Saturday Column

Saturday Column: Well-qualified commissioners are vital to Lawrence
January 10, 2015
Serving as a Lawrence city commissioner is a serious and important job. Those elected to one of the five commission seats play a critical role in the growth and development of the city — or they can be a severe detriment or handicap to the city and to Kansas University.
Saturday Column: KU might tap unrestricted funds to save top faculty
December 19, 2014
It’s normal for a good university to lose faculty members — some good and some not so good — on an annual basis. This certainly is the case at Kansas University. This being the situation, how much effort is KU making to hold on to the good ones?
Saturday Column: Concern about park’s finances continues to simmer
December 12, 2014
It’s unfortunate that public concern or mistrust relative to Rock Chalk Park continues to simmer. The idea of a large, multipurpose recreation center and park was good. It would be an asset for the community if the millions of dollars could be found to build the facility and if such a project did not delay other badly needed city facilities.
Saturday Column: Leadership is key to building university excellence
December 5, 2014
Who has the primary responsibility, or opportunity, to determine the excellence of a state-aided university? This is a timely and relevant question because the competition for leadership in higher education is becoming more intense year after year, and openings in top positions at all state universities are sure to occur in the next several years. Excellence attracts excellence in faculty, students, research dollars and private giving. Excellence in higher education pays dividends for the state in many ways such as attracting top industry and research firms, generating tax revenue from such companies and improving the quality of life for Kansans.
Saturday Column: Is America changing for the better or the worse?
November 29, 2014
During the days leading up to Thanksgiving, individuals are encouraged to reflect on and appreciate all the reasons they have to be thankful. This should be a year-round interest, but just as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers have been put away, the focus suddenly shifts to Christmas with more attention focused on finding the right presents for family members and friends rather than on the meaning of Christmas and the manner in which individuals should try to live their lives.
Saturday Column: Brownback must acknowledge error, alter course
November 21, 2014
The headlines tell the story: “Kansas Budget Report: $715 M gap through ‘16” The sub headline, “$279 million in cuts must come out of current year budget.” Kansas and its citizens are facing serious fiscal consequences, and, at the same time, Gov. Sam Brownback has a unique opportunity to display leadership, courage and a deep, genuine concern for the welfare of Kansas.
Saturday Column: State must look at education funding priorities
November 8, 2014
The re-election of Sam Brownback for another four years as Kansas governor brought smiles to the faces of many of Tuesday’s voters but frowns and extreme disappointment to many engaged in the business of education.
Saturday Column: D-Day beaches spur thoughts on the ‘costs’ of war
October 31, 2014
This writer just returned from a trip to France to visit the various beaches where the Battle of Normandy was launched on June 6, 1944, along with numerous cemeteries where thousands of Americans and Germans are buried. It was an emotional experience that many in Lawrence have experienced.
Saturday Column: Former Dole director’s Rockefeller book praised
October 24, 2014
This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal carried a long and laudatory review of Richard Norton Smith’s book on Nelson Rockefeller, titled “On His Own Terms.” Smith presents a massive, thorough and unvarnished look at Rockefeller’s life, based on years of meticulous research and access to files never before made public.
Saturday Column: Brownback strengths include agriculture, education
October 17, 2014
It’s clear Gov. Sam Brownback is engaged in a tough political race for re-election to another four years in the governor’s office. It’s also clear that governors in most states have faced severe challenges the past four years as the nation’s economy has been on a roller coaster. Aside from a few states and a few governors, states and their governors have had to figure out how to meet their states’ needs in an uncertain economic climate. Hopefully, brighter days are ahead, but there is no guarantee, although those challenging incumbent governors are having a field day finding fault with incumbents, pledging to deliver almost magical turnarounds in state economies, employment numbers, job creation and funding for a variety of important programs.
Saturday Column: Kansas voters must consider candidates’ Obama ties
October 10, 2014
Kansas voters, beware! Several days ago, President Obama made it perfectly clear what the upcoming elections throughout the country are all about. He told an audience that, although he is not going to be on the Nov. 4 ballot, all of his policies clearly are on the ballot, “every single one of them.”
Saturday Column: Regents need better information on universities
October 3, 2014
When will past and present members of the Kansas Board of Regents and those in the governor’s office acknowledge there is no way for them to really know what is going on at the six university campuses they are supposed to oversee?
Saturday Column: Shifting political waters challenge state incumbents
September 27, 2014
The state of politics in Kansas today is interesting, if not shocking. History shows that, over the years, Kansas has been one of the most consistently Republican states in the nation: Republican governors, Republican senators, Republican U.S. House members and a Republican-controlled state Legislature.