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Northern Valley Beacon

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Monday, September 6, 2021

Stupid news column celebrates anti-labor union day


My local newspaper is part of the demise of journalism.  It is a daily paper, but runs on the news schedule of a weekly.  It  struggles to publish at all.

In April of 2020, the paper announced that it was selling off its press and the paper would be printed in Sioux Falls.  The move involved the firing of 21 production employees.  Since then, the paper has eliminated timeliness as a criteria for the way it handles news. It has to bridge 200 miles between its editorial offices and its printing plant and back again. Stories by local reporters about local events often run days after the event happens.  For example, the report on Northern State's first football game of the season on Thursday night appeared in Saturday morning's paper.  The local radio monopoly broadcasts the game in real time, and university athletic department has a summary and statistics up on its website shortly after the game.  

I cite this information to show that the paper is struggling to stay alive.  But also to note that it doesn't provide much reason as to why it should.

On its editorial page for the edition that covers the Labor Day weekend, it ran a column with the headline:

 

This Labor Day, SD can celebrate a milestone for worker freedom

 The author of the column says we should celebrate the fact that 

South Dakota is a right-to-work state:

And, as a resident of South Dakota, you can celebrate the fact that your state and 26 other right-to-work states across the country are now home to a majority of America’s working people. This means that workers in South Dakota — and most employees in America — can now freely choose whether to join or financially support a union or abstain from doing so.

 Labor Day was originated and made a national holiday by the labor union movement.  The column stupidly ignores the purpose and the origins of Labor Day.  It is an ill-disguised attack on collective bargaining.  

When workers vote to unionize a workplace, they elect to have a collective bargaining contract govern the way workers are treated.  Those employees who are not part of the management are the bargaining unit.  Some states require everyone in the bargaining unit to contribute to the costs of representation.  The column takes note of those states:

Even amidst all this progress, however, in 23 states union bosses are still granted the power by law to force every worker in a private sector workplace — even those who don’t want the union and never asked for its socalled “representation” — to fund union boss activities or be fired.

That is a misrepresentation of the range of ways unions relate to employers.  These are the ways:

  • Closed Shop
    A company that only employs union members and requires them to secure and maintain union membership as a condition of employment.
  • Union Shop
    A company that doesn’t require employees to join a union in order to be hired, but they must join within 30 days of employment.
  • Open Shop
    A company that may have a union, but hires both union and non-union employees, and union membership is not a requirement for continued employment.
  • Agency Shop
    A company that has a union, but hires both union and non-union employees, and union membership is not a requirement for continued employment; however, non-union employees have to pay a fee to cover collective bargaining costs.
  • Right-to-Work
    State laws that ban companies from demanding that their employees pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Furthermore, collective bargaining must be done within the constraints of federal law.

The column does not stand up to even the most cursory fact-checking, let alone the application of the most basic human intelligence.  And that leaves the question of why in the world would the editors choose to publish it on the day we honor good labor?

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Follow the science. Fire the incompetent nurses.

Protests at Sanford:  illiterate and maskless

Employees at Sanford Health, my provider, are staging protests over the requirement that they must be vaccinated.  I have appointments this month for regularly scheduled wellness checkups.  If Sanford has people on staff who think that a vaccination requirement is bullying and a violation of their freedom, they cast serious doubt on their medical competence to treat anybody for anything.  They have demonstrated that they are unqualified to practice medicine.

The protest organizer in Sioux Falls said, “I stand here to support our staff in there that are dealing with being bullied. Sanford is setting a precedent to not allow people to have the right to their own bodies, if this goes through what’s next?”

Ironically, this protest was taking place at the same time that
major healthcare organizations, Sanford and Avera,
 were holding press conferences on the surge of coronavirus cases in South Dakota and what measures could be taken to stop the pandemic.   The protest signs suggest that getting vaccinated is a matter of fear and that the Center for Disease Control and Department of Justice (I don't know when the DOJ entered the healthcare field) are making laws.  The agencies in question by protesters are carrying out their Constitutional duties: " in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty."  In some ways, the protest demonstration benefits the rest of us because it identifies which of these maskless idiots it is best to stay away from.


Sanford has given its employees until Nov. 1 to show their proof of vaccination.  I was fully vaccinated in February, but when I keep my appointments later this month, I would like to be assured that the people attending to my health are competent enough to apply the principles of community medicine to their practice of it.

