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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Education

Re: “Hard Lesson: A UVM Econ Prof Fights to Keep His Job

Bravo Professor Summa, keep fighting the good fight for a sane economic system.

Infinite growth (and beyond!) on a finite planet is impossible and insane and going to destroy the planet and the people.

It has already destroyed the souls of too many of us. This is what you are fighting against:…

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chris Matera on 03/16/2017 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Hard Lesson: A UVM Econ Prof Fights to Keep His Job

Classical capitalism is destroying life on earth. An economics that depends on endless growth on a finite planet is an engine of destruction. An economics that turns corporate polluting and destruction of the climate into externalities rewards corporate destruction and despoiling of our water, soil and atmosphere. UVM has an entire school meant to be devoted to ecological economics which we hear little about. Why is the school defending the very systems that are destroying us from a critique by a well liked teacher? Universities are no longer concerned wtih critical thinking they are money machines now and as such will play to the tastes of conservative donors.

12 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Peggy Luhrs on 03/15/2017 at 6:25 PM

Re: “Hard Lesson: A UVM Econ Prof Fights to Keep His Job

While I appreciate your opinion, the facts speak for themselves. More than 2500 student evaluations demonstrate that I match or exceed the standards set by Solnick, which contributed to the Faculty Standards Committee unanimous 5.-0 vote to reappoint me. So I am more than a "good man". While you have the right to your opinion, it is just that -- your single, subjective opinion, not hard data (student evaluations) and objective, informed assessment (Faculty Standards Committee). The fact is there are many tenured and thus protected Economics Dept senior members (names withheld here to avoid a lawsuit) that are so bad at teaching they flunk every year the student evaluations by a huge margin. My statistics class you mention, meanwhile, is highly rated by students, and has been taught for 14 consecutive semesters. I can produce the evidence to challenge your sneaky/sly attempt to undermine me.

19 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by John Summa on 03/15/2017 at 4:31 PM

Re: “Hard Lesson: A UVM Econ Prof Fights to Keep His Job

I've had Prof. Summa as a teacher numerous times, and though he is a smart man with a passion for alternative theories of economics, I found his teaching extremely lacking. In one seminar class, it quickly became clear that the thesis of the class had been laid out in the first few classes, and that every subsequent class would just serve to reinforce the original ideas put forth. His teaching style emphasized student engagement for engagement's sake, often going around the room and having each student contribute several thoughts on the topic. While not in and of itself a bad idea, this led to contrived discussions that were often repetitive and rarely productive. In another class focusing on statistical models, his teaching was often more confusing than the texts that we would read. Had I not taken a similar class previously, it would have been impossible to succeed in that environment. Though I performed well in each of those classes, I can echo Prof. Solnick's comments, and indeed did in my own student evaluations. He is a good man, and it is unfortunate that this dispute has turned so nasty. I fear that these cries for academic freedom may merely result in less ideologically diverse hiring practices moving forward. While I agree vehemently with him ideologically, I feel that there are better people to carry the flag against the standard model, even within UVM's Econ department.

20 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by beernut88 on 03/15/2017 at 3:45 PM

Re: “UVM Needs Foreign Students. Will They Come to Trump's America?

If Trump attempts to unilaterally and unconstitutionally violate federal immigration law without the approval of Congress, like Obama has, hopefully the US Supreme Court will reverse the illegal action. Hopefully, the foreign students will continue to gain admittance to our shores and our institutions of higher learning because, after all, they pay top dollar to attend and all those overpaid college administrators need the dough. It's a perfect symbiotic system.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by wahrheit on 12/18/2016 at 8:49 AM

Re: “UVM Needs Foreign Students. Will They Come to Trump's America?

The duty of the president of the United States of America is to protect our borders and the people of America

If people of other faiths and nationalities are attacking Americans then it is the job of the president to prevent those attacks

A person who speaks out about a president trying to defend America does not respect America or her right to defend herself

I am in total agreement with Donald Trump we need a wall on our Southern border to stop the illegal immigration that is pouring into this country from all over the world and we need to be able to properly investigate everyone who wants to come into America

We have seen what is happening in other countries as a result of their reluctance to protect their borders and we certainly don't need it happening here in America

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Richard Ley on 12/17/2016 at 9:39 AM

Re: “A Campus Sexual Harassment Claim Puts Administrators to the Test

I read this earlier today and debated commenting here or sending a response to the paper. Here is easier but carries the risk of an insulting and inane reply by a certain "stalker." The professor's defense attorney sounds surprisingly like the defense attorneys for the athletes and college students charged with sexual assault. We need to worry about his career and his livelihood, and should therefore brush these allegations under the rug. I note that the complainant did not press her complaints until after the school year was over. She clearly had enough reason to question her professor's ethics to not give him a chance to ruin her future, but women's futures aren't as important as men's to hear the press report it. Both sides were questioned by two investigators who presumably made some determination about their respective credibility.

And if he had a picture of his penis on his telephone, I don't care what story she told. The mere fact of that photo, which he clearly does not deny, is ample evidence of a man's propensity to value his dick over his student.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Barbara Alsop on 11/10/2016 at 4:44 AM

Re: “Lessons in Kindness: A Vermont Nonprofit Helps Kids Learn Empathy

this is wonderful and soooo very necessary in the society we live in today. Please continue your effort and hopefully you will integrate empathy for wildlife, animals and other living beings into the program! Sadly, too many children are losing their childhood innocence; innate caring and respect for other living creatures while being taught that is it is acceptable to trap them, club them over the head, step on their chests or kill them for no other reason other than ignorance and uneducated misunderstanding of the vital role wildlife plays. They are taught that these kind of activities are acceptable; creating a whole new generation of apathy, cruelty, irreverence, all the while lacking compassion.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nagualtonal on 10/27/2016 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Why Aren't There More French Classes in Vermont?

