I’m so happy that Bill Nemitz is back to dissect the sometimes absurd statements emanating from Augusta – and not just from the governor (“Tuition gift for Guard an empty gesture if done on the cheap,” April 24).

As a retired Guard member, I highly support providing post-secondary public education to members of the Maine National Guard, albeit 15 years late, if we taxpayers pay for it. But I would have been mortified to find out that I got a “freebie” and a professor lost a job because of it. Numbers have consequences.

As the spouse of a University of Southern Maine professor soon to be among the 50 whose positions were “retrenched” (hers through fortunate retirement) for lack of funds, I highly object to the illogical and disrespectful way the bill demands that the schools take it out of their own hide, then gives them no recourse to make up the lost tuition.

Each student costs more than tuition pays, a point on which Lt. Col. – err, Rep. – Ken Fredette is wrong. (The subject of conflict of interest comes to mind here.)

As a graduate of the University of Maine, I should be embarrassed for my alma mater that Fredette, now an adjunct professor, sees college and university teaching as simply lectures. If that is his experience as a college teacher, no wonder he sees one or many more students as costing nothing.

Maine’s public universities and colleges are too important and worth too much to be treated in such a cavalier and seemingly vindictive manner. We need to pay up.

Karl Smith