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December 05, 1965 - Image 22

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The Michigan Daily, 1965-12-05
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1~

4

-igher Education:
'Across the Street'

The View from

An Interview with a Former
University Vice-President,
And Berkeley's New Chancellor

On Sept. II The Dailgys Senior Edi-
tors held an extended interview with
RogerW W. Ieyns, echo ate tabort to (as-
smne the position of chancellor at the
Unirersity of California's Berkeley
canapas after serring as the University's
nice-president for acadentic affirs since
1962. Eleyns -answersh here qulestions

about problems in higfher edicatioin id
in administering a large university-
problemies with studlents, faculty and state
and federal governments. In addition,
excerpts from his first major speech at
Berkelet are included for his view of the
sittation there.

Roger W. Heyns

Q-There have been several significant
steps taken at the University recently
aimed toward student involvement in
policy-making and policy-influencing-
particularly in the field of housing. Is
this sort of invlovement a good thing,
and would you go so far as to say that
students ought to have real power-votes
on the committees, say-as a logical next
step?
I am referring to the meetings be-
tween administrators and students who
have worked with and studied the hous-
ing problem-meetings which have re-
sulted in the formation of advisory groups
for Vice-Presidents Cutler and Pierpont.
A-I certainly think that the kind of
discussion and interaction between ad-
ministration and students that went on
this week is very sound and good and
gratifying and promising for the future.
I think there are lots of areas in which
meaningful student interaction can be
extended. I think the point is very well
taken that it isn't so much who makes
the decisions but who influences them,
and this applies also to your question
about voting. There may be some places
where you can't have a vote, or where
that is not the way to do it.
All of us are interested in high quality
decisions, and then if there are areas
where students can make a contribution
that will increase either the quality of
the decision, or its acceptability, then by
all means students should participate.
When we come to the question of stu-
dent participation, we're talking about
delegation of authority. Somebody has
got to say: this was formerly our area or
my area of decision making, I would like
to involve in a responsible way these
people, and even give them a vote. This
has to be accepted as a way of operating.
One individual can't say for the Uni-
versity as a whole how far this ought to
extend because the people involved are
going to have to extend it. The vice-presi-
dent for academic affairs isn't going to
say, from now on the students are going
to participate in the determination of
graduation requirements of the literary
college. If it is to be done, it must be
done by the college.
Q-Would you agree with the philoso-
phy that students should be involved in
non-housing issues such as academies?
A-Oh, yes. No question about that. But
I think that this is one of the areas
where we must show more inventiveness
than we have up to now. It is probably
the most exciting area of university or-
ganization. I hope that Berkeley can
make a contribution in getting new modes
of faculty-student interaction on aca-
demic issues.
Q-You are about to move from what
has generally been a fairly inactive cam-
pus politically to one quite famous in
that respect. How would you assess the
student movement here? Have you found
students intelligent in their evaluation of
problems in this University?

A-I don't really know whether it is
actually true that there is a lot more po-
litical activity on the Berkeley campus
than here. It has been more visible, and
it was localized on a particular issue, but
we've had a lot of interest in political
activity on this campus, it seems to me,
We've had a very active program bring-
ing people here-the Challenge group for
instance-and others have brought in
controversial speakers. So on the basis
of what I now know, I can't really ac-
cept the notioin that the qualiy or the
amount of political discussion is greater
there than here.
Student Contributions
Q-Maybe you can focus your dis-
cussion on Student Government Council
-what the formalized structural organi-
zations have done-and also talk a bit
about the non-formalized units, such as
Voice or SDS.
A-Apparently they are less active here.
It is hard to tell just how much of the
intensity at Berkeley arose after the
withdrawal of the famous piece of land.
That activated a great many people.
There was a large number of people
who were not active before.
This led to a lot of activism as a mode
of influence on the Berkeley Campus,
but there has been some of that here.
The activities of the University of Mi-
chigan Student Employees Union cer-
tainly have been accelerating.
Q-Do you really feel that the students
here have something to contribute and
have contributed something to you? I
know you have been in touch with them,
but the natural inclination of administra-
tors is to make everything work as op-
posed to really finding out what people
are thinking and why.
A-Ignoring problems is not terribly
intelligent if you want things to work,
and I do. Universities are complicated
institutions and certainly when things
get as out of hand as they did at Berke-
ley, then they are not working. Nobody
is happy and nothing is going right.
So the goal of making the system func-
tion smoothly is, I think, a laudable ob-
jective. If the institution is functioning
smoothly, then good teaching goes on,
good research is done, learning takes
place, and so on.
So I don't object to the description of
the administrator as one who sees to it
that the operation works smoothly. But
this does not mean ignoring people or
ignoring what they think. I think it is
terribly short-sighted if a bunch of in-
telligent people are unhappy with the
quality of their edudcational life-or un-
happy with someone-to ignore them, to
pretend that they are not there, I don't
really believe that anybody is skillful
enough to take concerned students and
softsoap them into thinking that you
are going to take care of something
which you are not going to take care of.
Students are specialists on hypocrites.

