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Letters to the Editor

"Cincinnati Horizons" magazine encourages readers to submit letters. Letters submitted online may be considered for publication here and in the print edition of the magazine.

Fun issue

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the latest issue of "Horizons." The lists were wonderful! I hope you and your staff had as much fun putting it together as I had reading it.
Evelyn Schott, Bus '93
Director, business operations, College of Business

Striking up a new idea

I was at UC in the mid-'60s and am a member of the UC Alumni Association. I just received the November "UC Horizons" and want to compliment you and your staff on such a fine collection of UC info!

I read it with great interest and will keep it in my UC file. Thanks for all the hard work and for doing such a great job.

I would offer one suggestion: I enjoyed your "Bearcats in the NFL, NBA." Would you consider adding Major League Baseball? And not just current players, but those from UC who made it to the "bigs."

Over the years, many UC alumni have made an impact that lasted -- Brig Owens and Greg Cook come to mind in football -- and many others in the NBA and MLB. I know sports are not even the most important product of UC, but they are of great interest to many.

Thanks again, please pass my compliments to your staff.
Eric Edwards, att. '60s
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Editor's note: The NBA and NFL lists in the last magazine were only for current players, and we are unaware of any UC baseball players in the major leagues, although some are in the minors. In regard to running a list of all Bearcats who have played professional sports, the list would be too enormous to handle by the time basketball and football were included. Associate editor John Bach, however, attempts to include as many of the "superstars" as possible in routine sports coverage.

Dead or alive?

I loved this issue! What a great collection of facts, figures and interesting information. I read this issue cover to cover and enjoyed every page.

I have just one question regarding a list of living alumni, by decades. Are there really six living alumni who attended UC between 1900 and 1909? Even if they attended in 1909 and were 18 at the time, wouldn't that make them at least 112 today?
Zondra Hall, senior buyer
UC Purchasing Department

Editor's note: Hmmm, seems pretty fishy, doesn't it? In truth, the university database for keeping track of alumni does indeed indicate those six alumni are still living because UC was unable to verify deaths among them and their mail has not been returned. Nevertheless, I should have done a little math on my own and opted to omit the numbers.

Business school missed

As a history buff, I found the November magazine to be, perhaps, the best ever. Surely a "keeper" for me.

It was especially fun to know that the Bearcat Bands is the largest student organization on campus. You see I was/am a Bearcat bandsman.

My first homecoming parade was down Clifton Avenue in 1958 as a senior at Purcell High. At UC in my undergrad days, there was Band Council, Kappa Kappa Psi treasurer, then president, ROTC band commander, marching band, basketball Varsity Band (attended all three years of championship games, 1961, '62 and '63) and Outstanding Band Senior. Today, I am a member of the Bearcat Alumni Band and the Alumni Band Board of Governors.

As a CPA reading "UC in Top Tier of Rankings", where is the College of Business? I remember at a 1965 job interview in Washington, D.C., "University of Cincinnati" was all that needed to be said. Grades and GPA not necessary! I was immediately offered the job.

Thanks for this great work. I will read it again and again.
Bill Wergowske, Bus '63
UCBAA Board of Governors

Editor's note: Despite the public's love affair with rankings, they remain quite controversial because there are myriad ways to compile and analyze them. For the last magazine, we primarily relied on U.S. News and World Report and focused on rankings that reflected on entire colleges or major programs.

In those areas, the College of Business has yet to surface, but it is climbing higher in other rankings. Although these rankings are considered less prestigious than those used in the last issue, they are a positive sign of things to come.

Dean Frederick Russ and Ed Ziegenhardt, college director of external relations, mention the following:

  • No. 1 placement for the Economics Center for Education and Research among U.S. centers of its kind (National Council on Economics Education)
  • Top 10 for the real estate program, as ranked by peers.
  • The Department of Quantitative Analysis and Operations Management has a No. 4 ranking for OM research productivity (Academy of Management Journal) and a No. 5 ranking in OM productivity and quality (Journal of Operations Management)
  • The UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Research placed in the top tier of entrepreneurial programs at regional colleges, according to Entrepreneur magazine this spring. In a survey of 300 regional colleges, faculty placed the program fifth on the list and program directors placed it seventh.

Number checking

I thoroughly enjoyed the November 2003 issue ("Making the List"). Congratulations to the editors and staff.

I was, however, somewhat startled by the fact that the total enrollment is 32,975, and there are 13,602 employees on the payroll. That is one employee per 2.4 students. I realize that about one-third are teaching assistants/interns, as I was while in graduate school. But still, 2.4 students per employee seems a bit excessive. No wonder the administration is whining about the need for more state (read taxpayer) support.
Ken Fulton, MS (A&S) '73, Ph.D (A&S) '76
Aberdeen, Ohio

Editor's note: First of all, lots of employees have jobs that are related only indirectly to students' education. Stretching across five campuses, employees work in areas such as public safety, parking, human resources, payroll, student affairs, athletics, information technology, six different bookstores, 12 campus libraries, student housing, food services, housekeeping, grounds keeping, maintenance, public relations, the power plant and much, much more.

