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April 15, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-04-15

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set ifur i an eug
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Con frontations in


'Harvard style'


420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



National editorial.
ROTC must not get credit

Editorial Page Editor
H ARVARD ALWAYS insists on
doing things in its own in-
imitable way, even staging con-
Last week's student strike turn-
ed out to be no strike at all. Stu-
dents did stay away from classes
in rare unanimity, but the boycott
of classes was not a tactical show
of strength to warn President
Nathan Pusey's administration of
student solidarity behind a lis# of
demands. The "strike" turned out
to be an all-campus intellectual
exercise where students engaged,
one another in political discussion
-in the best tradition of Harvard
The "Harvard way" of settling
disputes places absolute faith in
the sanctity of rational dialogue.
Most students display a deep re-
spect for the wisdom and author-
ity of the faculty. When moderate
students became concerned with
Pusey's decision to call in police
to arrest those anti-ROTC stu-
dents who had seized an admin-
istration building, students turned
to the faculty to settle the matter.
And so the student "strike" be-
came a three-day period where

students and faculty took time out
from classes to take an introspec-
tive look at their Fair Harvard.
Unlike other confrontations, the
Harvard dispute is between SDS
and the administration with stu-
depts choosing sides. It is simply
a matter to be settled between
students and faculty.
developed from an SDS takeover
of University Hall to seek support
for demands that Harvard abolish
ROTC and discontinue its plan for
tearing down low-income apart-
ments in the community for the
new Kennedy library and expand-
ed medical school facilities. The
administration became alarmed
when the anti-ROTC students
ejected Harvard deans from the
building and released some confi-
dential documents in the admin-
istration's files to an underground
Pusey foolishly summoned the
police in the early hours of Thurs-
day morning. Witnesses say that
the club-swinging police entered
the building without warning. Ad-
ministration officials claim that a
warning was given but admit it
was possible that the warning' was
inaudible inside. One professor

testified that he did not hear a
warning and was standing twenty
feet from the building. In any
case, the violent clash resulted in
the arrest of 184 Harvard stu-
Various moderate student groups
met together in Harvard's Memo-
rial Church in response to the
morning "bust." They cautiously
expressed their disapproval of the
use of police on campus. But the
students refused to take any posi-
tion on SDS's ROTC demands, and
instead issued moderate demands
of their own asking that the Uni-
versity structure be made more
The Mem Church Group, as the
moderates call themseleves, seem-
ed content just to have an organ-
ization for the sake of having one.
They were quick to emphasize its
allegiance to the faculty and
launched out on a course of gen
-crating discussion among the
various housing units on campus.
completely pleased about the out-
come of a closed faculty meeting
held Friday afternoon but re-
mained virtually silent. The fac-
ulty of aits and science adopted
a resolution deploring' both the
use of police on campus and the

-Daily-Larry Robbins

ONE OF THE unintended domestic
consequences of the war in Viet-
nam has been the growing awarness of
dangers of intimate connections be-.
tween the military and academia.
Perhaps the most blantant example
of colleges a n d universities willingly
perfor ing functions that are rightly
the exclusive concern of the military is
the Reserve Officer Training Corps
After many years of relatively tran-
quil existence on the nation's campus-
e ROTC has come under fire of late
from those who belive that philoso-
phically and pedagogically, military
training has no place in an academic
In recent months such leading insti-
tutions as Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth,
Harvard and Stanford have all taken
steps toward revoking academic credit
from their ROTC programs. Currently,
many other colleges and universities
are a 1 s o re-evaluating the status of
their own ROTC programs.
THE STANFORD decision is especially
significant because it was premised
on philosophic rather than pragmatic
grounds. As a member of the commit-
tee which prepared the report explain-
ed, "We began with a definition of the
university and found an essential con-
flict between this and the concept of
Academia's traditional function is to
inspire critical thinking about m a n
.'and his society aloof from partisan or
superficial considerations. But it is im-
possible for colleges and universities
even to pretend to perform this unique
role if they are also subsidizing t h e
brutal militarism of the outside world.
Some have argued that academic in-
stitutions, especially those which are
publicly sponsored have an obligation
to be politically neutral and that this
neutrality requires the continued sup-
port of ROTC programs on campus.
At a time when the military is an in-
tregal element in an expansionist for-
eign policy opposed by a sizeable seg-
ment of the population both inside and
outside academia, it is clear that the
ROTC program is as partisan in its own
way as Students for a Democratic So-
Thus, in a. modern context colleges
and -universities are o n 1 y politically
neutral when they as institutions stand
between the government and its critics.
Xlearly, continued academic support
for ROTC would be the height of po-
litical partisanship.
HANS MORGANTHAU wrote recent-
ly that one of the key lessons of the
Vietnam War was the danger of too
intimate a relationship between t h e
campus and the government. For al-
ready, he rioted, large segments of the
academic community have been trans-
formed "into a mere extension of the
government bureaucracy, defending
and implementing policies regardless
of their objective merits."
ROTC is not only antithetical to the
ultimate purposes of higher education,
but contrary to basic pedagogical prin-
ciples as well.
While t h e development of critical
thinking is an integral part of a lib-
eral education, the teaching methods
employed in ROTC programs tend to
emphasize rote learning and deference
to authority. This is far from surpris-
ingas critical thinking has never been
a highly prized militarfy* virtue. Con-
sequenty, the ROTC program is gear-
ed to produce intellectually stunted

