Comment history

Editorial: Tenured talent

"Perhaps that concern could be addressed by revisiting the idea of continuing annual reviews for faculty members in addition to the post-tenure reviews every seven years. The broader post-tenure reviews may be a better way to assess the overall accomplishments of faculty members, making the annual snapshot reviews less necessary."

Not correct. The annual reviews of faculty serve two important purposes. The first is to mark adequate progress toward promotion to full professor or lack thereof. Given that these "post-tenure reviews" occur only every seven years, the annual evaluation will continue to be necessary. Second, however, the annual reviews are required given that annual raises are tied to merit in the year under consideration. If reviews were reduced, this would not provide an accurate picture of faculty merit when it comes to apportioning merit salary increases.

June 26, 2013 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Budget advances with 'devastating' cuts to KU

Sorry, am I missing something? It's true that there is a 1.5% cut for FY14 in the bill, but it also explicitly states that the State Board of Regents and universities are exempt from the salary limitations placed on state agencies. Here's the conference committee report:

June 1, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: No magic answer

The author of this editorial seems to assume that:

Closing down Club Magic will result in another club, with the same clientele, opening in a different location.

is itself reason to not close down the club. But even if we accept that this is true, for which essentially no evidence has been provided other than speculation, there remain reasons to close the club. First, even if a similar club opened in a different location, the current location of the club renders it especially undesirable, given that it is essentially in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It would seem sensible to say that nightclubs wishing to operate in or nearby residential neighborhoods need to pass enhanced scrutiny (which would allow non-problem clubs to remain open). Were they to open up in a different location, but a safer location for locals (say, nearer to 33rd and Iowa, or something like that), this would be more desirable than a location so near residentially zoned neighborhoods. Second, even if it were the case that a similar club would open up in a different residential neighborhood, why should the residents of *this particular neighborhood* be forced, in perpetuity, to bear the burden of this club's existence in their neighborhood, which seems (clearly) to generate dangerous conditions, lower property values, and all the rest? It seems a principle of basic fairness that when undesirable conditions exist and cannot be eliminated, the burden should be, as much as possible, shared. This warrants closing down the club *even if* it would reopen in *another* neighborhood with the *same* dangerous conditions. Which, as I write it, seems so implausible as to simply be laughable.

May 29, 2013 at 10:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Simons' Saturday Column: Lawrence has lost growth, economic momentum

The cause of the current downturn in Lawrence's fortunes is utterly obvious. Our most substantial employer and generator of economic activity is the University of Kansas. For more than a decade, the University of Kansas' budget and enrollment has been shrinking, bringing (a) fewer dollars into the city as a result of faculty and staff salaries, cutting faculty lines, replacing high-earning senior faculty with low-earning junior faculty and adjuncts, etc. and (b) bringing fewer students, and their spending to the city.

If the city wants to improve its fortunes, it needs to improve and to advocate for investment in the University of Kansas. Period.

May 4, 2013 at 12:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Proposed Kansas science standards criticized for lack of depth

"Depth" is the wrong word here. The complaint is about a lack of "breadth".

April 17, 2013 at 10:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Legislation seeks to block federal gun laws on Kansas firearms

"This bill would NOT negate all federal gun laws. I would negate any new laws deemed unconstitutional."

Not sure where you learned to read: "any personal firearm, accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured in Kansas and that remains in the state is not subject to federal law. Federal authorities trying to enforce any kind of rule on such a firearm would face possible prison time."

This is a straightforward violation of the Supremacy clause, and as such is strictly unconstitutional. Kobach knows this. This is political theatre designed to advance his own political ambitions.

February 19, 2013 at 1:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Group says a number of Kansas Republicans support legislation authorizing the arrest of federal officials who implement Obamacare

Someone should tell Kansas State Rep. Jim Howell, R-Derby that he has no power whatsoever to block any Federal legislation from taking effect in Kansas or anywhere else. Supremacy clause anyone?

November 16, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Obama shows hostility to business

Not sure why "is" is at issue here; that word didn't appear in Obama's sentence. Really, as we all know, the meaning of any sentence with two or more pronouns (such as "you" and "that") cannot be known without knowing the antecedents of those pronouns. And the antecedents of pronouns can only be known by the context in which the sentence appears. (Do I really have to explain this?) Anyway, it's clear from the context of the quoted sentence that the President was referring to public works and infrastructure, education and a trained work force. Is this in dispute? I feel like people who are concerned about business-related should be happy to have it clarified. What businessperson wouldn't prefer to have smooth-functiong roads so that her goods can be shipped from A to B, or so customers can come to her storefront? Or a workforce well educated?

September 2, 2012 at 5:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Obama shows hostility to business

"Are these the kind of people Barack Obama had in mind when he unleashed his “You didn’t build that” diatribe? It wasn’t a gaffe. It was a passionate, spontaneous expression of his scorn for free enterprise and individual initiative."

You're correct that the President said the words: "you didn't build that". And you're also correct to say that it wasn't a gaffe. But the question, of course, is: what did he mean?

In determining what he meant, it is important to understand to whom he was referring by "you" and to what he was referring by "that". As you understand it, "you" refers to "business owners" and "that" refers to "your business".

But from the context of the President's discussion, it's actually quite clear that "you" is intended to refer to any private citizen, and "that" is intended to refer to the general infrastructure that makes business possible, such as roads, bridges, public education and universities to train employees, and a hundred other things that we do not as private citizens, but as members of a wider community to facilitate business.

So it's clear that this claim isn't anti-business. Instead, he's plumping for greater funding for those things that make business and enterprise possible. Which, it seems to me, shows the greatest respect for business. I think we have just a simple misunderstanding.

September 2, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )