Letters To The Editor


October 07, 2005

Rein in profligacy of college leaders

Alec MacGillis' excellent reporting on the profligate lifestyles of many leaders of our universities is a sad reflection of the decaying moral fabric within many of our institutions of higher learning ("The princely habits of college presidents," Oct. 2).

American University President Benjamin Ladner's behavior is unethical at the least.

I feel sorry for the students stuck with a president whose princely lifestyle not only smears the reputation of their institution but also hurts its ability to fund their education.

While I can understand, but certainly not condone, the lack of ethical behavior by many of our politicians and business leaders, I cannot stomach the unethical and illegal behaviors among our educators and others such as physicians, lawyers and religious leaders who pursue the so-called learned professions.

Last year, the University of Virginia adopted an admirable code of ethics for its staff, including all corporate officers, which requires them to "strive for continuous improvement in the performance of public duties for the university, mindful of the public cost to our activities which must be reasonable and appropriately authorized."

Perhaps it is high time that the American Association of University Professors insists every university adopt a similar code of ethics for its administrators and trustees, so that even a university president will be constantly reminded of his or her obligation to behave in an exemplary manner.

C. Alex Alexander


Glendening's agenda advanced education

An article about state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick's educational priorities suggested that hers were different from those of former Gov. Parris N. Glendening ("Policies, not politics," Oct. 1).

I would like to point out that our former governor had some educational priorities that are benefiting our state to this day.

The resources he pumped into the University of Maryland transformed the institution into a world-class university. The best and brightest students of Maryland know that the best bang for their buck is in College Park, and no longer have to leave our state for higher education.

Mr. Glendening also saw the importance of technology in K-12 schools. His Technology in Maryland Schools initiative wired every school for the Internet, requiring each school to plan how its use would benefit its students. Along with the wiring came computers to greatly enhance student access to electronic resources.

Mrs. Grasmick's priority has been endless testing that has caused many families to choose private and parochial schools and eroded support for public schools.

In contrast, Mr. Glendening's initiatives gave families new reasons to support schools that were moving forward to meet the needs of their children.

Joanna Ambridge

Bel Air

Charges of cronyism unfair to nominee

It pains me to hear all the liberals meeting the nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court with hollow charges of cronyism ("Bush defends court nominee," Oct. 5).

The reality is that Ms. Miers achieved national significance long ago by becoming the first female president of the Texas Bar Association.

Her role as a litigator enables her to bring to the Supreme Court a perspective of real-world experience that has been sorely lacking, and she will follow a distinguished line of Supreme Court justices without previous judicial experience.

Ms. Miers is the right lawyer for the job - and Americans of all political stripes should be applauding President Bush for choosing such a well-qualified nominee.

Al Eisner


Conservatives learn the limits of trust

So some conservatives are upset with President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court because not enough is known about her views and positions. In fact, the president of the conservative Family Research Council said he wanted to trust Mr. Bush, but that trust needs verification ("Bush defends court nominee," Oct. 5).

I guess they now know how liberals feel about the war in Iraq and what happened when America trusted Mr. Bush on weapons of mass destruction.

But they have nothing to complain about, since they knew what they were voting for in re-electing Mr. Bush.

Harold Franklin


Limits on vouchers will hurt the poor

The initiative called Moving to Work, which will be assisted by public housing voucher programs, sounds very positive; however, the way it is being implemented is problematic ("City gets leeway on public housing," Sept. 26).

The League of Women Voters has long held that one of the best ways to prevent or reduce poverty is access to jobs, and we have been told for years that job growth is occurring in the suburbs, not the city.

Thus it makes absolutely no sense to modify the city's voucher program to require that the vouchers must be used within Baltimore, as city Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano states in the article that he intends to do.

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