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August 29, 1967 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-08-29

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rrTTV40IIAAt ATTf4YTWm An "nraw

State Board Maps Out Unified Educational


Associate Managing Editor
The State Board of Education,
a frequent target of criticism in
its two-and-a-half years of exist-'
ence, is beginning to acquire a
more defined role in Michigan's
educational affairs.
The board's authority is vested
in Article VIII, Section 3 of the
1963 state constitution, which
states the board "shall serve as
the general planning and coordi-
nating body for all public educa-
tion, including higher education,
and shall advise the Legislature
as to the financial requirements
in connectior} therewith."
However, Article VIII also makes
it clear that all the state univer-
sities have autonomous governing
Respect 'U' Autonomy
The problem, as described by
Board President Edwin Novak, is
to coordinate and plan while re-
specting that autonomy.
Autonomy has long been a first
principle in governing Michigan's
universities. It is the only way,!
educators say, to insure that edu-
cation will not be subject to the
whims of politicians.

But how much autonomy does
the constitution require? The rela-
tionship of the colleges and uni-
versities to the Legislature is some-
what clear.IThe institutions must
have their total state appropria-
tion figure approved by Lansing,
but the Legislature cannot spe-
cify how the money is spent.
In other words, if the Legisla-
ture ,dislikes a particular program
at the University, the most they
can do is reduce the University's
total general funds budget alloca-
tion by the amount needed to
support the program. They can-
not prevent the University from
diverting other funds to the pro-
Not Well Defined
However, the relationships of
the state schools and the Legis-
lature with the state board are
not yet as well defined. The rela-
tively new institution is part of
a three-way struggle for power in
the state's education decision-
making process.
Most educators feel it is proper
for the board to concern itself,
with general methods of growth,
even if this means insisting that
universities not further expand
with branch colleges - a position

that would limit the individual
school's ability to allocate its re-
sources at its own discretion.
(Since its birth, the state board
has decided that branches of two
universities--one was the Univer-
sity's Flint campus-should be-
come independent of their parent
institutions rather than continu-
ing expansion as branches.
The consensus also favors board
involvement in determining- the
development of major graduate
and professional programs. But the
board's role in regard to partic-
ular graduate programs and un-
dergraduate departments remains
a gray area.
As schools grow, they naturally
strive to enhance their prestige:
community colleges often try- to
model themselves after liberal arts
colleges, and smaller universities
race with each other to develop
some sort of graduate study pro-
grams. Michigan State University,
for example, has long been trying
to catch up with the University
by trying to gain a medical school
and a law school for its campus.
Last wihter, MSU finally won
its battle for the state's third!
medical school, but administrators
at the University and other critics

fear that the MSU school devel-
opment will drain needed finan-
cial support from the two existing
medical schools at a time when
state funds are particularly tight.
Such competition has no place
in a well-balanced system of edu-
Thomas Brennan, who served as
board president of the eight-man
panel for its first two years, says
autonomy is not a "major" prob-
lem because the board has taken
a public stand that it "has no
right or intention of interfering
with the internal operations of in-
dividual institutions."
Long-Range Planning
The board then, confines its at-
tention to long-range planning,
approval of new programs, capi-
tal expansion and the creation
of new schools.
"The concept behind planning is
to insure a more efficient alloca-
tion of the money available to
higher education," Brennan ex-
While the board's authority has
been supported in an Attorney
General's opinion issued in 1965
and in the position the Governor's
Office has taken in refusing to
approve any legislation establish-

ing a new program or school un-
less the board has made a recom-
mendation on it first, the board
prefers to base its power on pres-
tige and respect for its decisions,
"It is most effective to work
co-operatively with the universi-'
ties rather than being dogmatic,",
Brennan says. "We don't want to
run into court every week to main-
tain our authority.'
The long-awaited State Plan for
Higher Education is an example
of the boards efforts to niove in
that direction. Discussed by educa-
tors for almost a decade, the
"master plan" is intended to estab-
lish uniform guidelines which can
be applied to individual policy
decisions relating to Michigan's
rapidly expanding system of high-
er education.
The plan is expected to deal
with such issues as:
! The balance between the con-'
stitutionally guaranteed autonomy
of the state's educational institu-
tions and their obligations to co-
operate with the board's efforts
to coordinate higher education;
0 The proper relationship be-
tween the board and the Legisla-
ture; and

