Our interviews clearly confirmed that he and Earl S. Richardson of Morgan are both outstanding presidents, but your editorial completely ignores the greater context.
I vividly recall in 1968, when I first came to Maryland, learning why UMBC was located in Catonsville. And later I was witness to the political boondoggle that resulted in admitting the University of Baltimore to the public dole. Indeed, there are still those who believe that neither campus should exist.
Our review team was most impressed with the phenomenal transformation at Morgan under these very difficult circumstances. We were also impressed with the role that the School of Engineering has played in this evolution.
To suggest that the state now duplicate the electrical engineering program at UMBC would be more than a waste of tax dollars.
It smacks of taking Maryland back to the shameful days of "separate but equal," and all of the ugliness and memories that era conjures up.
James L. Fisher
The writer is an author, consultant and president emeritus of Towson University and of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in Washington.
Maryland students need choices in engineering
This letter is written in support of choice --the opportunity for a high school graduate in Maryland to be able to pursue an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering without having to leave the state to do so.
As a high school principal, I am very well aware that seniors use a wide variety of instruments in choosing their college -- distance, size, extracurricular activities, social atmosphere, climate and, as any parent can tell you, the list goes on.
However, as a parent of a 1999 high school graduate who is in college out of state majoring in electrical engineering, I can affirm that the choices in Maryland are limited. I know from my experiences as a high school principal that my son was not the only one who found this to be the case.
Engineering programs are usually found either in state universities or colleges whose costs are in excess of $30,000 a year. The path to a degree is long, arduous and most challenging. Success is often predicated on the comfort level the student has with the school selected.
With Maryland choices being so limited, one can see why so many opt to leave the state.
I would hope that officials in the Office of Civil Rights look to the principles of competition and choice as stated by the Department of Justice in the Microsoft case. By doing this, they will afford our graduates who, in reality, are the ultimate consumers, an increased range of Maryland schools of engineering.
Marshall J. Peterson
The ultimate truth of Holocaust survival
In response to your June 22 article criticizing Holocaust memories of Deli Strummer ("Survivor's story raises some doubts"), anyone who has experienced severe fatigue or other distress, let alone the aging process itself, is bound to lose track of the accuracy of dates.
The repetition of trauma and torture can be magnified by one's imagination to the point that imagined events seem to be real.
As Timothy Ryback says in "The Last Survivor," she "has moved beyond the facts of history and into the sheer undercurrent of a more profound emotional force."
We should be very grateful for the very fact that Ms. Strummer speaks to so many groups, making them aware of the Holocaust. If some facts are unsupported by history, then have the sponsors give a disclaimer about those statements and let her carry on.
Robin R. Gaber
It wouldn't surprise me if a person who lived in the real nightmare of the Holocaust sometimes found it hard to differentiate between the events in the nightmare of her dreams and the events of the actual nightmare.
Paul P. Botwinik
As one of the Baltimore area educators who has long relied on Holocaust survivor Deli Strummer to share her experiences with my classes, I feel compelled to respond to your story of June 22.
It is understandable that the Baltimore Jewish Council handled the dilemma of what to do with the inaccuracies of Ms. Strummer's story the way it did. The council was in a very difficult position.
But it is also necessary to note that time and the untold effects of trauma on a 17-year-old girl could have contributed to the development those inaccuracies.
I am primarily concerned about the effect that the media coverage of this story could have on the thousands and thousands of young people who have heard her speak.
It would be tragic if they concluded that confused times and places invalidate what she had to say to them. The central facts of her story stand undisputed: She spent time in concentration camps, witnessed brutality and genocide, and risked her life to save her young friend, Nina.
The core of Ms. Strummer's message should continue to ring in those young people's ears forever: that prejudice and hate were the causes of the Holocaust and that tolerance and love are the lessons that humanity has to learn.