Q-Can you give examples of where
students have given you counsel, and
where you have taken specific measures
because of that counsel?
Some of the most important instances
of student influence on me have not
come about from face-to-face confronta-
tion. Articles, letters, editorials in The
Daily keep one in contact with some stu-
dents. As a result of these observations,
discussion with students and formal
visits with student leaders, I have kept
in touch with problems which I have
reviewed in turn with my colleagues on
the Academic Affairs Advisory Council.
We have, for example, discussed several
times the need for the colleges to look
at their techniques of student involve-
ment. This came as a result of SGC ac-
tivity.
Q-Do you think the students had an
impact in the case of -the residential
college?
They had an i mpact, first of all
through involvement in the residential
college right from the start. As a result
of student interest and concern, the peo-
ple running that thing at the very outset
encouraged students to participate.
Q-Are there differences you can cite
between the student bodies here and at
Berkeley?
My hunch is that they are very similar.
Q-The Berkeley demonstrations clear-
ly fostered a re-examination of the struc-
ture of the University of California, one
of the major universities of the world.
Assuming that the re-examination was
important, then wouldn't it be logical to
say that the demonstrations were also a
"good thing."
I think there are a substantial number
of people at Berkeley who feel that the
demonstrations called attention to prob-
lems that needed to be solved, and in
that sense they had some good effects.
You would like to think that there were
less violent ways in which one could have
gotten the same effect.
This kind of reasoning is a little bit
tricky, isn't it? If the Watts riots pro-
duce something? Undoubtedly you could
say that they had some good effect, but
you would still wish they would never
have had to occur, and you would rather
strengthen other techniques for produc-
ing social change.
Q-But we hear a lot about student
alienation in universities. You've been
around here for 25 years, give or take a
few, do you see any general trend here?:
Is this really a growing problem?
I suspect that this is a growing prob-
lem. Just the fact that I have been
around for 25 years doesn't really give
me perspective, however, because I've
kept changing all the time. I'm not sure
that it is very different for "the beginning
graduate student here now than it was
for me when I came. I thought it was a
terribly big and impersonal place and I
was apprehensive about whether I could
make It or not, and whether anybody

cared whether I did or not. So I'm not
sure really whether the incidence of ali-
enation has increased, but I'm not sure
that this is the issue.
The question now is whether there are
a lot of people who feel that way, and
whether there is something we can do
about it. The impression is that there
are now a number of people who are
less effective than they might be, and
a substantial number who are affronted
by. or unhappy about the depersonaliza-
tion, and therefore it is a significant
problem and we ought to work on it.
University Growlh
Q-Your office has come out with a
major report on growth here. One of the
major thrusts of this report was that the
University is going to continue to expand
rapidly. We can already see some prob-
lems - registration, for example. What
kind of specific steps are being taken
beyond simply expanding existing de-
partments and so on to move from 30,000
to 50,000?9
It is a very long and complicated topic,
let me make what I hope will be a clari-
fying point about that growth report.
Prior to the report, we didn't have any-
thing in the way of agreed-upon projec-
tions. We were growing in response to
pressures of a certain sort, and we were
crowing in a kind of actuarial way. We
didn't have any long range plans.
Now we've got some numbers. The
Pumbers have been examined in the
course of the last year from the stand-
point of feasibility in a rather general
Tense. We have asked whether these plans
are appropriate for the unit, and what
the implications are for other units and
*o on.
We have a kind of general framework,
'Ihe projections can be modified, they are
not goals. They are not something that
you are going to feel a sense of failure
about if you don't get there.
Now, having said that we are going to
grow at this rate, what are the implica-
tions? What are the implications for
housing? What are the implications for
the registration process?
Until one,;had this plan, we were never
going to be able to tell what the problems
were that we needed to tackle People
used to say-look, we're going to have to
spend more money on data processing
equipment in the registration process, be-
cause as soon as we get to be 35,000 or
40,000 it is going to be chaos. But before
the plan, other people would reply; Well.,
who says we're going to be that large? So
we did a lot of flopping back and forth
between projections and immediate prob-
lems.
Now, I think, the report proposed a rate
of growth. Then questions raised by the
rate are meaningful and are taken seri-
ously. We are beginning to tackle them.
Had there been really straightforward
projections of the sort we're talking
about, maybe some of the problems that

