Letters to the Editor

The KU bus

July 22, 2010


To the editor:

In a recent Saturday column (July 17), Dolph Simons deplores Kansas University’s “dismal rankings,” deplores KU’s “seemingly rudderless direction” and wonders “who will be driving the KU school bus during the 2010-11 year.”

I’d like to second Mr. Simons’ comments. KU cannot progress as long as its school bus is rudderless. The chancellor and provost must leave no stone unthrown in their efforts to improve the school.

Mr. Simons goes on to ask about Provost Vitter: Will he “be (as Mr. Simons hopes) the major engine driving the KU bus”? The provost is new, of course, and only time will tell whether he will meet federal emissions standards and whether being under the hood will impair his ability to steer.

Of course, improvement efforts are not just the responsibility of the chancellor and provost. If the faculty are going to ride in the bus, they too must saddle up, rig for depth charges and light the afterburners.

One portion of Mr. Simons’ column did puzzle me. Why, in an article headlined “Dismal rankings …” did Mr. Simons spend 400 words discussing KU athletics? Does he think that athletics has something to do with schools’ academic rankings? KU athletics has money and KU academics doesn’t — and that pretty much exhausts the relevance of the one to the other.

John Rosen,



SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 9 months ago

School buses, depth charges, saddles, rudders, afterburners, emissions standards

There are more metaphors in this LTE than I can handle.

Chris Bohling 4 years, 9 months ago

KU's gone through about 4 provosts in the last 4 years and also had a change in Chancellor. Is it any surprise that programs have lagged behind a bit? The chancellor has barely been here a year, but we're already blaming the enrollment issues on her?

As a KU employee I've been quite impressed with the job the chancellor has done since arriving. She's really made an effort to actually interact with students and employees and has started a lot of new initiatives to help improve the learning conditions at the university. Very few people who are actually up on the hill have any complaints. However, I guess Mr. Simons and others only see that she's not spending enough time smooth-talking powerful figures so they assume she is the problem. Wait a couple years and the community will see how well KU is being led.

JohnRosen 4 years, 9 months ago

It's looking like my point didn't get across--which means I wrote a bad letter. My sincere apologies. ALL I was trying to do was to poke fun at Mr. Simon's mixed metaphors, by writing even more ridiculously. It didn't work....I most certainly was NOT trying to criticize or the Chancellor or Provost's efforts or potential or performance; I most certainly was not trying advise them. I do wish that Mr. Simons would knock off his criticisms. The University and the Chancellor and Provost's jobs are difficult and complex, and expecting instant results (as does Mr. Simons) is silly.

Chris Bohling 4 years, 9 months ago

I was commenting more on Mr. Simons' editorial than your letter, really.

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