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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:00 am

Letters

Revamped campus must stay responsive to region's needs

Recent discussions regarding leadership of Purdue Fort Wayne and a separate IU-run health sciences campus have rightly touted an opportunity for new leadership to cultivate a strong campus-community partnership.

The success of that partnership, however, does not exist in isolation. It will rise or fall based on how well that leadership can respect bedrock principles of collaborative decision-making and shared governance. While the campus must remain responsive to the region's needs, faculty ultimately remain in the best position to make informed and principled decisions, free from political or for-profit pressure, regarding academic curricula and programs. If a new chancellor must work with the local community – not just a business community, but a non-profit and social services community as well – the community has a mutual responsibility: to work with the new chancellor to ensure faculty's rightful place in upholding the highest possible academic standards for our curricula and programs.

As Burton Clark wrote 56 years ago, “In the very best colleges, the faculties generally have much authority; in the very worst colleges, virtually none. That much authority becomes lodged in the hands of faculty members in the best colleges is no accident..., but is an intrinsic part of the (institution's) achieving and maintaining a pre-eminent position.” If responsiveness to community needs comes at the cost of anything but the highest possible standards of collaboration and shared governance, then we will have only succeeded in cheapening our institution and the important mission we play in delivering quality academic programs to our region at an affordable cost.

Steven Alan Carr

Fort Wayne

Trump wrong on elections

Donald Trump has done it again – said something so stupid that I can't help but respond.

Here's Trump's quote in his recent interview with NBC's Lester Holt: “The Electoral College is almost impossible for a Republican to win … very hard … because you start out with such a disadvantage.”

Actually, since we've had political parties, four presidential elections – 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016 – have gone to the candidate with fewer popular votes – and all four of those went to the Republican. The truth is that the Electoral College helps Republicans by giving less-populous geographic areas more influence than they would get otherwise. In fact, if we went strictly with the popular vote, it would be the large metropolitan areas (regardless of which state those areas are in) that would get all the attention of the campaigns and the policies of successful presidential candidates.

I'm totally in favor of the Electoral College system and Trump, as usual, needs to get his facts straight.

Jim Cox

Van Wert

Career options abound in caring for the elderly

On Sunday, skilled nursing centers across Indiana began seven days of celebration for National Nursing Home Week. The annual recognition is an opportunity for residents and their loved ones, staff, volunteers and surrounding communities to acknowledge the role of these centers in caring for America's seniors and individuals with disabilities.

The celebration of the tireless efforts of caregivers in long-term care facilities underscores the significant challenge providers face in filling critical frontline positions. With an aging population, the demand for direct-care workers is expected to reach critical levels over the next several decades. By 2050, a fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older, up from 12 percent in 2000, and the number of people age 85 or older will grow even faster, constituting 4 percent of the population by 2050, or 10 times the percentage in 1950.

To draw more job seekers to the profession, the Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living has launched carefortheaging.org, the first website to offer comprehensive information on skilled nursing and assisted living careers in Indiana.

Carefortheaging.org provides information on a range of careers available at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities throughout Indiana, including education requirements, salaries and paths for career advancement. The site also links individuals seeking educational opportunities, internships or job placement with facilities looking to fill those roles.

As we celebrate National Nursing Home Week, I hope young professionals looking for a career that will give them a sense of purpose will visit the website and visit skilled nursing centers in their communities. They will quickly discover these centers are vibrant places full of rewarding job opportunities.

Zachary Cattell

President

Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Centerfor Assisted Living