* The distinctive roles to be'seven stdy committees will be re-
played by the three major state leased to several advisory commit-
universities (the University, MSU tes of students, faculty. public
and WSU), smaller state institu- and private college administrators
tions, private colleges and com- and a general citizens' committee
munity and technical colleges in representing business and profes-
expanding Michigan's educational sional interests, as well as the gen-
facilities. eral public.

The plan is being developed by
Project Director Harold Smith of
the Upjohn Institute with the as-
sistance of a study steering com-
mittee composed of deans and
vice presidents from state colleges
and universities, }
Broader Questions

The advisory groups will study
this "provisional plan" and report
their criticisms and suggestions to
the board. After a review of all the
study and advisory committee re-
ports, the board will draft another
provisional plan, public hearings
will be held and the final plan will

The steering committee is hand- be issued, hopefully sometime this
ling the broader questions, such fall, according to Smith.
as institutional autonomy, the Brennan explains that, involving
roles of the board, the Legislature members of the two other groups
and the individual schools as well vying for planning authority-
as directing seven study commit- namely the Legislature and thet

stitutions proposing a new pro-
gram to prove that they can ful-
fill that need, Novak explains.
The constitutional mandate of
the board includes advice on fin-
ancial matters as well as edu-
cational planning and, while the
board has not yet actively entered
the area of budgeting, greater in-
volvement is predicted for the
The feeling of the board has
been that it shouldn't go into bud-
geting until the board has an un-
derstanding and the proper staff
to provide information on this
"extremely complex" area, Bren-
nan explains.
"I'm not sure at this point what
form t our involvement will (take,
since we don't want to duplicate
the work of the Governor's Office.
We want to be meaningful and
helpful," Brennan adds
Nonetheless, University officials
may find themselves barginning
with the board instead of the
Legislature for a larger share of
the appropriations pie in the not-
too-distant future, with the board
presenting a combined budget re-
quest for the state's educational

tees dealing with such specific
problems as handling growing en-
rollments, financial aid programs
for students and community col-
lege districting.
The study committees are com-
posed of college, legislature and}
business and professional group
representatives who are experts

individual governing boards-leads
to 'prestige for the board's deci-
sions. Novak adds, "The large de-
gree of involvement will be the
springboard for implementation of
the State Plan and the role of the
board in coordination."
The role of the board is to in-
vestigate the educational needs of

in their fields. The final reports the state.
of the steering committee and the proposing

It is then up to those
a new school or the in-;

