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November 05, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-11-05

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Seventy-Sixth Year

An Aim for U.. Ai o olleges;

Where Oinions Are Free.420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

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

Reach: Unrealistic Aims,
Unqualified Candidates

should tell Reach political party about
it. For two-headed monsters aren't sup-
posed to exist after Oct. 31, and that's
exactly what Reach has become.
The organization has a dual goal. It
desires to greatly expand Student Gov-
ernment Council's store of information
and student support and at the same
time to place four candidates on Council
to somehow express this information and
These two goals are certainly not in-
compatible; ideally, they would go hand
in hand. But the students of the Uni-
versity, while encouraging the first goal,
should not allow Reach to place its can-
didates on SGC.
ON THE ONE HAND the party's con-
cepts of what a student government
should be-informed on a wide range of
issues-and what it should enjoy - a
wide base of student support-are very
commendable. Both have been elements
conspicuously missing from student gov-
ernment at the University.
It is clear that SGC as it exists now
cannot properly perform its function of
working toward "the student interest."
Some have felt that any real undercur-
rents of this "student interest" in fact
do not exist. Believing that students' in-
terests manifest themselves in specific
cases rather than in general concern, and
that any one of these legitimate con-
cerns would not be of great interest to
the student body as a whole, they have
felt that changes in SGC's organization
are called for.
Reach has taken another approach to
the problem of making SGC reasonably
representative of the University's stu-
dents. Their approach is simply one of
brute force, of physically getting out and
talking to as many students as possible,
in short, of creating that area of "gen-
eral student interest" which the reform-
ers have said does not now exist.
In this they may not succeed. Their
approach is cumbersome and at best they
can hope to expand this area of general
concern to only a small fraction of the
campus as a whole.
But their approach to the problem of
popularizing and informing SGC is a vi-
able one, with chances of some degree
of success if their determination holds
Time To Fight
THE TIME HAS COME for the academic
community to stand up and be count-
Attempts by the government to muffle
political dissent on foreign policy through
smears and red baiting threaten the con-
cept of free speech.
In the name of patriotism, blind men
are defeating the ideals for which they
claim they are fighting. It is sheer
hypocrisy to abridge freedom of expres-
sion on the home front in order to al-
legedly defend the freedom of others
And even if the claim is true that mi-
nority dissent creates false impressions of
American determination abroad, protes-
tors should not be coerced into conform-
ity by government sanctions.
A repetition of the witch hunts of Mc-
Carthy's day does not seem so far off
with Sen. Thomas Dodd, an allegedly
liberal Democrat, and others smearing

red paint all over professors who disagree
with the governmnt's handling of the war
in Viet Nam.
In the '50's most members of the aca-
demic community hid in their ivory tow-
ers during the red scares and the result
was disaster.
The academic community must not fail
ON SUNDAY at 7 p.m. in Room 3B of
the Union there will be a meeting of
a student faculty group seeking to pre-
vent the possible rise of neo-McCarthy-
ism. The people involved are from all
parts of the political spctrum.

