Letter to the editor: KU decision misguided

To the editor:

Professor Helen Alexander (Your Turn, Oct. 2) is justifiably concerned about the decision by interim Dean John Colombo of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to terminate the UKanTeach program at KU. Students completing that program receive a bachelor’s degree in a science discipline (e.g., physics, geology, etc.) and a teaching certificate in four years. In stating that the program does not fit within the “core mission” of the college (University Daily Kansan, Sept. 26), Colombo shows that he misunderstands the goals of the program and the students in it. First and foremost, UKanTeach graduates seek deep knowledge through an authentic science degree so that they can impart such science passion to their students. In the college, therefore, they can become solid scientists, and the UKanTeach program prepares them to convey their science wisdom to their students. Kansans deserve teachers who can help ensure that high quality science is taught to their children. The UKanTeach program accomplishes that goal: Over the last 12 years, it has given Kansas 233 secondary school science teachers. The School of Education, whose core mission is to produce teachers, has said it can train science educators more cheaply than the UKanTeach program. But can they also transmit sincere science enthusiasm that faculty in college science departments instill in their graduates? Shuttering the UKanTeach program is a misguided decision that must be reversed if a “core mission” of KU is to serve Kansas citizens.

Chris Haufler,



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