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August 27, 1968 - Image 43

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Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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rea

Tuesday, August 27, 1968

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

1

Rnna f Y!1

Tuesday, August 27, 1968 THE MICHIGAN EJAILY

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THE BUREAUCRATIC SHUFFLE:
New policies threaten VP posts

-77
N

By STEVE NISSEN
fWhen a new face, particularly
a new president, appears on cam-
pus; policy changes frequently fol-
low. Job security, often assured for
high level administrators, breaks
down in the face of these im-
pending changes.
This is especially true when the
new president comes from a school
geographically removed from his
new job.
Indeed, when Robben W. Flem-
ing finished his three month ten-
ure as president-designate last
January, many observers expected
large scale personnel changes.
But the bureaucratic shake-up
which followed Fleming's tran-
sition to the University's top posi-
tion was smoothly executed and
surprisingly sparse in areas of
the greatest potential power.
Nevertheless the change-over
process hit three vice-presidents
by the January Regents meeting.
They were: Executive Vice Presi-
dent Marvin Niehuss, vice presi-
dent and director of the Univer-
sity's Dearnborn campus William
Stirton, and Vice President for
Student Afairs Richard L. Cutler,
The smoothness with which the
changes were executed must be
attributed at least partially to a
very fortunate set of circum-
stances. Both Niehuss and Stirton
were either 65 years old or a few
months from that age.
So a quick change in the Re-
~,gent's bylaws lowered the retire-
ment age for University executives
of vice-presidential rank from 70
to 65. Administrators below that
rank were not affected by the by-
law revision.
Disposition of Stirton's and
Niehuss's duties was handled
. swiftly. By the January Regents
meeting a successor to Niehiss
was named and the position held
by Stirton was abolished.
Niehuss first joined the faculty in
1927 when he was appointed as
an instructor and research as-
sistant In the school of buslne~s
administration. He became an as-
sociate professor in the law schoolI
in 1936, and professor of law and
Vice-President in charge of Uni-
versity relations in 1944. He was
named Vice-President and Dean
of Faculties in 1951.
In an administrative restruc-
turing in 1962, the duties of the
Vice-President and Dean of F~'ac-
ulties was split into the Office of
Academic Afairs and Executive
Vice-President. Niehuss was named'
Executive Vice-President while:
Roger Heyns, then dean of the
literary college, was picked as Vice
President for Academics Affairs.
Stirton was appointed a Vice-
President of the University In
July, 1956. Four months later he
was given additional duties as
director of the University's Dear-
born campus.
Initial suggestions of possible
restructuring were being formu-
lated by the Hatcher Commission
when Cutler apprised the Regents
of his resignation plans.
The timing of Cutler's depar-
ture from the vice presidency was
tempered by a regental request
that he be involved in this all-
important restructuring. Whether
he would remain at the Univer-
sity and what his position would
be if he did were left in doubt.
Later in the term, however,
Cutler made it clear that he
would remain at the University
in some capacity.
+ The duties, responsibilities, and
influence of the new post remain
undefined and await presidential
and regental action.
Cutler's OSA successor is, on
the recommondation of the
Hatcher Commission Report, to
be chosen jointly by students,
1 faculty, and administration.
The exodus of Cutler from the

IOffice of Student Affairs pro-
vided a touchier problem for the
new administration than the re-
tiring vice presidents.aProblems
surrounding his post are yet to
be resolved.
In January when Cutler first
told the Regents of the plans to
leave the vice presidency, major
changes in the structure of the
Office of Student Affairs were
under consideration.
Plans to reorganize the office
were precipitated by the lack of
rapport between students and
the office, during Cutler's ad-
ministration. One major motiva-
tion for the formation of the
Hatcher Commission report on
the role of th'e student in the
decision making process washa
move by Cutler in fall 1966 to
ban all sit-ins.
No matter how major they
seem, however, major exits and
entrances such as Cutler's are
matched in potential significance
by Fleming's parcelling out of new
duties and responsibilities.
Fleming appointee Arthur Ross,
for example, is expected to play
a ore important role in the op-
eration of the University than
his predecessor, Marvin Niehuss.
Niehuss's primary responsibility
was dealing with the state legis-
lature.
Ross will inherit the onus of
dealing with a notoriously un-
sympathetic legislature and will
be given the title vice president
for state relations and planning.
Fleming said the new post was
created because of the need to
relate long range planning to the
problem of "selling it to the state
legislature."
Ross, a magna cum laude grad-
uate of Harvard College in 1937,
received a Ph.D. at the Univer-
sity of California in 1941. In the
period from 1953 to 1958, he was
a member of the president's
atomic energy labor management
panel. He was named a Guggen-
heim Fellow in 1960.
As a professor of industrial re-
lations at the University of Cali-
fornia at Berkeley Ross was ac-
tive in university affairs. s -
He was chairman of the
emergency executive committee of
the Berkeley faculty following the
"free speech" demonstrations in
1964 and was director of the Uni-
versity of California Institute of+
Industrial Relations from 19541
to 1963. He is currently on leave
to serve as commissioner of labor
statistics in the United States
Department of Labor.
Ross appears before congres-
sional committees several times a1
year in his labor department post
and is considered well suited for
his new University position.

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But while the vice presidential
changes subsequent to Fleming's
appointment have been signifi-
cant, a good part of the Univer-
sity power structure has remained
unchanged.
Still serving in the powerful!
post of Vice President andChief
Financial Officer is Wilbur K.
Pierpont, considered by many as
the most powerful administrator
of all. During the Hatcher years,
Pierpont reigned supreme in
matters of finance. Whether he
will continue to do so remains to
be seen.
Pierpont, despite what appears
to be an impeccable record, has
come under unusual criticism late-
ly. In the past year he has come
under fire for a land deal in-
volving local realty czar John
Stegeman, and his associate,
Donald Parsons. He has also been
criticized in a report by the state
auditor general which charged
the University with fraudulently
reporting expenditures to the
state legislature.
Also remaining is Vice Presi-
dent for Academic Affairs Allan
F. Smith. His job includes the
parcelling out of budget funds to
the various University schools and
departments.

Vice President for Research A.
Geoffrey Norman continues to
administer the University's mul-
timillion dollar research opera-
tions. Norman has been deeply in-
volved in the controversy of the
past year over the University's
research contracts policy and the
operations of Willow Run Lab-
oratory in Ypsilanti.
Also staying on will be Vice
President for University Relations
Michael Radock. The relatively
minor vice presidency involves the
handling of news about the Uni-
versity and raising of funds from
alumni and corporate donors.
But even for the vice presi-
dents remaining apparently with-
out change, the effects of a'new
top administrator will be felt.
Questions such as the autonomy
of individual divisions of the ad-
ministration and the over all atti-
tude toward faculty, students,
and state officials are areas where
a new voice can make itself
heard.
The University's current presi-
dent, Robert Fleming, has ex-
hibited a voice demanding hear-
ig through last semester's staff
changes. To what extent changes
will continue into the realm of
administrative policy is yet to
be determined.

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