An example of the type of education-
al thinking behind the ROTC program
at many universities is provided by a
solemn pronouncement made last year
by an ROTC officer at the University
of Minnesota. In a frightening serious
echo of Catch-22 he declared, "March-
ing is the basic leadership program for
every officer."
Equally alien to the ends of a liberal
education is the unquestioning submis-
siveness endemic in the rigidly hier-
archical structure of military educa-
tion. It is hard to develop any spon-
taneity - much less dialogue - within
the classroom when the professor is not
just a teacher, but a superior officer as
FOR THOSE congenitally unimpressed
by philosophical arguments pre-
dicted on the goals of higher education,
there are some equally potent prag-
matic reasons why ROTC is in no way
a valid academic offering.
A faculty curriculum committee at
the University of Michigan stated the
case clearly when it charged that
ROTC course materials used in An n
Arbor were "conjectural, non-analyti-
cal, cheaply, moralistic and often blat-
antly propagandistic."
The bulk of the ROTC program con-
sists of technical courses often 1 e s s
rigorous than similar courses offered
in the math, science and engineering
programs of most colleges and univer-
Typical of those ROTC programs not
duplicated elsewhereis an Air Force
ROTC course entitled, "The history of
the role of the Air Force in U.S. mili-
tary history." Designed primarily to in-
culcate institutional loyalty, rather
than to develop critical thinking,
courses like this are clearly not history.
They are not even valid military his-
tory since inter-service rivalry results
in an inflation of the role of the Air
The intellectual vacuity of m a n y
ROTC courses is directly related to the
rather limited educational b a c k-
grounds of the preponderance of ROTC
Despite education which normally
does n o t exceed a bachelor's degree,
ROTC instructors are accorded a status
comparable to professors in more rig-
orous disciplines. And due to the high
degree of autonomy of the ROTC pro-
gram, colleges and universities h a v e
little direct control over t h e hiring,
firing or promotion of these ROTC in-
BUT OBECTIONS such as these
spring primarily from the form ra-
ther than the underlying substance of
ROTC. On a substantive level, it is dif-
ficult to avoid the blunt assertion that
training soldiers whose ultimate aim is
to kill is totally hostile to the principles
of academia.
It w a s the simplistic "my country
right or wrong" patriotism of the First
World War which spawned the original
ROTC program. But one of the clearest
lessons of the Vietnam tragedy is that
such unquestioning support of govern-
ment policy is not only morally bank-
rupt, but counter to the long-range
interests of the nation as well as the
In order to reassert the sanctity of
academia as a morally and education-
ally autonomous institution, it is nec-
essary to end the universities' role as
the unquestioning servant of govern-
ment and military. T h e abolition of
ROTC as a sanctioned course offering
would be a major step in this direction.

building takeover. The faculty
agreed to establish a committee
to handle all disciplinary action
against students-no civil charges
would be filed. They also indicated
that they would consult other
Harvard faculties and students
about possible changes in 'Har-
vard's authority structure.
As often is the case, the original
demand's that iginited the conflict
will probably go unconsidered. The
Mem Church Group refuses to
recognize itself as a collective body
of students and cannot be counted
on to force either the administra-
tion or the faculty to consider
ROTC or Harvard expansion into
the community. The moderate stu-
dents actually pose no threat to
the faculty or administration. In
fact, they are probably the ad-
ministration's best bulwark against
The Harvard Corporation, the
school's governing body, an-
nounced on Sunday that it would
close the university if another
building were taken. It does not
take many people to occupy a
building, and SDS could easily
force the Corporation to make
good its silly threat. Under these
conditions, any further alliance
between SDS and the moderate
students becomes tenuous.
But the ROTC issue and the seiz-
ure of University Hall will probably
lead to nothing more than one
of the biggest identity crises in
Harvard history. The flurry of
discussion sparged by the moderate
student coalition should convince
most people that Harvard is not
ripe for radical action.
It is very unlikely that radical
students could ever muster enough
support to close down the uni-

