Michael Hays: An open letter to NMSU ...

Michael Hays: An open letter to NMSU President Barbara Couture

There are 58 comments on the Las Cruces Sun-News story from Jan 2, 2010, titled Michael Hays: An open letter to NMSU President Barbara Couture. In it, Las Cruces Sun-News reports that:

President Couture, welcome to Las Cruces, New Mexico State University, and its presidency.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Las Cruces Sun-News.

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“Close the Borders”

Since: Jun 08

Out in the County

#1 Jan 2, 2010
I am still trying to decide what 'college level' work is all about. Having gone back to NMSU to chase a second degree, I have found the course work to simplistic and the teaching mediocre at best.

I regularly see students texting in class during examinations and papers turned in that are nothing but cut /paste without attribution.

It shocked me seeing the laziness that abounds. I guess attending NMSU, I am just actually pursuing the sheepskin and not really an education.

I wonder if the new President would just allow me to pay tuition in advance, skip the classes and get the diploma in May? Even if I attend the classes, I doubt there will be much substance .... there has not been so far.
Pen Pal

Las Cruces, NM

#2 Jan 2, 2010
oldnavy2001 wrote:
I am still trying to decide what 'college level' work is all about. Having gone back to NMSU to chase a second degree, I have found the course work to simplistic and the teaching mediocre at best.
I regularly see students texting in class during examinations and papers turned in that are nothing but cut /paste without attribution.
It shocked me seeing the laziness that abounds. I guess attending NMSU, I am just actually pursuing the sheepskin and not really an education.
I wonder if the new President would just allow me to pay tuition in advance, skip the classes and get the diploma in May? Even if I attend the classes, I doubt there will be much substance .... there has not been so far.
I knew within one month that I had made an enormous mistake in seeking a part-time position in which I taught two 200-level English courses in one fall term two years ago. Of my fifty or so students, fewer than half a dozen resembled anyone who could be called a student. Even so, most were ignorant of the basics of grammar and composition even after passing the 100-level prerequisite with high grades, indifferent to their ignorance, and inclined to do only what they regarded as minimally necessary to get a high grade. Most came to class thinking that attending, staying awake, and smiling deserved at least a B in English. Not a few were indignant that they got lower grades after a history of A's or B's in English from middle school forward.

Although the course was technical writing for students mainly in computer science, engineering, and nursing, and although I brought a career's worth of relevant experience from editing and writing in their fields, very few believed that effective communication had any relevance to either their courses or their careers. Their attitudes and beliefs about literacy, not to mention their incompetence, reflect adversely on education, both public and private, in New Mexico. The Original Sin in this state is toleration of mediocrity; thus, PC concerns for equality oppose the very idea of excellence as elitist (and probably Eastern or establishment). Until some capable and courageous souls take steps to effect the cultural change necessary to improve education (and not throw out ineffective diversions and phony remedies), New Mexico will remain an educational and economic backwater.
88 Alum

Albuquerque, NM

#3 Jan 2, 2010
Mr. "Retired Consultant" seems to have all the answers on how President Couture should do her job. I'm surprised Mr Hays didn't apply for the job himself considering he feels he knows so much and how to operate as President of NMSU.

Mr. Hayes appears to have a personal axe to grind with former NMSU Presidents maybe because he didn't get things done "his way".

As for his "NMSU admits those unprepared for college-level work," comment, show me a university in America that doesn't do this other than say Ivy league schools. Without these "unprepared students", Mr. Hayes may have found himself unemployed. Guess what, Mr. Hayes? A professors role is suppose to be to teach students, not fail them because they're unprepared. Something you've obviously lacked in YOUR years of teaching.

Finally, your comment on athletics making "no financial contribution to NMSU" is laughable, ignorant, and self-centered.

In closing, your last paragraph is constructed poorly. Your comments on the the open office policy should have been a completely new paragraph. And you're a "consultant" and "teacher"? Go back to high school Mr. Hayes and learn proper paragraph structure. Oh, and while you're at it, put on a jock strap and learn to appreciate athletics.

-88 Alum
NonNMalum

Las Cruces, NM

#4 Jan 2, 2010
88 Alum wrote:
Mr. "Retired Consultant" seems to have all the answers on how President Couture should do her job. I'm surprised Mr Hays didn't apply for the job himself considering he feels he knows so much and how to operate as President of NMSU.
Mr. Hayes appears to have a personal axe to grind with former NMSU Presidents maybe because he didn't get things done "his way".
As for his "NMSU admits those unprepared for college-level work," comment, show me a university in America that doesn't do this other than say Ivy league schools. Without these "unprepared students", Mr. Hayes may have found himself unemployed. Guess what, Mr. Hayes? A professors role is suppose to be to teach students, not fail them because they're unprepared. Something you've obviously lacked in YOUR years of teaching.
Finally, your comment on athletics making "no financial contribution to NMSU" is laughable, ignorant, and self-centered.
In closing, your last paragraph is constructed poorly. Your comments on the the open office policy should have been a completely new paragraph. And you're a "consultant" and "teacher"? Go back to high school Mr. Hayes and learn proper paragraph structure. Oh, and while you're at it, put on a jock strap and learn to appreciate athletics.
-88 Alum
Is it possible that Hays mistook the job as an English instructor to be that of the president of NMSU and ended up a very bitter person when he discovered otherwise?
Pen Pal

