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January 24, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-01-24

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

The University

-- I: The Numbers Policy

F .. 77 =

Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



Classified Research: Its OK
As Long As Nobody Gets Killed

CANE DOESN'T HAVE to quarrel with the
conclusion of the Senate Assembly
Committee on Research Policies' just-
issued report on classifed research to
realize that the group didn't do its job.
Certainly the committee has every
right to its conclusion that classified re-
search is O.K. as long as it doesn't kill
4nyone and the nature of the work and
its sponsor are identified.
The tragic flaw in the report is that
i never bothers to ask the philosophical
or substantive questions surrounding the
$10.3 in classified research done at the
University. It never asks whether or not
classified research is right or wrong:
"The policy followed by an institution
at which classified research is already
being done need not coincide with the
policy which would be chosen by an in-
stitution in which traditionally there
was no such research," says the com-
mittee." A different balance of principle
is involved in each case."
We are told repeatedly that the ques-
tlon must be examined in practical
terms. Thus the reports hems and haws.
"Secrecy per se has no positive value"
but "classified research contributes to
the same academic values as open re-
NOT ONLY does the committee refuse
to tell us whether classified research
is good or bad, it suggests that members
of a proposed new review committee to
examine all proposals for classified work
should. not be for or against such re-
"Anyone committed to the extreme
position that 'any classified research'
is appropriate or the other extreme that
no classified research is appropriate
should decline to serve on the review
committee since he would not contribute
to making the kinds of considered judg-
ments, case by case, envisaged as neces-
s'ry for a defensible University stance,
vis-a-vis classifed research."
And just in case any extremists op-
posed to classified research should get
on the committee, the vice-president for
research is given a veto right over com-
mtttee decisions.
Y SKIRTING any of the fundamental
questions surrounding classified work
the research committee finds it easy to
write a report that maintains the status
quo almost completely.
,The touchiest issue, the University's $1
million classified counter - insurgency
project in Thailand,.isn't even mention-
ed. In fact the entire 13 page report
doesn't even mention "Thailand" itself.
Similarly, many other questions go
unanswered: Should the engineering
school be allowed to give the Army
another classified course in "electronic
warfare? Should Willow Run scientists
t'ke industrial style contracts to work
on development on new ICBM's? Should
the University build multi-million dollar
observatories in Hawaii for secret obser-
vations of of ICBM's and satellites?
These are just a few of the questions
that the general university community
wanted answered. But instead of answer-
ing them the committee came up with
a vague set of recommendations that
could actually increase the amount of
classified research done at the school.
All four recommendations would cut
just one $261,192 projeet in Thai-
land. The project is so secret that its
name, sponsor, purpose and researchers
involved are classified. It will expire in
July, 1968 probably before the new
recommendations are implemented.

IN ThE CASE of Policy IV the commit-
tee has actually expanded the grounds
for acceptance of classified research. Be-
fore, the Univesrity took research largely
because the "basic science or engineering
would result in the generation of funda-
mental new knowledge."
Opposition to the Thailand work -
where the University was teaching the
Royal Thai Air Force how to ferret out
Communist guerillas - was based on the
fact that the project did not fulfill the
University's own criteria.
The project did not generate "funda-

