To the editor:
My letter to the editor published May 19 about the large amount of wasted taxpayers’ money spent on academia’s research grants created a negative reaction. This issue could be easily resolved if KU would release (1) the research grant names, (2) the source of these grants, (3) the amount of money for each grant and (4) the cost-benefit of each grant to the taxpayers from the last 20 years. I believe that Kansas University receives over $200 million each year in grants and it would be enlightening to see the benefit of these research grants to our taxpayers.
Respondents to my letter cited past benefits to society from academia, but almost all citations came from scientists who produced their results long before any government grants were given, even going back centuries. Publicly funded academia should concentrate on educating our students by having professors doing the teaching in classrooms instead of using teaching assistants. Tens of billions of taxes each year could be better spent in increasing our students’ intellectual prowess rather than being wasted on academic research grants.
Private inventors and private industry respectively have produced much greater technological advancements to society at no cost to the public treasury. In fact, if academic institutions like KU had invested their research grants into profitable advancements, these academic institutes could thrive on the royalties of the patentable results from their research grants far into the future without any further tax-funded grants.