Sunday, May 22, 2005

A letter from Dean Zimmerman, as well

Dean Zimmerman responded quickly and politely:

To the Editor,

Sunday’s editorial asserts that UWO can show leadership during the state’s budget crises by having faculty teach more. Your solution, if enacted, would begin a downward spiral leading inexorably to a university unable to fulfill its mission. Like the best nationally, faculty at UWO work to create and disseminate new knowledge. These activities take place in classrooms, laboratories, studios, at fieldsites around the world, and at various venues throughout our community. Faculty and students work, study and learn together on all of these occasions. Read through the items you deem worthy of highlighting in your weekly “Check it Out” feature; you regularly praise faculty/student collaborations; you praise national grants that have brought millions of dollars into our community; you praise the efforts of faculty members and students who participate in area arts endeavors; and you praise the University’s efforts in bringing the “Pride of Oshkosh” to life. Similarly, your news pages highlight the efforts of faculty members when they and their research receive national exposure. Yes, faculty could exchange all of this for additional classes, but at what cost? Students would have many fewer opportunities for the kind of research that helps them land first rate jobs, or entry into graduate, medical or law schools. In classes, faculty would be talking about the work of others instead of sharing the excitement of their new discoveries. And the Oshkosh community would be out millions of dollars in grant money.

The state budget crisis is deeper than you recognize. Operating budgets for universities haven’t increased in over 15 years, while the cost of scientific supplies and library materials have soared by more than 10 percent per year. Funds to replace or repair equipment have been diverted to other areas of need.

Faculty at UWO can, indeed, provide the leadership you call for by articulating why it’s critical for the state to support a higher education system that used to be the pride of the country. Please, on behalf of all citizens of the state, join us in this endeavor.

Michael Zimmerman
College of Letters and Science
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what the hell is he trying to say?
frank mccandles