Salina Journal, on abortion and George Tiller’s death:

Whatever else can be said about the murder Sunday of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller, it paints those who have actively tried to shut down his Wichita clinic as a dangerous group willing to resort to murder.

For most of those who oppose abortion, including this newspaper, that’s not a fair assessment. But for the fringe element of the pro-life crowd and those who today find themselves secretly pleased that the “baby killer” is gone, that assessment is justified.

Tiller, 67, was gunned down in his church in Wichita. A 51-year-old man, Scott Roeder, was taken into custody in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting. Tiller’s clinic was one of only three in the U.S. where abortions were performed after the 21st week of gestation.

Tiller was shot in both arms in 1993, and his clinic, which consistently has been the site of protests, was bombed in 1985.

Given Tiller’s prominence, the fallout from his murder will not go away anytime soon. This hurts the anti-abortion effort, because, while the pro-choice forces have lost a hero, with one shot — in a house of God, of all places — they’ve gained a martyr.

His death will galvanize the pro-choice crowd nationwide, bolster their fundraising, win converts, make it easier to smear pro-lifers and cause the public as a whole to be far less likely to agree to halt abortions.

The “Yeah, but what about all the murdered babies?” argument won’t fly, because the law doesn’t recognize abortions as murder. And we are a nation of laws.

Being seen as a group of dangerous crazies is never good, but that’s what some in the pro-life contingent face today.

Topeka Capital-Journal, on private company offering classes at Fort Hayes:

Fort Hays State University graduate student Topher Rome and more than 145 of his colleagues think the school may be damaging its academic reputation by allowing a private company to offer courses online and grant credit for them under the university’s name.

Rome may be proven right. It’s too soon to tell. It’s not too soon to say he and others who raise questions about the value of higher education credits earned online without the participation of a university are right to do so.

Universities across the country provide online classes and more are doing so each year. The course work for those classes, however, usually is developed by the university and supervised by a university employee.

Under FHSU’s deal with StraighterLine, the company will run its own courses, designed by experts. Any credits earned will go on a transcript under the university’s name and will be indistinguishable from credits earned in a university classroom. ...

Fort Hays State’s interest in the arrangement is understandable. It hopes students who take the classes and earn credit from the university will opt to continue their education there in the traditional classroom setting, and pay the traditional tuition and fees.

The university has been granting credit for StraighterLine courses since May 2008, but to date, none of the online students have transferred to the school. ...

There is much to be said for the traditional university setting and the lessons young people can take with them from their experiences in and outside the classroom. But that experience in becoming more expensive every year, and it isn’t unreasonable for students to look for more affordable alternatives, or for private enterprise to step up and provide them.

That said, students who begin college online would be well advised to plan for the day they will walk onto a campus, and ensure their credits will be accepted by the university they have chosen.

Lawrence Journal-World, on new chancellor at University of Kansas:

Kansas University soon will have one more connection to the University of North Carolina.

The Kansas Board of Regents announced (recently) the selection of Bernadette Gray-Little, the current UNC provost, as KU’s 17th chancellor.

Interestingly, Gray-Little was on the search committee that recruited former KU Fine Arts Dean James Moeser to become Carolina’s chancellor in 2000.

The tables were turned several years later when Moeser recruited Gray-Little, then dean of UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, to serve as UNC provost. ...

Gray-Little’s selection is a landmark for KU. She will be the university’s first woman chancellor and its first black chancellor. Hopefully, this will be the first of many landmark events for KU under the new chancellor’s tenure. ...

In recent years, KU has struggled to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of both its faculty and student body, and it seems natural that Gray-Little would be able to advance that goal. ...

Gray-Little obviously is highly regarded at North Carolina. ...

The entrance of a new chancellor is an exciting time for KU. We welcome Gray-Little to Lawrence and hope she will, indeed, prove to be an inspired choice to be KU’s next chancellor.

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