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I appreciated reading the recent article titled “College streamlines degree,” which highlighted a new effort to combine undergraduate degree majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Science with the master of public health degree in the College of Public Health. This program is actually one of 18 such programs on campus. The effort to combine undergraduate and graduate degree offerings at Iowa started in 1982, with the establishment of the joint B.S. in engineering and the M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning. More recently, the College of Engineering has established joint B.S./M.S. degrees in many of the departmentally based programs in the college. Other such joint undergraduate/graduate degree programs have now been established in a number of departments and colleges. These joint programs offer unique academic program opportunities for highly motivated and accomplished students who seek to utilize their undergraduate experience in new and advanced ways at the graduate level. Undertaking such joint academic programs has often translated into expanded career options and trajectories. I would encourage your readers to explore these academic options. A complete listing of these programs is available on the Graduate College website.

John C. Keller
Associate provost and dean of the Graduate College
Dean, the Graduate College

Republicans in Congress do everything they can to discredit President Obama. They oppose almost every Obama initiative just because the proposals are Obama's. More and more each day, the electorate is seeing how obstructionist the Republican Party is. The GOP is showing it doesn't care if so many of our people don't have affordable health care.

I really believe President Obama is, by nature, a uniter, but Republicans refuse to work with him. By refusing to cooperate, they can then falsely say Obama is a divider.

Voters are beginning to recognize that Republicans, who offer no solutions, are the main problem. Obama won two presidential elections. One has to wonder if much of the GOP's disdain for Obama is race-related. 

If America is to move forward, voters must go to the polls in 2014 and retire the nay-saying, obstructionist incumbents.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.

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