[Just as I was getting ready to hit the publish button for this, I was notified that my seven-year-old grandson, who wasn't feeling well this morning, was tested at school for Covid-19 and the test was positive.  Thank you protesters for this blessing of liberty.]

























Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Some mysteries are never solved.

The janitor for Seymour Hall, where my office was located before I retired from Northern State University, came to work during the dark Monday morning hours on Nov. 1, 2004,  (5 years after I retired) and found the body of a young professor of German at the doorway.  There was a gunshot wound in the back of his head.  The weapon was found in a dumpster in the parking lot 40 feet away.  The coroner called the death a homicide.  After a year and a half of haggling among officials, the police declared it a suicide.  This declaration was made after some kind of expert organization was called in to examine the case.  The report of that organization on which the decision was based was withheld from the public.  

I had been introduced to the professor, Morgan Lewis, a few weeks before his death by a former colleague.  Lewis was looking for information from a professional organization in which I was active and wished  to set up an appointment to discuss it.  Lewis not only taught at Northern State University, but at Aberdeen Central High School, where he had my son in class, and at a Hutterite colony.  However, the appointment was never arranged before Prof. Lewis' death.  I had no idea what he wished to talk about, but he indicated that his interest was with the organization which had provided legal assistance to me when I was involved in collective bargaining for the faculty.

Even though the death was eventually and officially declared a suicide, many people in the community had reservations about the declaration.   A partner of Dr. Lewis was the beneficiary of a life insurance policy Lewis had.  Such policies do not pay when the subject of the policy commits suicide.  The partner went to court over the policy, and people thought the trial would reveal facts about the death.  But the partner and the insurance company reached a settlement out of court.  So, there was no information about the settlement and no further information about the death and the investigation of it.

Ten years after Lewis' death, the local newspaper interviewed professors and law enforcement personnel who had worked the case in a review of it.  The story revealed no information that had not been reported before.  But it renewed discussions about the case and reminded me of some talks I had with a newspaper reporter about it and how troubled he was about its handling.  There was never a coherent presentation of the evidence which explained the dismissal of the case as a suicide nor any attempt to reconcile conflicting testimony.  The reporter was particularly agitated that another professor was apparently present in his office in the building at the time of the incident and was not interviewed in a timely manner.  Our discussions were largely about South Dakota's terrible laws that allow government officials to control and withhold information that the public has a right to know in most other states.  We commiserated over the handling of the case in that regard.

The doorway at which Lewis' body was found was one I went through multiple times a day as I went back and forth from my office.  The building became, to me and some others associated with the campus, a kind of memorial to the tragedy which remained unsettled.  Seymour Hall was eventually demolished to provide space for a new dormitory, so the setting and landmark is no longer present to serve as a reminder of the death that took place there.  People on campus and in the community observed that the college and the investigators seemed anxious to eliminate any reminder of such a woeful event.  However, questions remain unanswered and unsettling, as the story on the 10-year anniversary demonstrated.  

The main unanswered question was not about how Prof. Lewis died, but why the authorities did not report the information on which they based their decision.   Some journalists and teachers of journalism and government participated in a study and found that South Dakota law is restrictive about open records and in comparison with other states gives government officials almost total discretion over what records will be made public. They advocated that South Dakota adopt a freedom of information law.

In 2009. the legislature did revise its public records law, but the revision amounted to a shuffling around, not an expansion of public access to information.  Nothing changed that would provide information on how or why Morgan Lewis' death was determined to be a suicide.  Law enforcement agencies were still protected from disclosing information that reflects their competence and feasance.  The law specifically exempts:


(5) Records developed or received by law enforcement agencies and other public bodies charged with duties of investigation or examination of persons, institutions, or businesses, if the records constitute a part of the examination, investigation, intelligence information, citizen complaints or inquiries, informant identification, or strategic or tactical information used in law enforcement training. 

In Illinois, where I worked as a journalist, the law gives law enforcement the power to withhold a record only if a case is pending and has restrictions which are quite different:

An agency may not deny access to records on grounds that they contain confidential or non-disclosable information; the agency must delete the confidential and non-disclosable information and disclose the remainder of the record.