Las Cruces, NM

#5 Jan 2, 2010
88 Alum wrote:
Mr. "Retired Consultant" seems to have all the answers on how President Couture should do her job. I'm surprised Mr Hays didn't apply for the job himself considering he feels he knows so much and how to operate as President of NMSU.
Mr. Hayes appears to have a personal axe to grind with former NMSU Presidents maybe because he didn't get things done "his way".
Response: Unless you believe that NMSU is perfect, then suggestions for improvement seem to be in order. I have offered my suggestions for improving NMSU. I imagine others have theirs to offer. I do not see that you have offered anything or have anything to offer.
As for his "NMSU admits those unprepared for college-level work," comment, show me a university in America that doesn't do this other than say Ivy league schools.
Response: It makes no difference whether other universities have similar problems; they have to be solved one university at a time; NMSU is the local one at hand. If every university waited on all other universities to reform, none would reform.
Without these "unprepared students", Mr. Hayes may have found himself unemployed. Guess what, Mr. Hayes? A professors role is suppose to be to teach students, not fail them because they're unprepared. Something you've obviously lacked in YOUR years of teaching.
Response: You disregard the bio at the end of the column. I did not need employment because I am retired. I always taught all of my students. How do you know otherwise? You do not. Most were prepared for the course work at the grade level at which I taught, but not my NMSU students. I did not fail them because they were unprepared; indeed, I failed very few and then for doing simply atrocious work. How do you know otherwise? You do not. What do you know about my years in teaching? Nothing.
Finally, your comment on athletics making "no financial contribution to NMSU" is laughable, ignorant, and self-centered.
Response: I appreciate your support of the athletic program and am glad that my comments amused you. However, what I have to say about it reflects articles and discussions in the local papers and websites. You seem ignorant of these statements. How do you get to "self-centered" from such an opinion? You like pejorative characterizing and name-calling.
In closing, your last paragraph is constructed poorly. Your comments on the the open office policy should have been a completely new paragraph. And you're a "consultant" and "teacher"?
Go back to high school Mr. Hayes and learn proper paragraph structure. Oh, and while you're at it, put on a jock strap and learn to appreciate athletics.
Response. First, the editor merged my four final paragraphs into, not one, but two final paragraphs in the website version of my column.(You missed the second merged paragraph--you!) Proof: the printed edition retains my original paragraph structure. Second, my column spells my name correctly--H-A-Y-S; what does it say about your reading and response abilities that you repeatedly misspell it H-A-Y-E-S? Third, what do you know about my athletic abilities or interests? Again, nothing.
Response: You did not learn much about careful reading and considered responses. Your NMSU education did not teach you to respect facts and inferences from them more than fictions of your own devising. For you rely on suppositional and insulting fabrications--"appears " is no shield for them--to attack opinions not to your liking and the people who hold them. If I took you as an example, not simply as a deviant instance, of an NMSU education, I would have to say that your cheap shots prove my point.
-88 Alum
I have responded seriatim in the text of 88 Alum's comment.
Pen Pal

Las Cruces, NM

#6 Jan 2, 2010
NonNMalum wrote:
<quoted text>Is it possible that Hays mistook the job as an English instructor to be that of the president of NMSU and ended up a very bitter person when he discovered otherwise?
When the ignorant have nothing to say, they find a snide way to say it.
NonNMalum

Las Cruces, NM

#7 Jan 2, 2010
Pen Pal wrote:
<quoted text>
When the ignorant have nothing to say, they find a snide way to say it.
As the author of many snide remarks in your columns as well as on Topix, it's surprising that you don't recognize yourself.

