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January 17, 1961 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-01-17

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"Briefly, It's Up To You To Clean Up
The Success In Washington"

Seventy-First Year
Crut will revaA-
litorials printed an The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



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AY, JANUARY 17, 1961


College Teachers Today:
Where Do They Come From?

VHERE DO CQLLEGE teachers come from?
A study recently completed by a visiting
ofessor of education at the University, Prof.
L.an O. Pfnister, indicates that nearly one
urth of them receive their baccalaureate
grees from only sixteen of the institutions
higher learning in the United States.
Futher, over half of them are trained lii
Iversities, and nearly half do their under-
aduate work at large, coeducational institu-
ns. The top eight producers in 1955, in-
iding the University, were large universities.
Such information is not only interesting; It
also, as the report points out, significant
th regard to exploding college enrollments
d the ever growing need for more qualified
'ONTRARY TO GENERAL opinion," the
u report says, "the smaller institutions are
t contributing graduates to teaching in the
me degree as are the larger institutions."
One might-chance a, few educated guesses at
asons for this clear predominence of large
ititutions in the production of college
achers. In the first place, it is reasonable
suppose that many undergraduates are
tracted by the prospect of college teaching
d/or of graduate study sometime after they
gin their college careers.
In an institution such as ours where there
a relatively large body of graduate students
d where many of the faculty are teaching
studying in the graduate departments, one
ght expect the attraction of postgraduate
rk to be stronger and steadier than in the
taller colleges devoted primarily or exclusively
undergraduate training. And, if a high school
ident, intent on college teaching, were aware
these advantage and considered them to
such, he might well go to the large, com-
ex university in the first place.
IMILARLY, BUT LESS surely, many of
these students could be expected to remain
the same institution, or go to one similar
size and facilities, for the years of graduate
idy and perhaps those following. The report,
fact, gives this assumption some factual
sis: Almost 43 per cent of those faculty
embers surveyed were teaching in the same

geographic region in which they had received
their baccalaureates; over 21 per cent, junior
college teachers excluded, were employed by
their alma maters,
If the sole purpose of an institution of
higher learning were to turn out teachers with
which to staff itself, one could argue that
the small school whose graduates seldom take
up college teaching has little or no raison
d'etre. But this, of course, is not the case. A
college edu'cation has become requisite or ad-
vantageous on innumerable levels of bread-
INS'TITUTIONS SUCH AS the University ap-
pear to be the most productive of college
teachers. More college teachers are needed, and
will be for years to come. Therefore, the Uni-
versity and other schools are the logical places
to turn for the additional scholars.
However, the University has problems of
its own: the current pressure of overwhelming
numbers of applications, of a size and com-
plexity increasing faster than we can under-
stand or adjust. How can it possibly be
expected to cater to the serious "scholar" very
much more than it already does?
There has been talk for some time now, to
the effect that the University will, in not so
many years, do away with the first two years
of undergraduate work, or perhaps become a
purely graduate institution.
BUT, IF WE can trust Prof. Pfnister's report,
such action could very well diminish our
contribution to the academic trade. An alter-
native, to continue to move slowly, almost
stealthily, away from the traditional concept of
a state' university-being all things to all
(Michigan) men-seems preferable. In other
words, the University should limit the levels
of education it offers to those generally under-
stood to attract the exceptional intellect.
It is hardly politick to advise that the Uni-
versity immediately do away with its "trade"
schools. However, if high admissions standards
are maintained throughout the University, one
might expect that the matter will take care
of itself. Then this institution might become
something more like to what it perhaps should
be-a, true "community of scholars."

