Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Schiavo, Blake, and Bowen

Terri Schiavo has survived six days without food or water. This case continues to baffle me and break my heart. Today the last possible court, aside from the U.S. Supreme Court, refused to reinsert Terri's feeding tube. The Schindlers (Terri's parents) are now preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. I really doubt the Supreme Court will agree to hear the case. Not only is the Supreme Court in a structurally shaky position with Rehnquist ailing and talk of Bush appointing Scalia to be chief justice soon, the majority of the current justices on the bench are adamantly in support of state's rights. They will not trample the decisions of the Florida state courts or legislature on this matter. President Bush in a press conference today as he met with the leaders of Mexico and Canada stated that there truly is nothing left for the White House to do. Yes, they have done enough, if not more than what they should have. Though I support Terri's case being heard in a federal court, the place of the U.S. Congress and the President is not to intervene in such matters. Florida DCF is trying to intervene as is Governor Jeb Bush. Unfortunately, before long we will be reading headlines of Terri's death. Then we can be sure of a firestorm.

On an unrelated note, somehow in all of this I seemed to miss the acquittal in the Robert Blake trial. How did that happen?? As you all know, I am a huge fan of Barbara Walters and watched her specials as well as her co-anchor 20/20 for most of my life. One of the strangest moments in a Barbara Walters interview was when she interviewed Blake. I'd like to agree with the judicial system today, but I'm afraid that the high-media attention given to cases such as Blake's allowed for an irresponsible finding such as in the O.J. Simpson trial. Though no criminal should be punished for verdicts in other cases, I hope the consequence of the failure in the Blake trial indirectly takes precedence in the Michael Jackson trial.

Further from the spotlight is the upcoming retirement of ISU President Richard Bowen. Interestingly, headlines of his retirement "negotiation" have hit Pocatello hard after the Idaho State Senate's vote Monday requiring the transition from a fee system to a tuition system at three of Idaho's public universities, including ISU. There seems to be some turmoil between the State Board of Ed and Bowen. Come to think of it, the State Board seems to be causing all sorts of turmoil as the Associated Students of ISU continue to support a lawsuit against the State Board. An ironic time to be negotiating retirement.


R. Alex said...

I asked this on a previous message, but you may not have seen it. I'm somewhat new to Idaho and am trying to figure out what the difference between a "tuition-based" system and a "fee-based" system is. In Texas it's all one system (that may be one, the other, both, or neither), so I'm not sure the distinction. Could you help me out by explaining it or by way of a link?

Tara A. Rowe said...

Forgive me for missing your previous comment. The main difference between tuition and just a fee-system is that tuition pays teacher's salaries and fees do not. With a tuition system the university can take in more money and spend it however they choose. The problem with a tuition system is, unlike a fee system, there is no cap on how much a student can be charged. Most generally private colleges and universities use tuition and public institution use a fee system.

Does that help? I will look for a better explanation by way of a link and get back to you.

R. Alex said...

More information would be helpful if you can find it, but I think I have a little understanding. Now that you mention it I've heard a couple ISU-student coworkers discussing the pay structure and it seeming odd to me (Texas is closer to the tuition-based).

You said that BSU, LCC, and ISU have been singled out for a tuition-based while UI stays the same? I'd have thought that universities would prefer a tuition-based system for financial and autonomy reasons and so the flagship or land-grant university would be the one to switch over.

Tara A. Rowe said...

I have been looking into the tuition thing more closely, but haven't been able to get in contact with the Sutdent Body President here at ISU. I'll continue to find an explanation for you about tuition.

U of Idaho is excluded for several reasons, but it is understood by many that if the U of I were to go to a tution based system, all of those students would transfer. There are many colleges in that area and near by in Washington, Oregon, and Montana.

I'll look into that too. THank you for your patience.