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August 27, 1968 - Image 39

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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Tuesday, August 27, 1968

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, August 27, 1 96~ THE MICHIGAN DAILY

-J

Curricular innovations

th reatene
partment to catch up in its teach- Teaching who is doing the study
ing chores under the present lan- at the request of the curriculum

By DAVID MANN
The literary college will le tak-
ing a fresh look at some old and
troublesome issues this year, in-
cluding the language requirement
* and the extension of the pass-fail
option to underclassmen.
The language requirement re-
ceived considerable attention last
year both from the college's cur-
riculum committee and the lit-
erary college student steering com-
mittee.
Inquiry into the requirement'
was prompted by what was viewed'
as an inordinate number of re-
quests to drop either a language
course, or ,petitions to waive the
entire requirement. George R.
Anderson, assistant dean of the
college, and his two assistants
hear over 600 such requests per
year.
The steering committee. started
a review of the requirement in
the fall, as did the curriculum
committee. Out of the two studies,
many different opinions emerged

on about a dozen proposals for
changing the requirement, which
range from abolishing language
grades, as was eventually sug-
gested by the steering committee,
to lengthening the requirement to
three years.
As the winter semester ended,
the curriculum committee had
received suggestions from the Ad-
ministrative Board of the college,
and the steering committee in ad-
dition to those it had developed.
While considering whether or
not to modify the requirement, the
question of inability on the part
of some students to learn a sec-
ond language arose. James W.
Shaw, assistant dean of the col-
lege, requested a study of diffi-
culties students face in learning
foreign languages.
A study was initiated to find if,
in fact, it may be inpossible for
some to learn a second language;
or if it is possible for all to learn
another language, what kinds of
problems make it so difficult for

so many students. The study is to
be completed this year.
Many of the proposals for
modification of the requirement
suggested a two track approach
to the requirement. This would
involve teaching reading and cul-
tural aspects of a language to
students who take a foreign lan-
guage to satisfy the requirement,
and a full linguistic approach
similar to the current one, for
those who plan to go on in the
study of languages.
There are two opinions on the
two track system. It is favored by
many because it will lighten the
teaching load on the department
of romance languages. Presently,
the teaching fellows who teach
the first four semesters of lan-
guage are forced to present a
staggering amount of material to
their students in too short a time.
The proponents of the two track
method assert that if only read-
ing is taught in the bulk of the
courses, which would be the case

if the plan were adapted, the
reading course load would be
suited to the amount of class time
available to teach it.
The linguistic track, they say,
would have a much smaller en-
rollment. This would allow assign-
ment of the more qualified teach-
ing fellows to the track with the
more difficult material.
Those opposing the two track
plan include James O'Neil, chair-
man of the department of ro-
mance languages. In his opinion,
language cannot be divided into
its component parts; but must be
presented as a whole.
O'Neil further points out that
the period of rapid enrollment
increase is over for the Univer-
sity. With enrollment leveling off,
the number of introductory lan-
guage students will not continue
to spiral, and eventually decrease
because of better high school
language preparation. This will
allow the romance language de-

guage requirement.
Whatever action the curriculum
committee takes concerning the
requirement must be accepted by
the college faculty before going
into effect, however, which is a
lengthy process. For the near
future, then, it appears as though
students will have to continue
suffering with the requirement.
The pass-fail option, currently
available to all upperclassmen in
good standing also was the subject
of discussion last year.
The current option allows one
non-concentration, non-distribu-
tion requirement course per se-
mester for upperclassmen with
pass or fail grading only. A stu-
dent of pass-fail which will not
be completed until April, leaves
some hoping the option will be
extended before that date.
Charles E. Pascal of the Center
for Research on Learning and

committee, is among those who
would have pass-fail extended.
Calling grades a manifestation of
"educational conservatism," Pas-
cal favors a general application of
pass-fail.
The steering committee sug-
gested extension of the option to
all students except first semester
freshmen.
Prof. Roy Pierce of the political
science department, last year's
curriculum committee chairman,
indicated that considerable study
of pass-fail is yet to be done.
"Although the committee has been
discussing pass-fail for quite some
time, any recommendation for
changing the option is still quite
far off."
When a recommendation does
come from the committee, it, like
other curriculum changes, will
have to be cleared with the col-
lege's faculty before going into
effect.

