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August 29, 1967 - Image 35

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1967-08-29

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- - .d--~

'U' Bureaucrats:


Papers, Filing Memos

It is tradition on college news-
papers to haul out the collective
files on the school's administration
once each year to write an article
for the freshman supplement. Usu-
ally the article gives the big story
on the president and his vice-
presidents-"the men who run the
But this year I'm not going to
write an article like that. The rea-
son is that after three years of
running around the administration
building I have reached the con-
clusion that the administration
really does not have all that much
Many key university policy mat-
ters are not decided by or brought
about because of the University

I'm not implying that the ad-
ministration wouldn't mind run-
ning the school if it could get a
chance. It's just that in many
areas it lacks sufficient power.
What I am suggesting is that the
University administration devotes
a large share of its time perform-
ing clerical functions and shuf-
fling papers around to implement
decisions made by others.
Dedicated Men
All this is not intended to be
a slur against the administration
which is made up of dedicated
men working in what they believe
to be the best interests of the
University. But to a large extent
administrative duties are limited
to raising money, giving speeches,
signing papers, and performing
bureaucratic tasks that could be
done by a Kelly Girl.

Why doesn't the administration
have full control over the school?
Well, for one thing most of the
power over academics-the heart
of university life-is held by the
deans and faculties of the indi-
vidual schools and college. Power
over the faculty is largely vested
in the individual academic units.
Power over student organizations
is vested primarily in Student
Government Council. Power over
the football team is primarily
vested in Coach Bump Elliott and
his staff.
Thus it is that the journalism
department decides how much his-
tory of the, press a journalism
major should take. Cinema Guild
decides whether or not to. show
Flaming Creatures. Faculty mem-
bers give out the grades and de-
cide who passes or fails.

Occasionally the administration
makes a bold effort to exert some
real authority. For example, they
will try to quash student power
with a sit-in ban or the appoint-
ment of new Daily editors with a
behind-the-scenes warning. But
usually such efforts fail. The sit-in
ban prompted a massive revolt
and was ultimately "delayed" (re-
scinded). The Daily appointments
went through to the immense em-
barassment of the administration.
It can be argued that the ad-
ministration does occasionally
exercise its authority successfully,
For example it was able to defeat
a student drive for a university
book store, turn in the names of
65 students and faculty members
to the House Un-American Activ-
ities Commtttee and submit class
rankings to the Selective Service.

The inference could be drawn
that the administrattion over-
powered 10,000 students who want-
ed the bookstore, the faculty sen-
ate which didn't want the names
turned into HUAC, and a two-to-
one voting majority of the students
who opposed turning in the class
But this view misses the point.
It does not take any power to
adhere to the status quo as the ad-
ministration did in each of these
three cases. After all the Univer-
sity has always honored the in-
terests of local book merchants by
not going into competition with
them. And what show of power is
there in knuckling under to the
whims of HUAC or the Selective

'U' Battles State for Needed Revenues

Loud sighs of relief echo
through the University adminis-
tration building just before the
beginning of each fiscal year on
July 1.
For better or worse, this signi-
fies the end of the long trek to
Lansing and back to procure the
annual appropriations from the
state. Along the way the Uni-
versity must in a variety of ways
prove to the Governor's office and
almost 150 state legislators the
necessity of granting the Univer-
sity "substantial and needed in-
creases" over the previous year's
budget. Capital outlay funds must
also be secured for new classrooms,
residence halls and laboratories.
Last year the state provided
over $58 million in operating
funds and is currently helping to
pay for the new $6 million Den-
istry Building.
Larger Budget
With the ever-changing and
petty nature of Michigan politics,
presenting the University's case
for a larger budget andi needed
construction money becomes a
dangerous political game. Until
this year -the Governor and both
houses of the state legislature were
elected every two years. Under
the new constitution, the Gover-

nor 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 Republican
poltico, retaliations may occur
two years later when the Demo-
crats regain control of the state
house. If the University should be
a bit over cooperative with one
enterprising Democratic legisla-
tor, it may offend his Republican
counterpart. The University is
caught in the squeeze, trying to
placate both sides at the same
Vulnerable to Criticism
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
state legislators complaining a-
bout the rejection of one of their
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. "You'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-state en-
rollment, but University admin-
istrators persist in their belief that
such a decision is not in the con-
stitutional province of the Legis-
University Autonomy
The University has refused to
compromise even in the slightest
on the issue of the autonomy of
the University. The Regents are
constitutionally the only source of
power in making decisions con-
cerning University policy.
Controversy s t ill surrounds
two public acts passed in the 1965
session of the legislature. Public
Act 124 requires the approval by
the state of plans fot future con-
struction, before money can be
appropriated. The University has
ignored the act, refusing to com-
ply with its provisions at the ex-
pense of further state financed
University construction.
Public Act 379 allows state
agencies to bargain collectively
with their employes. The Univer-
sity contends that its autonomous
status excludes it from such a
law, and it is challenging its
constitutionality in the courts.
The actual needs of the Univer-
sity usually are secondary in de-

Explaining 'U' Requests for Increased Funds

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
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 number of tickets to
Wolverine football games that
have been distributed seems to
be even more important. The Uni-
versity enters the political log-
rolling and wheeling and dealing
game with much at stake in its
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. Moves to investigate
left-wing groups on campus have
been stymied but that possibility
remains open.
But by July 1, all the action
is usually over and the budget is
settled. If it is too small, and it
usually is, the University has to
seek other funds of revenue, such
as a tuition increase. The one
thing that can be assured is that
it is never too large.
This year's budget may prove
disastrous. At this writing, fiscal
reform has become a political
football and the state may soon
be on an austerity budget. Yet,
it is still possible that the new
taxes needed to finance all the
necessary state services may be
enacted. If not, tuition increases
and cutbacks in programs will
certainly be made. The University
lived quite well through the lean
years of the 1950's when the state
went bankrupt and it has internal
strength to sustain itself again.

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Legislative Panel Looks Into Ann Arbor Housing


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