THEA!4
They are influencing multimillion dol-
lar corporations; they have in a sense
set up a few of their own (Phil Spector);
they have changed the nation's credit
business . . . they are in the hills, the
fields, the beaches, the landing-grounds
. . . and they are, quite literally, cus-
tomizing and restyling American culture.
The immediate attitude of the tradi-
tionalist to all the above will probably be
one of horror and shock. To some extent
this is justified.
But to some extent, it is not. Almost
everyone, occasionally, enjoys some rock
'n' roll group. The Beatles, most particu-
larly for their irrellevance and irrever-
ence, have gained deserved popularity.
Stock car racing is exciting. Who has not
been mildly interested and amused by
reading of some of the exploits of, say,
Cassius Clay or Baby Jane Holzer?
And, as Wolfe notes in his story on
Phil Spector, the record tycoon, it is
even dangerous to maintain that the
Nether-culture (and hence, by extrapola-
tion, the new "In-culutre" of the Eseab-
lishment) is not a culture
He reports an enlightening discussion
on "Open End" between Spector, David
Susskind and William B. Williams (a
very conventional disc jockey who relies
primarily on Benny Goodman and such).
It is fascinating:
GET A little angry when people say
it's bad music," Spector says 'they
have both been attacking him for his
music).
"It has limited chord changes and peo-
ple are always saying the words are banal
and why doesn't anybody write lyrics
like Cole Porter anymore, but we don't
have any presidents like Lincoln any-
more, either. You know?
"Actually it's more like the blues. It's
pop blues. I feel it's very American. It's
very today. It's what people respond to
today. It's not just the kids. I hear cab
drivers, everybody, listening to it."
Susskind, though, is not unconvinced,
and starts to read the lyrics of one of
Spector's songs, which simply keep re-
peating, "He's a fine, fine boy." Spector
says, "What you're missing is the beat,"
and begins to drum his hands on the
table. His companions are still dubious.
Then, however, Spector gets irritated,
and confronts Williams: How many times
does he play Verdi on his show? Monte-
verdi? Domenico Scarlatti? Alessandro
Scarlatti?
Wolfe notes:
"Spector tells Susskind he didn't come
on the show to listen to somebody tell
him he was corrupting the Youth of
America - he could be home making
money. Susskind - well, ah, all right,
Phil."
In other words, why get alarmed over
the Nether- and In-cultures? Who, after
all, is entitled to judge a culture? What
is so reprehensible about the Rolling
Stones or hotrods?
Indeed, in Spector's words, "It's what
:eople respond to today." Wolfe clearly
igrees: although he at times finds var-
ous manifestations of these cultures
tmusing, evidently, he almost always
4pproves.
' HEGRAVE defect with such culture,
however, is that it seems to be the only
thing people respond to today. For these
two cultures are the two components of a
Schlock culture, the expressive name
which Wolfe unwittingly suggests in his
rhapsodizing, In this instance, about
Richardson, the publisher of Confidential:
"Yes! The aesthetique du schlock! Sch-
lock, which is -Yiddish for 'a kind of
'ersatz' ..," .. for something false.

Of course, Schlock culture is, if con-
sumed in relatively small qualities, quite
possibly a good thing. One would go in-
sane, certainly, without an occasional,
slight amount of mild insanity as an
outlet. The Beatles, the "Stones," Baby

