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August 27, 1968 - Image 46

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

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Page Six


Tuesday, August 27, 1968


.u.sd. Aua ...J.,.. ...7 I9 vUv


Annual budget squabble
puts pinch on 'U finance


Last year the state provided
over $59 million in operating
funds and is currently helping to
pay for a new Dental School and
the Medical Science II Building,
as well as improvements and ren-
ovations in University Hospital
and the heating plant. The $59
million figure may seem very
high, but the appropriation was
far short of the University's re-
quest of $74.6 million. The result:
substantial increases in both in-
state and out-of-state tuition.
With the ever-changing and
petty nature of Michigan politics,
presenting the University's case
for a larger budget and needed
construction , money becomes a
dangerous political game. Until
last year the Governor and both
houses of the state legislature
were elected every two years. Un-
der the new constitution, the
Governor and State Senate are
elected every, four years, but the
House is still up for grabs every
two years. So, if the University
should be too polite to one Repub-
lican politico, retaliations may
occur two years later when the
Democrats regain control of the
state house. If the University
should be a bit over cooperative
with one enterprising Democratic
legislator, it may offend his Re-
publican counterpart. The Uni-

versity is caught in the squeeze,
trying to placate both sides at the
same time.
The University with its ,tough
admissions policies, high academic
standards and large out-of-state
enrollment is particularly vulner-
able to criticism. For years Uni-
versity administrators have had
to field protests from dissident
s t a t e- legislators complaining
about the rejection of one of
their consituents.
One apocryphal story tells of
a , state senator whose daughter
was rejected, and who wasn't too
pleased about it. "I couldn't give
a --------- -----University,"
explained the senator. "Yo.'ll not
get a red cent." Fortunately the
senator didn't get his way.
Frequent attempts are made to
put a ceiling on out-of-stateen-
rollment, but University adminis-
trators persist in their belief that
such a decision is not in the con-
stitutional province of the Legis-

low 20 per cent, a level which the
legislature considers acceptable.
The actual needs of the Univer-
sity usually are sceondary in de-
termining budget appropriations.
The state has just so much money
and it must be divided among the
eleven state-supported universities
and numerous junior colleges.
The University is in competition
with such . schools - as Michigan
State University and Wayne State
University, since all are in need
of funds and all are continually
Personal factors enter into the
determination. How effective the
University lobby is in presenting
his case and making information
available is vital..However, many
times, the numer of tickets to
Wolverine football games that
have been distributed seems to
be even more important. The Uni-
versity enters the political log-
Irolling and wheeling and dealing
game with much at stake in its
To increase the efficiency of
the University's lobby in Lansing,
one of the first moves University
President Robben Fleming made
was to bring labor expert Arthur
Ross to Ann Arbor as Vice Presi-
dent for State Relations and Plan-
Legislators often have an urge
to investigate. In the past three
years legislative committees have
come down from Lansing to look
into University housing policies,
tuition-and dormitory fee hikes,
Regental conflict-of-interests and
even to conduct a general Univer-
sity audit.
A recent report written by state
Auditor General Albert Lee, re-
portedly charges that the Univer-
sity has shiftedx its funds in such
a way as to distort the true nature
of its finances. The report has
not yet been officially released,
but its effect on the University's
appropriation has already been de
This year's budget will be the
second fiscal disaster in a row.
At this writings the University is
expected to receive a general funds
appropriation within $100,000 of
$63.3 million after requesting
$75.8. As a result, further sub-
stantial increases in tuition will
be made, and the University will
undergo another year in which
faculty salaries fall behind the
rest of the nation and programs
go underfunded.
The University will just have to
wait until th6 state decides to in-
crease taxes or institute new ones
before it can expect to have its
financial requests met by a gen-
erous state government.

