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August 30, 1966 - Image 74

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The Michigan Daily, 1966-08-30

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PAGE FOUR

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 1966

E. F kU T E M C H G A .I L

The

University

and

the

State:

An Adolescent Relationship

By JOHN MEREDITH
Associate Managing Editor
Althotugh a truly national in-
stitution in academic standing and
the scope of its research activity,
the University remains dependent
on the state for a substantial por-
tion of its financial support.
Two decades ago it was the un-
challenged kingpin of Michigan's
system of higher education, an
established university more than
150 years old. Today it is being
transformed from a traditional
university into a multiversity, and
it is finding the transition period
akin to a second adolescence. As

it strives to attain the ideal of the
mature multiversity, the Univer-
sity is undergoing an adolescent's
awkward moments in trying to
redifine its relationships to its
old environment within the state.
Even in the future, the young
multiversity probably will not ful-
fill the far-ranging objectives en-'
thusiastically envisioned by some
educators. More likely, it will be-
come a somewhat specialized part
of a larger system, with the multi-
versity focusing more and more on
the functions which a large in-
stitution with extensive research
facilities is peculiarly suited to

fulfill, while other state schools
and community colleges develop
to meet the increasing pressure
for mass undergraduate education.
Michigan has already taken
steps in this direction, but to date
they have lacked coordination.
The state's rapidly expanding col-
leges and universities have fre-
quently seemed intent on compet-
ing with each other for prestige
and scarce funds rather than
willing to assume complementary
roles.
This haphazzard aspect of the
development of Michigan's pres-
ent higher education system- has

resulted at least in part f
state's failure to plan in a
In spite of its inevitabil
influx of students in th
apparently caught MichiE
guard, and each instituti
grown in its own fashion
adequate financial suppo
Vith little central directio
The last three years, b
have been marked by a
awakening to this probler
rocketting demands from1
leges and universities fo
funds, constituents with s
daughters rejected for ad
at one of the state schoc

