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Letters: UC Merced's growing pains

November 15, 2012
  • UC Merced, the youngest of the UCs, must balance a growing student body against budget cuts.
UC Merced, the youngest of the UCs, must balance a growing student body against… (Los Angeles Times )

Re “UC Merced's new course,” Nov. 11

While I appreciated the report from UC Merced, I was confused at the inclusion of what seemed the too-easy detail of its lack, of all things, of a football team. By my count, exactly one of the students profiled expressed a presumed desire for one at a university that she knew, when she was accepted, did not have one.

I teach at UC Irvine, which has had no football team, happily, for all of its nearly 50 years. As a teaching assistant and then lecturer for two decades, I've never once heard a student or faculty member complain. Go team!

Andrew Tonkovich

In reply to your story, it must be unequivocally stated: UC Merced is a research institution. Now and forever. Any suggestion otherwise is absurd.

Our campus strives to equip the youth of today — the nation-builders of tomorrow — with the skills necessary to make new discoveries and create new knowledge. Every student, at any UC or Cal State or community college, makes the choice to be at their respective institution.

And students at UC Merced know they will have unparalleled opportunities for conducting research with inspiring faculty and to be at the “leading edge of the cutting edge.”

UC Merced is preparing California's future and welcomes individuals who strive for Nobels, MacArthurs, Fields and membership in the National Academies.

Josh Franco

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