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Court battles stymie U construction

Onus of administrators'

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Perhaps the most permanent
Legacy of the abortive Student
Power Movement of 1966 was the
solidification of a student image
of the administrators of this once
great University as devious and
conspiratorial beings totally dis-
dainful of student opinion, rights
or desires.
This year's transition from the
Eisenhoweresque leadership of
Harlan Hatcher to the mediation-
oriented regime of Robben W.
Fleming has done little to destroy
this widespread student view-
point. While avoiding some of the
worse blunders of the Hatcher
years, the Fleming ascendency has
done .relatively little to con-
vince the skeptical of its sym-
pathy toward student aspirations.
Like all, stereotypes, the stu-
dent image of the administration
contains a solid kernal of truth
embellished with a series of ro-
mantic misconceptions.
The underlying misconceptiion
probably stems from the fact that
if asked the function of the ad-
ministration, the average student
is likely to respond glibly, "run-
ning the University." The phrase
"running the University"s is high-
ly misleading, because the power
of the president and his vice
presidents is in many ways more
apparent than real.
For example, below the budget-
ary level, almost all academic
matters fall under the domain
of the various schools and colleges
who carefully nurture, their inde-
pendence and perrogatives. As for
non-academic matters here once
the administration was supreme.
But with in loco parentis barely
lingering on-despite the annoy-
ing length of its death throes--
these matters are now in the
hands of the students or their
Furthermore despite the om-
nipotence we seem to automati-
cally associate these days with
the office, President Fleming's

of former President Hatcher.
Since a change in the presidency
of a university is not the signal
for a wholesale purge, Fleming is
to some extent the captive of his
predecessor's advisors.
It seems that Fleming will
lafgely bypass this problem by
altering Hatcher's decision-mak-
ing process. Where Hatcher placed
great reliance on his vice presi-
dents-in fact for a while many
claimed that Vice President for
Business and Finance Wilbur K.
Pierpont was actually "running"
the University - Fleming seems
likely to place more of the re-
sponsibility on unofficial advisors
in whom he has deep confidence.
Reflecting his own background
as a labor mediator, all of Flem-
ing's close advisors are econo-
mists. They ,include Barbara
Newell, his assistant from his'
Wisconsin days, Arthur Ross, the
new Vice-President for State Re-
lations and Planning, and Wil-
liamr Haber, the retiring dean of
the literary college. 1
But a more important limita-
tion of Fleming and his fellow ad-
ministrators is that their power is
theoretically subordinate to that
of the Regents.
While Fleming handles or dele-
gates most day-to-day decisions
and as a result of his expertise
and the aura of his office often
dominates in long range matters
as well, the power and the pres-
ence of the Regents place very
definite parameters on what Fle-
ming can and cannot do with
Whatever their power relation-
ship, both Fleming and the Re-
gents are effectively hand-cuffed
by the seemingly endless financial
problems of the University.
While the appointment of
Arthur Ross may end the Univer-
sity's relatively incompetent per-
formance as a lobbyist, it is still
clear that the state legislature has
abandoned forever a commitment
to quality education here at the

blame for the level of education
and the size of classes here in
Ann Arbor must rest far more in
Lansing than it does in the new
Administration Building. But this
new Administration Building is
highly symbolic of the area in
which University administrators,
have been most neglibent.
The major areas of responsi--
bility of the administration lies
in the allocation of the Univer-
sity's scarce resources. Up to now
the priorities governing this dis-
tribution of dwindling money
have' been skewed to say the least.
It seems likely that one of
Fleming's major innovatidns will
be a master-plan, for it was this
lack which was one of the major
things which disturbed him on
taking over. Again it is the ap-
pointment of Arthur Ross as
Vice-president which indicates
Fleming's major committment in
this direction.
And it is on this record of allo-
cating resources that the adminis-
tration's record is the most dis-
mal. For example, while the new
Administration Building was paid
for by bonds, the money under-
writing those bonds could have
been put to far more useful pur-
The once planned Residential
College complex has been con-
signed permanently to East Quad,
becaue' the University was not
willing to borrow money to bring
that program to fruition. More
importantly underwriting the Ad
Building bonds could have been
used to offset the University's
steady and highly dangerous
downturn in the AAUP ratings of
faculty salaries.
But to a large extent these are
sins of the Hatcher Administra-
tion. It seems evident that under
Fleming there will be an improve-
ment in terms of master plan-
ning and lobbying in Lansing.
But, partially because of the lim-
ited powers of the administration,
too much must remain un-


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