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April 04, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-04-04

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ii3irigan Daihj
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by s+udents of the University of Michigan

Fleming and


bureaucracy must go

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

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.



BAM strike renews
discipline dispute

Black Action Movement (BAM) is the
latest catalyst of a still unresolved dis-
pute between, the administration and the
Student Government Council (SGC).
The disagreement centers around the
University's insistence on trying students
accused of non-academic offenses before
an administrative board composed solely
of faculty members.
SGC has long maintained that the Uni-
versity has no right to try students for
offenses outside of academic boundaries,
unless an all-student judiciary is utilized.
Yet, the University administration has
consistently ignored the SGC proposals,
and seems bent on a course of adminis-
trative action and reprisal - regardless
of the nature of the allegations.
THE AGREEMENT made earlier t h i s
week between BAM and the Univer-
sity, represents a compromise that is far
from adequate. Although the compromise
allows "hearing officer(s)" appointed by
President Fleming to serve as an alterna-
tive to trial before the faculty adminis-
trative boards, the proposal fails to insure
that students will only be tried by other
At a meeting earlier this week, SGC
wisely expressed its opposition to the
special hearing boards. SGC Executive
Vice President Jerry Dedrieck made it
clear that, "We are merely reaffirming
our position that administrative boards
are unacceptable in trying students."
More important than the disapproval of
the special hearing boards, however, was
SGC's decision to urge all accused stu-
dents to refuse to appear before any of
the college administrative boards as well
as the special hearing boards.
The rationale behind the decision is
farsighted. SGC reasons, a n d not un-

foundedly, that if the accused refuse to
appear before the administration boards,
the Regents and the University will be
unable to treat the cases as precedents.
The Regents would be especially inclined
to do this during the summer, when a
large part of the University community
is absent.
If the Regents are even given the op-
portunity of using the trials as prece-
dents for succeeding action, the entire
future of students' rights would be in
jeopardy. One would not dare to hazard
a guess as to what kinds of acts students
would find themselves being tried for in,
the future.
For after the University -has extended
its judicial control to non-academic con-
cerns, there would not be a single area
safe from its jurisdiction. It w o u 1 d be
equally as feasible that the concept of
"double jeopardy" would be thrown out
the window, and students might f i n d
themselves being tried for the same of-
fense in both the University a n d civil
THE UNIVERSITY seems to regard an
all-student judiciary board as tanta-
mount to the creation of a tribunal that
will return only verdicts that are sym-
pathetic to their peers. Such thinking is
illogical, at best, and at worst provides a,
chilling insight into the administration's
utter lack of faith in its students.
In view of the present situation, it is
crucial that each of the students facing
charges reftise to appear before either
the faculty administrative board or the
special hearing board. It is also equally
important for all students to m a k e it
clear to the University that they will not
stand by silent and watch the encroach-
ment of their judicial rights.

Daily Guest Writer
ed inaugurate Robben Fleming
as the ninth president of the Uni-
versity of Michigan. At the time I
warned that, while he clearly had
the courage to serve in' that of-
fice, it was still too soon to tell
whether he also had the knowl-
edge and wisdom to serve well.
It is no longer too soon. Flem-
ing has clearly shown himself un-
able to serve well. His record is so
condemnable that even BAM's in-
credible strike is not a sufficient
condemnation of it. Consider his
- He has urged faculty to
adopt rules (duplicating those of
SGC) a n d to establish judicial
bodies (parallel to those of the
student body), in order to have
the faculty try students for non-
academic misconduct without trial
by peers and contrary to previous
practice ;
- He has brought violence into
our community, calling 400 police
here to end a peaceful sit-in, and
so introduced us to the use of
violence as a means of carrying
on disputes within the University;
- He has perjured himself with
increasing frequency, t o o often
for it to be accidental, and always
in a way favorable to himself. un-
til students have ceased to believe
in his good faith;
- He has tried to keep b o t h
students and faculty. but especial-
ly students, out of University de-
cision-making, by stalling on the
student-faculty-proposed Chapter
7 of the Regents Bylaws, by open-
ly opposing student-faculty pol-
icy boards inside the Office of
Student Affairs, by trying to re-
duce every student and faculty
body, to a body advising him or
his subordinates, and by stripping
the Office of Student Affairs of
important student-related func-
tions (against the advice of his
own vice president for Student
A "firs and over the objection of
students) in order to keep those
functions where students could
not easily influence them;
- He has repeatedly refused to
recognize the right of students to
tax themselves for purposes they
deem proper, saying he is opposed
to compulsory assessments (even
for such purposes as a bookstore
or the Martin Luther King Sch-
olarship Fund) while supporting
administratively-imposed compul-
sory assessments for the Events
Building, Intramural Building.
and the Michigan League a n d
- He has become increasingly
willing to use police to end pro-
test within our community, :u-
creasingly high-handed in his

