Few investments in people and communities pay off better than those that connect ambitious, hard-working people with modest amounts of money to open the doors of higher education. In most cases, one good chance is all they need

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  1. Dean Ayers
    February 15. 2014 at 14:48


    I really enjoyed this episode, particularly the segment with Joe Kocst. The Physics, Materials Science and Engineering Department at SOU would certainly benefit from having a mature, hard-working student like Joe pursue a degree with them. Unfortunately it is very likely that they will no longer be able to provide him with that opportunity. SOU’s provisional retrenchment plan would wipe out all those options for student majors and three of the four permanent faculty positions in the department. The remaining courses would be strictly at the lower division level.

    You can read the plan and the documents that supposedly justify this course of action at That site also provides a link for public comments by email, but only until March 6.

    My association with the department has been as a volunteer for the past ten years, directing research for some of the students working on capstone projects. I am emeritus from a campus in the Cal-State system where there was disproportionate emphasis on faculty research, with little involvement of students. I have been very impressed with this department’s focus on the students and the quality of their teaching under difficult circumstances.

    As we work to open new doors of opportunity for those who can make good use of them, let’s also make sure that older doors are not closed unnecessarily.

    Dean Ayers

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