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Letters to the editor, April 17 

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Updated: May 18, 2013 6:04AM



Dump Starbucks for coming out for same-sex marriage

I have just learned that the Starbucks Corp. has begun a public campaign to rewrite our marriage laws and to recognize same-sex marriage.

I was shocked to hear a major corporation is willing to alienate such a large portion of its constituents in favor of a political agenda.

I have decided that I will no longer buy my coffee at Starbucks — there are plenty of community coffee houses that both support my values and need my business. While there’s little that I can do alone to make Starbucks reconsider its position, together we can make a statement. There are many in our community, I know, who believe in marriage and would be deeply offended to know that a portion of every cup of Starbucks coffee they buy is being used to lobby in favor of same-sex marriage.

It’s time to dump the Starbucks habit, at least for my family. And I invite others to join me by learning more at DumpStarbucks.com.

Lois Tosto

Elmhurst, IL

Higher ed business model doesn’t explain high costs

Being an adjunct Business professor in higher education for the past 10 years, I was intrigued with the recent analysis offered by Mr. Van Cleef in trying to effectively explain the reason for high tuition costs in higher education. His antiquated response was typical of an individual who has never gone to college, facilitated classes in higher education, or gone through the process of applying for student loans: the root cause of high tuition rates is salaries of professors. Interesting analogy considering the steep decline in tenured and tenure track faculty positions in higher education over the past 30 years.

At one time more than 78 percent of professors in higher education were tenured or deemed to be on the tenure track. By 2009, the figures had nearly flipped, with a third of faculty tenured or on the tenure track and two-thirds ineligible for tenure. Of those non-tenure-track positions, just 19 percent were full-time. So if you were to logically look at those numbers, where do you assume the lion’s share of the money goes? An educated answer would be tenured faculty with administration receiving the majority of the money spent in higher education, not adjuncts who make up over two-thirds of work force.

The current business model is to hire adjunct faculty, pay them substandard wages, offer them no benefits, and offer them classes usually only after full-time faculty have met their quota of classes for the year. This approved business strategy alone should decrease the cost of ascertaining a degree in higher education. If you were a profit-seeking business entity and over two-thirds of your organization’s work force was part-time, it would make sense that your product would be effectively priced in relationship to your variable or labor costs. Does not seem to be the norm in higher education.

Robert Needles

Griffith



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