A retired University of Akron mathematics professor experienced a bit of déjà vu while reading my Sunday column, in which a reader suggested merging UA and Kent State University.
Tim Norfolk, who lives in Atwater, sent this email:
“Your correspondent is not the first to float this concept. I did so myself to President [Luis] Proenza, some years ago, suggesting that UA be the 'STEM' school, including Nursing and STEM-related Education and Business, and KSU take the other majors.
“There are several problems with this, including the following:
“1. Properly done, it would result in a massive decrease in the administration numbers, and who makes these decisions?
“2. Support for Engineering requires very strong departments in Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Chemistry and the other hard science areas. Look at the long list of programs that were recently slated to be eliminated, and see if you notice anything.
“3. On average, the good students in the STEM areas have much higher ACT scores and similar measures, which means that they earn higher merit-based scholarships. If the merger went ahead, UA would be in even worse financial shape than they are now.
“On a larger note, UA is trying to have faculty leave (yet again).
“When I joined in 1984, there were almost 900 full-time employees of faculty rank, with about the same student population as now. There are currently fewer than 700. How can they maintain good functioning programs with even fewer, let alone increase retention?”
Good points all.
On a lighter note, my suggestion that the merged athletic teams could be called the Golden Flashing Zips didn't go far enough for Craig Erskine of Stow.
“If UA were to merge with KSU, perhaps they could revert back to the original iteration of the nickname. They would then be called the Golden Flashing Zippers.”
MoneyWise claims Progressive Field is the 11th worst in baseball.
“Retro-modern Progressive Field has been the Indians' home since 1994 and has great views and some of the best lower-bowl seats in the league.
“But for all its charms, the park leaves some unimpressed. 'It helped usher in the era of sterile modern ballparks. Nothing terribly special here,' says one guy on Yelp.”
One guy on Yelp. Great research.
The Akron Civic Theatre has been promoting a Friday concert featuring the Drifters, the Platters and “Cornell Gunter's Coasters.”
Well, first of all, he preferred to spell his name Gunther. More to the point, as copy editor (and history writer) Mark J. Price notes:
“These oldies acts probably don't have too many (if any) original members. But you know for sure who won't be there? Cornell Gunther. He was shot to death in 1990.”
Reader Mindy Aleman: “The Constellation Center for Excellence” described in an article on the Hall of Fame Village [in Canton] is named for Constellation Energy. But doesn’t it also signify the stars a football player sees after a concussion? Just saying.”
Asks reader Steve Hughes, “Did you notice in the community section [on April 1] the headline that read, 'This bar serves children on Easter'?
“I was wondering if they were boiled or roasted or barbecued. Do we have to bring our own fava beans? I'm sure the bar has a nice Chianti.”
Colleague Rick Armon got a kick out of an obit he read in the Medina Gazette:
“Jones was born and raised in Medina and was a proud member of the Jones family.”
Asks Armon: “What other family would he be a proud member of?”
A story from the Associated Press about former Cavs coach Bill Fitch being named to the Basketball Hall of Fame included this sentence:
“Fitch coached in the NBA for 255 seasons, leading the Celtics to a title in 1981 and still holding the franchise's best winning percentage at .738.”
Given his longevity, you'd think he would have been inducted before now.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31.