Co-Ordination and The State Universities

ew YouthGroups Questioned

L OCCASIONALLY happens that this news-
paper has been accused of extreme rightism,
t discounting this sort of criticism as weird
d wonderful emanations from the lunatic
Lnge, we feel rather confident that no one
n really accuse us of 'red baiting.' With this
uch understood, we would like to issue a gen-
al word of caution against any sort of partici-
tion in two recently announced organizations.
The Progressive Youth Coordinating commit-
e was elected at an organizational meeting
Id in Chicago over the interim. While sev-
al of its leaders are known Communists, its
mounced purpose is to spread socialism. In-
ed this was all that was really discussed at
. meetings. But, is this the only reason the
eeting was held? We think not.
We were one of the few newspapers present
the meeting: we were quite possibly the only
per there. The discussion held inside was
let, orderly and sincere. It was totally
rmight'; there was no subversive plotting, no
achievellian conniving, no scheming. Every-
e was avowedly left wing, some were commu-
st but honestly admitted to this ideology, all
oke from the position of a political minority
t embraced this position openly.
LEANWHILE, J. Edgar Hoover, the nemesis
of the liberals, an imthediate object of
tred of the entire left wing, had branded the
eting as Communist led, inspired and di-
eted. He equated it withthe insidious San
ancisco demonst-ations of last spring. The
irs along the back of the common liberal
ek already bristled. The Chicago newspapers,
ying fatherland, were no less generous In
eir use of ugly epithets. The Daily News
mpously asserted that students should read
'ne history. The liberal lip curled. Picketeers,
nging from conservative to neo-Fascist
arched outside the meeting hall carrying signs
ecting the public to "kill the commies,"
tile inside the honest and forthright young
cialists seriously debated their goals and
mais. Sensing a martyrdom, the liberal mind
sponded with sympathy.
But is this sympathy merited? Again, we
ink not. If the organizers were sincere in
eir intentions, why were such legitimate and
;ablished socialist groups as the Young Peo-
s Socialist league refused admittance? Since
e inside meeting was so much above-board,
ty was the working press excluded? Press cov-
age of the event could not possibly have been
re vituperative had it been admitted to the
etings and a legitimate source of suspicion
uld have been removed.
Why were such widely recognized youth and

C OULD IT BE that the organizers of the gath-
ering wanted to establish the auro of mar-
tyrdom? Did they wish to be unjustly vilified?
Were they more desirous of emotional sympathy
than ideological sympathy? Our answer is ob-
viously that we think this is quite possibly the
After this unruly inception, there is next to
no possibility that the group, now so denounced
and deprecated, can ever be successful in
achieving its announced goals of advancing and
promoting socialism. Either the organizers of
the meeting are very foolish, or else they had
other ideas in mind. What goal could this be?
It could be that the Communist party merely
wants access to a new supply of young and fuz-
zy minds. It might be that the backers of the
group hope to use it to discredit by association
certain competitive liberal action groups. It
might be that countinig upon the inherent stu-
pidity of J. Edgar Hoover and the Chicago press
as well as the inherent sympathy of the liberal
mass, those who founded this new assocation
have already achieved their primary goal.
N ANY CASE this new Progressive Youth
league seems to be either foolish, unnecessary
or inisidious. In any case we would encourage
A second event which disturbs us is the
World Youth Forum scheduled for this sum-
mer in Moscow,
This meeting is not to be confused with Youth
Festivals, despite the fact that both events are
ultimately sponsored and controlled by the
same body: the Soviet government. In the
past few years American organizations have
been willing to send delegations to the Festivals;
from painful experience they know how their
official presence can be used and twisted in
Soviet propaganda. However, they generally
have encouraged students and other young
people to attend the Festivals, to attempt to
deny anti-Western propaganda, to meet the
FEW GROUPS WILL be doing this much for
the forthcoming Forum, however. This event
will be held in the heart of Moscow, and, from
all we have been able to learn thus far, will be
under the strictest of Soviet surveillance. A
major purpose of the Forum will be to debate
and legislate on political issues;-the resolutions
which will be passed are probably already writ-
There will be at best scant opportunity for
free debate or open discussion. Advocates of

