Better management needed for our state universities


Published: Sunday, July 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 1, 2007 at 2:02 a.m.

In response to the June 23 Speaking Out by Carolyn Roberts. The headline should have read "Universities are overwhelmed and under-managed."

How can you say they are under-funded when Florida Atlantic University can give $500,000 as severance pay to someone who quit, when UF President Bernie Machen pays coaches millions in salaries?

The athletic director just had a pay raise that gives him over a $1 milllion a year plus bonuses. The UF football stadium is getting a $28 million face-lift so the players will have a better weight room. Talk about misplaced priorities. This was done while professors are being let go.

The Board of Governors' Web site says "promoting excellence in teaching, research and public service." I don't see much of a connection between that mission statement and what the schools are doing.

During last year's football playoff with Ohio State there were many player interviews. The Ohio State players came across as intelligent, neat in appearance and well-spoken. Our Gators on the other hand had trouble forming complete sentences; I was embarrassed.

I would be opposed to any more taxpayer money going to the same incompetent managers. They need to take a closer look at the universities they wish to emulate and look for common denominators. I will guarantee you it won't be putting sports ahead of academics nor will it be presidents who give away undeserving gifts of $500,000.

Whoever hires these presidents should hold their feet to the fire and make them perform. The answer is clearly not to throw more money at the problem.

John L. Carlo,

Archer

It's still amnesty,so don't be fooled

All right, so it's called an "immigration" bill, but we all know it is amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.

We have not read the bill, but the old adage "the devil is in the details" surely would apply here. CNN's Lou Dobbs recently discussed some of the provisions on his show. They include granting legal status within 24 hours to applicants, even thought background checks probably wouldn't have been completed. Of course, our tax dollars would be paying for all of the immigration attorneys.

The "temporary" visas issued under this bill are valid for one year, but they can be renewed indefinitely. "Temporary" equals "permanent" in the minds of the creators of this bill.

Gang members can be granted amnesty; all they have to do is say "I will no longer belong to a gang." Yeah, sure. Another provision pays Mexicans to stay in Mexico via U.S. taxpayer dollars dumped into their education system.

Illegals would not be required to pay back-taxes, but would be granted in-state tuition. Now there's a deal! And just sweeten the pot, those illegals granted amnesty would be allowed the earned-income tax credit on future earnings.

This bill is nothing more than pandering for votes on both sides of the aisle and caving to pressure from special-interest groups. It is imperative you contact your representatives in Congress and tell them "no" to this horrible immigration bill; it must be trashed in its entirety. Only then can Congress start drafting a meaningful resolution. Contact them today!

Lyman and Marilyn Slack

Gainesville

Perhaps we're pushing democracy to its limits

Iraq, Dafur, Palestine, the Congo: The violence spreads and I wonder if those who follow such things think that our world is not coming apart.

Democracy may have a dark side. This is shown in Iraq where the results of attempting to apply it to that country of strife and war have been disastrous. The only thing to keep that country in one piece is an iron rule by one man; and we went to war to break that up, and then we executed that man.

Dare I say that the answer may be that democracy does not work for all countries? Democracy was originally introduced in the U.S. for property owners and, of course, only males.

So let us think! Is democracy appropriate for states in earlier degrees of development? May it not introduce more violence and make life more difficult for the citizens than a tight rule of order, one which we might think oppressive?

John O'M Bockris,

Gainesville

Taxes, taxes and more taxes

Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! Where will it all end?

The citizens of Alachua County voted a tax increase for CHOICES, last October GRU raised our utility bill, Cox Cable has notified the county that it overpaid to the tune of $2.2 million dollars that the customers will have to pay and we have a 5 cent tax a gallon increase on gas coming in January.

Oh, did I mention all of the incentives developers will be getting to build University Corners, Jefferson 2nd Ave., University House and The Palms. I have an idea: Why don't the citizens take their income checks to City Hall, let them take what they need. If there is nothing left, we can all be homeless and we will not have to worry about taxes.

I am a registered voter with a good memory.

Bettye Stoney Allen,

Gainesville

She just didn't get it

I cannot believe that Susan Bottcher (Voice, 6-24) even read my letter of 19 June. She certainly did not understand it. I merely asked a question and pointed out that, if we lose the war on terror in Iraq, there are immediate consequences, plus the absolute certainty that al-Qaeda will strike us again.

I was accused of stupidity and of not understanding anything of the global economy, and also accused of my indifference to servicemen and women's blood being "traded for oil."

Well, I'm not stupid. My IQ was tested in 1948: results 144. I have two associate degrees, two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree. I served honorably in the US. military for 20 years in two wars, and I was decorated three times for combat in Korea.

I am living in the Florida Veterans' Home in Lake City because of service-connected disabilities. No, I would not trade my fellow servicemen's blood for oil. I don't even drive.

William F. Sheffield,

Lake City

A quick, simple solution

Regarding your news story about commuters driving alone (6/22) and the editorial (6/23) on this problem, there is a quick, radical solution. Simply add a dollar shock tax on gasoline. It would put people in car pools, on busses and bikes in a hurry. If this could be done nationally, our purchases of foreign oil would go way down and cause the oil cartel to quickly drop its price.

Oil costs these countries practically nothing to produce but the cartel charges whatever the market will bear. I recall in 1963 paying 17 cents a gallon for gas in El Paso, Texas, and allowing for inflation since then, it might be sold for a dollar a gallon today. With a shock tax it wouldn't be long before the price would drop to $2 and we would have our dollar back, plus lots of money in the treasury for work on alternative energies that don't produce pollution and global warming.

Seymour S. Block,

Gainesville

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