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rom the perhaps the recent spurts of radi-
6dvance. calism on campus have piqued the
ity, the Legislature's interest in the halls
e 1960's of ivy. Moreover, reapportionment
gan off produced a Legislature with a dif-
ion has ferent outlook toward state edu-
without cation, and the 1963 constitution
rt and created a new institution, the State
n. Board of Education, to plan and
however, coordinate higher education.
general Cross Purposes
m. Sky- Discussion of long-range plan-
the col- ning in Michigan now centers
r state around the new state board, an
ons and eight-member elected body which
dmission has just begun work on formula-
ols, and tion of a master plan for post-
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secondary schools. A project for legal authority places it in a grey cation system are becoming fur-
further development of Michigan's area between central direction and ther tangled by a recent spurt of
post-secondary education facilities autonomy. legislative activity.
will establish a framework for Most educators feel that it is Some of this has been supple-
deciding such specific questions as proper for the board to concern mental in nature. Reapportion-
whether to expand through branch itself with general methods of ment shifted the political balance
campuses of the larger universities growth, even if this means insist- in Lansing to the Democratic side
or through creation of independent ing that universities not further of the aisle, and many of the
schools. It will also decide where expand their facilities with branch freshman legislators have a great-
the state should construct a third colleges-a position that would er commitment to the ideals of
medical schools. In broader terms, place a restriction on the individ- inexpensive mass public education
it should indicate if and how the ual school's ability to allocate its than their predecessors had. Their
state will divide the functions of funds at its own discretion. More- attitude has been reflected in
higher education among its eleven over, the consensus favors board several attempts, so far abortive,
state-supported schools. involvement in determining de- to enact legislation to provide
The problem of devising the velopment of major graduate and greater financial assistance to stu-
plan, however, is overshadowed by professional facilities. dents and enable reduction of
the difficulties that loom ahead State Control student living -costs through state-
in implementing it. The proper But what about particular grad- financed low-cost housing.
distribution of authority among uate programs and undergraduate Investigations
the new board, the individual state departments? As schools grow, In addition to these supple-
schools, and the Legislature has they naturally strive to enhance mental measures, heightened leg-
not yet been defined. In fact, dis- their prestige: community colleges Islative interest In higher educa-
agreements on this question al- often try to model themselves after tion has led the lawmakers to
ready have almost exploded on liberal arts colleges, and smaller more closely scrutinize the state
several different occasions. universities race with each other schools' policies and occasionally
Although the constitution gives to develop some sort of graduate to intervene in a manner that
the board authority to plan and study program. Such competition many educators feel infringes on
coordinate, it also guarantees the has no place in a well-balanced institutional autonomy, the au-
autonomy of each of the eleven state system of education. The thority of the state board, or both.
state schools. Autonomy has long state board has very specific For one thing, there has been
been a first principle of govern- powers to deal with this problem arked increase the number
ment for universities in Michigan. in the case of community colleges, of legislative investigations of
It is, educators say, the only way but most educators think that public higher education. A sub-
to insure that education will be board action on specific program committee of the rouse Ways and
immune from the whims of politi- expansion at the ten major state Means Committee recently held
clans. schools would clearly violate their hearings on the ties between
But how much autonomy does constitutional autonomy. The Michigan State University over-
the constitution require? With question remains unresolved and seas projects and the Central In-
respect to the Legislature, the may eventually be determined by group last summer instituted a
colleges and universities clearly a court decision.lghu inastisaioer inai a
must have their total state appro- To date, the University has had lengthy Investigation of financial
priation figure approved by Lan- only one encounter with the board, management and student costs at
sing, but the Legislature cannot a dispute over expansion of Flint the University after the school
specify how this money will be College. Though still unresolved, raised student fees. Moreover, a
spent. In other words, if legis- both parties have permitted the special Senate subcommittee just
lators dislike a particular pro- Flint question to slip into the completed a probe into faculty-
gram at the University, the most background where they hope an adminstration relationships at
they can do is to reduce the Uni- amicable settlement can be reach- Central Michigan University.
versity's total general funds bud- ed. The board's Flint college de- In concrete terms, the Legisla-
get allocation by the amount need- cision, however, was its first major ture moved last year to centralize
ed to support the program; they ruling, and its ultimate outcome control of construction projects by
cannot prevent the University will be indicative of the direction requiring the colleges and Univer-
from diverting other funds to the of the board's relationship with sities to obtain approval of each
project. the colleges and universities. specific outlay of "planning
Growth and Coordination Until this relationship is clai- funds," a term applied to money
The relationship between the fied, however, the board must be used for architects' expenses in-
state schools and the state board, considered a question mark; and, curred in the process of plant
however, is not yet clear, in the interim, the lines of author- expansion. And, the Legislature
But to give the board binding ity within Michigan's higher edu- just passed a provision stipulating
that the schools indicate whether
they will raise student fees before
the state begins consideration of
their general funds budget appro-
STUDGNT 900K SGRVICg priations; the measure can be
traced directly to the subcommit-
tee which investigated the Univer-
Buy at LOWEST prices in town sity's fee hike.
This legislative activity has
Sell at HIGHEST prices in town made many educators uneasy.
None have yet spoken out on the
frorm the store that LOVES YOU student fee provision, but the new
planning funds procedure has
(') been sharply criticized as a clear
~~oo vltin of autonomy, and the
violati
STUDGNT OOK [GRVICG University has refused to cooperate
with It. Likewise, the CMU In-
1215 South U. 761-0700 vestigation concerned internal
policies and has been attacked as
______________________________________________ unwarranted legislative interven-
tion.
*..C ta' This burst of legislative activity
wx ; has brought Into sharper focus the
:>complex task of defining the roles
of the state board, the individual
schools, and the Lansing law-
,B makers in guiding the further de-
L f velopment of higher education in
Michigan. Almost everyone agrees
on the need for thorough long-
'. 'N..':. range planning, and University
officials hope that the master plan
SW Inow in the process of formulation
We wishall of you will envision a system in which the
f'University would concentrate in
would make the those areas peculiarly suited to a
xhn L'd Gift Shop multiversity. But even such a plan
1on , ewill mean little if schools and the
your second home h state government do not harmon-
AnnA oize their efforts to implement it.
inAnn Arbor. The days when tIniversity-state
relationships consisted of an an-
Fine gifts for all occasions. nua trip to the Legislature for a
rarely challenged appropriation
-U ~are one, and continued develop-
' JO II N B.LEID Y ment of the University within the
Y=:emerging pattern of post-secon-
601 and 607 E. Liberty St. dary education in Michigan now
NO 8-6779 Ann Arbor depends on establishment of work-

wable new relationships with its
fellow institutions and the state
.~:. government.

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