UNFORTUNATELY, this cannot be said
for the abilities which Reach's four
candidates, Al Goodwin, '66; Pat McCar-
ty, '67; Neill Hollenshead, '67, and Bob
Smith, '67, would bring to SGC. Those
candidates should not be elected because
of their commitments to Reach's ap-
proaches to SGC, approaches uniformly
characterized by too much idealism and
too little grasp of the realities of student
(It may be argued that this is be-
cause of their inexperince on SGC, but
as a matter of fact, one of the things
the candidates have stressed is the fact
that all have served SGC in some ca-
pacity before, usually on committees. If
they have been able to maintain their
unbalanced idealism while serving on SGC
-if in other words they have ignored the
realities of administrative intransigence
and student pedantry found around SGC
-this certainly does not say much for
their potential abilities on Council.)
Their commitments to Reach's ap-
proaches to SGC hurts them in several
ways. In the first place, it provides them
with ideals about the University's admin-
istration which clearly do not apply in
many cases.
They promise to approach the admin-
istration "on its own level," assuming that
this will immediately abolish any areas
of student disagreement with that group.
Reach's approach here is one which as-
sumes administrative agreement will fol-
low on the heels of administrative un-
derstanding of the students' position, a
proposition which is simply not true.
Reach should realize that when it
promises "liaison contacts with . .. the
Board of Regents," it is unable to also
promise that those contacts will be any
more profitable than previous SGC-Re-
gent contacts. The distinction is an im-
portant one.
MOREOVER, Reach's approach, and thus
its candidates approaches, suffers
from a great willingness to retreat from
specific stands. The candidates have re-
peatedly reneged on their criticisms of
SGC's bookstore report, a key issue in
their platforms. Reach's demand for un-
derstanding the opponent's point of view,
commendable in itself, has evidently pre-
vented the candidates from strongly pre-
senting their own point of view.
A third example of Reach's pointless
idealism is their proud proclamation that
"Reach refuses to consider any definitions
of Left or Right or Middle-of-the-Road
as applied to its organization." If Reach
does not genuinely believe this statement
of their policy, then it is a mere ploy de-
signed to attract votes.
If, on the other hand, the party does
believe it, then it must believe that it
can effectively represent the views of
student groups which are themselves
more ideologically inclined clearly a prac-
tical impossibility. Reach is put in the
position of either denying its platform or
of ignoring the desires of its constituency.
The final panacea Reach promises SGC
is extensive and well-researched reports
on questions of interest to the campus,
such as housing or a bookstore. This
tends to imply that previous reports is-
sued by SGC were neither extensive nor
well-researched, which is simply not the
But even if Reach could prepare better
reports than previous groups have done,
this would still be no guarantee that
those reports would sweep away obstacles
as the candidates feel they will. Merely
because a case is well-presented does
not mean that it is won, a fact that the
Reach candidates seem not to have

overextending itself. Its attempts to
evangelize on SGC's behalf provide an ex-
cellent counterpart to the work that this
year's Council has accomplished. But in
attempting to elect candidates to SGC,
Reach has gone far beyond the bounds
of its experience and knowledge.
The election of Reach candidates to
SGC would be a disaster. It would place
on the Council students with grasps of
student government and its problems
which are clearly insufficient and who

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following,
entitled "A New Breed of BA's:
Some Alternatives to Boredom and
Unrest," is the second of two ar-
ticles on the future of education
inthe United States and is re-
printed by permission of The New
debating how much new edu-
cation legislation to introduce next
The argument does not concern
elementary and secondary educa-
tion; the Act passed last spring
opens enough new possibilities
there tonkeep everyone busy for
some time. But major new de-
partures are still needed in high-
er education.
Although the colleges them-
selves have been slow to present
their case, Washington officials
generally recognize that the cost
of higher education is going to
increase extremely fast in the next
few years, and most feel that a
growing fraction of the money
should come from the federal
Beyond this, nothing is settled.
Should the federal government
emphasize aid to individual stu-
dents, as my article last week
urged, or aid to institutions, as
the states have traditionally done?
According to the conventional
wisdom, higher education works
best when there is least "outside
intervention." If this were so, an
ideal aid program would consist
of automatic payments to all col-
leges, based on enrollment. (Schol-
arships also minimizetdirect fed-
eral intervention, though by
changing the character of the
"market" they would lead indi-
rectly to dramatic changes.)
dom about non-intervention is
correct, the American university
should have compiled a distin-
guished record on the teaching
side and a rather mediocre record
in research. In point of fact, this
has not happened.
The combination of external
financing and individual initia-
tive has encouraged a certain
amount of charlatanism and quite
a lot of nonsense on the research
side, but there has also been an
extraordinary amount of brilliant
work, a readiness to move into
new fields, try new ideas, and re-
spond to real problems.
In teaching, on the other hand,
collective responsibility and the
comparative absence of external
financial pressuress, far from en-
suring a generally high quality of
classroom performance, have led
to stagnation.

