The point Manuel Pacheco made recently (letter, April 1) about education and research not being mutually EXclusive is certainly true. But then again, they're not necessarily mutually INclusive either!
I've been a neighbor/student/alumnus of the UA for two decades and have my own opinions about the trend here. There are in fact some professors (such as my own adviser, Dr. Remers) who have attained excellence in BOTH teaching AND research. But it takes years, even decades, to get to that point. And the university, in the face of budget constraints, has difficulty supporting that long-term growth. So there really is some bias which favors the young professors who dwell more on obtaining grants than teaching awards. This doesn't mean that poor teaching is desired as much as that it is left to hope that a researcher's teaching will improve or that s/he will bring in grad students who can teach in their place. I have seen the UA recruit established researchers with big grants while disposing of young ones who dwelt too much on teaching and didn't get the big money quickly enough.
A more obvious point of inconsistency is that the UA, through its slush funds of the Alumni Foundation and Research Corporation, bends environmental law and devotes dozens of millions of dollars to telescopes in the wilderness yet turns out empty pockets when it comes to undergraduate services.
We students remain poorly represented in the setting of priorities as long as the frat children are seeing how many ways a student government can be elected rather than dealing with the real educational issues of classes canceled, wilderness whacked, journalism junked, Dolata deleted, bicycles banned, and the Student Union a safety hazard.
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