BUT INSTEAD of dealing with this
argument, the committee actually
recommended broadening the criteria for
accepting Thailand style projects. It said
a contract is acceptable if "it will con-
tribute significantly to enhancing the
research capability of the investigator
or hiz research unit."
With this new policy researchers now
would be able to take on more Thailand
style work. Any researcher can justify
a secret project on the grounds that it
will "enhance" his "research capability."
The committee also makes the pre-
posterous claim that cutting out classi-
fied research is a threat to academic
freedom. Much like the Southern sheriff
who claims that a Negro victim "cracked
his own skull by falling on the floor,"
we are told:
"Elimination of classified research
would result in a broad categorical re-
straint on the freedom of some staff
members to choose the area of inquiry
in which they wish to work ... Arbitrary
cessation (of classified research) would
be inconsistent with the principle of
freedom of inquiry ...
"To restrict arbitrarily the scholarly
activities of its faculty members on some
concept of what a University ought to be'
is to do violence to one of the main prin-
ciples which a university should uphold."
EVERYTHING is backwards.
It was the classified researchers who
decided on a "categorical restraint" on
their own "freedom" when they accepted
secret work.
What kind of "freedom of inquiry" is
being threatened when a classified re-
searcher can't discuss his work with
others, or publish his resluts openly? In-
deed the Willow Run Labs doesn't feel
"free" enough to make public a full list
of what it is doing.
The classified researchers have en-
tered into a contract to "restrict arbitr-
arily" their own "scholarly activities" so
that no one outside their priveleged,
secret world can find out what they are
doing. (WRL officials still won't admit
what they are working on in Vietnam).
mending that the Willow Run re-
searchers retain the freedom to continue
telling the rest of the University that
their secret activities are no one else's
Interestingly enough the research
committee's report comes out at the
same time that Cornell University has de-
cided to cut off its WRL style facilty
"Cornell Aeronatuics Labs." The Cornell
Regents voted Monday to cut all ties
with the lab which came under fire be-
cause it, too, was involved in a million
dollar counterinsurgency project in Thai-
land. (And had also worked jointly with
the Univesrity on another Thailand pro-
And even Michigan State said last
week it doesn't have any classified re-
search and won't take any except in
case of national emergency.
WHY IS MICHIGAN different?
The answer is quite simple. This Uni-
versity, as shown by the report, is more
interested in maintaining the lucrative
status quo then in worrying about the
morality of secret research. It would
prefer to take money for secret work
designing better misses, figuring more
efficient tactics in "electronic warfare,"
and helping the Royal Thai Air Force
police Northeastern Thailand than trim
the scope of its research activities into

some kind of moral order.
LEO TOLSTOY once wrote that "moral
acts are distinguished form all other
acts by the fact that they operate in-
dependently of any predictable advant-
age to ourselves or to others. No matter
how dangerous the situation may be of
a man who finds himself in the powers
of robbers who demand that he take
part in plundering, murder, and rape,
a moral person cannot take part."
It takes little conviction to stand up
and pat yourself on the back. What takes
courage is to admit that you have been
slfish In the mbst and will try to clean

Editorial Director
IT IS ALMOST a month since
the University received a new
president, and though the
changes are not yet earth-shak-
ing, there are signs that Robben
Fleming has some definite and
different ideas about where Mich-
igan should be headed.
Many of the most important
alterations were in the cards long
before Fleming was brought from
Wisconsin to succeed Harlan
Hatcher. The retirements of
Vice-Presidents Niehuss and Stir-
ton (because of a new 65-year
old mandatory retirement clause)
could have been predicted; the
resignation of Vice-President
Cutler and the scheduled re-
structuring of the Office of Stu-
dent Affairs were the logical con-
clusions of several years of rising
student demands and adminis-
trative mistakes.
Thus, Fleming's first actions
seem, by most standards, highly
successful, except for those di-
sciples of Paul Goodman who see
any vigorous activity by the ad-
ministration as the devil's own
work. But if Fleming's opening
efforts, including the appoint-
ment of Arthur Ross as the new
vice-president for state relations
and planning, are appealing, they
also raise certain questions. and
perhapsytime will provide the
only answers.
WHAT particularly worries this
observer is that the men now
guiding the University - and
most every institution in the
United States - are efficient,
likable bureaucrats who, perhaps
from administrative over-expo-
sure, often think in terms of
quantity and not quality. The
two factors do, of course, inter-
act, and few would argue that the
need for more state or federal
funds is not at the heart of many
of higher education's problems.
Moreover, no one is insinuating
that Robben Fleming, Arthur
Ross, Clark Kerr, and their con-
temporaries are not deeply con-