The basic pattern of undergrad-
uate instruction has not changed
at most universities since the turn
of the century. At that time the
departmental divisions of knowl-
edge were established, a system
of credit hours, lectures and ex-
aminations was worked out, and a
pattern of "distribution" and "con-
centration" requirements was cre-
All of these endure to this day.
The "system" was briefly leavened
with general education, but this
fashion is now being supplanted
by independent study. Some insti-
tutions have seasoned the soggy
mass with tutorial and seminar
programs. These innovations have,
however, done little to alter the
basic style of undergraduate in-
THE CAUSES of this do not lie,
as some claim, in the power of
rigidity of administrators. Most
administrators are extremely sym-
pathetic to curricular innovation.
Control over the curriculum, how-
ever, is in the hands of the fac-
Again contrary to popular opin-
ion, the desuetude of the curric-
ulum is not due to universal fac-
ulty indifference.
On virtually every major uni-
versity campus in America there
are professors who want to develop
an interdisciplinary science pro-
gram for non-scientists, start a
small residential college where un-
dergraduates will have a common
curriculum and a chance to get
to know a small group of faculty,
or whatever. These ideas rarely
get off the ground.
Often they are vetoed by the
rest of the faculty, or by one or
another faculty committee. Even
if an idea is accepted in princi-
ple, departments are not willing
to release "their" members from
conventional teaching duties to
try something different. -
So the only way to break the
lockstep is to get outside money
to "pay off" the departments and
allow them to hire temporary sub-
stitutes for 'those who are doing
the unorthodox. Such money is ex-
tremely hard to get, especially
when the majority of the faculty
is unenthusiastic.
LIKE CONGRESS, university
faculties cannot be reformed from
within. But their power can be
supplanted, as has happened in
the research realm. For research
purposes the university has been
turned into a federation of inde-
pendent entrepreneurs, regulat-
ed by panels of academicians who
meet regularly in Washington to
give out money.

My judgment is that the same
thing ought to be done in teach-
ing. In other wor is, professors
ought to be given the same free-
dom to plan and execute a pro-
gram of instruction that they now
have in research.
When I have proposed this to
professors I have always been told
that it would lead to chaos. No-
body would want to teach fresh-
man English. Everybody would
wind up offering courses in esot-
eric specialties. Some people might-
stop grading their courses, or
might offer only tutorial instruc-
tion, or might stop teaching al-
Crackpots would give courses on
civil disobedience and LSD. "Stan-
dards" would be lowered. "The
meaning of the BA" would be di-
Not Alarming
alarm me. If nobody now on the
faculty wants to teach illiterate
freshmen, new kinds of faculty
members should be hired who do.
If the existing professors want to
teach graduate students rather
than undergraduates, that should
be their privilege-so long as there
are enough interested graduate
students to justify keeping them
on the payroll.
If some students cannot, un-
der this system, find anybody who
will teach what they want to learn,
they should be helped to transfer.
If the graduate schools find it
difficult to handle student tran-
scripts whichgmerelyrecord the
results of highly diverse encoun-
ters between the applicant and
various professors, so much the
worse for the graduate schools.
Undergraduate education has more
important functions that the sort-
ing and screening of potential
education needs today is not a
return to the good old days of
"community" and "sharedyob-
jectives," but an advance toward
pluralism and creative anarchy.
In today's curriculum impasse
the dissident minority already ex-
ists; the missing ingredient is
external support. The closest thing
to it now is a National Science
Foundation grant for curriculum
revision. These grants have, how-
ever, been restricted to projects
which have not just local but na-
tional relevance... .
If the rules were changed, and
appropriations increased, so that
college professors in all disciplines
could get NSF support for new de-
partures in undergraduate educa-

