Letters to the Editor (Feb. 9)

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February 8, 2007

9:59 PM

**An open letter to the College community**
**To the Editor:**

p. Dear thoughtful students of the College:

p. President Nichol is destroying the earning power and prestige of your future diploma. How? By diminishing the historic connection of the Wren to its British origins, he has severely damaged a major competitive advantage we have over other schools. In a nutshell, he has selfishly and surreptitiously traded away a priceless community asset in order to satisfy his own personal, unempirical agenda. He fails to realize that the College doesn’t have a major sports team or medical center to help it market to potential students and donors; it only has its academic and historic traditions and all of these flow from the Wren. Still, he foolishly devalues us further by referring to our school as “public” when in fact we are semi-private (we receive only a fraction of our annual funding from the Commonwealth). Under Nichol, we are at risk of becoming a bland, hollow, characterless and soulless institution like 99.9% of the other schools in this country. More importantly to pending graduates, you are going to get massacred in the job and graduate school market as Nichol continues to destroy diploma value in yet unforeseen ways. Just remember that UNC Chapel Hill’s law school fell 6 points in the rankings while he was dean, from 21st to 27th place. When Nichol left UNC, a local newspaper editorial quipped, “he’s W&M’s problem now.” Good to know the BOV was looking out for us!

p. Dear thoughtful faculty and staff of the College:

p. President Nichol has antagonized a majority of the alumni which means donations are certainly going to suffer unless he reverses his position toward the Wren. Why is that significant? Because it means less private supplements to salaries, stipends, grants and fellowships. The fact is, state governments are backing away from their commitments to university level education and private funding is the only long-term solution. To make matters worse, Nichol has even antagonized members of the Virginia Assembly who have been working toward recent incremental increases in faculty and staff salaries. Thanks to Nichol, our human capital is also at risk as other schools pick off our faculty and staff with higher compensation offers. Good work, Gene!

p. **__— Lance Kyle, ’89__**

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