Help Save the University of Wyoming Geological Museum!!!
The Casper Star-Tribune has an online poll today to vote for either a full time, part time or closed Geological Museum. We all need to show the administration at the University of Wyoming what we think of their recent decisions. So head on over to the Casper Star-Tribune website and scroll half-way down the page and vote! Thanks!
So far, the vote is 93% in favor of having the Museum open on some basis, 5% in favor of closing and 3% in favor of turning the Museum into a skate park. In fact, the facetious answer of “turn it into a skate park” is statistically similar to those who want to close it! Keep the pressure on the feckless UW Administrators who want to favor losing athletic teams over academic pursuits and the fanatic Religious Right who want the Museum closed on religious grounds
Add your voice, here!
ALSO: Remember to keep the letters to the Editor and to UW officials pouring in. Email address available below, as well as here.
Don’t let the creationists, religious zealots, christards and intelligent design hoaxers win! Express your opinion here: http://www.trib.com/
The Administration of the University of Wyoming have decided to close the Geological Museum due to a funding shortfall. Despite continuing to lavish millions upon millions of tax dollars on a lack-luster-to-losing Division 1-A Athletic Program, the Administration has tried to reconcile this shameful misallocation of funding as loss of Bowl and television revenue, loss of tradition and loss of long-standing inter-collegiate rivalries.
What about the 122-year tradition of excellence at the UW Geological Museum? What about the thousands upon thousands of primary, secondary and college students who annually come to the museum to have their curiosity nurtured, scholastic experiences enriched and their intellects stimulated? What about the hundreds and hundreds of families who visit the museum each year who otherwise would not come to Laramie and spend money in the local economy?
In fact, revenues from athletics does not come close to compensating the residents of the State of Wyoming for the millions and millions of tax dollars in real cost these programs suck in–just look at the waste of many millions in the new stadium sky boxes as just a single example. The details of this bait-and-switch deviousness can be found in the UW budget numbers (see for example here: http://www.uwyo.edu/president/info.asp?p=3672 and here: http://www.uwyo.edu/president/info.asp?p=11604) and the thinly disguised misinformation-as-rationale here (http://www.uwyo.edu/president/info.asp?p=11789#Revised).
If we can flush millions away on a robust, if dismally-performing, athletic program, can we not find a couple hundred thousand dollars to keep the successful and popular Museum funded?
Provost Myron Allen proposes his plans for the UW Geological Museum here (http://www.uwyo.edu/presidentsupport/outbox/2009/geology_museum_15_jun_09.pdf). Although a brilliant mathematician and otherwise decent guy, Dr. Allen’s proposal for closing the museum manages to be simultaneously short-sighted, amateurishly incomplete and maddeningly misleading.
In a personal e-mail, Dr. Allen assured me that Christian intolerance, religious superstitions and irrational creationist beliefs played no part in the closing of the Museum. However, a quick survey shows that such scientific illiteracy and non-reality-based belief systems are rife among many of the the UW Trustees as well as some Members of the Wyoming State Senate and House of Representatives; perhaps this explains the lack of vociferous opposition to this obscene and perverse misallocation of University resources.
The fact that, in this day and age, in this state, so many University Trustees, Senators and Congressmen do not understand the value of a Museum, the fundamentals of science nor even subscribe to any modern notion of science, underlines emphatically and exactly why this University has an absolute ethical responsibility and urgent need to keep this museum open.
Perhaps it is not possible for non-scientists (such as the UW President and Provost) to understand the importance of science museums, but science and technology only grow though fostering early interest in young students–this is done primarily through programs like the UW Geological Museum. Every time Drs. Buchannan or Allen listen to their iPod, check their schedules on their handheld, email their colleagues or microwave popcorn to eat while watching their plasma screen Televisions, perhaps they should stop and consider the enormous debt Americans pay daily to scientists and engineers developing and refining new technology to produce new products. Scientists and engineers who chose, and excel at, their professions precisely because as children they had access to, and were captivated by, programs such as the UW Geological Museum provides.