tion, both faculty politics and the
curriculum might be transformed.
To begin with, a local innova-
tor who failed to get support from
his department or his faculty could
look to Washington for support.
If he got help there, this would
strengthen his hand back home.
(An externally funded proposal
always has a better chance of ap-
proval than an internally funded
In addition, such a program
would enhance the status of the
able. professor who wanted to
'give his best efforts to teaching.
He would get full-time secretaries,
full summer salary and other per-
quisites now reserved to research-
ers with outside support.
More important, his ability to
get federal money would make
other institutions eagerto dhire
him. As a result, he would no
longer have to worry about tenure
or regular salary increases.
If his university wouldn't let
him do the kind of teaching he
wanted to do, he would be in a
strong bargaining position when
looking elsewhere. That, in turn,
would make his departmental col-
leagues more conciliatory.
A program ofnthis kind should
extend not only to small-scale
curriculum revision of the tradi-
tional sort, but to large-scale ex-
periments which involve setting
up new kinds of departments and
new kinds of colleges, either with-
in the existing universities or in-
The program should not only
launch new ventures but should
keep them going as long as they
continue to do something excit-
ing. It could begin on a fairly
small scale-say $50 million in the
first year. But the long-term aim
should be to provide a major new
source of funds for higher edu-
cation, having at least as much
impact on the status quo as re-
search grants have.
This implies that federal grants
to teachers should ultimately con-
stitute at least 20 or 30 per cent
of the nation's overall expenditure
for college instruction. This would
have meant giving away at least
$500 million last year, and more
than $1 billion in 1970.
IN PRINCIPLE, such a program
should be run by the US Office
of Education. On the basis of per-
formance to date, however, and
of the general quality of person-
nel in USOE, it might be better
to leave it to the National Science
Foundation for the present.
WOULD ALL of this have any
significant effect on the "unrest"
which now troubles many cam-

puses? I doubt it. The kind of
reform which most faculty now
envisage, and which Washington
officials seem ready to sponsor,
consists at bottom of improving
communication between professors
and their potential apprentices
An Anti-Academic
Because every young American
now knows that he has to have a
BA to become a full citizen, the
campuses are crowded with stu-
dentsiwhothavesno desire to ap-
prentice themselves to an aca-
such students have been herded
demic discipline. Traditionally,
through a mixture of professional
and service courses, injected with
a dose of mild liberal arts vaccine,
and sent on their way.
Now, however, many able but
anti-academic students are no
longer willing to get C's and keep
quiet. If the idiocies were elimin-
ated from the curriculum and the
most exciting side of scholarship
made immediately accessible,
some of these dissidents might
become interested in getting A's
and becoming scholars. But not
professors to believe, there are
students who are not stupid, hed-
onistic or philistine, but who
nevertheless find the delights of
academic analysis, categorization
and discovery rather pale...
Despite hretoric about "training
leaders," the betterscolleges are or-
ganized on the assumption that
the good life is in fact the aca-
demic life. They offer few expe-
riences outside the classroom, no
future except graduate school, and
no adult models except scholars..
The quest for other kinds of
experience leads these students in
many directions: to living among
the poor in a slum, to manning a
picket line, to civil disobedience
and jail, to drug-taking and (per-
haps most commonly) to bed.
Conceivably it could also lead
them to the classroom, but not 'so
long as the curriculum remains in
the hands of scholars dedicated to
"objectivity" and "value-free re-
Yet these are ideals which cur-
riculum "reform" as curreitly en-
visaged is unlikely to challenge. It
is the essence of the academic
profession to focus attention on
questions which are researchable
-and by existing academic meth-
ods. For some students this is
satisfying, but not for the student
whose primary concerns are po-
litical and moral.




Trash Can Of History

The Ills of U. S. Co lleges

!. ..
f '1
p , N., .
r^ !
_ . :

Collegiate Press Service
A PROFESSOR from England,
teaching in the U.S. for the
first time last year, was astounded
when he faced his first class of
American students and found that
several were missing. A pretty
coed finally solved the mystery by
telling him, "It's Friday and a lot
of kids like to go home, so they
skip class."
The following Monday, again
facing his abbreviated class, the
professor expressed surprise. How-
ever, when someone told him, "A
lot of kids aren't back from their
long weekend yet," he accepted
On his way to the Wednesday
class, the professor thought to
himself, "At last I'll get to see
all my students."
However, when he stared out at
the empty seats, he asked, "Where
is everyone today; where is every-
body?" and a cooperative stu-
dent in a back seat happily an-
swered, "Today's Wednesday, the
middle of the week. You don't
expect us to ,study all the time,
do you?"
wonders what is wrong with higher