(EDITOR'S NOTE; This is the first
of a two~ part series on co-
ordination in the State Univer-
Daily Staff Writer
WITH THE organization of
Grand Valley College, the
people of Michigan will be sup-
porting 10 institutions of higher
education. Three of these enroll
more than 20,000 students.
Because of a scarcity of funds,
state universities have been
scrambling for their share of the
tax dollar. They not only must
compete with other essential gov-
ernmental services, but they also
must vie among themselves for
adequate fulfillment of budget re-
The organization of the state
system of higher education does
not promote efficient appropria-
tion of tax revenues. There are six
governing boards controling the
nine operating institutions. The
University of Michigan, Michigan
State University and Wayne State
University have governing boards
elected by the people for six to
eight year terms wvithi two mem-
bers before the electorate every
odd year.
Eastern, Western, Central and
Northern Michigan universities are
controlled by the State Board of'
Public Instruction, three members
are elected every six years with
one member seeking election
every odd year. The boards of the
Michigan College of Mining and
Engineering and Ferris Institute
are appointed by the governor for
eight year terms,
NO OFFICIAL co-ordinating
agency links these organizations.
The only person responsible for
communication among the various
institutions is the State Super-
intendent of Public Instruction,
who is an ex-officio member of
most of the governing boards.
Thus the only agency respon-
sible for co-ordinating the whole
system is the state Legislature. By
means of its appropriations it is
theoretically able to create a co-
ordinated, efficient system of
higher education in Michigan. Un-
fortunately, it is unable to do

The complexities of various uni-
versities are difficult, if not im-
possible, for the state Legislature
to comprehend or to evaluate.
Each institution has highly devel-
oped programs at various levels of
instruction. Costs of educating
students vary greatly with the
fields being studied. Compounding
these difficulties, there is no stan-
dard fiscal system used among the
nine institutions and no uniform
cost analysis to measure the ef-
ficiency of each unit.
* * *
problems, the Legislature finds
other difficulties when dealing
with higher education appropria-
tions. Due to the press of other
business, it does not have time to
study the institutions' problems
carefully. When it does consider
the area, the Legislature is buf-
feted by political pressures and
institutional lobbying.
Finally, the Legislature has no
agency with an over all view of
the higher education system to
turn tg for advice. The present
Michigan constitution assigns this
function to the State Superin-
tendent of Public ,Instruction by
placing him on the State Board
of Public Instruction and making
him an ex-officio member of each
of the other boards.
As some of the boards meet
simultaneously and as he is also
charged with supervising primary
and secondary education in the
state, it is impossible for him to
attend, study and co-ordinate the
actions of the State Board of
Public Instruction with respect to
higher education.
* * *
HAMPERED BY these difficul-
ties, the Legislature cannot co-
ordinate the nine institutions to
create an efficient higher educa-
tion system. Some form of co-
ordinating agency could perform
many useful functions for the
An unbiased position here could
greatly help in advising the Legis-
lature in approving appropriations
and the institutions themselves in
planning academic and service
programs. Pressures and lobbying
could be relieved with the Legis-
lature no longer dependent on

each institution for vital infor-
mation, not having to assemble a
clear picture of the state system
from masses of sometimes con-
flicting facts.
Likewise, the various institutions
could be aided by a co-ordinating
agency. In its striving for excel-
lence, a university may lose sight
of its role in the state and its
place in the state system. Dan-
gerous and destructive rivalries
occur with one institution ag-
grandizing itself and trying to
weaken others. The agency could
remind the colleges and univer-
sities they are part of a system
and that service to it is an impor-
tant part of their program.
Such an organization can ad-
vise the various institutions about
its programs. It can encourage ex-
cellence and new programs when
they are in the best interest of
the state. From its central posi-
tion, it can evaluate the effects
of institutional programs for all
of Michigan as well as for the
organization involved. By compar-
ing any program with those at
other institutions, the co-ordinat-
Ing agency can advise against "me
too" type programs and encourage
original and successful ones.
* * *
could serve as a channel of com-
munication between the state in-
stitutions. By necessarily estab-
lishing comparable standards of
operation, the organization could
facilitate comparisons between
universities. It also could provide
a means for exchanging informa-
tion on programs, proposals, and
other administrative material.
An irresolvable paradox is bound
up in any co-ordination. Each in-
stitution must maintain its in-
dependence in the internal affairs
of student selection, faculty hiring,
academic standards and fiscal
management, yet at the same time
each institution must be a part of
a cohesive state system. The great
universities are those free to con-
duct their own affairs without the
interference of a higher agency.
An authoritarian bureaucracy
can greatly hinder the develop-
ment of an institution. Under such
tight, centralized control, every
decision, however minor, must be


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