As far as the South Dakota public is concerned in the Morgan Lewis case, they cannot have the information to resolve the case in their minds.  That's the law.  

The Morgan Lewis case sets a precedent for nondisclosure of information at Northern State.  The real mystery is why authorities choose to keep some facts a secret.  What are they hiding?  

A pall lingers over the Northern campus, but not from a death this time.

The most recent unexplained incidents are the departure of the president and some other officials at Northern.   The head of the Northern Foundation had scheduled his retirement for April 16.  That day another announcement was issued that the president of the university resigned and was departing immediately, which signaled unsettling circumstances.  Since then, the director of athletics also left.   The three men were involved in the fundraising which has raised $110 million to build seven new facilities on the campus.  And most people know that when a person suddenly resigns from a job, it's because they were given the choice to resign or be fired.  A newspaper report gave this account of the president's firing:

Lawmakers drafted a letter accusing [NSU President] Downs of fostering a woke community that suppressed other viewpoints. The letter demanded Downs put an end to the program or resign. It was being circulated among lawmakers for signatures on April 16 when the Board of Regents issued a release saying Downs was resigning “to pursue a new opportunity in higher education.”

 Downs had implemented measures for diversity on the campus.  This context for his resignation strongly suggests it was the result of a political intrusion into the college.  If that is the case, the college's claims as an equal opportunity campus and its academic accreditation are jeopardized.  The intrusion is a violation of academic freedom,  " the ability of teachers, students, and educational institutions to pursue knowledge without unreasonable political or government interference."

Institutions which do not meet the standards of academic freedom as unanimously proclaimed in their statements of purpose and integrity are publicly censured by academic organizations.  Northern was on the censure list of the American Association of University Professors for 22 years for firing a professor suddenly without due process.  The University of Iowa, my alma mater, was on the list for two years recently for hiring a president without appropriate consultation with the faculty.  During that time, professors registered their objections in many ways, and quite a number resigned.  Other professional organizations take note of such sanctions and provide their members with summaries of the reputation of the colleges.  Prospective faculty use the evaluations to decide if the colleges are the kinds of places where they want to work, and prospective students, their parents, and their guidance counselors refer to them to decide if it is a place worth getting a degree from.  And companies maintain lists of which colleges are reputable to recruit and hire employees from.  

When I came to Northern, some faculty were sent to represent the college at a student recruiting fair.  They were dismayed to hear some high school students refer to Northern State Junior High School.   College admissions personnel polled high school teachers and counselors about why students held Northern in such low regard.  They found that the censure and  a publication for job hunting professors which described  Northern as an "undesirable place to work" because of the few doctorates on the faculty as sources of the attitude.   The college engaged in a program to change the negative perceptions of Northern.  With those efforts, the censure was removed from the college and placed  on the Board of Regents, who eventually came to an agreement with the AAUP for its removal. College officials and faculty reviewed curriculum and policies to address the perception of Northern as an extension of secondary school and took measures  to establish it as a full-fledged institution of higher education.  Admission counselors said the effort worked, as they they saw the belittling attitudes about Northern's status as a college diminish.  The college stabilized its enrollment:  residential students went down but were more than made up for with off-campus enrollments through extension and online offerings.

The recent incidents of sudden departures by the college's leadership raise questions in the minds of alumni, emeritus professors, and the public.   The pall these questions cast over the campus is a matter of the lack of explanation for what is behind the departures.  A university is a place that searches  for and provides answers.  That's what research means.  When a university practices obfuscation, it is in direct conflict with the principles that define its function--the creation and transmission of knowledge.  

Northern was never able to breach the wall of silence about what proof there was that Morgan Lewis committed suicide.  It now seems unable to explain the abrupt departure of President Downs.  It is either incompetent in providing answers to questions of public concern or it is a willing partner to the mendacity that was exacerbated in the time of Trump.   It fails in its fundamental purpose:

the reason you go to university is to be taught, is to learn how to think more clearly, to call into question the ideas that you came with and think about whether or not they are the ideas you will always want to hold. A university education at its best is a time of confusion and questioning, a time to learn how to think clearly about the values and principles that guide one’s life."

