@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

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Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Campaign Update: Imagine the Future
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors

Campus Canoodling
Class Conscious
Summer Splash
Steppin' Out
Hittin the High Notes

Making Waves
He's Got the World in His Hands
Din the Depths
Scalable City
Polyprophylene Pyramid
Red Revolution On I-15

Up Front May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Letters to the Editor

Where does all the Money Go?
There is ongoing debate about the role of the university in our society: whether its primary purpose should be education, research, or self-perpetuation. That debate evidently has been resolved at UCSD, and the clear winner is self-perpetuation, followed by research, with education a token last place. The proof of that is on page 38 of your September issue, under the title “Campaign Update.”

There, next to a photograph of a new cancer hospital, announcements that $900 million dollars have been raised for UCSD in the last 6 years, and that money for 17 new perpetually endowed faculty chairs has been raised, was an article about how 30 acceptable graduates of the Preuss Prep school could not afford to attend UCSD.

Were their grades or SAT scores too low to qualify them for available scholarships? If so, then why is university money being
diverted from teaching college students to running an inadequate prep school?

Is it scholarship money that is lacking? If so, why? Could not the cost of their tuition be found somewhere in the $900 million? How about putting some of the existing professors into those 17 endowed chairs and using the money that previously paid their salaries to help these youngsters go to school? Was there not a dime to be found anywhere in this immensely rich institution to give these kids a college education?

How did this appalling irony come to be? The triumph of university self-perpetuation is the only answer that comes to mind.
Patricia Bowers Redifer, Muir ’75

Dear Ms. Redifer:
Thank you for your thoughtful response to the article in “Campaign Update”.

We all share your concern about the financing of scholarships. Most Preuss School students who are accepted to UCSD do qualify for scholarships—but there is limited scholarship money available. Currently only 12 percent of our operating budget comes from the State of California, so the University must increasingly rely on private gifts. However, donors to The Campaign for UCSD designate their gifts to specific areas so it is not possible for the University to take dollars earmarked for one purpose and use them for another. The Campaign’s goal is to raise $100 million specifically for student scholarships, graduate fellowships, internships and research grants, but we are still $15 million shy of that goal.

In reference to your comments on endowed chairs, campaign dollars do not pay for endowed chair holder salaries—state funds provide basic faculty salaries. The purpose of permanent endowed funds created by philanthropic gifts is to support our chair-holders’ teaching and research activities. Yes, we have established nearly 40 endowed faculty chairs since The Campaign was launched—impressive, but not enough to keep our University competitive. With the ongoing support of friends and alumni we look forward to addressing the growth of the University and the needs of all its students.
Keith E. Brant
Vice Chancellor, External Affairs

More about that Sun “Thing”
Give me a break. If you won’t answer Professor Ralph Lewin’s question (@UCSD, September 2006) about whether the Sun God is a religious symbol, then I will.

Unequivocally, yes, it is a religious symbol. I went to the web site referenced in your reply (stuartcollection.ucsd.edu) and read about the Sun God artist, Niki de Saint Phalle. Nothing in her biography suggests the piece in question was “intended to be non-religious artwork.” In fact, the biography references such religious symbols and principles as “good and evil,” “earth mother,” “feminine deities,” and “Tarot cards.” By your standards, the cross on Mount Soledad is a non-religious symbol of ancient forms of capital punishment.

If UCSD cannot acknowledge that the Sun God is a religious symbol, if only because of its name, then you have just proven that secular humanism is nothing but a thin veil for anti-Christian propaganda. I, for one, would appreciate a little intellectual honesty in this particular subject area.
Paul Hoffman, Revelle ’74

Still Grooving at the Grove
Please tell me that the Grove still exists. It is the only cool spot on campus. I haven’t been on campus for a couple of years, but I always look forward to soup and bread at the Grove. I will be seriously distraught if it has closed.
Robert D Flamenbaum, Muir, ’98

Editor: Robert, fear not. It still exists, although with a face lift in full swing all around it. And the soup is still as good!

Who did the YEEN?
In the tall concrete APIS building (where the computer center was), in the main stairwell, there were line drawings of this funny toothy grinning face, and the word YEEN with it. At the lowest level of the stairwell, along with YEEN (that’s what I came to call the face), it said ... “Here be Dragons.”

Okay, I know this was the work of a techie or two but does anybody know who really drew YEEN? I want to congratulate him or her for spray painting an indelible memory for me!
The statute of limitations has long since run on any crime involved, so it’s the perfect time to come clean.
Richard W. Stevens, Third/Marshall, ’78

Corrections: In the captions on page 25 of the September issue, researcher Haili Wang’s name was misspelled and we have since learned that the “crew member” watching the sunrise on the Roger Revelle is Daniel Rudnick Ph.D.

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