newspaper in Sioux Falls, S.D. (potentially, in Sioux Falls, M.K.) said the concept is getting good reviews among the commoners.

But the reasoning behind it is not exactly unassailable. The guy who is pushing the idea told the Argus Leader that the main reason he wanted the change is that “it would be pretty cool to have a state called MegaKota.”

That it would. That it would.

 

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31