Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Update on the editorial

This morning, the Northwestern ran the letter from the Chancellor and Provost as an editorial. None of the other letters that I posted appeared.

It will be interesting to see if and when any other letters appear. I remember that Stu Rickman wrote in his column awhile back that they publish almost all of the letters to the editor that they receive. We will see if this holds true in this case.

Here, we see at least seven letters to the editor that were sent the last couple of days. Because I am in COLS, I only posted letters that ended up on our list-serve. I hope that there were letters sent from other colleges at the university, as well. This outpouring should be reflected in our local paper, but they may choose to pretend that such an outcry was not made.

Last evening on NPR, there was a report on how difficult it has become for parents and college students to afford the tuition in Kansas. The most amazing thing is that we have been on a continual downward spiral since the 1970s. State support for higher education has been declining as a percentage of costs for almost 3 decades now. Most of the burden has been shifted on to the students and their families.

The argument espoused by the editorial writer was, thus, a foregone conclusion. Cut the pay of college faculty and make us work more, because society does not value what we do. Society has already made that decision -- the rhetoric of tax cuts has wiped out the idea that there might be value in spending money to provide opportunities for young people.

The students who suffer are like the ones at UWO--raise their tuition, provide them with overworked professors in oversized classes who are not allowed to engage in original research, and then, after taking their money for a few years, leave them without a degree.

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