versity. Harvard students, as a
rule, do not feel oppressed by the
university. Students claim that
they have a great deal of freedom
in their academic and personal
lives. The Harvard student is gen-
erally content with the situation
there and feels little threat by the
presence of such things as ROTC.
tant action is unlikely to win sup-
port at Harvard is because of the
close ties between students and
faculty. The faculty of Harvard
exercises far more authority than
the administration, and students
generally endorse the faculty's au-
thority. One leader of the Mem
Church Group said that he did
not even believe that faculty meet-
ings should be open to public view.
Most moderate students profess
loyalty to Harvard and feel that
SDS poses a threat to Harvard's
quality. One member of the Mem
Church Group said, "We really
love Harvard' and do not want to
do anything that will destroy it."
The hesitancy to take any kind
of action was reflected in a Mem
Church Group press conference
where leaders of the group refused
to speak in any other capacity
than as individuals.
While moderate students gener-
ally agree that the structure of
the Harvard Corporation is un-
democratically constituted and too
business-oriented, they are not
likely to sanction any meaningful
action-other than discussion-to
force a' change.
There is little reason to believe
that the student "strike" at Har-
vard will lead to any radical
change at the university. Dis-
traught parents can rest assured
that Junior will continue to be
safe at Harvard.



-Daily-Larry Robbins

Redistributing the departmental power

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The author is
an associate professor of psychology.)
ONE OF the most urgent tasks
facing this University is to
redistribute the power now ledg-
ed in departments, especially the
power to hire, "discontinue," pro-
mote, and appoint with tenure.
,M~ore of this power needs to be
placed (1) in the hands of the
faculty as a whole, in the form of
more equitable and human pro-
cedures which the faculty can
and should enact, (2) in the hands
of a man's colleagues outside his
department, in recognition of such
college-wide contributions as in-
terdisciplinary activities, teaching,
and service, and (3) in the hands
df students, whose needs and
views regarding teaching ,excel-
lence and creativity, service, and
relevant scholarship are slighted
by the current system.
In order to accomplish some of
these ends I and my colleagues
have created an ad hoc faculty-
student committee on tenure and
we have reviewed two specific cas-
?s of assistant professors not re-
commended for reappointment
and tenure. After concluding that
the literary college as a whole was
poorl yserved by the two depart-
mental decisions we began ef-
forts to (1) have the specific cases
reviewed and (2) efforts to alter
the procedures and criteria which;
could generate such decisions. It
was with regard to the more gen-
eral issues which affect many
junior faculty, and indirectly the
entire faculty-student commun-
ity, that I introduced four mo-
tions before the faculty meeting of
April 7.
are largely procedural. Number
one would place the faculty on re-
cord as expecting a departmental
chairman and executive commit-
tee to explain why a man was
not recommended for reappoint-
ment, stating clearly the grounds
for their decision. This term some
faculty members whose appoint-
ments are not being renewed have
had to guess why. The chairmen
either said nothing or dismissed
queries with a few ambigious
words, spoken with the under-
standable embarassment and dis-
comfort of such moments. The
literary college procedure for ap-
pealing in one's own behalf is
therefore a procedure where one
must state one's grievance with-
out knowing the basis of the de-

used. If, however, the man can
carry his appeal to his college
directly, then he has a chance for
a review that will be more than a
rationalization of the decision al-
ready made.
make possible a review of a de-
partment decision if at least five
of the man's colleagues intervene
in his behalf. So much of what we
have learned as "good form"
constrains us from self-seeking
that it is no wonder individual
faculty members refrain from us-
ing grievance procedures in order
not tocompound their plight by
being tagged as a trouble maker
or a cry-baby. The current griev-
ance procedures imply that the
only aggrieved parties this year
are specific faculty members. But
that is not the case. Many of the
colleagues of the men denied ten-
ure are thereby losing contact
with the competence and creativ-
ity of these irreplaceable men. It
is only right, therefore that, un-
less the man in question will not
consent to this, appeal in his be-
half, we who are his aggrieved col-
leagues should have the right to
appeal directly to the dean.
FINALLY, IN the fourth motion
the issue shifts from procedures
to criteria. This motion would es-
tablish a second channel of in-
formation coming in to the dean
each year, one to supplant but
not replace the existing channel
of recommendations from depart-
ments. This second channel would
originate in a student-faculty
committee specifically instructed
to review each junior faculty man
up for tenure. These student-fac-
ulty panels would consider the
man's scholarship, teaching, and
service with special reference to
the interests of the college.
Implicit in this motion is our
conviction that the cur'rent ai'-
rangement relies far too heavily
on 1 the department. The several
departments, given their inevita-
ble preoccupations with their na-
tional ranking and prestige, are
often in a poor position to recall
and respond to the legitimate
neds of students, other faculty,
and the taxpayers.
colleagues outside his department
a chance to evaluate a man's per-
formance and promise, the dean
and executive committee will pos-
sess new and vital information.

