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All state universities should be combined under...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

All state universities should be combined under single 0) umbrella

The formation of the University System of Maryland by combining 11 institutions of higher learning was a step in the right direction. However, two public institutions were allowed to remain outside this group. This arrangement resulted in two governing bodies with overlapping responsibilities and caused confusion and unnecessary paperwork.

It is no wonder that the presidents of the colleges were not happy working under those conditions. It is possible to rectify matters by combining all 13 institutions into one group and have one governing body to regulate them.

No institution should have the option to stay out of the group. He who pays the piper calls the tune. The state should call the tune on behalf of taxpayers who foot the bill.

We need a governing body that has the guts to make tough decisions when needed. Some of the presidents, probably to satisfy their egos, may ask for the moon. It is for the governing body to decide on the distribution of the available amount of money in an equitable and just manner.

We may still need a committee to advise the secretary of higher education on policies involving the entire state. However, the functions of this committee should be clearly delineated.

During the past few years, engineering and doctoral programs were allowed to mushroom all over the place, draining the meager resources available. As a consequence, our flagship -- the University of Maryland, College Park -- could not rise to its full potential.

Some institutions have been proclaiming that they should get more money because of higher enrollment. The answer to this demand is quite clear: Restrict your admissions, giving preference to local students.

Bail L. Rao

Pikesville

Famous Christmas carol received proper treatment

John Rivera did an outstanding job of separating fact from fiction in his Christmas Eve feature article about the world's best-loved Christmas carol (" 'Silent Night' remains essence of the holiday," Dec. 24).

"Stille Nacht" has been translated into nearly 300 languages and dialects. It is sung by untold millions every December from palm-thatched huts in Peru to great cathedrals in Antwerp and Sydney. You can hear it sung in a classroom in South Africa as well as on a Navy ship in the Persian Gulf.

Perhaps this is part of the miracle of "Silent Night." The words flowed from the imagination of a modest curate. The music was composed by a musician who was not known outside his village. There was no celebrity to sing at its world premiere. Yet its powerful message of heavenly peace has crossed all borders and language barriers, conquering the hearts of people everywhere.

Bill Egan Flagler

Beach, Fla.

Rodricks' holiday memory of 1963 was moving account

Dan Rodricks' account of his 1963 Christmas was as moving a holiday story as any I have heard ("Gift sends memory rolling down the track," Dec. 25). I was 8 years old that year.

I read his story on Christmas morning, after my three children spent less than 15 minutes tearing through a couple of thousand dollars' worth of booty while my resurrected and refurbished 40-year-old American Flyer engine was chugging around its small oval track. The smell of the smoke from the steam engine, which elicited a complaint from my 14-year-old, evokes the strongest and warmest Christmas memories I have, year after year.

My dad will be over to see the engine. I can't wait to run it for him.

Jeff Anderson

Glenelg

We would lower standards by not trying president

It would be ludicrous not to bring our president to trial for breaking laws. This could only weaken the office for future presidents by lowering the standards that we demand of the one who is charged with leading our nation.

Presidents must be held to at least as high a standard as any person in the land. I fear that the consequence we as a country would face would be a weak nation, no longer under God, but under the rule of men without dignity or moral structure.

Gary R. Gamber

Owings Mills

Local Olympics officials could take Clinton cue

The Sun wrote in its editorial "An Olympic charge of stooping for gold" (Dec. 23) about the International Olympic Committee benefiting from such heinous crimes as "gifts, free medical care and scholarships." The paper finds that "now that the scandal is in the open, only full and public investigation and release of findings can clear the air and restore the Olympics' gold purity."

Concerning our other scandal -- the deceptions of one William Jefferson Clinton, The Sun feels that this person's many attempts to circumvent the law deserve less than that required of the Olympic Committee.

Perhaps if the Baltimore-Washington area stands a chance of serving as host for the Games, a more Clintonesque attitude toward the truth would better serve our efforts.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

City neglected leaves and then scattered them

I want to congratulate the mayor and the Department of Public Works on the choreography that has resulted in a spectacular mess in Roland Park and doubtless other parts of the city as well.

First, they neglected for weeks to pick up the large piles of leaves that residents had laboriously piled by the curbs. Then they sent in the snowplows to scatter these piles across lawns, sidewalks and parked cars.

The leaves, which by now are half-turned to mulch, have made a mess of epic proportions.

Stephen Forrest

Baltimore

Unloading state dollars across the Maryland line

I write in regard to legalization of slots at Maryland racetracks.

Just count the buses with Maryland tags unloading at Charles Town, W. Va., Delaware Park and Dover Downs. They are unloading our dollars.

Phil Oliver

Glen Burnie

Organ donation article was good news for patients

Thank you for your article on successful organ donations. ("Organ donor saves 3 lives in Boston" Dec. 25). Please print more stories like that.

It's good news. Organ donation benefits the donor's family, as well as for the recipient's and their families.

The more we all hear about stories like these, the more likely we will be to consider organ donation for ourselves and our family members. That will make it easier and more common for doctors to bring up the subject with bereaved families.

Rosie Behr

Baltimore

Insensitive choice of words in teen-age girl's death

In response to your story about the untimely death of 17-year-old Katie Hurley, we were disgusted to read the word chosen to refer to the jump page of the story: "Crush" ("Girl, 17, fatally crushed by rock," Dec. 25).

With the family mourning the death of their daughter and sister, the poor choice of wording was inexcusable. As longtime neighbors of the Hurleys, we know that what they need is peace and not to have to worry about a writer's inappropriate choice of words.

The loss is unbearable as it is, having a freak accident take away a loved family member. But to have it described in an insensitive manner could only add to her family and friends' grief.

Michelle Jenkins

Chris Jenkins

Columbia

Money is the motivator for Marylander of the Year

If you believe that Peter Angelos' activities are "contributions to his city and region," you must also believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

The intended end result of every deal mentioned in your editorial ("Peter G. Angelos, Marylander of Year," Dec. 27) is more dollars in Mr. Angelos' pockets. Philanthropic benefits are only incidental.

Bob Stahl

Baltimore

Pub Date: 12/29/98

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