Archive for Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Letter to the editor: Say no to stadium

October 4, 2017

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To the editor:

KU Chancellor Doug Girod’s exhortations to “Raise The Chant” to raise the money, primarily for the football program (Journal-World Sept. 23), reflect sadly misplaced priorities. Surely the “best and the brightest students” pay more attention to academic rankings than to football polls. Money for scholarships is also critical, as pointed out in Paul Peters’ letter to the editor. As to “… being in a major conference is tied to … being a strong member of the Association of American Universities,” there is no mention of athletics in AAU Membership Policy. Of course the issue of alumni donations was raised. Many conflicting studies exist on correlations between alumni giving and win/loss records (although none on the quality of locker rooms and coaches’ offices). One perspective is that wins indeed beget dollars — for the athletic programs, as exemplified by the millions KU sports facilities receive from David Booth and the Horejsi family. That last $50 million alone would pay the annual salaries of 500 full professors or 2,500 graduate student assistants.

What about value received? For $350 million (none of it state funds) the Central District demolished 28 tired buildings and will have a new integrated science building, parking garage, residence hall, dining center, student union, student apartments and central utility plant. Demolition of one relatively new building for a larger replacement and remodeling a venerable, habitually unfilled stadium for $350 million? Maybe we should preserve the iconic view of Campanile Hill, spare our athletes CTE, and focus on what we do well: volleyball, basketball and academics.

Comments

David Holroyd 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The Booth and Horejsi families like to see their names on buildings. They can drive around and feel good. Can't do that with a student seeking a degree or a professor.UNLESS they are seen with a big name tag that says A recipient of Booth money and Horejsi money.

Yes, Mr. Enos, it is sad. But the time will come when another donor "richer" comes along and the name is taken down and replaced. Then what?

P Allen Macfarlane 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I totally agree with the views you express in your letter. Unfortunately, for as long as we will have alumni sentimental for a past that is irrelevant today and who get all teary eyed when they think about where they went to school, the university will be offered money for things that are not particularly helpful.

Frankly, college football and basketball should be considered as places where students to be apprentices in the world of professional sport. The charade being played on everybody by the NCAA and the recent instances of bribes etc, should give pause about how we treat our apprentices. They should be paid what they are worth. That would be a game changer and it might even be a recognition of how the general public views higher-ed institutions - namely as entertainment venues.

Michael Shaw 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This is an excellent letter about a real problem. A way must be found to improve the funding of the university's core activities. Obviously, sports has a place, but it is clearly a secondary activity.

David Holroyd 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The funding will not approve as long as Donors get off on seeing their names on buildings.

But they never leave enough money to keep them up....why?

Bob Smith 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Football has the same relationship to higher education that bullfighting has to agriculture.

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