the concerns of departments and
the concerns of studentsand the
wider academic community. When
these interests diverge, and a
man's livelihood and career are at
stake, the need for a new way of
making decisions becomes painful-
ly clear.
these efforts are diverse and elu-
sive. We would seek to break
through the orthodoxies which
can, unchecked, gain control over
a particular department, thereby

depriving the University of new
approaches and dissident views.
We would seek an end to thewdays
where whether a man "fits in"
controls his future in the college.
Only with difficulty did the
fair housing movement persuade
residents that their insistance
upon compatable neighbors need-
ed to be restrained. It is time now
to restrain the club-like atmos-
phere of some departments which
value a man's capacity to be "part
of the team" over his ability to
be effective with students, other

colleagues, and the community at
divisions often fail to correspond
to the emerging areas of promising
research and theory, and thus we
would hope to find ways to reward
the trail-blazer who cuts across
old boundaries.
We would, most of all, seek to
apply fairly and universally the
publicly stated, but privately ne-
glected, criteria of excellence:
scholarship,rteaching, and service.

Letters to the Editor


Language demands
To the Editor:
THE LITERARY college faculty
has once again refused to
acknowledge the existence of a
student voice. Despite an over-
whelming mandate from the stu-
dents to abolish language and dis-
tribution requirements, the faculty
virtually took no action along
these lines. By choosing to ignore
student opinion the faculty has
proven themselves to be entirely
unresponsive to students. Students
must now realize that to obtain
change through administrative
channels is impossible.
In February at a mass meeting
sponsored by SGC and Radical
Cau.cus the problem of what action
to take was discussed. Radical
Caucus appealed to the students
to stage a disruptive sit-in in sup-
port of abolishing the language
requirements. Both a mass peti-
tion (drive in which 3700 students
demanded the end of language and
distribution requirements) and a
non-disruptive sit-in failed to
phase the faculty, and supporters
of the disruptive sit-in realized
there was no alternative available.
Opponents of the sit-in argued
that it would "alienate" the fac-
ulty just when they were about
to abolish the requirement.
Mark Levin, the editor of The
Daily and major opponent of the
sit-in at that time, argued that
"it is obvious the faculty will
abolish the requirement in March"
because of the strong student sup-
port. Unfortunately, many people
at the mass meeting also put faith
in the faculty and the sit-in pro-
posal was voted down. It is only
Y .: a ~ v. cyv +_-no+"'Onn~at.a

the faculty. This is the key issue
-not whether language is good or
bad but whether the faculty (or
other students for that matter)
have the right to impose their
values on students in terms of a
SGC will aquaint incoming
Freshmen with the issue during
summer orientation and provide
them with salient information
concerning the student non-role in
decision-making. In the fall; stu-
dents must apply mass pressure.
It is obvious that trying to per-
suade the faculty through admin-
istrative channels is impossible
and that students must now assert
themselves outside these channels
to see that their demands are
-Carol Hollenshead,
SGC Member
-Marc Van Der Hout,
Executi-e Vice President
-Mary Livingston,
SGC Member
-Mike Farrell,
SGC Member
April 14
Dorm succession
To the Editor: -
our secession from house gov-
ernment need clarification. We
hope, in this letter, to express the
reasons behind our present dis-
satisfaction with the dormitory
government and to present a pos-
sible alternative.
An analysis of the situation re-
veals that the established system
is not in the interest of students.
Trhp innriiidil Rnripn+ i l+ftn+t

The student's voice has been
sacrificed for the sustentation of
an inadequate governing struc-
ture. Clearly, direct democracy can
work on the level of the dorm.
The issues there are neither com-
plex or immediate.
government guided by the prin-
ciples of a participatory democracy.
is all that we ask.
It was stipulated in the housing
contract that all students must
fall under the jurisdiction of these
governments that were not created
and continued by their consent.
Thus, students obviously did not
willfully acquiesce and this is a
contradictione ofparticipatory
That is the heart of the issue-
participatory democracy. This de-
gree of student decision-making
power is not in effect today. Only
when students are guaranteed a
share in that policy-making pow-
er, can we create a more mean-
ingful and expedient student gov-
-John Werbe, '72
-Bob Levi, '72
-Steve Schear, '72
April 9
Daily deletion
To the Editor:
campus newspaper is to report
campus activities, regardless of the
staff's feelings toward the groups
involved. For the second consecu-
tive year, The Daily has failed to
cover the biggest activities of the


University of California, Berkeley
UCLA, Los Angeles
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Davis
University of Colorado, Boulder

Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
University of Nebraska, Omaha
Duke University, Durham, N.C.
Rutgers University, NewBrunswick, N.J.
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Han. Crnn1lie State University of New York.


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