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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The Daily Mississippian

Letter to the Editor: September 20, 2011

To the Editor:

Mr. Patrick Richards' contentions in the "Proposed and Opposed" column of September 19, 2011, must be addressed.

As a graduate of this university, I am distressed and disheartened by Mr. Richards' allegations that "teachers are for sale here." As a member of the faculty, I am outraged. The so-called "proof" he put forth in his argument is flimsy at best and malevolently untrue at worst. His depiction of his fellow students and his teachers is calumny, plain and simple.

Never in this university's 163-year history have such unsupported accusations been made in such an irresponsible manner. The faculty, past and present, has always been devoted to the highest standards of learning. We educators have committed our lives to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. To engage in the activity Mr. Richards alleges would not only go against every ethical and academic principle we hold dear, but would deprive the students of the very knowledge we seek to share.

Ole Miss students are, for the most part, hard-working and dedicated to their own academic excellence and that of their school. They strive daily to increase their education and experience, both inside the classroom and out. The line between the students who succeed and those who don't is not defined by economic status but by commitment and desire to achieve.

Perhaps Mr. Richards should look within himself and consider his reasons for airing these assertions in such a public forum. Is he looking for a scapegoat for his own academic performance? Or does he sincerely believe that students who come from families more economically advantaged than his own have an edge over others?

If Mr. Richards has any legitimate evidence to support his allegations, then I call upon him to produce it and bring the matter before the appropriate authorities. Otherwise, he must retract his charges without delay and issue an immediate apology to the student body, the faculty, the administration, the alumni, and the public at large.

Kimberly Pace, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English

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