Fleming To Succeed
Hatcher as U'Head
(Continued from Page 1) should not take - a stand on a
ers, and 'refining the intercourse moral issue." When he arrived in
of private life. Ann Arbor and was asked for
his view on the University com-
"If its object were scientific and piling class ranks for use by the
philosophic discovery," Newman Selective Service System, he said,
once remarked, "I do not see why "I have no strong feelings on it
a University should have any stu- one way or another."
dents."Training Ground
. The University's new president, On the idea of a university act
like Kerr, Cornell's James Perkins,' a ounver act-
i Mihign Sates Jon A HanahIng as a training ground for fur-
Michigan State's John- A. Hannah ther service, Fleming says, "If a
and others, is an expert mediator university is nothing more than
and diplomat. There are two ma- a place where one goes to fulfill
jor tasks for the president of a career requisites (then we) have
multiversity: avoiding and resolv- abeen engaged in an exercise of
ing conflict within the multiver- futility." Five months before that
sity to keep it producing knowl- statement he is quoted as re-
edge, and maintaining good rela-;marking,"There is a question ask-
tions with the outside institutions ed too infrequently: What are we
who support the multiversity in training people for? . . . We do
order that they will keep funds not, know nearly as much as we
coming in. should about what our long range
Fleming's stature as one of the manpower needs are, nor do we
nation's leading mediators and his correlate this properly with our
experience as a corporate advisor educational facilities . . This is
and governmenb consultant must one of our major long-term prob-
be regarded as major factors in lems."
his rise to the first chancellor-
ship of the University of Wiscon- On the questions of the type of
sin's Madison campus and his ap. relations a university has with
pointment to the University presi- other sectors of society, Fleming
dency. recognizes the dilemma but of-
fers no way out of it.,Funds from
As a mediator, Fleming is de? the federal government, he says,
voted to the principle that con- "are a blessing because the mon-
flict and controversy can be re- ey makes progress greater in many
solved by impartial and unemo- necessary areas, but they can also
tional discussion. be a curse because they can dis-
"You can't escape controversy tort the pattern of what we do."
and you can't escape bad public- "The continual battle is between
ity," he says. "Controversy is oft- what you think the University
en a pretty healthy thing. I guess ought to be and what the Univer-
I believe that you can keep these sity really is because of the em-
things from exploding if they're phasis brought about by outside
handled with some care and un- money," explains Fleming.
Immediately after his appoint- . If Fleming thinks the University
ment here, the Student Advisory 6ught to be a training and service
Committee on Presidential Selec- center, he will have very little
tion said that Fleming, "appears mediation to do in Ann Arbor, for
to approach situations with a re- this University is clearly moving
spect for diversity while under- toward this model, which Clark
standing the reasons inherent in Kerr says is "justified" by history
differences of opinion and acting and by consistency with the sur-
in a way consistent with the best rounding society.
interests of the University." With the faculty secure in its
Fleming views himself as a fortress of mobility, inner-disci-
strong supporter of academic free- plinary review and government
dom. He is a member of the Amer- j and corporations grants; and with
ican Civil Liberties Union and increasing numbers of students
says, "The university (is a place) entering college to become rather
where you can say and teach and than to be, convinced that they
think what you like and no one will ought to spend four or more years
tell you what to say and what showing what good' listeners they
to think and what to teach." He are, mastering authoritative view-
has a penchant for discussion and points and carefully neglecting to
a belief that discussion is the form and test their own; and with
foundation of conflict resolution. government, business, labor and
Community Concept the others waiting with lucrative
The view which he brings from grants, there should be little con-
the mediation table to the Uni- f flict.
versity is dependent on a con- Intellectual Frontiers
ception of the University as a com- If Robben Fleming want a uni-
munity, where its various sectors versity which "aims at expanding
have a deeply-rooted and virtu- the intellectual frontiers of each
ous community of interests. But student by stimulating him to ex-
is the University really a commun- plore the unknown and by provi-
ity, when many of the decisions ding him with knowledge, not in
which crucially effect its direc- the narrow sense of facts alone,
tion are being made somewhere but in the broadest sense of new
else, with its mobile faculty seek- awareness about man and his sur-
ing the rewards offered by gov- roundings"-if he believes in a
ernment and business, suspended college which "hopes to help every
from student pressure for bet- student understand himself and
ter teaching, the world around him," and which
Whether the new president views "in addition strives to give a stu-
the university as a community of dent the ability to compare, cn-
scholars or a community of ex- drastheaaly classfy, a e
pert service men, one of human-trat, canalyze, ecla,disrm
istic goals or utilitarian ones,ncan- oate, criticize, evaluate, and
only be inferred. His public state- choose intelligently from among
the myriad experiences and ideas
ments are contradictory which confront him"*-then Rob-
Fleming is quoted as saying whihFcnfnt wiind fe Ro-
(May 15, 1965) that a university ben Fleming will find few sup-
must "always stand up for what porters and few of these ideals
it thinks is right." But when dem- realized.
onstrations broke out at Madison *From the official announce-
to protest CIA recruiting, he said, ment of the College of Literature,
"The university as a corporation Science and the Arts.



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