Leave promotion to the giant corporations

The University needs to stop acting like a corporate toady and using U resources.

As we all know, the University has been working hard toward a new Gopher stadium. I thought that we (as part of the University community) have already made all the possible mistakes with this initiative, but a recent letter sent by Joel Maturi, athletics director at the University, has reached a new low. Recently, he sent to the houses of alumni and other University community members a letter advertising TCF Bank.

Yes, you read it right; we received, under an official University logo and signed by a high- level administrator, a document advertising a private business. Of course, the excuse is that TCF has and will donate money (the stadium, if ever built, will be named TCF), but this doesn’t justify an official from the University publicly and officially endorsing a private institution. How low are we willing to go to get this nonsense stadium? Looks like very low. I will not enter into possible conflictsof interest. This is just purely, morally and ethically wrong in my view.

Since we are already on the subject of the Gophers stadium, the University has been telling us that this will not cost the University a dollar. This statement is completely misleading. First, the higher-level administrators have been working for a long time for this stadium, and to the best of my knowledge, they get salaries from the University for their jobs. So, instead of dealing with academics and other important matters, they use University paid time in large part for this campaign. The administration also often tells us the people that will donate to the stadium will not donate to anything else. To this I say that first of all, we do not have to accept money that we do not want to accept. But more critical, if we do not manage to convince them that donating money to cancer research (just to give an example) is more important than to football, then we as University employees are doing a very lousy job of explaining the value of our work and our contribution to the country.

I strongly encourage the University administrators to keep a higher standard in the search for the stadium, or even better, give up!

Guillermo Sapiro is a University professor. Please send comments to [email protected]