Second, UC has a significant quantity of research areas requiring laboratories and huge staffs, all of which are supported by research grants, not tuition. In fact, the medical campus actually has more employees than students because of its extensive research program.

Third, 5,000 of those employees are students, meaning their numbers were counted twice. UC spokesman Greg Hand estimates the general student-faculty ratio to be between 14-1 and 17-1.

Global co-op dates back

It's a snowy day, so I finally had time to read the November "Cincinnati Horizons" from cover to cover. I found it very interesting and informative.

In the article on co-op growth, you stated, "International co-op is formally organized, sending students into the global community in 1993." Because of my long association with the co-op program, I feel I should point out that we had co-ops working outside of the U.S. on placements arranged by the Department of Professional Practice as early as the 1950s.

I remember making arrangements at that time for a young lady majoring in business administration to work on co-op assignments in Brazil and for some male students in the architectural program to work in Leeds, England. I know there were others, but I cannot come up with the specifics.

However, I do remember arranging the "double-sectioning" of some other students so that they could work abroad for two continuous work sections and return to the campus for two continuous school sections; thus they needed to travel to and fro only one time a year instead of two.
Wanda Mosbacker, emerita director, associate dean, professor of professional development

Editor's note: While it is true that some UC co-ops were working outside the U.S. well before 1990, the International Co-op Program (ICP) was formally organized that year through a Department of Education FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education) grant. The first ICP students began language and culture training shortly after the program was established, co-opped overseas in 1993 and graduated with UC's class of 1994.

As with regular co-op, ICP began in the College of Engineering, but now includes students in DAAP and the College of Business. An honors option, ICP mandates that students fulfill a U.S. co-op before doing one abroad and that sophomores complete a course in the challenges and opportunities of living and working overseas, plus 350 classroom hours of intensive language instruction that stresses oral skills.

Administered through UC's Institute for Global Studies and Affairs, ICP may eventually move to the Division of Professional Practice, which currently places students internationally who already have necessary language skills or who will be working in English-speaking countries.

Turned-up noses?

With great surprise and pride, I found my name in the last issue of "Horizons" ["Tourist Spots with UC Connections"].

With UC joining the Big East, some who support the local school in South Bend (Notre Dame) have been turning their noses up at being in the same conference with UC. I plan to make a copy of the rankings on page 16 and send it to the local newspaper.

I also plan to contact someone with the new Museum Studies program. I can always use good interns. Why not some Bearcats?
Kent Stephens, CCM '76
Collection manager, College Football Hall of Fame
South Bend, Ind.

Sniffing out bearcats

As a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, I have often wondered what a bearcat actually was. Well, I have at last seen the real thing. Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, where I volunteer several days a week, has finally satisfied my curiosity.

The museum has on exhibit a pair of binturongs, also known as bearcats. They are very interesting nocturnal carnivores with prehensile tales. The pair are members of the Viverridae family, which include the mongoose and meerkat.
Patricia Greisl, MEd '67
Tallahassee, Fla.

Editor's note: For a while, UC students regularly saw a real bearcat when Cincinnati Zoo staff brought "Alice" to sporting events and walked her along the sidelines. Several years ago, Alice grew uncomfortable around the crowds and gave up her public appearances. Greisl's correspondence included a museum newsletter that pointed out bearcats may grow as large as 6 feet, 50 pounds and also gave this intriguing tidbit: "One of the more interesting features of the animal is its scent. It produces a musk that smells exactly like freshly made popcorn." For more information on the Bearcat and how it became UC's mascot, read the archived article on the Web. Also check out "On Campus Yesterday."

Comparing budgets

I just finished reading the July 2003 "Horizons" and found the article, "A Term to Remember" very interesting. The item that caught most of my attention was how the university budget increased by about three times from the 1984 budget. Could you please tell me what were some of the major factors contributing to the increase?
Patty O'Brien Novak, Eng '93
Dearborn Heights, Mich.

Editor's note: Salaries and benefits are the major driver for the University of Cincinnati budget and have been the major factor affecting budget growth for the past 20 years. The largest portion of UC salaries goes to the faculty, and that amount has increased for two reasons. First, individual salaries have grown because UC endeavors to recruit and keep the best faculty, and second, we have hired more faculty, particularly in research-intensive disciplines.

Benefits average an additional third to each salary dollar, with two forces pushing up benefit costs: Some benefits increase as salaries increase, such as retirement contributions and vacations, and health-care costs have risen dramatically over the past decade, with most years seeing double-digit inflation.

