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March 07, 1967 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-03-07
Note:
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IL

Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY -SESOUICENTENNIAL SUPPLEMENT

Tuesday. March 7. 1967

Tuesday, March 7, 1967

THE !MICHIGAN DAILY - SESQUICENTENNIAL SUPPLEMENT

,,, - ._.. ,.. .. .. ... .. ..R. ..4 . .. ..., .r..r , ...... ...,... . ...., ... ...,.. I ,., ..... ,l v .

Research

at

the

University

By WALLACE IMMEN
Research activities have become
a vital part of the University's
program in a relatively short por-
tion of its 150 year history.
Although early grants date to
the turn of the century, funded
research did not become a con-
tinuing activity until the 1930's
These early programs, however,
were mainly based on gifts and
endowments and thus, expend-
itures did not exceed $200,000 be-
fore 1940.
It was not until the emergency
impetus of World War II that
teams of engineers and scientists
IINU
were specifically assempled at
the University, supported by fed-
erally sponsored war research and
development projects.
Recognizing the interconnect-
ion between research and a pro-
gressive academic stance, the Un-
iversity kept these research groups
together after the war as the fed-
eral government provided contin-
uing support for defense-oriented
projects.
Steady Growth
A steady growth in research
which has followed in the last
20 years was stimulated by stead-
ily increasing amounts of federal
money for research support. Pro-
grams branched out to include al-
most all of the physical and soc-
ial sciences, while expenditures for
research multiplied.
Last year, the University re-
ceived the second largest amount
of federal funds allotted to any
educational institution. However,
the vast commitment which the
University has developed for re-

search may be seen not only from
the sheer volume of this research
expenditure, which reached $52
million last year, but also from
the many special research facil-
ities on campus and the number of
researchers involved.
The role of research in the
educational progress continues to
be emphasized. The large number
of students at both the under-
graduate and graduate level in-
volved in various programs at-
tests to this. Whether they work
in their own sponsored grants
with supervision or assist a faculty
member or researcher, research
touches about one out of every
nine students at all times.
The Best Teachers
The best teachers are also at-
tracted " where the research is."
And a "teacher-scholar" orient-
ation is maintained in hiring new
faculty. The professor is expected
to give his prime attention to
teaching, but in many depart-
ments, interest in research activ-
ities is a major prerequisite for
a. position. The professor is ex-
pected to bring the latest from
his field to his students through
research.
Currently about 1300 graduate I
students at the University are in-
volved in a research project in
their field of study, which is
pointed to as a prime reason be-
hind the fact that an American
Council on Education Study last
year ranked ten of the Univer-
sity's graduate departments among
the top ten in the country.
The emphasis which the Univer-
sity places on reasearch 'begins
at the administrative level. Anew
vice-presidential p o s i t i o n in
charge of research was establish-
ed in 1958 with the appointment
of Ralph A. Sawyer, who had been
involved in research at the Uni-
versity since the war.
Consolidate and Strengthen
Today's vice-president, A. Geof-

much time away from department
staffs.
The Office of Research Admin-
istration was established to fill
this need and become a sort of
research liason organization. It
was designed to work through the
office of the Vice President for Re-
search to administer programs,
mediate staff. problems and pro-
mulgate the information as re-
sults are released.
Another administrative organi-
zation, created later, is the Spon-
sored Research Business Office,
which handles the fiscal and bus-
iness aspects of the $52 million re-
search budget. Working through
the controller's office, its major
responsibility is dealing with ac-
counts and contracts, but it also
handles a number of administra-
tive problems.
Current Overlap
These two organizations in con-
trol did not begin in the -same
way and are often necessarily
overlapping in their operations.
The administrators feel, how-
ever, that the current overlap has
been reduced to a level 'which is
useful, since it gives two points
of view to problems of research.
Even with conflicting purposes,
the current setup has proven far
more effecient than individual
administration through the de-
partments.
Another factor behind this type
of administration plan has been
the advent of the centers and in-
stitutes of the University, which
have become focal points of re-
search interest. Specifically de-
signed to handle specialized work
on a complex level, their work is
also often interdepartmental.
The largest 'operation under the
ORA resulted from an early at-
tempt to bring many research
projects under a unified admin-
istration, and was named, natur-
(Continued on next page)

CONGCRATULATIO

ON

150,

YEARS

C

GREAT

TRDTO

MICH IGAN'S

Wolverines -

THE NEW INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH BUILDING

frey Norman, is continuing to con-
solidate and strengthen the Uni-
versity's reaserch stance. He fun-
ctions as the University's agent
in consultation with major re-
search sponsors.
But he does not work alone.
With over 1700 ongoing research
programs to administer, an army
of supervisory staff, auditors and
record keepers are required to
keep track of the projects whose
combined total expenditures ex-
ceed a million dollars a week.
Unfortunately growth has not
kept pace with the phenomenal
growth in funded research work.
Large programs often quickly
bring in a great deal of special
equipment. Many studies require
special adaptation of facilities

and entploy a large, number of
support personnel. The adminis-
tration often finds at the end
of such programs that it must
contend with vast administrative
chains and physical facilities
which are no longer necessary.
Logistics and Planning
At first, problems of logistics
and program planning were hand-
led by the academic departments
in which they were conducted.
It was up to the department to
clear out dead wood and unify the
planning, making sure the funds
were being well used.
But this scheme soon became
unmanageable as research activ-
ities multiplied and special admin-
istration of research took too

[ r I

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THE
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ASSOCIATION
2 Years of

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Continuous

Service

FRATERNITIES AND

to the University
Community

SORORITIES AT MICHIGAN

I

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m - - * e - ..: :3 i ......... .,:..-.

I

west side
1940 W. Stadium
NO 2-2543

campus
1213 S. University
NO 3-3016

main plant
516 E. Liberty
NO 2-3231

I ' I

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