Op/Ed

LETTERS

Adjuncts help

To the editor:

I read with interest Todd Pringle's article on the use of part-time faculty in the July 15 issue of The Daily Cougar. While it is accurate that the number of adjunct faculty used by the Law Center exceeds its full-time faculty, this is a benefit to our students, not a detriment.

The University of Houston Law Center's adjunct professors are among the finest attorneys in the city of Houston and the state of Texas. Houston is one of the most outstanding legal environments in the country, and the Law Center is fortunate to involve sophisticated practicing lawyers as adjunct professors. They offer expertise in specific legal disciplines that the Law Center would not otherwise be able to offer its students.

Our students have the opportunity to interact with a practitioner who not only is an expert in the legal theory, but can also offer a practical approach to problem solving and conflict resolution. The adjunct faculty serve in return for very little remuneration, out of a sense of public service and interest in legal education.

Many part-time faculty serve in an advisory capacity to the Law Center's institutes and special programs, several of which have received national recognition and acclaim. Adjunct faculty are an important part of the Law Center and the university community, and we are fortunate to include them in our academic program.

Stephen Zamora

dean and professor of law

Sexist Williams

To the editor:

This is in response to Scott William's commentary on women in the military in The Daily Cougar on July 17.

Answering phones! Is that all you think women are good for? Answering phones!

Mr. Williams, the military sets the standards for female physical fitness and appearance. Yet, your entire tone seems to blame the women for these lower standards, as if women whined about having to do too many push-ups or run too fast. They did not. As you yourself note, the fitness standards for women have increased in the past years, and women have met the new standards. Women could meet the male standards if given the chance.

But women are not given the chance. Sexism masked in common sense like your own stands in the way. Accepting that men and women are biologically different always implies female inferiority. Worse, that type of thinking suggests that, since women are biologically determined to be weak, sexism is natural. This is the assumption under which the male-dominated military operates, as do most men (no matter how well-intentioned) and many unenlightened women. These ideas are designed and used to prevent women from rising in rank in the military or business, and rising in social or economic status. This entire mode of thinking is oppressive to a significant portion of the population, a portion that is quite capable of serving its country in a capacity other than receptionist.

The military, as many historians observe, is a microcosm of society as a whole. The rampant sexism of the military reveals the same in the rest of American culture. If women will not be treated as equals in the military, and if we are consistently defined as fundamentally incapable because we are not men (so much so that women often believe the lies themselves), then no one has the right to say that we live in a completely free society. Isn't that what the military is supposed to be fighting for?

Leigh Fought

graduate student

history

Misinformation

To the editor:

I am writing to express my irritation at the misinformation which appeared in the July 15 Viewpoint opinion written by The Daily Cougar Editorial Board.

This article (sic), titled "Hobby Horror," suggests that UH faculty are extremely upset about the 3 percent pay raise to be given to system employees but are afraid to say anything about it because of the evil things that Chancellor Bill Hobby will do to them. Despite what might have been said in anonymous letters sent to the Cougar, the University of Houston Faculty Senate and its leaders have never been "scared of" or "intimidated by" a chancellor, and it is highly unlikely that such behavior will now begin in the final days of Hobby's administration.

More to the point, the UH Faculty Senate openly discussed the System employee pay raises at its June 26 meeting and since that time, individual faculty have provided a good deal of publishable information to a Cougar reporter:

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee openly expressed its concerns about the proposed across-the-board pay raises to System Administration employees, but has accepted the justification provided by Chancellor Hobby.

The fact that System employees will get a 3 percent pay raise is not a major issue for the University of Houston Faculty Senate or its Executive Committee.

This should be the end of the story, but a number of errors or misleading statements appear in the short Viewpoint opinion, and these are addressed below for the record.

1. In the first paragraph, the editors address "...the Board of Regents' plan to give themselves and their staff a 3 percent across-the-board pay raise."

This is incorrect. As regents, members of the board earn a smaller salary than Bill Hobby, who takes home $1 per year. The regents cannot give themselves a raise.

2. The editors state in paragraph three that only a "few regents" bothered to attend the "hurried meeting" on June 20. Perhaps the editors are unaware that a quorum must be present for any business to be conducted by the board and that the issues discussed in "extensive committee meetings" were indeed discussed in extensive committee meetings prior to June 20.

3. The statement (paragraph five) that only disgruntled faculty willing to speak off the record could be located is incorrect. A number of UH faculty, including the president and president-elect of the Faculty Senate, spent a good deal of time talking to a Cougar reporter on the record about this topic. To say otherwise makes this faculty member disgruntled.

4. The editors state that professors have gone two years without merit raises (paragraph 7). The truth is that merit raises were given to many UH faculty last year, and a pool of up to 2 percent was available for raises again this year.

5. It is stated that several faculty members, who commented "off the record," claimed to be intimidated by Hobby. I seriously doubt that the frightened individuals have ever met Chancellor Bill Hobby and wonder if these statements really came from faculty members on this campus.

6. Paragraph 10 states that "probably only 50 percent of the employees deserve a pay raise." How did the Cougar editors arrive at this statistic? Do they have access to performance evaluations of System employees or are they quoting anonymous letters? There is no doubt that the vast majority of staff on all four campuses deserve more than a 3 percent across-the-board pay raise, and this extends to staff employees of the System.

I hope that future articles (sic) contain an accurate representation of the facts, especially as many members of the university community depend upon The Daily Cougar for news.

Karl Kadish

professor of chemistry and

president of Faculty Senate

Working hard

To the editor:

Your editorial of July 15 included a number of incorrect statements and presumptions. I was particularly concerned about two of them.

First, the statement that the Board of Regents "gave themselves a pay raise" is completely untrue. The nine members of the Board of Regents are appointed by the governor to serve six-year unpaid terms. They donate their time and expertise as well as much of their own money and resources to our universities. They do not receive a paycheck from the state for their services.

Second, the statement that "probably only 50 percent of the UH System employees deserve" a pay raise is not only untrue but also insulting to the UH System staff who are working harder, longer and with little apparent recognition for the important services they are providing, such as payroll, computing and development records and research, to name just a few. These are functions that are critical to all of our universities, no matter where they are physically housed, and it is important to ensure that the talented employees in those areas do not leave during this time of organizational change.

In the future, I hope that you check your statements before you print them as facts. You owe it to your readers.

Wendy Adair

associate vice chancellor for Public Affairs

Parking woes

To the editor:

I came out of class today and found a parking ticket on my car outside the Music Building. I am a senior at UH and have never purchased a summer sticker ($30). I simply cannot afford a decal for a six-week class. One would think that a university with financial as well as enrollment difficulties would try to make it convenient to attend summer class. Unfortunately for poor students, the folks over at Parking and Transportation would rather us walk in the heat from McDonald's than allow us to park in an almost empty lot. I say our buildings because without our funds, there would be no university. Instead, they send tax collectors to nickel and dime us.

Later at the University Center, I saw the tax collector (meter maid) writing a ticket to a car whose time was up. I had some change, so I deposited a dime for the next car. When the tax collector went to the third car, I ran over and deposited again. I informed the tax collector that I would follow him until I ran out of money. He went to another lot to dish out more tax papers. The students who owe me a dime need not worry - the smallest victories are worth every penny.

Name withheld by request

senior

College of Technology


Last Modified: 8-17-96    © 1996 The Daily Cougar

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