Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor - April 3

Hiring diversity over merit misses point of civil rights

The lead story of March 17 reported that some in the University of Kentucky community would like to use criteria other than merit in the selection of the new provost.

Issues raised about the gender and ethnic composition of students, faculty and administrators have troubled higher education for more than one-half century. My own conclusions, after 60 years in the academy as a student and professor, are that one of the most heinous crimes of our society was discrimination based on color, ethnicity and gender.

As a young liberal professor, I was part of the civil rights movement, which brought tremendous benefits to our society. Its continuation to the present has also had some undesirable consequences.

Three major ways of severely damaging state-supported colleges are to choose students, faculty and academic administrators using criteria other than merit.

Past discrimination does not justify present discrimination. No one has said it with greater clarity than Martin Luther King: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

My mother did not have a large vocabulary, having completed just 12 years of formal schooling. When I would bring home a bad idea or story that was absurd, preposterous, or just simply silly, she would smile and exclaim: "poppycock."

To those who want quicker solutions to problems created over many years, my response is to smile and say: be patient, it is happening.

Harry Landreth

Boles Professor Emeritus of Economics Centre College, Danville

Who needs provost?

A recent letter writer rightly criticized your absurd opinion that any new administrators at the taxpayer-funded University of Kentucky must be a minority — regardless of ability. This was to be done solely on the basis of diversity.

While the letter writer was correct and you were wrong, the real question is why do they need a provost? I would wager that not more than 15 percent of the students can name the present provost and that not more than 10 percent can tell you what he does. Isn't that the purpose of the university, to serve the students?

Besides, isn't it the responsibility of the highly paid president to be the chief academic supervisor?

Your reference to the legacy of Adolph Rupp discouraging minority attendance doesn't seem to affect the basketball team.

Stephen Stinson


Two and done

Kentucky hoops fans can now put the 2012-13 season to rest (what's so tragic about winning two-thirds of your games?) and concentrate on the tantalizing prospect for next season. With eight or 10 players returning, all with the prospect of significant improvement, and with the influx of 97 of the top 100 recruits in the nation (OK, I joke, it's more like six or seven out of 20) it's not clear whether this excess of potential is a bonanza or a curse.

So, here's the solution. The University of Kentucky should field two Division 1 basketball teams. The benefits to UK, the city of Lexington and fans all over the state are compelling. Twice as many games to stoke the fervor of fans (though we'll have to agonize over one loss when Wildcats White plays Wildcats Blue.) More revenue for the university and the city. Blue Grass Airport may expand. The Herald-Leader will have more to write about, if that's possible.

Are there any problems? Perhaps Coach John Calipari may have to designate two assistant coaches to direct the teams while he resides as Chief Coach, General Manager and Grand Master of the Lodge.

Ernie Henninger


Back with a vengeance

I was born and raised in Lexington. I have been a Wildcat fan all my life and will be 'til I die. I have never seen the Wildcats play such an awful game as they did against Robert Morris.

But that game is history. Let Robert Morris fans relive the memories. The Wildcats can look forward to next year. With this upcoming class of players, college basketball teams better look out.

The Wildcats are coming, and coming with a vengeance. Go, Cats.

Robert Clark

Battle Creek, Mich.

Perceptions matter

I was quick to criticize the state Senate for spending the money for the after-hours barbecue, so I will be just as quick to thank Senate President Robert Stivers for recognizing it wasn't the money, it was the perception.

Now if I could just figure out how, the senator from Franklin County can eat his Wheaties in the morning at his own breakfast table, sleep in his own bed at night and still collect $135 a day for travel, lodging and food. Grrrr.

Tom Dixon


Pett, bracketologist

I was so impressed by Joel Pett's cartoon that ran in the Los Angeles Times on March 25, which detailed the supposed subject matter brackets that have led President Barack Obama and the Republicans to the national "championship." I plan to share it with all my friends and associates who see the big picture.

One question for Pett about the Final Four: Who won out between Bidness (love that) and Guns on the Republican side, which eventually lost to (of course) Rich?

Larry Butler

Los Angeles

LexArts appreciated

As one who has benefited greatly from my association with LexArts, I can attest to the organization's devotion to helping all the arts in Central Kentucky. Their fund drive for the season has begun and they are again faced with the daunting task of raising necessary money for the many wonderful arts programs in our area.

I urge everyone to give generously this year to show our valued artists how much we appreciate their beautiful performances and works of art.

You can rest assured that every dollar received will be used to produce a greater quality of life for all Kentuckians.

George Zack


Silly comparison

After reading Dina Badie's "Nukes don't kill people" rhetoric and trying to not be obfuscated, I avoided being obviated to ascertain her position.

There is no comparison between nukes and guns, other than they both kill, one more indiscriminately than the other. The issue isn't the weapon but the moral compass and mental state of those who possess them.

The concept of consistency of actions regarding guns versus nukes is really nothing but floccinaucinihilipilification!

Chris Maron