cerned about the education the
individual student is receiving.
They are, for the most part, life-
long educators, and the education
offered by the University is, no
doubt, their ultimate concern.
But, to understand the quality
of their accomplishments, we
must view the nation's academic
leaders' efforts in their histori-
cal context, and not, like so much
else in our technological society.
through arstatistical analysis. In
December the National Academy
of Sciences, for example, pub-
lished a report which charted the
soaring percentage of doctorates
granted by the public universities,
but said little about the quality,
shortcomings or attributes of the
new scholars. Describing student
unrest, the National Student As-
sociation merely issued statistics
in a report last week announcing
"71 protests on 62 college cam-
puses" in November and Decem-
ber, with 2.7 per cent of the na-
tional student body participating.
And how many reports have you
read computing the student-fac-
ulty ratio, lamenting its decline,
and computing an ideal ratio fac-
tor that will make education so
much more stimulating?
THE PROBLEM of size versus
excellence is as ancient as the
universities themselves. In 1828,
the classic Yale Report lauded
"competition of colleges ... if it
is a competition for excellence
rather than for numbers." We
would nod our heads in assent to
this 19th century advice, bemoan
the big lectures we must suffer
through, and imagine low nice it
would be to receive that ideal
education: Mark Hopkins on one
end of the log and the student on
the other. But those days are
past, and mass education presents
problems, quantitative problems
that are best solved by a leading
labor statistician like Arthur Ross
or a systems analyst like Califor-
nia's new president, Charles
VERY SIMPLY, are the statis-
ticians and administrators run-

ning ahead of the problem? The
United States is investing billions
of dollars into education, but are
we getting our dollars' worth?
"When you hear educators talk
about how the educational sys-
tem needs more money in order
to do more things, you may sus-
pect that they are not talking
about education." wrote Robert
Hutchins, once the chancellor of
Chicago. This is indeed true; for

Dr. Conant nor the ideal aims of
the 'community of scholars.'
Rather, they are great, and greatly
expanding, inages of Educiation.
no different from the other role-
playing organizations of the mod-
ern world . . . Society is satisfied
by the symbolic proof that a lot
of educaiton is going on, fat syl-
labi, hundreds of thousands of
diplomas, bales of published re-
search. And indeed, the students

answered by at least a few-chief-
ly efficiency minded administra-
tors of the promotor-manager
type rather than experienced ed-
ucators. Having no deep under-
standing of the true nature of a
university, they will merely acept
the emerging situation as a wel-
come opportunity to increase the
operational size, the diversity, and
the public appeal of their institu-


Is such quantity really quality?

example, Clark Kerr can call for
more funds claiming that the
University serves the needs of
society through medical and mil-
itary research while continuing
to educate all the students. But
is it educating the students?
Hutchins adds, "They are
talking about the extension of the
custodial system . . . a system for
the non-penal accommodation of
the young from the time at which
they become a nuisance to their
families to the time at which we
are ready to have them go to
Writer Paul Goodman, a bitter
dissenter on American education,
continues, advancing Hutchins' ar-
gument still further: "Our colleges
serve neither the national goals of

are educated in the process. Most
of them learn, in the great col-
leges, the secret of our uniquely
glamorous society, to conform and
fatten. A few protest. A few dis-
sent. A few quit, like rats deserting
a sinking ship (and they are also
THE PROBLEM is that as pro-
ducts of, and participants in, the
on-going educational process, we
become victims of a vocabulary
that hides the real troubles we
must surmount. Frederic Heim-
berger, a leading professor at Ohio
State University, warned in 1964,
"The whole question of what the
state universities can do to meet
mounting enrollments and rapidly
changing needs will be easily-

No one is quite sure that so fatal
a disintegration of leadership has
occurred here. And there are cer-
tain signs and programs in the Uni-
versity today which suggests a
deep understanding of the educa-
tional dilemma and possible solu-
The University's Residential Col-
lege, certain aspects of the Honors
Program, and several newly-pro-
posed experiments in curricular
flexibility are seeking to fill the
gap that the current academic
program leaves.
Whether the administrators will
recognize these signs as isolated
educational experiments or general
paths toward excellence is the Uni-
versity'smost important question.
Tomorrow: Reform Proposals

