Archive for Sunday, March 17, 2002

Lost opportunity

March 17, 2002

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To the editor:

I am very disappointed that the University of Kansas Dole Center has canceled the visit by American historian Doris Kearnes Goodwin. What's up with that? It seems to me that if KU and the Dole Center were interested in providing an "education" to the community, who besides Ms. Goodwin is better qualified to articulate the danger and excess of, among other things, the pressure of publication, plagiarism and the perils of being anointed an "expert" by the American media.

It seems to me that the subject of plagiarism is one that should remain topical for all members of our community, not to mention students and teachers in higher education. When one also considers that a rather contemporary debate is taking place in a Kansas City area public school on the same subject a visit by Ms. Goodwin seems even more timely.

Many have said, and I agree, that our universities have become centers of higher earning rather than centers of higher learning. In this instance I can only surmise that Ms. Goodwin's visit was canceled to prevent potential or past donors' to the Dole Center pulling their financial support as a result of her visit.

One shudders at the prospect that she will be replaced on the podium by someone considered "safe" and who will, no doubt, give a paper comparing the length of horse tails in Mongolia to the length of horse tails in Nevada and the economic ramifications that has on the NASDAQ market!

The irony that this event was scheduled at the Dole Center is not lost on this reader. One hopes that Ms. Goodwin, like our Sen. Dole has done, will overcome past mistakes and continue to make honorable contributions to the scholarship of American history. One hopes!

Looks like the university and the Dole Center have missed an incredible opportunity to provide an education to our community!

March madness indeed!

Jim McCrary,

Lawrence

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