Or perhaps it is our job to remind Dr. Buchannan and Allen of their debt and responsibility to the future. Below are a list of the most essential people for you to contact and express your outrage at an institution that is willing to pour millions and millions and millions of tax dollars, year after year, into losing athletic programs that produce nothing, while letting a successful, brilliant and beloved academic program, such as the UW Geological Museum, die simply to save a couple measly hundred thousand dollars. It is clear to even the most casual observer that this is not in the best interests of the people of Wyoming, nor in the spirit of academic excellence to which UW claims to aspire, nor even in keeping with the simple recognition that these men are responsible for preserving for the future the best parts of the present at UW.
Drs. Buchannan and Allen, if allowed to carry through with this hideous misallocation of tax money, are failing miserably at all three tasks.
I am reminded of how Winston Churchill is reported to have once characterized a similar caliber decision: “Save us from the maliciously ignorant and the aggressively stupid!”
Write. Today. NOW. EVERYBODY ON THE LIST!
Sincerely and with hope-
Donald B. MacGowan, PhD
Important UW email Addresses:
President of the University of Wyoming
Provost of the University of Wyoming
Prof. Myron Allen, Provost
Chairman, Department of Geology and Geophysics
Prof. Art Snoke
Dr. Ronald C. Surdam
Governor of the State of Wyoming
Governor Dave Freudenthal
Letters to the Editor:
University of Wyoming Trustees:
Jim D. Neiman
Warren A. Lauer
Taylor Haynes, M.D.
David F. Palmerlee
Bradford S. Mead
Ex Officio Trustees:
Members of the Wyoming House of Representatives
Representative Rodney “Pete” Anderson
Representative George Bagby
Representative Joseph M. Barbuto
Representative Rosie Berger
Representative Stan Blake
Representative Dave Bonner, Jr.
Representative Bob Brechtel
Representative Kermit C. Brown
Representative Edward A. Buchanan
Representative James W. Byrd
Representative Richard L. Cannady
Representative Seth Carson
Representative Pat Childers
Representative Roy Cohee
Representative Cathy Connolly
Representative Bernadine Craft
Representative Kathy Davison
Representative Ross Diercks
Representative Amy L. Edmonds
Representative Ken A. Esquibel
Representative Mike Gilmore
Representative Keith Gingery
Representative W. Patrick Goggles
Representative Mary Hales
Representative Timothy P. Hallinan, M.D.
Representative Debbie Hammons
Representative Steve Harshman
Representative Elaine D. Harvey
Representative Peter S. Illoway
Representative Allen M. Jaggi
Representative Peter M. Jorgensen
Representative Jack Landon, Jr.
Representative Thomas A. Lockhart
Representative Thomas E. Lubnau, II
Representative Michael K. Madden
Representative Robert M. McKim
Representative Del McOmie
Representative Erin E. Mercer
Representative Saundra Meyer
Representative David R. Miller
Representative Lori Millin
Representative Glenn Moniz
Representative John W. Patton
Representative Frank Peasley
Representative Bryan K. Pedersen
Representative Owen Petersen
Representative Frank Philp
Representative Lorraine K. Quarberg
Representative Jim Roscoe
Representative Mark A. Semlek
Representative Lisa A. Shepperson
Representative Colin M. Simpson
Representative William “Jeb” Steward
Representative Tim Stubson
Representative Matt Teeters
Representative Bill Thompson
Representative Mary Throne
Representative Sue Wallis
Representative Dan Zwonitzer
Representative David L. Zwonitzer
Members of the Wyoming State Senate
Senator Jim Anderson
Senator Eli D. Bebout
Senator Bruce Burns
Senator Cale Case, Ph.D
Senator Henry H.R. “Hank” Coe
Senator Stan Cooper
Senator Dan Dockstader
Senator Floyd A. Esquibel
Senator Gerald E. Geis
Senator John M. Hastert
Senator John J. Hines
Senator Rick Hunnicutt
Senator Kit Jennings
Senator Wayne H. Johnson
Senator Bill Landen
Senator Grant Larson
Senator Marty Martin
Senator Mike Massie
Senator Curt Meier
Senator Phil Nicholas
Senator Drew A. Perkins
Senator R. Ray Peterson
Senator Tony Ross
Senator John C. Schiffer
Senator Charles K. Scott
Senator Kathryn Sessions
Senator Charles Townsend
Senator Bill Vasey
Senator Michael Von Flatern
US Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis