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August 27, 1968 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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scientists examine every corner of the univ

y, August 27, 1968

A man today is washing
dishes to find the best dish-
washing machine. In another
county a man is interviewing
everyone in a small town to
find out what families' his-
tories of heart disease were.
Both of these men are re-
searchers from the University.
They are encouraged by the
University and the nation to
expand the limtis of human
knowledge in every direction.
Their pursuits and successes
have grown, but the same prog-
ress that has led to greater dis-
coveries has led the researchers
to at times nearly choke on
their own growth.
Full recognition has been
given to the importance of re-
search at the University. Much
of the University's expansion in
the past 20 years - buildings,
laboratories, computers, reac-
tors - are a direct result of the
increasing number of research
projects taken on by the Uni-
Roughly $60 million in feder-
al funds comes to the Univer-
sity for research making the
University one of the largest
institutional recipients of fed-
eral funds.
University research in the
years before World War II was
supported entirely by industry
and other private sources. When
the war made military'and sci-
entific advancement a para-
mount goal, federal monies en-
tered the picture. After the war
the federal money and the em-
phasis on research in engineer-

ing and the physical sciences
Eventually, government inter-
est grew in the life sciences -
medicine, public health, den-
tistry, mental health - and
research took increasing sup-
port from federal grants and
contracts. While the pre-war,
funds had been gifts and en-
dowments to individuals or
schools on a need basis, the
post-war system became one of
substantial grants to the Uni-,
versity on the basis of what re-
search services University pro-
grams could provide.
With this greater federal
support came the need for
cent-by-cent accounting, and
consequently the "project sys-
tem" arose, whereby faculty
members conceived ideas for
autonomous projects, and ap-
plied individually for financial
The eventual result was the
complex system which exists at
the present time, with several
centers operating diversified
programs,all of which feed for
organization into the central
office headed by Director of
Research Robert E. Burroughs
and Vice President for Univer-
sity Research A. Geoffrey Nor-
The function of the Office of
Research Administration is, es-
sentially, the direction of all re-
search projects; but this is a
complex task involving the
coordination of all the centers,
the issuing of ;reports to the ad-
ministration and faculty, and
the publication of several news-
letters on the progress and ac-
tivities of the Office.
Burroughs calls the project
system a more efficient opera-
tion than the old one where
theindividual deans adminis-
tered research, because there is
a single office which is respon-
sible for maintaining the stan-
dards and funds of the spon-
sors. All "nonproductive facul-
ty legwork" is eliminated by the
Office, as is the need for sev
eral possibly contradictory bud-
gets. Finally, the vast staff re-
quired for all the projects is di-
rected more simply from a
single office.
But there are many problems
the great increase in University
research have created that the
administration does not seem
able to solve.
Once underway smaller proj-

ects become consolidated into
large programs that tend to ac-
quire a great deal of momen-
tum. Equipment is purchased,
building space is filled, often
new administrative units spring
up, in practice if not in organ-
ization charts, and personnel
are hired. The University may
soon find itself with an ongo-
ing progress that doesn't really
fit into an overall research pro-
gram or that creates faculty,
graduate, salary or other im-
The $52 million research pro-
gram is unquestionably worth
the administrative problems,
but certainly more changes will
be made in the department and
University power structure at
the rate Michigan's research
projects are growing.
With nearly 1,500 paid and
unpaid faculty members con-
ducting research projects, and
about 3700 graduate and under-
graduate students working in
those projects, an excellent
student-teacher ratio has de-
veloped for the important edu-
cational purposes of research.
Students and faculty mem-
bers work together every day,
on a personal basis, on subject
matter which is related to nor-
mal classroom material.
Research activity is intended
to be an integral requirement of
a faculty member's time, not
to rob him of normal teaching
time; about 20 to 30 per cent of

research, employing 571 faculty
members and operating on a re-
search budget of about $13
Much of the Medical School
work is done, as it is in other
operations, through the work of
students on fellowships. Under
a fellowship, qualified students
become eligible for permission
to do advanced research under
a faculty memIber.
In the Kresge ; Hearing Re-
search Institute of the Medical
Center, most faculty members
are involved in a group project
which is being financed by a
single major grant. The sum of
over $246,000 was awarded by
the Public Health Service to the
Institute for a comprehensive,
long-term investigation into the
causes of deafness. This project
is seen as the country's most
concerted effort to date in hear-
ing research.
Also included in the Health
Sciences Division is the School
of Public Health, headed by
Dean Myron Wegman. Forty-
five per cent of the School's to-
tal budget, some $4 million in
1966-67, goes toward research;
this does not include whatever
supplementary funds may be al-
located for private investiga-
tions. A large variety of research
projects are presently in opera-
tion in the School's seven de-
One of the most ambitious
projects is the Tecumseh Health

for the work often consists of
inter-college teams.
Another University research
center which employs interdis-
ciplinary work teams is the
now-famous Institute of Social
Research, under the director-
ship of Dr. Rensis Likert. Now
located in the six-story brick
and glass building on Thomp-
son Street, ISR looks back on
more than 20 years of innova-
tion in the social science re-
search field. Founded in the
summer of 1946 by Likert and
four other men, then of the U.S.

Challenge of quite a different
nature than the social-science-
oriented ISR is faced by an-
other University research cen-
ter, the Institute for Science
a,.nd Technology.
Established in 1957 at the
suggestion of then Governor G.
Mennen Williams, IST was pro-
posed for the purpose of meet-
ing the challenge presented by
rapidly advancing R u s s i a n
technology, which had culmin-
ated in that year with the
launching of the earth's first

11.4 r,..:....,.4.. ..... ":.Y V* 4 ' .. :. . . . . }:!":..
"Centers like the Medical School and IST are
among the largest University research facil-
ities, but they are by no means the only ones
of importance."
:.414 ...........4rAn.,..na ,...'r.. .;,.