Technology, too, has contributed to budget increases. You will note on page 22 that equipping an electronic classroom costs $64,000. Multiply that by hundreds of classrooms, plus the network to connect the campus, the software to enable e-mail, instruction and business, not to mention the Web and Web-based tools such as the Blackboard system (see page 18). Furthermore, remember that all of that equipment must be replaced every two or three years, and the software upgraded almost annually.

Beyond elevated expenditures, budgets can also increase when university income rises. In 1984, for example, UC earned less than $40 million in research grants, and endowment income provided less than $10 million. By 2002, UC was earning more than $150 million in research grants, and the endowment was pumping some $30 million into the budget annually, augmented by $34 million in gifts.

These grants and gifts, while enlarging the budget as a whole, also carried costs with them. In other words, a research grant must be used to support the research it is intended for; research grants do not offset the cost of instruction.

Looking back

Congratulations for yet another stunning edition of "University of Cincinnati Horizons" (July, "One Man, Two Decades"). The maps and photos show far better than ever before the changes that have occurred to the campus since I graduated from the College of Engineering in 1954. The even more ambitious and radical developments still under way and yet to come are astounding.

I can't say every facet of the redevelopment is pleasing to my ideas of what a university campus should be. Some of the newer buildings strike me as bizarre and likely to lead to some ridicule in generations to come. But then, the campus has never had a unifying architectural style, so it's an open field for inventiveness and perhaps a bit of fun, too.

The photo of the smokestack prompts me to write. The old steam-power plant's smokestack was one of the notable, if obsolete, campus landmarks. It reminded me of the equally obsolete steam engines that dominated the former "high bay" of Baldwin Hall when I was studying there. Indeed, the civil engineering curriculum still included an overview course on steam power, including a session actually operating one of the engines and measuring its performance.

In those days, the co-op coordination office arranged a number of field trips for the freshmen to see various significant industrial and municipal engineering facilities around the city, such as the Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. (Cincinnati Milacron, closed in 2003) in Oakley, the Mill Creek flood barrier dam and pumps, and the municipal water works at California.

The last trip featured a tour of the circular building housing the steam pumps that drew water from a tunnel under the Ohio River and forced it up to raw-water reservoirs on the hillside well above the treatment plant. As I recall, the capacity of the three pumps was about 30 million gallons per day.

The physical dimensions of these engines, arranged vertically, were truly colossal, with their frames founded below the tunnel and the triple-expansion steam cylinders at river terrace level, above all but the very highest historical flood levels. (The 1937 flood temporarily put them out of service, but a flood wall was built later that could have protected them).

I wonder if those great engines, presumably no longer in use, still exist. Surely they would merit designation as historic civil and mechanical engineering landmark structures. Can anyone at the university or city advise me whether they were all scrapped, or have any of them been preserved?
Donald Chapman, Eng '54
Chevy Chase, Md.

Editor's note: The steam engines are still intact, although they are not operational because pumping has been switched to electric operation. But the pumps remain at the Richard Miller Plant of the Greater Cincinnati Waterworks "to hold the building down," explains Verna Arnette, waterworks senior engineer for water quality and treatment. "Interestingly, they add weight so the building doesn't float away."

She also points out that even though the steam pumps are no longer in service, the 100-year-old tunnel under the river is still used to transport water to the plant from the water intake located on the Kentucky side of the river. Roughly 100 years ago, before dams were erected in the river, the intake was placed in the deeper Kentucky water to insure it remained submerged in times of low water level, she says.

The Miller plant also has a "very nice" museum, which features such historic items as old hollow-log water mains, notes Jack Loper, professor emeritus of molecular genetics. Unfortunately, after Sept. 11, 2001, the pumps and museum were closed to public viewing.

OCAS birth date

Although I am only partially through the November issue, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the information conveyed. One item is somewhat perplexing to me. In "Evolution of Current Colleges," it says, "Ohio College of Applied Science (OCAS) opened to offer day classes for OMI" in 1919.

I graduated from the College of Applied Science (associate degree in mechanical engineering) in 1960, and to my knowledge, that was the first year for the name change from OMI to OCAS. Am I incorrect?

Keep up the good work as I enjoy every edition.
Charlie Moore, CAS '60
Decatur, Ala.

Editor's note: Although the 1919 date had been published previously, CAS professor Maria Kreppel, who researched the college history for its current 175th anniversary celebration, says you are nearly right. Her research indicates the OCAS name first appeared in 1958, when the day school and night school became separate entities with separate administrations. She also says day classes formally began in 1900.

Additional trivia: OMI was renamed OMIEC in '58, by adding the words "Evening College" to the name. As we indicated, the day school was called OCAS, and the combined schools actually functioned under the acronym OCAS-OMIEC until 1969 when they joined UC, and only the first acronym was retained.

Kreppel has a detailed time line of CAS history online.

Letters to the Editor policy
Letters to the Editor must relate to the university, be signed and include addresses, colleges and years of graduation, when applicable. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity or factual accuracy and to reject letters of unsuitable content. Letters may not criticize other letter writers. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Cincinnati.

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