Academic discipline shaken by more than cribsheets

Language labs could be deserted

By DAVID MANN
The easy-goingsdisciplinary sys-
tem of the literary college and the
# entire University was shocked out
of its long slumber last fall, and
repercussions of the shock con-
tinue to be felt.
The Administrative Board of
the literary college normally
handles discipliuary cases involv-
ing academic dishonesty (cheat-.
ing, plagarism, and similar of-
fenses). Controversy flared when

it was revealed that Vice President
for Student Affairs Richard L.
Cutler had requested the Board
to -academically discipline Mrs.
Karen Daenzer '70, then chair-
man of Voice-SDS, for participa-
tion in what was considered to be
a disruptive protest against war
research.
Student leaders, expressing the
view of many on campus, felt if
any kind of disciplinary action
should have been taken, a dubious

move to begin with, it should have
been through the civil channels,
channels that the University ad-
ministration refused to use.
Vice President for Research A.
Geoffrey Norman said after the
October 11 protest no action
would be initiated to discipline the
students involved either through
University or civil channels.
The Cutler letter asking for dis-
Daenzer came to light December 1.
The Administrative Board, after
a month of debate, declined to
accept initial jurisdiction of the
case. "Throughout the debate, the
Board never knew exactly which
student or students were involved,"
said James Shaw, assistant dean
of the college and chairman of
the Board. The Board was con-
sidering the case in thenabstract-
considering whether or not to hear
it. Previously the Board had
heard only traditional academic
cases.
Soon after the Daenzer case, it
was revealed, letters had been sent
to 'the graduate school asking ap-
propriate academic discipline be
used against Eric Chester Grad,
and Sam Freidman Grad, both
members of Voice, who had par-
ticipated in the October war re-
search protest.
The graduate school administra-
tion declined to act on Cutler's
request. "The whole thing became
a dead issue after the literary col-
lege and the grad school refused
jurisdiction," according to Ches-
ter.
The issue, however, is not quite
dead.
In the wake of the Daenzer case,
there is a policy vacuum concern-

ing discipline. It is not clear what
disciplinary body should have jur-
isdiction over non-academic of-
fenders. Nor is it clear what ex-
actly constitutes the difference
between academic and non-aca-
demic offenses.
An academic offense is inter-
preted as anything that disrupts
the functioning of the University,
according to a Board statement.
This would include disruptive sit-
ins and demonstrations. Many stu-
dents,' however, feel that those
sorts of pffenses are non-academ-
ic, and their participants should
not be held liable for them by the=
University.
Academic status should not be
endangered by political activities
outside the University's academic
'sphere in' the opinion of many
students.
In the present nebulous state of
the University's disciplinary sys-
tem, the Administrative Board
"has reserved the right to consider
hearing cases involving students of
the college accused of disruptive
activity as well as traditional aca-
demic offenses. But the Board
would rather not be the discipli-
nary body in such matters," said
Shaw.
The procedures to be followed
in the event of the Board refusing
to hear a case have not been de-
termined. Judicial alternatives
are currently being worked out,
with final approval resting with
the Regents.
The proposal nown under con-
sideration by the administration,
the faculty, SGC, and the Grad
Assembly involves implementation
of the Hatcher Commission Re-

port. The report recommends a
tri-partite University Council that
would have jurisdiction over all
possible discipline cases. Final
approval of the measure, which
must be written into the Univer-
sity's bylaws and approved by the
Regents has been the object of
considerable negotiation during
the summer.
The bylaw proposals have left
the Board in doubt as to its future
role. The summer planning ses-
sions have not elucidated the role
of the individual college judicial
systems, and some members of the
Board are concerned that faculty
members of other colleges might
be involved irr making decisions
effecting literary college students.
The Board would serve, if the by-
law were adopted, only as an
appeal body.
While the issue of the' college's
disciplinary autonomy remained
vague, the Board began to estab-
lish a written policy of due pro-
cess procedure for all cases that
it hears.
Shaw explained this action as

one that will let the student know
exactly where he stands with the
Board, what his rights are, what
the possible penalties he may face,
and what his rights of appeal are.
The due process statement is
currently in its third draft form,
and is in the hands of the stu-
dent literary college steering com-
mittee.
The steering committee has
been charged with the responsi-
bility of presenting the statement
to the students of the college in
any manner that it feels will a-
low the committee to accurately
determine student opinion on the
matter. The steering committee
will make any check of studies
open in the fall. It will then work
out a final proposal with the
Board.
As yet, however, there is no
assurance that the statement will
ever be employed by the Board,
because the Board's role.in the
future of the University discipli-
nary system awaits action by the
larger bodies of, administration,
faculty, and student opinion.

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