August 24, 2008

Risking a confrontation with an angry Russia

Will the final act of this failed administration be to provoke a nuclear war with Russia ("U.S.-Poland missile defense deal brings Moscow warning," Aug. 21)?

Our recent agreement to put U.S. missiles in Poland reminds me of 1962, when the Soviet Union and the U.S. narrowly averted nuclear conflict over Soviet-supplied missiles to Cuba.

We did not, and would not, allow another nation to place ballistic missiles near our borders no matter what its rationale for doing so.

Russia has ample reason to fear the intentions of the Bush administration and is within its rights to threaten retaliation.

I can only hope that the November election will occur before we commit more folly.

George Wagner, Baltimore

New name inconsistent with Loyola's mission

It's not just the "young alumni" who are opposed to our alma mater's name change from "Loyola College" to "Loyola University Maryland" ("Loyola seeking a name change," Aug. 21).

As a recipient of undergraduate and graduate degrees from Loyola College, I also oppose this unnecessary change, a change that to me sends the wrong message to prospective - and current - students.

When I was contemplating colleges more than 40 years ago, one of the main reasons that I chose Loyola was that there was an emphasis on the quality of undergraduate instruction.

I had heard too many negative stories from older friends about professors at larger universities who were invisible outside of class, too preoccupied with research to pay much attention to teaching.

For many of us, the fact that Loyola was not one of those "publish or perish" schools was a major factor in our choice to attend the school.

Attaching "university" to the Loyola name sends the signal that the institution is primarily geared to research and publication rather than to the education of students.

Keeping "college" as part of Loyola's name would be a reaffirmation of what I hope, 37 years after my graduation (and 37 years into my own teaching career), is still the most important part of Loyola's identity - its commitment to teaching, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Jeffrey I. Amdur, Pikesville

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