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.