treatment of student government,
increasingly hard for students to
see, and increasingly unable to
respond quickly and sensitively to
the expressed needs of students
black or white:
-He has created dissension
within our community by playing
students against faculty, by ask-
ing faculty to discipline students:
playing faculty against students
by confusing protection of admin-
istrative activities w i t h protec-
tion of academic freedom; end
playing college student govern-
ments against SGC, by appealing

from academic reprisals for strik-
ing or related activity, though
the state still maintains courts
adequate to handle criminal acts:
and has several times threatened
the strike with the National
Guard, though damage to prop-
erty during the strike was small
and injury to persons was less
than occurred the last time he
called police to campus; and
- He has brought the Univer-
sity to the verge of ruin by his
insolent abuse of power, by his in-
ability to negotiate with students
as equals, and by his unwilling-

that, have taken it for racism.
They failed to see that Fleming
didn't treat them fairly, not be-
cause they were black, but be-
cause they were students. (He has
some respect for black students
because he's a guilty liberal and
because he knows black students
h a v e important friends outside
the University.) He has no re-
spect for students because he be-
lieves that they're powerless (be-
cause they lack institutionalized
authority and friends outside).
that they're immature (because
they're younger than he is). and
that they're ignorant (because
they're still learning). A n d so,
since the Regents shared his pre-
judice and he did nothing to re-
move it, Fleming had no equals to
mediate between.
BUT EVEN IF he had, he
couldn't, as president of the Uni-
versity (that is, as president of
the administration), have b e en
considered neutral. Most serious
disputes around here are between
students and administrators. Stu-
dents know that in such disputes,
the daily communications of sub-
ordinates and superiors generally
carries more weight than their oc-
casional and distant demands.
Consequently. Fleming had to
rely on his experience with cor-
porations. He became a corporate
president, made the Regents his
board of directors, allowed t h e
faculty to be his white-collar
workers, and treated students as
unorganized unskilled workers. He
rationalized and centralized the
The administration became a
bureaucracy., No longer did' any
vice president, dean, or director
make an important decision with-
out consulting his superior. And
all lines of consultation led back
to Fleming. There was no longer
any trouble finding out who was
responsible for a particular de-
Instead, it became increasingly
hard to get a favorable response
when we called for a decision. The
administration, for all its appar-
ent rationality, moved slowly,

tended to put off decisions, and
frequently didn't get enough in-
formation to decide wisely. The
bookstore issue produced the new
bureaucracy's first serious mis-
takes; BAM's demands, its most
recent and most serious.
THE NATURAL inclination of
a bureaucracy is to stabilize.
That's its natural inclination be-
cause bureaucracy assigns all non-
routine decision-making to a few
people. Since most non-routine
decisions require considerable in-
formation, thought, and analysis,
a few people can only handle a
few decisions at a time.
Students, forming a highly de-
centralized and lively community
(quite different from that of un-
organized workers or ordinary
customers). have had no trouble
raising many non-routine issues
at o n c e. Fleming's bureaucracy
has been unable to deal with more
than a few at a time. This in-
ability has caused an increasing-
ly large backlog of issues, many
of which n e e d quick attention.
Fleming, trapped inside his bu-
reaucracy. increasingly finds him-
self with only enough time to take
a cursory look at an issue before
deciding. And. decisions made that
way are likely to be unwise.
Whenever he responds unwisely,
he causes a crisis and the backlog
increases even faster, making an-
other unwise response more likely
THE BAM STRIKE signals the
bankruptcy of Fleming's bureau-
Therefore, I call upon Fleming
to resign - not to make room for
a better man - but to make room
for another man and for a better
And I call upon the University
community to return to the work
it began in November, 1966; de-
centralizing University decision-
making and putting all decisions
into the hands of those primarily
affected. The bureaucracy has
martyred Robben Fleming. Let us
make it unnecessary to have any
more martyrs.




