UM president's top priority should be Maryland

May 01, 2011

While I applaud University of Maryland President Wallace Loh on his efforts to "rise to excellence," ("Wallace Loh inaugurated as UM president," April 29), I do believe that his priorities are misplaced. UM is a state university and its first priority should be to our in-state students. While I realize international students bring additional funds and prestige, our priority must be to our Maryland students for the benefit of the state's economy and growth.

International students with student visas tend to return to their home countries. Even if they wish to work in the U.S., the limitations of our immigration programs prevent them from doing so. These students take their U.S. education back to their home countries like China and use it most effectively to compete against us in the global marketplace.

While it is heartwarming that the Chinese will "fear the turtle," as Mr. Loh suggests, we must refocus on our Maryland students and stop exporting our much-sought-after educational prowess. If we fail to do so, I fear we will not successfully reverse our economic and educational decline.

Dennis Noah, Baltimore

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