Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

June 11 letters to the editor

WVU should’ve known enrollment would drop 

I am surprised that, as The Dominion Post reported on Wednesday, June 7, “Faculty question how the university got into a financial bind.” 

For at least 10 years, there have been reports predicting that online, remote, higher education will be the future of teaching at the university level. More recently, schools like Princeton and Harvard, among many others, have offered online classes. Even before the pandemic, the value of a traditional, four- year degree has been questioned in the media. 

Notwithstanding all the available dire predictions concerning traditional brick-and-mortar higher education, the administration of West Virginia University, within the past 10 years, has boldly undertaken a costly building program involving the construction of new student housing and new facilities for teaching. Should we assume that all the construction at WVU did not divert funds that could have gone to support educational programs and faculty? 

Rather than cut faculty and programs, perhaps the administration might utilize the procedure used by the athletics department: namely soliciting large sums from alumni. A $45 million shortfall should be easily covered by loyal donors. 

An additional potential source of revenue is the West Virginia Legislature, which is sitting on a massive surplus that should be tapped to preserve the flagship university in West Virginia. 

Cutting staff and programs is an easy but destructive way out of this readily foreseeable catastrophe. 

Richard Cohen 

‘I didn’t know’ can clear path to new knowledge 

I was grateful for the recent editorial on the occasion of Pride month (DP-06-02-23). It discouraged fearmongering and prejudice by offering what is so often omitted — context and history and respect.  

It allowed people to recognize that we come to major cultural changes wearing our own lenses — which can be cloudy and encourage fear.  

But there are clearer paths to new knowledge for all of us. “I didn’t know that” can be the doorway to curiosity, generosity, patience and kindness as we find reasons to celebrate together. 

Judith Gold Stitzel  

Utility rates: When is enough enough? 

Maybe I’m missing something or not reading it right, but my records indicate that Hope Gas’ rate went from $ 8.1440 per MCF (1,000 cubic feet) in 2015 to $13.7310 per MCF on the May 2023 billing. When is enough enough?  

Maybe I’m missing something or not reading it right, but my records indicate that Mon Power went from $.0998 per KWH (kilowatt hour) in January of 2015 to $.1205 per KWH in May 2023. When is enough enough? They haven’t had a rate increase — so they say — since 2014!  

I’m just an old coal miner, so maybe I am not reading these figures right. Someone please straighten me out!  

William Keechel