Saturday, May 07, 2005
Big Time College Sports
As both my readers know, I teach at Northern Kentucky University. The faculty, staff, and students have been surveyed quite a bit on the possibility of becoming a Division I athletic program.
I'm against it.
Not that I don't like college sports - I grew up in Indiana in the '70s and '80s, fer cryin' out loud - but that there's no gain in the level of education. If anything, the move would suck money out of academics and into athletics.
NKU has a way to go before it could make such a move. Even as a Division II school, it's about $1.5 million a year short of what it needs to have adequate personnel and facilities, Votruba said.
The university has 14,000 students, according to its fall 2003 statistics.
Historically, NKU has received the least state funding for its size of any public university in Kentucky. Tuition and student fees at the university provide 62 percent of NKU's operating budget, which is the highest percentage in the commonwealth, Votruba said.
"What's obvious is our athletic department has performed miracles, given the support it has received," he said.
Moving to Division I would require not only a tuition increase of about 1 percent to 2 percent over each of the next two years, but also increased support from private donors, he said[emphasis added].
Tuition is already skyrocketing at NKU - we don't need to add more burden on a student population that is quite overtaxed as it is all to keep some alumni happy. I hope President Votruba, a truly classy guy, fights the urge to do this. We are and can continue to be a Division II powerhouse.
// posted by Wes @ 9:22 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
The Enquirer (rightly so) takes Summit Country Day to task for disinviting Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kansas), arguably its most honored alumna.
The late Pope John Paul II was strenuously opposed to the war in Iraq, as is Pope Benedict XVI. The stance of "pro-life" means also complete and total opposition to the death penalty. I wonder if Summit would disinvite someone who was in favor of the war or in favor of the death penalty. Somehow I doubt it.
Sadly, for too many people, "Pro-Life" means "Pro-Birth" and nothing more.
// posted by Wes @ 9:13 AM |||Comments (9) | Trackback (0)
Friday, May 06, 2005
Because, you know, no one should ever be exposed to a differing opinion.
I somehow doubt that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius was going to Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati to encourage kids to have abortions.
But of course, that won't stop people from pressuring the school to cancel her appearance.
Look, they're a private school (though they are NOT a diocesan school), and they can do as they wish.
We can point out what they're doing as well, of course. Here you have an alumna who is successful beyond compare, and because of one viewpoint (you all do realize that there's more to Catholicism than the choice thing, right?) they're disinviting her.
I feel bad for Gov. Sebelius. She's trying to do what's right by the people of the Great State of Kansas, but (a) her hometown is disinviting her and (b) some people in her state are get rid of science education.
On a somewhat-related note, members of a Baptist church in East Waynesville were excommunicated for supporting the Demcratic Party. See the story here - click on "Religion and Politics Clash."
Is this what we're coming to - the complete stifling of debate? When you consider that hard-right types of "faith" now claim to be the only true "Christians" (nowhere in my King James Bible does it say "thou shalt vote Republican") and that any disagreement with any issue is now grounds for a complete negation of everything a person says, as in the case of Gov. Sebelius, it begins to look scary.
My grandfather was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ, a denomination that is, to put it mildly, very conservative theologically. Not only was he a member, he was also a minister and elder. And to his dying day, he was a Democrat through and through (one of his brothers who died in infancy was named for William Jennings Bryan). His younger sister, my beloved Aunt Ginny, was also a devout member of this church AND also a fiercely partisan Democrat. Why? Because they believed in the common man, and also didn't want their faith - this faith which informed every single thing they did in this life - used as a political football.
(She suffered a stroke in 2000, but lived on through the shenangians of that election. She lived in Palm Beach County, Florida at the time, so I called her about a week after the election. Even though the words were slurred and slow, the fire was still there - "I don't know anyone who voted for that sorry so-and-so Bush, and if I meet anyone, I'll give 'em a piece of my mind!" - and it didn't abate. She passed in May 2001, but not before asking me to keep fighting for the liberal side. I miss her terribly, and hope I'm that feisty when I'm 82. Of course, I just hope to make it to 82. Or even 42 at this rate.)
I am tired of faith (or what passes for it amongst the right-wing) being commandeered for exclusionary and divisive means.