Wasteful at UA

What is wrong with the priorities at the University of Akron? Although the university overall is running a deficit, its academic operation is running a surplus of $16 million (“UA budget calls for ‘tough choices,’” June 13). That is, more money comes in from student tuition and the state’s (shrinking) share of the cost of education than the university spends on faculty and classrooms.

So where does the money go? The single biggest money loser is the athletic department, requiring at least $20 million a year from tuition and fees that otherwise could go toward academics. This year the university plans to cut about 1/40 of this amount, an extremely modest adjustment. They also say optimistically that they hope that the new football coach will increase people paying to attend games. One may note that the coach’s salary is equal to that of about 10 or 12 new faculty members.

While making only tiny cuts in athletics, the university is encouraging faculty to leave, in such “non-critical” areas as English, math, history, physics, art, foreign languages. Now, wouldn’t you have thought programs like this were crucial to a good college education?

Potential students: There are still excellent professors at UA, so it’s still worth attending. But if things don’t turn around very soon, that might not be the case for long.

Simple solution: Get out of Division 1-A (FBS) football. In the 30-plus years UA has been in it, it has never come close to paying for itself, never attracted either students to the university or large numbers of fans to the stands. Sure, it will cost a big fee to leave, but after one year of payoffs, the university will have millions more dollars to spend on its core mission, education.

Constance Brittain Bouchard, Wooster

(Bouchard is a distinguished professor emerita in history at the University of Akron)

 

Betrayed by Trump

As a candidate, Donald Trump stood on the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and pledged to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens.” When his line was greeted with applause, he said, “ … as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said.”

But as president, Trump is singing a much different tune. His administration has systematically undermined protections for LGBTQ citizens in housing, health care, education and the armed services. He’s withdrawn safeguards against discrimination based on sexual orientation by government agencies and contractors, due to so-called “religious exemptions.”

And he’s consistently supported outspoken anti-LGBTQ activists for federal positions, including the courts. Three years after Cleveland, Trump has shown his true colors, and they sure aren’t a rainbow.

The LGBTQ community can join the long list of others whom this president has courted and betrayed.

Barbara Kaplan, Peninsula

 

ABC's of violence

So a longtime preschool, educating and motivating some of the youngest among us, has to shut its doors because of gunfire in the surrounding area, including a fatal shooting (“Gunfire forces closing of longtime preschool,” June 24). And this gunfire is coming from young people. Yet many Ohio legislators are trying to weaken gun laws and allow open carry with no training or background checks.

It seems nothing will satisfy them until every adult in the state is carrying a gun. How does this make sense?

Peggy Fuller, Akron