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Smart Talk, March 25 

Easy come, easy go

An Arkansas State University committee last week recommended a round of tuition and fee increases to make up for budget shortfalls. If approved, tuition will rise 4 percent, or about $90 per semester for a student taking 15 hours. The athletic fee will rise $45 per semester for students taking 15 hours. A capital improvement fee will also rise $45 per semester. The cost of a math or science course will rise $52.50 for a three-hour course. Add it all up and a student with 15 hours a semester and one science course could be looking at $465 a year. That's more than 9 percent of the new $5,000 lottery scholarships eaten up by cost increases. Not all students qualify for the lottery scholarships, of course.

Broyles and black heritage

Retired University of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles will speak at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at noon March 30 on the history of black Razorback athletes. Former Hog tackle Brison Manor also will speak and former Hog Muskie Harris is helping arrange the program, which will recognize 40 years of integration of Razorback sports teams. The event had been scheduled earlier, but cancelled by snow. It drew criticism at the time from former Judge Wendell Griffen for announcements saying Broyles would be honored for his role in desegregating UA athletics. Griffen argued that Arkansas and Broyles were holdouts against desegregation. Should be an interesting program.

Playing the foreigner card

Telephone pollsters last week hit likely Republican voters with questions about Rep. John Boozman and Sen. Gilbert Baker, two of the leading candidates in the crowded race for U.S. Senate. Those who received the calls guess that the Boozman campaign was behind the calls because questions emphasized the positives about Boozman and negatives about Baker. But one question caught our attention: The pollster wanted to know if respondents knew that Baker was born in LOUISIANA! As one of our blog readers suggested, the question could have been improved only by asking if respondents knew Baker was a drum-playing band weenie while Boozman was wearing a Razorback football uniform for the legendary Frank Broyles. Silly season. It was funny, too, that the pollster kept mispronouncing Boozman's name. If they'd hired somebody from Louisiana and spelled the name Beauxzman on the call script, it would have been done right.

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