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Letters

Regional campuses given boost

The Journal Gazette’s Nov. 18 editorial missed the mark on a new state policy that will actually expand – rather than restrict – academic offerings at IPFW and Indiana’s other regional college campuses.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s November 2013 “Policy on Regional Campus Roles and Missions” included several important changes designed to strengthen the state’s regional campuses, including opening the door for regional campuses to offer professional doctoral programs for the first time and to create new online and blended learning courses that will provide more opportunities for innovative teaching and learning.

Despite the editorial’s claim to the contrary, the Commission’s policy did not change the state’s position on academic research at Indiana’s regional campuses. The Commission stands behind our institutions’ right to academic freedom. Consistent with previous policy, the Commission simply reiterated Indiana’s existing position on the classification of “sponsored research” that would be supported by state funding.

Beyond the funding aspect, the state has no role or authority in determining the type of research activities taking place at Indiana colleges. The Commission’s policy was in no way intended to suggest otherwise, and we have publicly offered to clarify the language to prevent any further confusion about scholarly activity.

The Commission for Higher Education is committed to partnering with our regional campuses in efforts to increase college completion and raise the education level of Hoosiers.

TERESA LUBBERS Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education

Actions belie pledge for all children

Gov. Mike Pence (Nov. 15) states that he created the Center for Education and Career Innovation to consolidate the education and workforce responsibilities of the governor. I believe this new agency with its $5 million budget was created only to usurp the power of the duly elected Glenda Ritz, superintendent of public instruction.

As co-director of this new agency, Pence appointed Claire Fidian Green, former director of the Indiana Charter School Board. Green attended private schools throughout elementary and high school. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in political science and Russian studies. She worked as a management consultant, financial analyst and grants officer.

So where is her public school experience? Where is her teaching experience?

She never managed a class of rambunctious first graders or unruly and bored eighth graders; she never wrote a lesson plan, never conducted a parent-teacher conference, and never tried to reach even the slowest learner in a class of 25+ students. So why then is Green advising the governor on educational issues?

Public schools and public schoolchildren are not the primary focus of Green or the governor. Green and the governor are both supporters of school choice and taxpayer-funded vouchers to be used in private schools.

With these facts before us, we supporters of public schools and of Ritz cannot believe that the governor has “a sincere desire to work on behalf of all the children of Indiana.”

KATHY CANDIOTO Fort Wayne

Inaccurate headline betrays bias

Regarding the Nov 16 headline “House OKs sale of plans that defy health law”:

How on Earth does a bill passed in one House of congress that repeals or redefines existing law “defy” that law? The Journal Gazette should know the House bill “defies” nothing until passed through the Senate and signed into law by the president. Even then, it doesn’t “defy” the old law. It simply becomes the law.

The only one to defy the ACA is the president. The president did this first when he and his Department of Health and Human Services issued more than 1,000 waivers from the onerous effects of the president’s signature law as payback to their political cronies. The president defied the law again when he unilaterally delayed the employer mandate required by law. The president defied the law a third time when he single-handedly declared that Congress, their staffers, the White House and their staffers would receive a 75 percent stipend for health care regardless of what the law requires. The president defied the law again when he ordered insurance companies to ignore the law with regard to grandfathered policies.

What happened to The Journal Gazette’s praise for bipartisanship? A total of 39 Democrats voted for the bill. That makes it the most bipartisan piece of legislation to come out of either house concerning the national embarrassment that is Obamacare. Did The Journal Gazette consider the accurate headline: “House OKs short-term bipartisan fix to ACA”?

DOUG SCHUMICK Fort Wayne

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