There must be some explanation for your bitterness, so what is it?
Murray

Lubbock, TX

#8 Jan 2, 2010
Unfortunately, What the author does not ultimately realize is that the new president does not give a rat's a$$ what Michael Hays/Hayes/Haze thinks should be the new direction of the university. The 1000 word soliloquy is a waste of his and our time. Good thing he's not charging the university for his consultation rant.
NonNMalum

Las Cruces, NM

#9 Jan 2, 2010
Murray wrote:
Unfortunately, What the author does not ultimately realize is that the new president does not give a rat's a$$ what Michael Hays/Hayes/Haze thinks should be the new direction of the university. The 1000 word soliloquy is a waste of his and our time. Good thing he's not charging the university for his consultation rant.
Uh Oh! You will be getting the ignorant, snide remark reply shortly. Your point is well made though because this so called consultant is the ultimate Walter Mitty when it comes to thinking his opinions matter.
LasCrucesAggies

Las Cruces, NM

#10 Jan 2, 2010
"Few, if any, graduate students or faculty members are qualified to provide this service-oriented instruction, and the department lacks a commitment to provide it (training, classroom observation, and faculty mentoring are non-existent; the Writing Center is a Band-Aid at best, a fraud at worst)"

Your one semester part-time experience working in the Department of English does not qualify you to make this statement. Your claim that the department lacks a commitment to provide training and classroom observations is factually wrong. Please consider getting your facts straight before you go bashing the Department of English. Just because the writing program at NMSU does not subscribe to YOUR vision of writing and teaching does not mean that it is a bad program. Have you ever considered that maybe YOU lack understanding of composition and writing center studies?
toro caca

United States

#11 Jan 2, 2010
did anyone read the letter? He speaks the truth, the admin is corrupt and impedes the progress of nmsu. The university needs a new attorney. Woods should have gone a long time ago for the tens of thousands of dollars he squandered. The only reason he is still there is because one of the regents begged Martin not to fire him.
Reader

United States

#12 Jan 2, 2010
Gotta love it! When Mr. Hayes runs into the very same issues that public school teachers do (you know, the ones he bashes all the time), he blames everyone but himself.

If an elementary teacher had made similar complaints, the issue would have been the teacher's ability....but when it happens to him, well, couldn't be his fault!

What a tool.
Las Crucen

Las Cruces, NM

#13 Jan 2, 2010
NonNMalum wrote:
<quoted text>Is it possible that Hays mistook the job as an English instructor to be that of the president of NMSU and ended up a very bitter person when he discovered otherwise?
And, I might add, he is possible the most narcissistic person in Las Cruces. He no doubt suffers a bad case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Reader

Las Cruces, NM

#14 Jan 2, 2010
toro caca wrote:
did anyone read the letter? He speaks the truth, the admin is corrupt and impedes the progress of nmsu. The university needs a new attorney. Woods should have gone a long time ago for the tens of thousands of dollars he squandered. The only reason he is still there is because one of the regents begged Martin not to fire him.
The admin of EVERY public college and university is corrupt you fool. University administrations must practice corruption in pursuit of private, state and federal funds with which to keep their institutions alive. The lowing of entrance and general education standards are meant to pack more and more students into classrooms in order to achieve at a cost-effective business model. Not unlike Henry Ford's production line revolution of mass produced automobiles lowing costs and raising profit margins, mass education is meant to maximize state and federal tax dollars while keeping tuition affordable - higher profit margins. More under-educated students entering the system means more money for the institution; education according to the free-enterprise business model.
soothsayer

United States

#15 Jan 2, 2010
Las Crucen wrote:
<quoted text>
And, I might add, he is possible the most narcissistic person in Las Cruces. He no doubt suffers a bad case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Unfortunately, the majority of the public will see his comments in only the printed page. They do not see the overwhelming majority of online critical responses to his diatribes and self-serving pabulum.
Kaptain Kool

Albuquerque, NM

#16 Jan 2, 2010
Soothsayer, here's an idea: Why don't you or the other posters write letters to the editor in response to Mr. "Purple" Hayes' diatribes? This would enable the majority of the public to see your comments on the printed page. I don't agree with much of what Mr. Hayes writes (he reminds me of the Grand Poobah in those Flintstones cartoons), but I do respect the fact that he chooses not to remain anonymous.
soothsayer

United States

#17 Jan 2, 2010
Kaptain Kool wrote:
Soothsayer, here's an idea: Why don't you or the other posters write letters to the editor in response to Mr. "Purple" Hayes' diatribes? This would enable the majority of the public to see your comments on the printed page. I don't agree with much of what Mr. Hayes writes (he reminds me of the Grand Poobah in those Flintstones cartoons), but I do respect the fact that he chooses not to remain anonymous.
I have done just that on three occasions.
amused

Huntsville, AL

#18 Jan 2, 2010
hey michael,

you write for one of the worst papers in the world, too difficult to take you seriously
Kaptain Kool

Albuquerque, NM

#19 Jan 2, 2010
That's kool, but don't give up the fight.

Since: Jun 08

Huntsville, AL

#20 Jan 2, 2010
Pen Pal - you laid out a lot of information for the new President and I hope she takes your suggestions with an open mind.

In the meantime, your hide must be hurting with all the arrows flying your way. I appreciate your toughness by writing your opinion for all to read.

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