to the colleges whenever he didn't
like SGC's position and thought
he could do better with the col-
lege student governments (whcm
he supposed less well informed on
campus-wide issues and more
easily overawed by his authority>;
sHe has tried to silence dis-
sent against himself by using the
fear of the Legislature and Re-
gents; has tried to keep students
and faculty from dir'ect negotia-
tions with the Regents, limiting
their contact to brief formal
hearings and opposing nonvoting
student and faculty seats on the
Board of Regents; and has sys-
tematically misinformed, a n d
failed to inform, the Regents of
the merits of proposals brought
before them;
- He has at least once sup-
ported action denying a student
any semblance of due process; has
opposed protection of students

ness to relinquish any power now
delegated to him or his subordi-
nor a stupid man. He came here
with excellent credentials and
good intentions. He looks worn
these days; but otherwise he is
much the same man he was when
he came here. How could he have
done so badly?
Fleming's credentials w e r e a)
experience as a mediator and b)
experience with corporate organ-
ization. His credentials doomed
His experience as a mediator
was useless. To be a mediator, one
must 1) have parties willing to
consider each other as equals and
2> be himself considered neutral
by both parties.
Fleming shared with the R -
gents a feeling that students are
inferior. Black students, noting




Letters to t'rie Ediltor

E gineering Council:
In its own world

tive body that, in the words of former
president Chris Bloch, "represents and
serves the students in the College of En-
gineering." The 85 members, who Bloch
refers to as a "great bunch of guys," are
given a specified budget, $3400 this past
year, and are giyen the authority to im-
plement this budget by majority vote,
It is, as one member said, "the most
conservative body on campus." The En-
gineering Council has demonstrated little
concern for social progress and change.
The claim that engineers are only con-
cerned about their own "little world" ap-
plies to the council.
Their bi-weekly meetings h a v e dealt
exclusively with the more trivial concerns
of the Engineering School. When they
have been challenged to deal with the
outside world, they have retreated into
their own parochial atmosphere.
An example of this reactionary attitude
was evidenced at their April 2 meeting.
Three motions were introduced to t h e
council. One condemned Dow's perform-
ance in the March 3 forum that was pre-
sented by the Radical College. The next
Editorial Director Managing Editor
JIM NEUBACHER......................News Editor
NADINE COHODAS................... Feature Editor
ALEA CANADY ................Editorial Page Editor
BRUCE LEVINE...............Editorial Page Editor
R A. PERRY ...........................Arts Director
LAURIE HARRTS ..................Arts Page Fditor
JUDY KAHN .. .............Personnel Director
DAN ZWERDLING .. ......,..magazine Editor
JAY CASSIDY ....................... Photo Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Rob Bier, Jim Beattie, Dave Chud-
win, Steve Koppman, Robert Kraftowitz,CRick
Perloff, Lynn Weiner, Sharon Weiner.
DAY EDITORS: Jane Bartman, Lindsay Chaney, Erica
Hoff. Tammy Jacobs. Pat Mahoney, Anita Wetter-
Business Manager

