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Comments about ‘In our opinion: What the U. needs now’

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Published: Friday, May 20 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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fanUVU
Orem, UT

The editorial stresses the needs of UTAH students yet the #1 educator of UTAH students is left with crumbs: UVU. More students from this state go to UVU than any other university in Utah (sheer numbers). Yet, UVU is at the bottom of all funding per student in the state. Time to be equitable!

sancho
New Orleans, LA

Two things:

(1) The average university president stays for about 5 years. That's just how it is. It's not a question of stepping stones. Even the Ivy Leagues don't hold on to presidents for very long.

(2) Research is an advantage, not an obstacle. Students at the U can get hands on research experience that is often worth more than classroom experience. Also, students at the U are taught be people who are active in their fields - people who are genuine experts. That is not always the case at schools without a research emphasis. The trend at all schools (even student centered liberal arts colleges) is to increase research programs in order to give students more exposure to how knowledge is actually gained.

BobP
Port Alice, B.C.

Taking longer than four years - sacrilege.

When I went to the Y they had a rule limiting the number of credit hours you could take per semester. I found a way around that, which was to wait until the semester had been going for a week and then ask the professor to be allowed to take HIS class. I averaged credit hours for only six semesters, took a couple of courses by home study. Voila a degree in six semesters.

I was in a hurry. Hire a good administrator with academic credentials and turn him loose.

Sixpack
Roy, UT

Talk about a poorly written editorial. Are you seriously trying to compare graduation rates for a student body that includes around 50% Mormons with other Pac-12 schools? How many of these LDS students go on two year missions, delaying their graduation...likely a large percentage.

Then you turn around and want to make Utah another BYU, simply turning out undergraduates, never mind BYU has the same graduation rate issues.

Your linking of student loans with research is indefensible. Too often students incur great expense for degrees that have limited commercial value. Student financial habits often compound this undisciplined spending.

With a little digging you'll likely find that research funding attracts talented teachers, resulting in better prepared graduates. Technical degrees that are heavily involved in research are typically among the highest paying for undergraduates. At the same time most students are unwilling to pursue these more difficult studies. Plus there is this concept called supply vs. demand.

Maybe you should conduct some research prior to making such unfounded claims.

utesovertide
Salt Lake City, UT

@fanUVU

Can you back that up? As far as I know, UVU is the most funded university in the state by legislative funds at over 50% of operating budget, while the U is only funded at 8% of operating budget.

I think the legislature is doing more than its share to educate students at UVU. I find it interesting that over 50% of the taxes I pay that go into funding higher education go to students at UVU, all while my education at the U is only funded at 8%. Thank your fellow U students like me who are working and going to school for also helping to fund your education, while UVU students doing the same barely help us out.

Equality?

mtseatss
Salt Lake City, Utah

What a galactic waste of ink.

Dutchman
Murray, UT

The University of Utah is the biggest economic engine in the State creating thousands of new high paying jobs every year through research and spin offs equal now to MIT yet it is the most underfunded university in the State in contrast to what fanUVU believes. The legislature generally loves the flagship school but doesn't send much money its way. Creating jobs, that is the best thing for students, who need to find jobs after they graduate.

Considering
Stockton, UT

What the UofU needs is a president (and board of regents and trustees) and other leaders who will obey the laws of the State of Utah, respect our culture, and focus on educating students and doing research rather than waging political and legal battles attempting to disarm (or at least inconvenience) law abiding adults.

How much money, time, energy, and political/civic good will did President Machen waste trying to ban guns from the UoU campus? How many problems have their been at the U because he failed to ban guns?

Sadly, President Young kept up that Quixotic effort even after it was clear he could not ban guns by trying to force gun owners "into the closet" as it were by trying to ban guns that are carried lawfully, not hidden from view. Again, how many real problems have their been because a few adults don't completely hide their lawful self-defense firearms from all possible view?

The UoU, and every other University worthy to be called such should concern itself with education and academic research. They should not be, nor fancy themselves, instruments of political or social change.

Respect Utah law and culture.

hangin-chad
Farmington, Utah

Pretty shallow analysis. The flagship university in the state should not be turned into a graduate-the-masses mill. Of course educating Utah's students is an important mission, but there are other important missions, like generating research that benefits the quality of life of residents, give's practical hands-on experience, attracts better professors, and spins off business. Taking this editorial to it's logical extreme, most graduate degrees wouldn't fit the DNews' goals for the U. The medical school wouldn't fit the profile. Utah's system of higher education should concern itself with providing as much meaningful educational opportunities for residents as possible, but within a system of higher learning institutions, a myopic focus on maximizing graduation at the flagship institution does more harm than good. And it's more than a little rich for the DNews (church owned) to mock Utah's move to the PAC10 in drawing a negative comparison to PAC10 graduation rates when one significant factor (LDS missions) driving those numbers also drives down BYU's (church owned) rates.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

@utesovertide and Dutchman- One of the things we are taught at UVU is to do our research before stating our position. According to the Utah Higher Ed website under the Commissioner's Office tab followed by the Research and Data tab followed by the 2011 Data Book Tab H link. UVU is funded by state tax dollars at 44% while the UofU gets 55% of its funding from that same source. At the U, it costs $13,797 to educate each student each year of which $7,629 comes from the tax payer. At UVU it costs $7,184 with $3,161 coming from the tax payer (these are 2009-10 numbers, the most recent available on that site).

These are numbers straight from USHE's website. Now, can you back up your claims?

JFFR
Salt Lake City, UT

@everyone

Give fanUVU a break...he/she was probably educated there!

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

@JFFR - if you are so clever and so inclined to minimize the value of an education at UVU, please provide data to indicate that fanUVU said something that was in error. I have provided real data regarding the situation with a source. Do you have anything other than self righteous wit?

LetsBeRational
Spanish Fork, UT

Graduation rates/year are bogus in Utah (at all institutions). As has been pointed out, many students in our institutions of higher learning serve missions. So many of our students 6 years to graduation involves being on campus 4 years. So educationally our 6 year rates = others 4 year rates for many students. Shame on you DNews for not pointing this out.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

The U needs to better use the money is spends on buildings and facilities. They spend twice as much for things than UVU does and in some cases 3 times as much as Snow College, and then the U claims they don't have the money to fix the steam pipes.

UtahMD
Salt Lake City, UT

The key to success for a university, whether public or private, is largely based on financial support. The Univ of Utah is not an Ivy League school with a massive endowment. We therefore need a president (in my opinion, like Michael Young) who will look realistically at the big picture. We need to heavily fund both research and athletics, and hope and work for advancements in both. Development of these programs attract attention, dollars, and better faculty. This results in a better education for everyone involved. When faculty win national and international awards, make ground-breaking advancements, and are featured in well respected publications, they will gain respect and attention for the U in the same way that winning a Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl will. Both are important parts of the mission, both will result in better education for the students and attracting companies to the state. Both will excited alumni and stimulate donations. Both will make it easier to have nice relationships with law makers. We need someone to enthusiastically embrace all missions of the University of Utah.

Bdiddlediddle
Salt Lake City, UT

This editorial illustrates why the University of Utah should find a President who will work to privatize the University and divorce itself from the whims of the state legislature. Since when, by the way, did Howard Stephenson join the DN?

Red Smith
American Fork, UT

50% of all students who get into state schools like the U don't graduate after 6 years.

The U's budget is $2.6 Billion compared with the Utah's State budget of about $11.8 Billion.

The U's budget expenditure per student is about $80,000 per student over 31,000 students).

What the U needs is to go on a diet. Too many layers of administration. Too many students drop out. Why? Not because of funding, but because of the management.

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