I just read "U calculates the full cost of educating a student" (June 8). One very simple thing the University of Minnesota should do is align the out-of-state tuition with every other Big 10 school. It's the only one where out-of-state (excluding Wisconsin, North and South Dakota) costs are roughly a mere $5,000 more.
I would imagine the logic was to attract more students from other states. However, given the state of the state, it's probably time to change this.
SANDY WHISLER, MINNETONKA
• • •
I love the metrics the U is researching about the costs of education. No doubt, a la carte pricing will follow at some point. Surely, there will be winners and losers, but it makes sense.
I have serious concerns that with so many younger people getting undergraduate business degrees (one of the most expensive), we will lose the competitive and creative edge in our economy because future leaders in business and industry will be operating in an intellectual vacuum, with little knowledge of literature, philosophy, arts, humanities and especially, history.
Accordingly, there is no reason why a student in education should subsidize the cost of an undergraduate or graduate business degree. This is a cost driven by the high salaries for the business faculty that are "demanded in the marketplace."
So let the marketplace also determine the price of an undergraduate degree. If that results in fewer business majors, companies will be forced to dig into the ranks of the liberal arts or science students for their MBA candidates. That's a good thing.
CHERIE RIESENBERG, ST. PAUL
* * *
Last week's Wisconsin recall election should cause us to reflect upon how deeply the American passion for sports has defined our public life. Public opinion that says Gov. Scott Walker has "won" the day and the public-employee unions have "lost" is a sports story line. In sports, the team with the most points wins, no matter how the team got those points.
The sports story line is repeated in the political "games" that congressional leaders play to try to make political opponents unsuccessful, even at the cost of the American economy and social life.
Should an executive who has to spend millions of dollars to keep a seat that at least 46 percent of his constituents think he should resign consider himself a winner or a failure?
Should citizens consider a political party successful if it can win a slim majority of votes, ignoring the human suffering and deception that its "no holds barred" gamesmanship causes?
We as citizens might think about whether we really want American politics to be only a sport and nothing more.
MARIE FAILINGER, ST. PAUL
• • •
A June 7 writer claimed that the Wisconsin recall was the result of "greedy, petulant union management." I have two thoughts: First, is it greedy and petulant to attempt to reclaim the right to collectively bargain for wages and benefits?
This was a recall about the process, not the result. And, second, I'll bet that writer has never sat through months of negotiations. I have. And I can tell you from personal experience that the managers of our public-employees' union never -- not once -- attempted to push us toward asking for more. Instead, they helped us be realistic.
D.K. JENSEN, MAPLE GROVE
* * *
There is a reason state schools are not racing to implement participation in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program by high school sophomores ("Let 10th-graders spread their wings," June 8).
Such a program may well benefit some 15-year-olds, but high schools need to be prepared to provide guidance to students and parents who inquire about the program, and technical and community colleges need to be prepared to meet the social needs and limited life experience of a younger clientele, as well as to prepare for other perhaps unforeseen consequences of adding this group to their campuses.
As with any well-intended school reform initiative, those who are anxious to bring about change often are not familiar with the workplaces of those who will ultimately be responsible for the initiative's success.
STEPHEN HARLAN-MARKS, ROBBINSDALE
* * *
On a recent morning stroll through a peaceful Minneapolis neighborhood, I was approached from the opposite direction by a lady who was walking a large dog but was too engrossed in her reading to look up as I drew near.
As we passed on the sidewalk, the dog barked, lunged across its startled owner and attacked me, bruising my chest. A child would have been bitten in the face.
I don't blame the dog for protecting her. From a companion animal's point of view, an owner too focused on reading, texting, music or cellphone conversation to notice her surroundings is vulnerable. Ignoring the dog increases its stress. Unless the owner signals otherwise, an approaching stranger may be seen as a threat.
Dog walkers, please remember to greet your neighbors in passing. This is not just a matter of courtesy, but also safety. The dog takes its cue from you.
LOU ANN MATOSSIAN, MINNEAPOLIS
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.