proposed a donation of $100 to the Martin
Luther King Scholarship Fund and the
third was a request by the council for a
new computer for the Engineering School.
Numerous objections were presented to
the Dow resolution. The main objection
was that the council had "no business
singling out Dow Chemical to criticize."
It is ironic, however, that as one member
observed, the "council has found itself
competent before to condemn student
disruptions, so then why do we find our-
selves incompetent when we are asked to
condemn Dow ". It boils down to the fact
that the council is reluctant to venture
outside of its domain and to comment,
much less criticize, something that is go-
ing on outside of the Engineering School.
They have not only chosen not to rock
the boat but also not to get into it in the
first place.
THIS IS NOT the only example of their
parochial and limited attitude. When
the motion to allocate $100 to the Martin
Luther King Scholarship Fund was in-
troduced, it had to be quickly pointed out
to one worried council member that the
money did not go exclusively to blacks
but to any disadvantaged students. The
objection was made that this allocation
was nothing more than "extortion" and
that people should only give when they
themselves w a n t to. The motion was
voted down decisively. When examining
the 1969-70 budget of t h e Engineering
Council, however, o n e is given the im-
pression that a $100 donation to the fund
would not have placed a strain on their
resources, seeing that they had a surplus
of $1178. Contrast a rejected $100 dona-
tion to the scholarship fund to the $290
expenditure on the council's yearly ban-
quet, and it is evident that the priorities
need reordering.
Nevertheless, the third motion was
more successful. The request for a new'
computer was passed by the council with-
out any difficulty. When noting that the
mntinn for the n e w comnuter nassed,

To the Editor:
I SUPPORT the BAM denands
especially as improved upon by
the Reg'ents with implementation
as planned by Dean Spurr. In spite
of misinformation to the contrary,
the Regents, according to Dean
Spurr, have been committed to a
goal of 10 per cent Black student
enrollment by the fall of 1973.
The faculty, through the Sen-
ate Assembly and various colleges,
has fully supported this desirable
goal and has urged that the re-
sources be made available to meet
it. Many students apparently sup-
port the BAM demands as evi-
denced by their overwhelming
vote on the Martin Luther King
referendum and the tremendous
support of the BAM strike.
Why then, does the strike con-
tinue? Why then will conflict re-
main unresolved until the Univer-
sity is shut down?
The answer is abundantly evi-
dent to anyone who has been
forced to deal with or who has at-
tempted to work through the non-'
academic administration.
It is staffed with persons who
are unable or unwilling to com-
municate a simple idea in written
and/or oral form. The examples
of the past week are classic in-
cluding an apparent debate among
high administration officials as
to whether the Regents commit-
ted $2,000,000 or $9.000,000 to
partially meet the needs of the

Lack of space prevents discus-
sion of other ludicrous examples
of failures to communicate - or
even attempt to communicate -
with BAM leaders. One tragic ex-
ample will, I hope, illustrate one
or more points. Detailed account-
ing with respect to time is pro-
I WAS IN Rackham Auditorium
Sunday eveningJack Hamilton
has proof that the WUOM cove-
age of the BAM rally started at
8:18, I am fairly certain that no
speaker appeared at the podium
before 8:30 but that can be estab-
lished from the tape. The tape will
also establish whether or not any-
thing that was stated during the
first hour could possibly be inter-
preted as "speaking of the issues
in negotiation andindicating
where we were in agreement and
in disagreement" (R. W. Fl:ming,
March 26, 1970).
Having been there and after
talking with others who were there
I can conceive of no way in which
anything stated or sung during the
first hour could possibly have been
so interpreted. Suppose, however,
that I'm wrong. Then consider
the following timing:
1) Some words were spoken by
Blacks at approximately 8:30 P.M.
2) Someone interpreted these
words as a breach of good faith
by the BAM leadership.
3) This information was com-
municated to President Fleming in
his fortress.
si After some deliberation as
justified by the gravity of the situ-

ation, Mr. Fleming "authorized
our news people to release our
record of the status of the nego-
tiations" (R. W. Fleming, March
29, 1970).
5) The record was taken to
WUOM and Jack Hamilton dis-
cussed details over the air starting
at 8:45. Such a coordinated effort
by the administration is indeed
remarkable. All this communica-
tion including arrangements to go
on the air was accomplished in a
total time of 15 minutes! Amazing!
quick to apoligize. He stated "we
should not have released our in-
formation and I regret it."
His letter is a classic! It should
be studied by every person in the
academic community. It is not
written by a man in contr'ol of
himself! It is not written by a man
in control of people working under
him! In short it is a complete il-
lustration of the situation as it
has existed inside the administra-
tion's fortress for at least two
What is the purpose of all this
detailed accounting of time in
connection with one disjointed in-
cident in a disastrous chain of
I find it next to, impossible to
believe that the chain of events
described in the preceeding para-
graphs ever took place; in short
President Fleming or someone in
his administration contrived a si-
tuation so as to have an excuse to
r'elease the. carefully, prepared
statement regarding the demands.
Impossible you say! Have you any
other explanation?
I REPEAT that I support the
BAM demands. I find them to be
well thought out, to be reasonable,
to have been presented in good
faith, and to have been supported
against all types of "strike-break-
ing tactics" by nieans that were
primarily non-violent.
If continued ineptness on the
part of the President and his ad-
visors results in a complete break-
down in the democratic process we
have witnessed, thereby forcing
the Blacks underground, it will be
a tremendous loss not to the Black
Community but the white com-
munity which cries out from lack
of dedicated leaders.
-Prof. John E. Powers
Chemical Engineering Dept.

