• 64°

Time for UM to ‘redirect itself’

The University of Mississippi is not a brand, nor is it a business. It is a state-owned public institution of higher learning and it is time that the University of Mississippi redirected itself to the original purposes for which it was founded.

Firstly, it is to educate the students of the State of Mississippi regardless of ethnicity, gender, or beliefs. In the Fall of 2016, it failed 2272 times out of 3986 admissions to the Freshman Class by the count given on the official website. That is a dismal 43% success percentage. It seems that the university views itself as a private Ivy League institution of higher learning and an elite social destination for out of state students. In taking this approach, it has created an epicenter of alcohol and drug abuse if the Crime Reports in the local paper are to be believed. If law enforcement had greater assets at their disposal, I am sure that the arrests would be even higher. I wonder if the administration has the backbone to protect those who do not abuse from those who do.

Secondly, it is to serve the people of the State of Mississippi. The university has distanced itself from the people of Mississippi and continues operating under the self-delusion that old football players and fiction writers, who are not state residents, have the answers. The university has granted them influence that it has no right to give. The people of Mississippi and their elected officials rightfully have this authority. That is the “one person, one vote” “majority rules” policy under which we operate.

Leave us alone and we will work among ourselves and eventually get it right. The university administration shows a tremendous lack of character, honesty, and integrity by continuing to use self serving tactics to lead decisions to a predetermined conclusion.

R. Edward Bartlett

Mississippi First