If a university fails in its most basic purpose, it's because the participants in shared governance are not doing their jobs in enforcing the integrity and the competence of the institution.  Ultimately those jobs are the faculty's.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

The distortions of balanced news and a proof of the Critical Race Theory

A big story in South Dakota is what happened to a proposed set of curriculum standards for the teaching of social studies in the public schools.  The standards were generated by a panel of 46 educators and content specialists.  Their draft was drastically revised when it was submitted to the state Department of Education.  Those revisions include a drastic excision of content dealing with the Native American history and presence in the state.  Members of the panel have registered protests against the extent of the excisions.  The news reports, however, do not identify exactly who eliminated the Native American content recommendations.  The 46 panel members are identified in state documents. The Department of Education personnel involved are presumed to be operating under the authority of the Noem administration.

Noem has vociferously objected to the Critical Race Theory and any mention of it educational settings. She issued an executive order stating, “Critical race theory has no place in South Dakota schools.”  The theory posits that racial discrimination and oppression has shaped and been built into American organizations and their operative policies.  The excisions of Native American content from the curriculum standards by Noem's administration shows exactly how that is done.  In eliminating recognition of a group,  their history is denied.  And if a history is denied, the people who lived it are denied.

The news coverage of this act of excision, however, compounds the act of excision.  In the media's obsession with being balanced by quoting various viewpoints on the issue, it loses the central issue in a fog of verbiage.  Cable news now covers everything with panels of people who endlessly discuss what is being reported.  Instead of focusing on the events as they occur, cable news expends most of its efforts in talking about them.  Other journalistic forms have picked up this habit with the claim that they are providing balance.  As a result, news stories are filled with opinions about what has happened and  obfuscate what has happened.

That is what happened with the coverage of the social studies curriculum recommendations.  The stories carried comments by those who resented the deletions and those who justified them.  While some of the coverage did detail the excisions, those details were overshadowed by opinions about whether the Department of Education had the right to so abridge the recommendations.  That obscured the fact that materials dealing with cultural understanding of Native America were eliminated, and that the DOE's action diminished opportunities to contribute to that understanding.

The Noem administration committed the very kind of act that the Critical Race Theory hypothesizes underlies the racial discrimination in our social and government system.  And by forbidding the explanation of what the Critical Race Theory is in classrooms, the people will remain ignorant about what is going on when an example of it occurs.  



Thursday, August 12, 2021

Bad days at Northern State



I live a block away from Northern State where I taught for 20 years. (Before that I taught at Augustana in Rock Island, lll.) On campus, this time in August involves preparations for the upcoming fall term, which will begin in a couple of weeks.  Summer school ended during the first week of August, so there are two weeks or so before the start of the fall semester when no classes are in session.  The campus is a quiet place as the staff prepares for the fall influx of students.  But this year a sense of turmoil pervades the quiet.  

The quiet is actually the stunned silence left by an act of violence.  In this case, the violence is not the physical attack of one person on another.  It is the abrupt and unexplained departure of a college president.  The apparently forced resignation of Dr. Timothy Downs leaves the campus and the community with the unanswered question of just what happened. And why.

The regents moved rather quickly to replace Dr. Downs.  They hired Dr. Neal Schnoor who had been chief of staff for the president at California State at Long Beach.   The college will focus on the new academic year beginning with a new president.   But, the minds of many on and off campus will linger on the sudden departure of Dr. Downs. 

I never met Dr. Downs.  Usually emeritus faculty are invited to social functions involving the faculty and meet the college officials.  Such an occasion never occurred during Dr. Downs' tenure at Northern, so I really know nothing about him other than the fact that he served as president for about five years.  But I do know what the sudden departure of a college official signals about the stability of a college's programs and its administration.  The abrupt firing of Dr. Downs indicates there was something wrong with Dr. Downs or the regents or both.  As  the regents are politically appointed and tend to reflect the people who appoint them, the probability is that the firing of Downs was a political matter, not an academic one.  News reports state that legislators were issuing a letter to Dr. Downs to desist from a program he was working on to deal with diversity or resign.  He apparently chose the latter course of action.  The political intrusion into the administration of a university signals severe problems with academic freedom and quality.  Northern racks up another demerit for the way an academic institution conducts business. It puts the public on notice that Northern State is governed for political purposes and is not a valid academic institution that meets the standards of academic freedom.  The fact that the state passed a law in 2020 banning collective bargaining by state colleges and the firing of Dr. Downs are evidence of the totalitarian politics that govern Northern.

