Magazine / Uncategorized


Building a better DU

I am a proud graduate of the University of Denver. My undergraduate degree served as an excellent base upon which I built two master’s degrees and a doctorate. For this, I shall always be grateful to DU. However, there is no way on God’s green earth that I would recommend anyone attend DU these days due to its ridiculous costs. Chancellor Robert Coombe matter-of-factly noted in the fall 2011 issue that one year of room, board, tuition, books and other expenses adds up to $52,770 per year! In good conscience, how can anyone encourage an undergraduate, her parents and various donors to contribute to such an outlay, which is supposedly made more palatable, according to the chancellor, by being “substantially lower than the sticker price of our private competitors across the nation”? As my Jersey Shore friends would say about spending more than $200,000 over four years at DU: “Forget about it!” It saddens me that DU administration has drunk the same business model Kool-Aid that has coursed through the veins of academia forever. Essentially, the chancellor is saying, “Despite all the accumulated brain power on campus, we have yet to figure out how to offer a $50,000 education for only $25,000.” Frankly, I doubt that such a thought has ever occurred to administration. The result is that the University is cranking out students too stupid to have realized the folly of college-loan enslavement. Please, Chancellor Coombe, spend some of your grant money on hiring IDEO, the design consultancy (with which I have zero affiliation), and turn academia on its ear by revolutionizing educational costs without governmental subsidy. Then you would truly be a “Pioneer” and students would flock to the better-built mousetrap at the corner of University Boulevard and Evans Avenue.


Don Burgess (BA ’67)

Fort Worth, Texas


Comments from our online readers

On “Brain Power” [fall 2011], about Clinical Associate Professor Kim Gorgens and her research on brain injuries

Kim truly is a rock star! What I missed in this article is Kim’s staunch belief in getting her students (or even DU students that she doesn’t teach!) to get involved with her research, outreach, and practice. I would not be where I am right now without Kim. I doubt I am the only one to say that about her, as well.

-Adam O’Neil, student, Graduate student School of Professional Psychology


On “The Nature of Sound” [fall 2011], Wayne Armstrong’s portraits of Lamont School of Music Students


WONDERFUL photos Mr. Armstrong! You are an incredible talent!

—Scott Gordon


Spectacular images! The photography speaks louder than the text. Amazing creativity. Inspiring! Thank you for making my morning.

—Bob Payne


Great article! The photos are so dynamic and really speak to the text! It’s really refreshing to see photographs that actually tell a story. Thanks for this reminder.

—Emily McCleod


Excellent creativity and depth. Very insightful reflections regarding each individual’s personality. Bravo Wayne!

—Ben Pewthers


On the fall 2011 profile of high school theater teacher and donor Florence (Dunning) Sikes (BA ’55, MA ’60)

Florence Dunning made an amazing contribution to many of us at West High in Denver during the late 1950s. Plays, drama class, vaudeville and a real interest in the lives of her students made all the difference. A wonderful sense of humor, coupled with an academic demand she made the student believe was within his capability, separated her from most teachers and human beings. I was one of the lucky ones.

—Gary Mullennix



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