Bunker prelventsa
coup against ieu
IS THE THIEU REGIME facing an internal explosion? Is the U.S.
government-and specifically the Ellsworth Bunker establishment
in SaigonJ-the major obstacle to an upheaval that could herald the
emergence of a coalition regime capable of negotiating a peace?
These questions have been recurrently suggested in recent weeks
by reports of Thieu's intensified war against dissidents and the failure
of Bunker and his aides to protect those-such as Assemblyman Tran
Ngoc Chau-who have previously worked with U.S. officials.
Now the issues are sharply defined in a letter smuggled out of a
South Vietnamese prison on March 8 by Truong Ding Dzu, the "peace
candidate" who finished second in the 1967 elections. It was received
here by his son, David Truong, 24-year-old refugee from Thieu's
despotism, who has been touring this country for more than two years
in a valiant one-man crusade to secure his father's liberation and to
rally support for a "Third Force" U.S. policy.
IN MAKING THE letter available to me, Truong said he did not
expect to receive any further communication because he had learned
from other sources that prison authorities have severely tightened
their security measures.
Although the letter was written nearly three weeks ago, its content
appears remarkably consistent with the tone of subsequent news re-
ports. These are key excerpts:
"The situation here is very explosive . . . It is like the post-Dien
Bien Phu era or the one before the fall of Diem. Many things along
with the Chau affair have created a violent disturbance within the
population. Plus the struggle of the Cambodian monks which still goes
on and the shortage of rice in Central VN, the situation is very ripe-
among the unions, the students, the An Quang Buddhists-for the fall
of the regime. But the crucial' question is whether the Americans want
it. I believe that as long as Bunker is here, there will be no coup against
"I hope he will leave in April as expected. You must have followed
the Laotion situation, which is another tragedy for Nixon. He cannot
send in ground troops, and the air force by itself cannot win the war.
The Pathet Lao controls practically everything but a few major towns.
But you should always concentrate on Vietnam, for it is obvious that
nothing will be solved until there is some political consensus on the
settlement for Vietnam .
"Thieu was stupid to make so much fuss over Chau. Chau was a
civil servant working in the Rural Development and the Psychological
War Department for the Americans. I have seen and talked to him.
At least he seems to have learned the price for having worked for
Americans. That will be perhaps the last time that any Vietnamese
works for Americans. He is all for a coalition government now. It is
funny that he is in the same cell next door with Huyhn Van Trong and
company. Soon we will have a whole government in the shadows.
"Without Bunker we would have had a change of government
by now."
NO DOUBT THOSE policy-makers who have succumbed to the
delusion of "Vietnamization" will discount Dzu's appraisal as the angry
fantasies of a political prisoner. But it must be pointed out that the
opposition's estimates of the weakness-military and political-of the
Thieu structure have been repeatedly validated. As for his sources of
information, one must assume that new arrivals in prison supplement
the reports he has heretofore been able to obtain through clandestine
Bunker's role as Thieu's last-ditch apologist and guardian has long
been documented; in effect Dzu is confirming the view that Averell
Harriman, among others, is reported to have privately expressed on
many occasions since leaving the Paris peace talks
Yet it may be wistful to assume that Bunker's retirement-overdue
as it is-will miraculously alter the deadly drift. In part that would
depend on the identity of his successor. Far more important, however,
would remain the question of whether the Nixon Administration is
prepared to abandon its 'alliance with Thieu and its resistance to the
cnneent of a coalition government.



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