Letters: Wilcox Must Add Negro History Course

To the Editor:
course in Negro History is cer-
tainly timely. It is a subject to
which I have given some thought.
It seems to me that the term
"Negro History" is unforunate,
and leads to confusion, not only
because many Negroes -have re-
named themselves "Blacks," but
also because it is a narrow term.
r prefer "Afro-American History"
or "Plantation American History."
which implies the study of that
vast area of the Western Hemi-
sphere, stretching from Brazil
through the United States, which
was molded by African slavery
and the plantation system. Such
a course would naturally include
a study of the African background
of the slaves, as well as the impact
of the institution of slavery upon
the nations which developed from
plantation America.
IT COULD BE taught by a num-
ber of professors from both the
history and the anthropology de-
partments, each dealing with his
specialty, and by visiting lecturers,
including hopefully, John Hope
Franklin, Chairman of the History
Department of the University of
Perhaps such a course would
help attract talented young black
students to the graduate history
department, where their absence
is conspicuous.
-Gwendolyn Midlo Hall
Grad-Comparative History

1 -1
- Y
- t-
* ..,--. ..*
t a
"Its Mrs. Nugent - .
Patrick Lyndon has the sniffles"

as silly as it is dangerous. More-
over, Michigan's failure should not
be generalized into an academic
standard; Universities as little
known as Harvard and Berkeley
offer such courses. Anyway, the
Department offers a course in
Michigan history and, at last re-
port, both the people and the state
are minorities.
BUT THE MOST important con-
cept Dr. Wilcox puts forward is
that assimilation is now on the
agenda for our society and such
it should be in our teaching of
history. This is a restatement of
Collingwood; that history is writ-
ten via the a priori concerns of
the authors. In effect, each gen-
eration would then write history
anew based now upon their par-
ticular values, and this then pre-
cludes the accumilation of his-
torical knowledge or the possibility
of value in history.
A drastic judgment, but is his-
tory-historical investigation and
teaching--to be limited by the con-
cerns or values of attitudes or
even politics or sociology of con-
temporary American society? Shall
he then drop anything out of my
field, Chinese history, that does not
teach us (disregarding abstracts-
like truth) how to keep Mao Tse-
tung from reinstituting the Tri-
bute system in South-East Asia?
Finally, there have been many
surveys pointing out a shortage of
white Ph.Ds; nevertheless, this
hasn't stopped us from studying

white America including the state
of Michigan. As far as Negroes
go, Berkeley managed to pluck
one, with irony no doubt, from
Tuskegee, to teach a course and
supplement the efforts of other,
white, professors in studying
American Negro history.
--Bruce Henstell
Center for Chinese Studies
Masters Candidate
To the Editor:
THE P.A.P. (Packard Avenue
Playwriters) would like to
point out an error in Creative Arts
Festival publicity which attributes
the production of "Salome" to us.
"Salome" will be presented during
the festival by the Lord Chamber-
lain Players with whom we are not
connected. The P.A.P. plans an
evening of poetry at the Ark early
in February.
-Momus Llooch
-Jocelyn Agnew
-Natalie Uslenghi
The Daily has begun accept-
ing articles from faculty, ad-
ministration, and students on
subjects of their choice. They
are to be 600-900 words in
length and should be submitted
to the Editorial Director.

American History
To the Editor:
Jan. 17) contains many points
open to debate. He states that the
University offers no courses deal-
ing with other minority groups,

why then one in Negro history?
VMost simply, because the fields and
specialties in history are deter-
mined by the interests of the his-
torian, both student and teacher.
He would agree, no doubt, that
limiting offerings or investigation
because of arbitrary boundries is


..B.K:.......y....r... ....... .....G....................
ON BOOKS: A merica Pay s tear Ga-me