Oui oui, Marc Booth - i will share this with my students!


Posted by Maggie Standley on 10/12/2016 at 3:43 PM

Re: “Vermont Schools Implement 'Best Practices' for Transgender Equity

In a world that claims to be so tolerant why can't we have a conversation without being called bigoted or closed minded. I do have safety concerns. What is to stop a non trans student that just wants access to the opposite sex locker room for the kicks or worse is a predator. I simply wanted to know what steps had been put in place to safeguard all students at school. It does not matter if you are a parent of a transgender or traditional student I would think the fear would be the same. We make these changes without notifying parents or discussing with other students. We are making changes in a bubble without fully thinking about the repercussions. Is it wrong that I think that we should be discussing this like adults without the name calling.

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Melisa Semprebon on 10/06/2016 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Vermont Schools Implement 'Best Practices' for Transgender Equity

In a world where we are told we can be anything we want to be, the one thing that remains the most elusive is the ability to be ourselves.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kira on 10/06/2016 at 3:55 AM

Re: “Vermont Schools Implement 'Best Practices' for Transgender Equity

Nan, nothing you said is based in science, its only based in bigotry. Sad for you and the hatred you bring into the world.

12 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Shannon37 on 10/05/2016 at 10:36 PM

Re: “Vermont Schools Implement 'Best Practices' for Transgender Equity

Still.....nature made some of us male and some female. When a body is found where gender can no longer be discerned, a chromosome check will reveal the gender. Those hormones people take cut up to 20 years off their lives. Sad for them.

8 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Nan Davis on 10/05/2016 at 3:18 PM

Re: “Vermont Schools Implement 'Best Practices' for Transgender Equity

Thank you Agency of Education for doing the right thing. And to Outright for all the hard work you do in Vermont. We are lucky to have you creating change on the ground level!

21 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by YourMom on 10/05/2016 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Vermont Schools Implement 'Best Practices' for Transgender Equity

It's time the "adults" in the room get over themselves and stop pretending that their motives are based in protection when really it's fear of something they don't know/understand. Your children are capable of being compassionate little human beings, it's time you grew up as well and educated yourselves instead of hiding behind your fear. There are transgender children who are harmed every time you spread bigotry into the world.

26 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by YourMom on 10/05/2016 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Shotgun Marriage? Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges Rush to the Altar

As an alumni of Lyndon State, I'm not against the merger if resources between the 2 colleges would be pooled in essence to maximize the benefit of those resources for students.

I do hope that they consider allowing students to attend classes at the other campus via Skype, or another medium instead of having to travel across the state multiple times per week. Or, I would hope that they would consider providing transportation for those students in order to limit liability issues as well as easing the burden on students' wallets, who otherwise would be paying out of their own pockets to drive to the other campus.

I'm also hopeful that both colleges would be able to keep part of their name as it is a big part of their identity as well as their brand. Maybe something to the effect of Vermont State University - Lyndon would be in order. By consolidating and removing those brand names, it would be detrimental to both institutions' reputations.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matthew Rychlik on 09/16/2016 at 7:26 PM

Re: “Shotgun Marriage? Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges Rush to the Altar

This is really a downward spiral, born significantly from the state's lack of support. You could see this (and probably other drastic measures) coming when Mr. Spaulding asked the legislature last year for a special tax, on candy I believe, to help support the colleges. I am familiar with Lyndon, less so with Johnson and agree that any name change could hurt future graduates, especially in the Meteorology and Electronic Journalism curricula; both of which are ranked in the top 10 nationwide.
I don't see a merger boosting enrollment. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by dfdb14 on 09/16/2016 at 2:30 PM

Re: “UVM Prof: Bias Response Team Threatens Free Speech on Campus

It's too bad that actions and words are being conflated to mean the same thing. Written / spray-painted attacks and/or racial profiling are illegal. Talking about subjects that *might* offend someone's sensibilities or make them *feel* something is not illegal, and governing discussion or limiting topics, attitudes, or opinions defeats the entire purpose of a liberal arts education. It's all about learning others' perspective; and "free speech" guarantees that even things that are reprehensible to some are protected by law.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Egmatic on 09/16/2016 at 11:54 AM

Re: “Shotgun Marriage? Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges Rush to the Altar

I am an LSC alumni ('84) When I was at LSC this same plan was brought up. Lyndon State and Johnson State are being rushed to unification with little or no input from staff or students. The legislature made this mess, and they get to sit back, out of the path of change. Let me guess, next we'll here how much better will be to put all the state colleges under UVM. Consolidating administrations is the first step to making all college experiences in VT the same--and that my friends will be a mediocre cookie cutter experience.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ellen Tavino on 09/15/2016 at 5:17 PM

Re: “UVM Prof: Bias Response Team Threatens Free Speech on Campus

Must be easy to say that as a white male with tenure. As for the student who had the N-word painted on their door, I bet they appreciated some support.

11 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Sage Reyes on 09/15/2016 at 3:29 PM

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