As a student at the University of Utah, I was disappointed to read the latest rankings of colleges and universities by US News and World Report. For the second year in a row, the U. ranked in the third tier of universities in the nation. It was only two years ago that the U.was in the second tier. Due to inaction by the Utah Legislature and Board of Regents, U. officials have been unable to sustain the higher standards that need to be maintained in Utah's higher education system. Bernard Machen has only been on the job for under a year, but already he has shown the Board of Regents a light at the end of the tunnel. By declaring that micromanagement of Utah's education system by career politicians and local civic leaders when dividing funds for education is not in the best interest of the university, he has shown that an outsider may be exactly what Utah needs to provide a quality education to its citizens. Hopefully, Machen can keep up his positive attitude and exceptional leadership as he guides Utah's flagship institution into the next century, and the U. of U. can reacquire the reputation it once had as an excellent choice for an education.
Meanwhile, hopefully the Utah Legislature can appropriate funds to the institutions that will define the future of Utah. While the Legislature has an extremely hard time giving much-needed funds to higher education in the state of Utah, they have no problem giving money to Olympic construction that clogs Utah streets so that wealthy individuals like Frank Joklik and Earl Holding can get wealthier by "welcoming the world here." It would be nice to see Frank, Earl and Deedee holding a bake sale to finance their Olympics, while U. students stop wearing the "third tier" label that currently is financing the Olympic Games.M. Hadlock VanAlstyne
Salt Lake City