Talladega Band’s Decision to Play at Inauguration Is Smart and Gutsy

To the Editor:

The Talladega College Marching Tornado Band plans to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural parade on Friday in spite of protests by some alumni and members of the public (“Talladega College Says Band Will March in Trump’s Inaugural Parade,The Chronicle, January 5). It is the only historically black college or university scheduled to participate.

Shirley Ferrill, a 1974 Talladega alum, has launched a a petition on Change.org demanding the college withdraw. As of tod…

Stop Dismissing Community Colleges

To the Editor:

In his January 9 letter to the editor, J. Patrick McGrail wrote, “Community colleges have traditionally been best at providing practical skills, such as X-Ray technician training. But now, community colleges are being called upon to be preparatory academies for four-year institutions” (“Not All Community-College Credits Should Easily Transfer,Letters to the Editor, January 9).

That is false. Dr. McGrail seems to have confused community colleges with career and technical colleges…

Colleges Should Decide Which Bathroom Students Use

To the Editor:

The question of which bathroom a person uses can be important (“Despite Risk of Backlash, Texas Politicians Advance a ‘Bathroom Bill’ Like North Carolina’s,The Chronicle, January 11). However, in the debate, I think the issues should be clarified. Obviously, if a student is biologically male and identifies as male, the college decides that he should use the male restroom (he doesn’t have a choice). The same for female students. For a student who is biologically one gender and …

Not All Community-College Credits Should Easily Transfer

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the article about a University of Texas at Arlington graduate who had formerly matriculated through a community college (“Transfer Experience: a Student Perspective,The Chronicle, January 1). As an academic adviser at a four year, masters-intensive institution, (and full-time faculty there) I agree that community-college credits sometimes don’t transfer correctly. However, I’m not sure this problem is easily solvable.

It is probably not practical fo…

College Retirement Plans Often Better Than Those in Private Sector

To the Editor:

In anticipation that a spate of lawsuits filed last summer against several prominent higher-education institutions will prompt administrators to revise retirement-plan options offered to employees, Dr. Tomas Dvorak offered useful guideposts (“What Economists Can Tell Us About Retirement-Plan Design,The Chronicle, November 13). In the interests of my colleagues in administration, I would like to explain why I disagree with the suits’ theses and Professor Dvorak’s admonition …

White Supremacist Shouldn’t Have Been Treated Like a Celebrity

To the Editor:

Why did we get an interview with a white supremacist? (“A Push to Expand ‘White Privilege,’The Chronicle, December 1.) I know it’s important to know what white supremacists are trying to do. I know The Chronicle tries to be politically neutral. However, the interview format and the full-page picture treat the man in question like a celebrity. He’s a professed enemy of ideals of racial equality found in the U.S. Constitution, in state laws, and in the bylaws of nearly every Ame…

Professor Watchlist Could Make McCarthyism Look Like a Picnic

To the Editor:

I wrote a book about universities and McCarthyism and I’m afraid what’s happening today is worse. (“What It’s Like to Be Named to a Watch List of ‘Anti-American’ Professors,The Chronicle, November 23.)

The real danger — left unmentioned — is that there are some things that cannot be laughed off, like losing one’s job. As I scrolled through the names on the Professor Watchlist and picked one at random, what did I find? A professor at a major midwestern university giving his…

We Need a More Comprehensive Study of Presidential Pay

To the Editor:

Your article, “39 Private-College Leaders Earn More Than $1 Million,” (The Chronicle, December 4) states, “The average pay of private-college leaders, including those who served partial years, was $489,927 in 2014.” That’s a jaw-dropping number. It’s also clearly an inaccurate statement.

The article states that the salary figure is the average of just 500 presidents, a number less than one-third of the approximately 1,600 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the United …

A Long Way From “Poof! You Now Have Tenure”

To the Editor:

I will become an emeritus faculty member on January 1, 2017, almost 60 years after entering the job market in 1957 as a graduate student in the Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan. When my young wife and I were ready to leave Ann Arbor in 1962 after one year of post-doctoral teaching, we could have gone anywhere in the country, with the explosion of job opportunities in the newly formed SUNY and CUNY in New York, and what seemed to be an endless number of jobs opportunitie…

White Supremacist Should Have Been Asked Harder Questions

To the Editor:

The most frustrating thing about the coverage of Mr. Trump (and followers hoping for Bannon to usher in his new order) is seeing such superficial engagement with statements that they make in support of their claims and beliefs (“Richard Spencer, White Supremacist, Describes Goals of His ‘Danger Tour’ to College Campuses,The Chronicle, November 28). The questions that your reporter and so many journalists toss out are mild objections that play right into the hands of this new rac…