Research, teaching
go hand in hand

"With this greater federal support came the
need for cent-by-cent accounting, and conse-
quently the 'project system' arose."
,a. S.r"...l. S.r ?:"n.:::1$;.Y.::....."4":'"""::{ .............. . .S.:i Y .r ....... . .. . .a

"Where the Virtuous Buy Their Books"

Department of Agriculture, the
Institute began as the Survey
Research Center, with Regental
approval and self-sufficient
At the present time the ISR
is the 1 rgest University-based
institutidn of its kind with al-
most 700 professional and stu-
dent staff members and a bud-
get of well over $4 million.
These funds, which come from
government, foundation, and
private sources, represent a
huge growth over the 1946 bud-
get of $200,000.
The main objective of the
Institute has been, since its in-
ception, to make meaningful
contributions to human knowl-
edge through research in the
sciences of human behavior.
This objective is now achieved
by the Institute through its
three component centers: the
Survey Research Center,.the
Research Center for Group Dy-
namics, and the Center for Re-
search on Utilization of Scien-
tific Knowledge.
One of the ISR's important
stepchildren is the interdisci-
plinary Mental Health Research
Institute. It has been called
everything from a bastion of
systems theory to a spawner of
A unit of the Department of
Psychiatry of the Medical
'School, MHRI's main original
function was discovery of some
of the causes of mental illness
and development of strategies
for its prevention and cure.

The already-operating Wil-
low Run and Great Lakes cen-
ters were transferred to IST
and it has since generated sev-
eral new projects, on which
various schools and colleges
The Great Lakes Research
Division is the largest of these;
it is headed by Prof. David C.
Chandler of the Zoology De-
partment. With much of its
present work supported by the
U. S. Department of Health,
Education and Welfare, the'
Great Lakes Division has re
cently developed an active in-
terest in the research of water
The Great Lakes surround-
ing Michigan are becoming, so
polluted that they support
hardly any life; to investigate.
this problem, the Division op-,
erates three vessels on the lakes,
which have specialized, tech-
nical research facilities. Chand-
ler says the Lakes programs are
"not spectacular," but that they
do convey needed information
which will yield long-term re-
sults. One such program deals
with water chemistry - the
relationship of water chemicals
to pollution. Another investi-
gates the amount of air pollu-
tion which affects lake water,
and several new projects were
begun during the summer. .
Centers like the Medical
School and IST are among the
largest University research fa-
cilities, but they are by no
means the only ones of im-

It was in the engineering col-
lege that research at the- Uni-
versity first got started back
before World War II, and a
great deal of the research pro-
gram is still there.
The aerospace department,
presides over a comfortable
amount of space research spon-
sored by the National Aeronau-
tics and Space Administration
and the Air Force. Myriad proj-
ects are organized into the
Space Physics Research Lab:
the High Altitude Research Lab,
the Propulsion Lab, and the
Wind Tunnel Labs.
There are others in some of
the schools and colleges which
also contribute a great deal. In
the School of Business Admin-
istration, the Bureausof Busi-
ness Research is investigating
the outlook for construction,
plumbing and heating in De-
troit, as well as studying the
research of business accounting,
under the sponsorship of the
General Electric Company.
The College of Architecture 4
and Design is studying urban
transportation, and the School
of Natural Resources is looking
into the future of city planning.
In the literary college, a re-
search budget of $8 million an-
nually finances over 350 proj-
ects in many of the school's
One interdisciplinary research
program takes place in the Area
Research Centers, which alms to
facilitate international research.
There are five Centers covering
Japan, China, South and South-
east Asia, the Near East and
North Africa, and Russia and
Eastern Europe. Faculty mem-
bers involved with each Center
teach at least one University
These varied; facets of re-
searsprograms illustrate the
complex nature .of research at
the University despite the
tightly-organized system, which
originates in the offices of
Norman and Burroughs, this
aspect of University life is
an extremely active and de-
manding one. It is also a pro-
gressive side of the University,
since new projects are con-
stantly coming into existence
as old problems are solved.
For every insight gained in
a' particular field, a thousand
new questions arise; it is the
function of research workers to
seek whatever answers they may
find to such questions.

a teacher's salaried time is ex-
pected to be occupied by some
form of research.
Individually initiated, orient-
ed for research and teaching,
centrally administered, t h e
framework for the project sys-
tem is the institute or center.
Some of these centers were
established by the Regents,
either through specific provi-
sions in the Regents' Bylaws,
or by Regental approval. Oth-
ers, like the Mortimer E. Cooley
Laboratory, were set up by
schools or colleges.
One of the largest is the Uni-
versity's Division of Health Sci-
ences, which includes the Med-
ical School. It accounts for a
large part of the University's

Project, under the auspices of
the Epidemiology Department.
It is a scheme by which the
entire town of Tecumseh, Mich-
igan is under complete health
surveillance to determine the
causes of heart disease. This
department, where major stu-
dies in infantile paralysis oc-
curred several years ago, is now
studying flu vaccine, the use of
drugs in leukemia, a whooping
cough vaccine, and other pos-
sible remedies for long-time
public health problems.
A mixture of the natural and
the social sciences, the School
of Public Health conducts sev-
eral of its research programs in
connection with other schools
and colleges, and the pei'sonnel



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