The one saving grace is that faculty who hold legitimate degrees will perform their jobs according to the traditions of integrity and academic freedom of their profession.  But there appears to be no pressure by the faculty to bring the  college administration in line with the generally accepted standards of academic governance.  A faculty which does not assert itself on matters of governance is complicit with administrations that regard a college as just another bureaucracy to be run for political ends.  Northern State for many years was under censure by the American Association of University Professors  for not meeting the governance standards of the profession.  It appears to qualify for censure again. 

The South Dakota regental system has been recognized as the worst in the nation.  If the reputation of Northern is to be saved, it will have to be done by the faculty.  That seems unlikely.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Should Kristi Noem's college degree be revoked?

When Kristi Noem received a college degree while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (2012), people familiar with higher education and the work of government asked how it was possible.  Congressional staff members, who schedule and assist their bosses, know first hand the hectic and demanding schedule that competent representatives must keep to fulfill their jobs.  They wonder how and why a member of Congress has the time to work on a college degree.  Noem claims she did her classwork while flying around for her Congressional business.  Professors and genuine students also know that legitimate academic work is not done in such snatch-and-grab moments.

Ms. Noem began her work at NSU.  Many accounts state that she dropped out at the death of her father in order to help run the family farm, as in this version:   "As the 40-year-old lawmaker told “CBS This Morning” on Monday, she dropped out of college at age 22 when her father died in a farming accident."

However, accounts with a  more detailed timeline, state that she withdrew from NSU in 1992 and was married that year in Watertown.  The Wikipedia biography states that her father was killed in a farm accident, two years later,  in  March 1994  "a month before Noem's daughter, Kassidy, was born."   Other internet sources, however, state Kassidy's birthdate as April 20, 1993.  It seems more probable that Noem dropped out of college to get married and had her first child almost a year before her father died.  Such discrepancies occur often in the accounts of Noem's life.  

Noem took classes from other institutions, such as Mount Marty College, and eventually was granted a degree in political science  from SDSU. Her last course work included an online course from USD.  SDSU has transfer agreements with other institutions, but it usually involves a course-by-course comparison evaluation.  And the conferring of a degree usually must meet a residency requirement.  Students who have gone through the transfer process and have had to do additional work to meet the requirements raised questions about whether Noem received some special exceptions to receive her degree.  

The fact that Noem earned intern credits for being a member of Congress raised questions even in the national press.  Who was the person in charge to evaluate her performance and study of the work principles involved?  John Boehner?  Barack Obama?

And did she do the college assignments herself or delegate them to an aide?  People familiar with Noem's work habits raised that possibility.

My own experience at earning a degree gives cause for me to question the probity of Noem's degree.  I was an undergraduate before there were student loans, and had to work during some semesters rather than attend classes.  Usually I took at least one night class while working, but during one period when that could not be arranged, I was drafted into the Army for two years. It took ten years to earn my bachelor's degree.  So, I have an appreciation for students who strive to earn a degree, and have been able to support the work of many who did so.  It is that perspective that raises questions about the authenticity of Noem's degree.

Another perspective is the matter of what  a college degree signifies.  College professors have an obligation to insure that their students are evaluated on the work they do, that it is valid academic work, and that it is their own work.  With some for-profit schools providing degrees that require perfunctory work from students, college degrees as a whole do not necessarily signify intellectual accomplishment.  Faculty work hard to make passing grades in their courses represent measurable accomplishment on the part of students, and to ensure a degree is a bona fide certificate of achievement.  When a public figure such as Noem seems to get an easy and privileged pass, the earnest students feel that it diminishes the significance of  their own efforts and accomplishments.  When Noem was awarded her degree, many professors, students, and their parents grumbled that they would like to see her transcript.  Earning a degree while a member of Congress seemed improbable to those who understand the work involved.  

Noem received nationwide recognition from the national press when she graduated from SDSU, but none of the coverage went into how she actually got the work done.  One of  my fellow retired professors thought it must have been more an honorary degree than one actually earned.  The effectiveness of Noem's education was made apparent when she wrote a letter to the Board of Regents instructing them to have the universities teach positive patriotism and to "resist the national trend" of studying those instances when  America did not live up to the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice for all.   That letter reveals a mind that does not understand the purpose of higher education or how it functions.  And that failure of understanding calls into question the nature of Noem's college experience.

