To the Editor:
Southern Illinois University, founded in 1869, has been a cornerstone of Carbondale and an oasis of learning since then. A university is where the best of our civilization is passed on to each generation, and they can learn from their elders about art, music, literature, history, philosophy, science, agriculture, sports, engineering, and more. Our area benefits from the school, the professors and the students.
But now, after 149 years, the university is under attack. The new chancellor, reeking of corruption and nepotism, has proposed demolishing the very structure of the education departments, insisting that the professors can then rebuild from the rubble, using “synergy.”
He should be laughed out of town, with no pension. But, instead, he is being treated as a credible source.
And to top it off, he proposes funding a new department, to train functionaries for the U.S. Homeland Security bureaucratic apparatus set up in 2001. (Students of history can appreciate the ominous name of the repressive bureau, which tracks every person in the U.S., their communications and movements.)
The Board of Trustees, whose function is embodied in their very name, should be protecting the university from this destruction and perversion. It is their job to protect and preserve the university for this generation and generations to come.
To turn this great university into a police academy is a travesty. The trustees must vote down the proposal, fire the chancellor and allow university workers to work on improvements without first demolishing the schools.