As an alumnus of UTA (graduated December '93), it made me angry to read how Ryan Amacher is spending the university's money so carelessly ["Fast Times at UTA," January 12]. If Amacher's goal really is to recruit more students, he is going about it the wrong way.
I know the many hardships students have to face, and one of the main problems is always money. Some students have two jobs or work full-time and still cannot afford school; a few even have to drop out. All that money Amacher spent partying and buying booze could have been used to set up special scholarships for students who don't qualify for the usual scholarships. Because of juggling work, school, and family, most students can't maintain the GPA necessary to qualify for scholarships, and not everyone qualifies for financial aid or loans, either.
Also, I don't care how much money Amacher puts into the Athletic Department--UTA is, and always will be, a commuter school. The majority of UTA students don't go to athletic events. I say all the student organizations at UTA should unite together and protest, because it's obvious from Amacher's history that he is not going to change.
Regarding your article on President Amacher: the person who wrote this so-called expose did not research all of her facts as thoroughly as she would have everyone believe.
There was mention of an ice-skating rink built for the President's Christmas party with students skating around a huge tree. Reading this, the average person would conclude that this must have been very exorbitant. In reality, it was a large piece of plastic given to us from a local construction site. The committee stretched it out on an existing dance floor and blue lights were aimed at it.
My own son roller-bladed on the so-called ice. The total cost of this so-called skating rink was $0. I should know--since I am the person who designed and implemented it.
Ryan and Susan Amacher are the most gracious people I have associated with, and someone needs to write a positive article about them.
I cannot thank Rebecca Sherman and the Observer enough for bringing Ryan Amacher's activities into public scrutiny. For months, the faculty and students (and those administrators who have not directly profited from the president's behavior) have assailed Amacher and Dalmas Taylor with protests, only to be ignored, dismissed, and even accused of racism, and with no change in the misdirection of university funds away from academic activities and toward administration and athletics.
In two weeks since the Observer's article, the UTA faculty senate has begun moving toward a vote of confidence or no confidence on the president, the UT system has started an audit of the administration's activities, and the previously silent Fort Worth Star-Telegram finally printed something about UTA besides basketball scores. Coincidence? I don't think so.
President Amacher's present course will ruin UTA. Until we have a president who can raise funds for academics rather than surround himself with luxury and hire overpaid, superfluous consultants, the students and faculty of UTA can only hope the Observer will continue to shed light on the behind-the-scenes mismanagement of this once-promising institution.
Please withhold my name. We have seen what Dr. Amacher does to deans and department chairpeople who disagree with his activities, and can imagine what he might do to a lowly graduate student.
Law-abiding public servant
It was more than I could resist, to comment after reading the column Buzz [January 12]. Rather than ridicule [Irving police] officer Guilfoyle, you should commend him. There is a state law against honking except in an emergency. I just wish the Dallas police were as conscientious--but they would rather sit and wait for a serious crime than correct a law violation.
Due to a reporter's error in a story last week on University of Texas at Arlington President Ryan Amacher, we misspelled Max Raney's name. Raney is an opinion page editor at the student newspaper Shorthorn.