A  professor at USD noted about the letter,  "It does start to interfere with academic freedom and intellectual freedom because there's really only one way for the governor's plan to manifest itself: and that would be through required curriculum..." 

Noem does not express herself with the intellectual probity that the attainment of a college degree indicates she should be capable of doing.  A degree, to most people, simply means that one has successfully completed a course of study.  But most people understand that successfully completing a course of study means that one has not committed an academic crime.  The academic offenses for which a tenured professor can be fired are plagiarism and falsifying information.  Plagiarism is passing off someone else's work as one's own.  Falsifying information is mendacity, telling lies and making stuff up.  A college degree doesn't guarantee that its holder won't do those things.  But it does indicate that they know better.

In cases in which colleges find that a student committed academic fraud to earn a degree, the college has the right to withdraw it, and this has been done.  However, colleges do not track their graduates to see if they apply the rules  of academic honesty to their post-graduate lives. When their graduates are found to be dishonest or intellectually incompetent, they can point out that the graduates have lapsed from the academic principles that a college degree signifies.

When examining Kristi Noem's accounts of her college experience, we find discrepancies.  It makes us skeptical about whether her degree means anything other than that she bamboozled a university.

And the electorate.







Friday, July 9, 2021

Does Northern State University have a future?

The Dakota Free Press by Cory Heidelberger pointed out an assessment of higher education that places the South Dakota system as the lowest in the nation.  The ranking is based upon financial considerations, but financial matters reflect political and social attitudes that affect university campuses.   Ranking systems of colleges measure many aspects and produce disparate ratings as to the quality of education offered.  However, colleges that operate in an atmosphere of inferior circumstance and administrative turmoil are places that astute professors and students alike avoid.  Northern State University is in a state of administrative turmoil  that, along with the state being ranked as the worst system in the nation, makes it a place that prospective professors and students must be wary about.

.


The turmoil at Northern involves  a changing of presidents.  In April, the resignation of Dr.Timothy Downs was suddenly announced in circumstances that appear to involve a forced resignation, and a new president came on board  the first of the July.  During the same week as Dr. Downs' resignation, the president of the Northern Foundation which handles fundraising for the University announced his retirement.  Then this month the athletic director announced that he was leaving for another job.  When contacted, the regents have claimed the departures were coincidental, but experienced college educators see it as the unraveling of an institution that has lost its coherence.  The departures are of the primary executives involved in the raising of $110 million for campus improvements, many of which were for the athletic facilities.  To regard their departures as coincidence stretches credulity to the breaking point.  

Northern has a mixed history with college presidents.  Some have served as agents for the political agenda of  the Board of Regents, which in South Dakota is a  hopelessly politicized agency.  Only one person on the current Board of Regents has any significant experience in higher education and three are appointees of Kristi Noem, which raises questions about their academic values.  Some presidents have attempted to carry out a  traditional collegiate role, which puts them in conflict with the politically-oriented regents.  Dr. Downs seems to have been caught attempting the latter function.  A newspaper report said he had been putting in place some programs for diversity which caused members of the state legislature to compose a letter telling him to either desist or resign.  He did resign.

The incoming president of Northern State faces a dilemma.  He must know that regents who appointed him expect him to be their lackey, and will not support any executive who tries to adhere to the academic freedom on which a legitimate university is based:
...institutional academic freedom safeguards the university as a whole from government or other outside interference. It permits the university to select its faculty and to determine areas of study, appropriate teaching methods, and which students to admit. 

 For about 40 years the South Dakota higher education system operated with a collective bargaining agreement which required the institutions to maintain the professional standards of American universities.  Last year the legislature passed a law prohibiting the college faculty from collective bargaining.  Now the universities have no contract protecting the faculty or the universities themselves from political interference.  The new president, as illustrated by the departure of Dr. Downs, will find constraints if he tries to operate as a free university in a state where the legislature and the governor want to impose the rules.

From the viewpoint of an old professor who believes higher education must be dedicated to the higher, Northern's future is very uncertain.  Will some of the donators of $110 million change their minds?  Is it a place you want to send young people?




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