education in America.
And this, the $64' question, re-
mains unanswered-despite ob-
vious signs of student dissatisfac-
tion with their education.
Students come to the campuses
of America's colleges and univer-
sities seeking excitement and stim-
ulation in their new-found aca-
demic environment. And, almost
without fail, and even in the out-
standing centers of learning in
the country, they find disappoint-
ment and disullusionment.
This.is not to say that all stu-
dents, or even most of them, are
interested in learning for its own
sake; however, those students who
are find themselves.frustrated by
the system which dominates
American higher education.
As one Berkeley student has
written, ". . there is a deep and
bitter resentment among many
students about their life at the
university. It is a resentment that
starts from the contradiction be-
tween the public image and repu-
tation of the university and their
actual day-to-day experiences
there as students." (From the
book "Revolution at Berkeley").
IN OTHER WORDS, as fresh-
men and sophomores-and even
during their last two years of high

school-students are forced to at-
tend classes that often are devoid
of intellectual stimulation, and
taught by dull professors with
out-moded ideas and techniques.
Today's students have no say in
their cQurse offerings or curricula
in general. They are introduced to
their future alma mater with an
out-dated orientation program;
and thereafter, they are told what
courses to take, regardless of their
likes or dislikes, and are forced
to accept what the institution
deems advisable.
Students learn to get through
their education by mastering a
four-year system of lectures, read-
ing lists and examinations but
they have little to do with gen-
uine learning.
However, the outlook is not all
black for higher education in
America, because some students
manage to beat the system and
get a reasonable education in
spite of their institutions of learn-
AND AS the professor from
England said, "American students
may someday seek an education
for its own sake. Students in
Great Britain have tried it and
found it to their advantage.
"And they go to classes too."


Lindsay Shows the Vitality of the Center

mayoralty election it is neces-
sary to clear away the confusions'
and distortions which have result-
ed from the capture last year of
the Republican Party by the
Goldwater faction.
In a city where for every regis-
tered Republican there are three
registered Democrats, a Republi-
can candidate has been elected.
This is the fact of the matter, and
we must let it be obscured and
distorted either because John V.
Lindsay campaigned as an inde-
pendent in a city where the Re-
publican Party has a bad name or
because a minor opponent, Wil-
liam Buckley, kept crying that
Lindsay was not a Republican at

1964, overthrew the established
leaders of the Republican Party
and captured the party. In their
eyes Lindsay is not a Republican.
But looked at objectively, those
who challenge Lindsay are a mere
fringe who would have opposed
every Republican elected or nom-
inated to the Presidency in this

normality of the election is at-
tested to also, as I see it, by the
fact that Buckley's vote was well
within the usual limits of the pro-
portion of extremists in New York
or in the country.
In the old days in New York
City the rule of thumb was that
among the voters and in the popu-
lation as a whole there was, as it
was then called, a lunatic fringe
of extremists and eccentrics which
was something between 10 and
20%. By this measure Buckley
did only fairly well among the
fringe who were potentially his
Furthermore, the early analysis
of the returns yields reassuring
evidence that some 85% of the

Goldwater in his


York election and Lindsay's vic-
tory is of great national signif-
icance. I hasten to say that this
carried with it no suggestion that
he could or should let himself be
involved in the contest for the Re-
publican Presidential nomination
in 1968.
On the contrary. He is in honor
bound, as he himself has said, as
his wife repeated on Tuesday night
when the tide of victory began to
come in, to dedicate himself to
the mayoralty of New York.
The national significance of the

election is the demonstration that
a Republican who has stayed in
the mainstream of the party's tra-
dition, who has not stood pat with
the old guard in Congress or dis-
sipated himself consorting with
the, extremists, can-if he has
ability and a convincing record-
win elections even when the
Democrats outnumber him.
THIS IS the answer to the inter-
nal struggle of the Republican
Party: to compete on even terms
with the Democratic Party, it
must become again, as it has been
in all its successful experience, a
party of the vital center, not of
the extreme.
(c} 1965, The Washington Post Co..

(C)1965, The washington Post Co.


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