Jane, Andy Warhol and all the rest pro-
vide something of this outlet.
But the shock of recognition of the
reality of the Schlock culture-its funda-
mental superficiality and its irrelevancy
-comes when one realizes: My God, peo-
ple are making a living producing this
"culture"!
The problem is one of proportion and
nature. That the Schlock culture is
"something" is probably natural and, to
some extent, useful and necessary. But
when it begins to play as important a
role in our culture as it now seems to be,
one wonders where our sense of propor-
tion--and values-has gone.
I AM STRONGLY reminded of the mod-
ern dance concert in Ann Arbor at this
year's Once Festival. During one number,
after several athletic dancers had en-
gaged in various activities bearing only
a marginal resemblance to dance, about
a dozen turtles with flashlights strapped
to the tops of their shells were let loose
to wander about.
As the turtles' flashlights played about
on the audience, which was seated on the
stage itself, inasmuch as the stage was a
parking structure, and as the turtles
wandered towards the audience, an
acquaintance of mine suggested, "They
are searching for an honest man."
As one of the turtles began moving to-
wards my date, however, the acquaint-
ance inexplicably changed his mind, and
suggested the turtles were instead "seek-
ing out the condemned among us."
At the end of the number, the turtle
was pointing his flashlight directly at
my date, who, apparently, is either honest,
doomed or both (one, perhaps, due to the
other).
The reason this sort of nonsense, which
attempts to pass itself off on gulible aud-
iences as culture, is indeed nonsense is
not because it is excessively avant-garde,
however, or because it strains the view-
er's conceptions.
It is, and does, nothing of the kind. In-
deed, this Schlock art is nonsense pre-
cisely because it is not in the least avant-
garde, and because it does nothing to
stimulate the viewer; it does not go far
"The shock of recog-
nit ion of the reality of
the Schlock culture, its
fundamental superfici-
ality and its irrele-
ranc , comes 'when one
realizes: Myg God, peo-
pe are making a living
producing- this cul-
ture'!"
enough. This nonsense is Schlock art
because it is not meaning, but mindless-
ness.
[HE SCHLOCK culture itself is basic-
ally a mindless one. It is a culture in
which one's acquaintances are impressed
by one's record collection not because it
represents culture or curiosity or taste.
or lack thereof, but simply wealth.
It is a culture which, as Wolfe notes
(apparently without regret), feels it
must make world news "exciting" by
calling it "Action Checkpoint News" and
must herald it by a diverse collection of
incomprehensible electronic b 1 e e p s,
whurps and boinks.
It is a culture in which, at a dinner of
the Detroit Economic Club, a speech by
the Vice President of the United States
is greeted at one dinner-table by deep
'slumber from four of its occupants, the
wakefulness of three others being induced

primarily by the low decolletage of its
eighth and last occupant.
It is a culture which has spawned a
sort of "pop" radicalism, one which re-
places trivia such as buttons and body
odor for social concern; which believes
great words are substitutes for good
deeds; which confuses militancy with
political effectiveness.
It is, above all, a culture of rather
mindless materialism in which novelty,
"ACTION!", fads and noise dominate;
which, as Wolfe notes, is seemingly pos-
sessed by "a communal fear that some-
one, somewhere . . . (is) going to be left
with a totally vacant minute on his
hands," presumably to reflect on the
drivel surrounding him.
T IS THIS loss of values which, again
from Wolfe's book, this charming little
vignette symbolizes so well:
"On the East Side IRT subway line,
for example, at 86th Street, the train
stops and everyone comes squeezing
out of the cars in clots and there on
a bench in the gray-green gloom, un-
der the girders and 1905 tiles, is an
old man slouched back fast asleep,
wearing a cotton windbreaker with
the sleeves pulled off. That is all he
is wearing. His skin is the color of
congealed Wheatena I a c e d with
pocket lint. His legs are crossed in
a gentlemanly fashion and his kindly
juice-head face is slopped over on
the back of the bench. Apparently,
other winos, who are notorious thieves
among one another, had stripped him
of all his clothes except his wind-
breaker, which they had tried to pull
off him, but only managed to rip
the sleeves off, and left him there
passed out on the bench and naked,
but in a gentlemanly posture. Every-
one stares at him briefly, at his con-
gealed Wheatena - and - lint carcass,
but no one breaks stride; and who
knows how long it will be before
finally two policemen have to come
in and hold their breath and scrape
him up out of the gloom and into
the bosom of the law, from which he
will emerge with a set of green fa-
tigues, at least, and an honorable
seat at night on the subway bench.
"The unfortunate thing is that a
naked old wino on a subway bench is
not even a colorful sight, or magical.
It is something worth missing alto-
gether, and in fact much of the
status symbolism of New York grows
out of the ways the rich and the
striving manage to insulate them-
selves, physically, from the lower
depths. They live up high to escape
the dirt and the noise. They live on
the corners to get the air. And on
Monday nights they go to the Metro-
politan Opera in limousines."
In sum, this loss of values, this dis-
torted sense of perspective, has resulted
in the final triumph, in the cultural sense,
of the efficiency of the market system of
our much - vaunted free - enterprise
economy.
The market now caters to the boorish
demands of a tasteless multitude whose
vulgar proclivities it ha, through adver-
tising, gladly helped create and which
it is only too pleased to satisfy. It now
caters, in brief, to the Schlock culture.
THE SIGNIFICANCE of the Schlock
culture-it cannot be stressed enough
-lies in its lack of perspective. This in-
herent lack of proportion leads our econo-
my, for example to devote great efforts
towards the production of gleaming auto-
mobiles while giving only minimal atten-
tion to the traffic congestion and air
pollution which spring inevitably from
their use,
As a result, our cities and their streets
are generally crowded,. noisy, noxious,
filthy and unliveable. The critics of the
automobile industry, who complain that

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1965

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