Collegiate Press service
Report from Iron Mountain
on the Possibility and Desir-
ability of Peace: Forward by
Leonard C. Lewin.
1 HE REPORT from Iron Moun-
tain, as explained in the pref-
ace, is a document prepared by a
group of eminent scholars and ex-
perts during a three-year period,
from 1963 to 1966, at the request
of certain high government offi-
The Report's major conclusion
is that war, far from being just
one component of United States
foreign policy, is in fact the basis
for the country's social structure.
It argues, therefore, that the
coming of a genuine peace-the
absence of all war and war-mak-
ing potential-would require fun-
damental changes in the structure
of the U.S.
AMONG THE Report's other
findings are the following:
Economically, war, or the threat
of war, generate huge spending
programs outside the market sys-
tem, which act as "flywheels" to
keep the economy as a whole

national population; it acts as a
welfare system for those who
would be unemployable outside
the military; by means of the
draft, it controls the potentially
dissident young; and finally, it
provides the basis for social co-
hesion by proving a society's will-
ingness to offer up the lives of
some for the protection of all.
In view of these and other func-
tions of the war system, the Re-
port maintains, any transition to
peace will require substitute func-
tions. It warns that an early
movement towardhworld peace
could bring on a disastrous social
upheaval within the U.S.
IS THE REPORT authentic?
Most of thedreviewers I've run
across have decided not, that it's
in realitya very clever piece of
satire by Lewin (a writer, and
frequent contributor to Monocle,
a satirical magazine published
from time to time in New York).
A few suggest that J. K. Galbraith
may have written it.
As far as I'm concerned, the
question of the Report's authen-
ticity is one each reader ought to
decide for himself. Looking for

wrote it. It is a study that raises
a lot of interesting questions
about the prospects for world
The basic approach of the
author(s) of the Report is to look
upon nations as systems, rather
than as aggregations of people. In
the Report, therefore, national
events are seen as the functioning
of the system, not as the pro-
ducts of a series of decisions by
individuals. In explaining some of
the reasons why nations wage
war, for example, the Report says
that war "serves the same pur-
pose for a society as do the holi-
day, the celebration, and the orgy
for the individual-the release and
distribution of undifferentiated
tensions." War also provides for
"the dissipation of general bore-
Viewing nations as systems In
this way is a social science habit
that I don't particularlycare for,
because it tends to obscure the
part that individuals can play in
affecting what nations do. There
are some advantages to taking
the Report's perspective, however.
Of these, one of the most impor-
tant is that the individual realizes
he is really a part of the same

unfamiliar mode of thought for
most Americans. The U.S. doesn't
have too much of a past, and such
of it as there is has been largely
reduced to legend (vide the deifi-
cation of JFK, for a recent exam-
ple), so that few interpret what
this nation does in terms of what
we and other nations have done
in the past. Our approach is al-
ways new, our circumstances in-
variably unique.
If one takes an historical view,
though, then much of what the
Report has to say seems like pain-
ful truisms. After all, as the
Report suggests, states have tra-
ditionally been defined by the
effectiveness of their warmak-
ing powers. Thosethat couldn't
keep up their defenses lost out,
while those that were strong grew
at the expense of their weaker
foes. This is an oversimplication,
of course, but no matter - the
point is that military strength was
never something that existed in-
dependent of a state's internal
strengths and weaknesses. A high
degree of loyalty and willingness
to sacrifice at home has been a
pre-condition for waging war
since warfare began.

let for the violent inclinations of
men. Furthermore, governments
have come to see that simply the
threat of war is often enough to
channel the potential violence of
a national populace, by permit-
ting the maintenance of large
standing armies, etc.
For an example of what gov-
ernments do to convince the cit-
izenry that there is a real threat
facing the nation, see Secretary
of State Dean Rusk's comments
about the "billion Chinese" who
will be "armed with nuclear weap-
ons." I imagine that the drum-
beaters in the State Department
and elsewhere must sometimes
look with envy on their counter-
parts in Peking, who can point
to the U.S. bombings a few miles
from the Chinese border when
they need to muster support for
Mao and his government.
The importance of the threat of
war is behind the distinction in
the Report between peace as the
absence of war, and peace as the
absence of the potential for mak-
ing war. It is peace of the latter
kind, according to the Report,
that could bring on serious social
disruptions in the U.S.
Whether or not the Report's
nnrnl 7a s a n..vrnl 1i 4i Aa 4il 44.

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