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April 29, 1962 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-04-29

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-- -

SUJNDAYa, AL 2, 1962


Clarence Cook Little

Outline Controversy Between Board, Daily Editors

(Continued from Page 1)
and catalogues,-an arrangement
much like that which exists to-
Dean Effinger put up quite a
fight, but he was_ battling a
plan -that was widely accepted
-t the time, even though the
University didn't subscribe to
President Little took 'his case
to the Regents and' asked for
a vote of confidence. The lit-.
erary and engineering facul-
ties made it clear they wouldn't
go down without a fight.
The -Regents squirmed a bit,
caught between two powerful,
forces. There wasn't anything
really wrong with . President
Little's plan, but there was no
convinchig the faculty. So the
Board decided to form a com-
mittee to study the idea, hop-
ing that. the committee would
dawdle around and lose it.
* * *
really annoyed by that maneu-;
ver, and the' paper snowstorm
that showered forth from thel
committee demanding every-
thing but action only annoyed
him further. .He protested to
the Regents that he was being
inundated with the paperwork,1
and the Board rose to the oc-
casion, creating the post of ad-
ministrative dean and installing
Prof. Edmund E. Day with spe-
mific instructions to make an
extensive a nd comrehensive
study of the presidency.
Prof. Day did not like his
task and was so insistent on'
being relieved that. the Regents
replaced hi n with Prof. Alex-
ander Grant. Ruthven, chair-
man of the zoology department,
who wasn't any more excited1
about the job than Prof. Day
had been. But the Regents wereI
firm and told him to stay there.
So stay he did, waiting andI
watching patiently as President3
Little tangled, quarreled andI
wrangled with most everyoneI
that came along. The president4
would blow up at the drop ofI
a hat. The various faculty,
members capitalized on this,l
meeting his outbursts of tem-l
per with maddening indiffer-1

(University biographer Kent
Sagandorph relates a by-play
between the engineering facul-
ty and President Little, who
was still trying to sell them on
his plan for a University Col-
("You engineers are a smug
lot," President Little shouted
at length.
(The red-faced faculty grit-
ted their teeth in silence. En-
gineering's Dean Mortimer H.
Cooley said quietly: "Thank
-you, Mr. President. That's just
the word I needed to finish
my crossword puzzle.".
(President Little slammed
out in a huff.)
* * *
DEAN RUTHVEN understood
that the president was denied
even a chance at getting his
way by- his temperament. Per-
haps the ,University College
wasn't a bad idea, but Presi-
dent Little's attitude defeated
it at the outset. .
Matters drifted on in this
state for some years. The pub-
lic, the Legislature and the
press grumbled about the om-
nipresent bickering which was
no longer a private matter.
One day a reporter asked
President Little how he thought
the modern generation could
best be whipped into line.
"I don't know," he retorted.
"Birth control, I guess."
And with that, all hell broke
loose. In their inimicable fash-
ion, the newspapers got things
twisted around and had Presi-
dent Little actually -advocating
birth control. The .public was
up in arms.
That was apparently the
straw which broke the camel's
back, for, a bit later that year,
1929, President Little threw in
the towel.
In an abrupt and disgusted
note to the Regents, President
Little made it clear he felt
biological research needed him
far more than the University
did, and he packed himself
back off to Maine.
But this time the Regents
had shown some foresight. They
had absolutely no trouble set-
tling upon a satisfactory suc-

(Continued from Page 1)



After a few more preliminary
remarks, Prof. Browder read off
the appointments The Board had
made. After a few moments of
questioning, the juniors asked
Prof. Browder to give them a few
minutes to meet alone.
The initial reaction of the jun-
iors was to resign from the staff,
for approximately the same rea-
sons as the seniors had outlined in
their editorial. At this point, they
did not know what plans the sen-
iors had made.
Harrah Dissents
After a 15-20 minute meeting,
seven of the eight juniors said
they would resign. The eighth,
Harrah, protested The Board's ap-
pointment, but felt that his per-
sonal philosophy could not con-
done strikes, that ifhe quit The
Daily it would be with the inten-
tion of never returning under any
conditions and that he was un-
able to make that decision at the
The juniors called Prof. Brow-
der back to talk With them. They
told .him their decision to quit,
and he tried to convince them not
to do so. It was during this hour-
long - meeting that the juniors
learned what the seniors' recom-
mendations had been.
The juniors tried to present rea-
sons why they thought The
Board's appointments would not
work well and why the seniors' rec-
ommendations would lead to a bet-
ter staff. The also made some ini-
tial progress in learning the rea-
sons behind- The Board's creation
of co-editorial directorship and
why Miss Dow was named to one
of these posts. Prof. Browder spoke
of achieving "a better balance" on
the editorial page through this ap-
Miss Dow Tells
At the end of this session, Miss
Dow told Prof. Browder that,
while her interest and desires were
aimed at the editoiial page, she
believed her talents made her bet-
ter suited for the city desk.
She expressed feeling that the
board had obtained a wrong im-
pression from her interview. While
only she ha mentioned the chang-
es that The Board felt were need-
ed in The Daily, the entire staff
was agreed about. these changes.
Since all the juniors-would imple-
ment these changes, she saw no
need to put her where she would
not be technically suited.
She asked Prof. Browder if she
could urge "The Board to recon-
sider thjeir decision in light of
these factors. Prof. Browder con-
sented, and Miss Dow went down
to talk with The Board.
Juniors Meet
The juniors met with the sen--.
iors for a few minutes while The
Board listened to Miss Dow. The
seniors told them what they were
doing, but they suggested no
course of action for the juniors.
When Miss Dow returned, she
explained that The Board had
heard her out but would not
change its decision. The juniors,
Prof. Browder and Witecki, a stu-
dent member of The Board, met
again for a long and sometimes
angry meeting.
During the meeting the juniors
gained the impression that The
Board had been motivated by a
desire to alter the tone of The
Daily's editorial page by shuffling

the appointments recommenda-
tions of the seniors.
Juniors Believe
The juniors believed-and fur-
ther contact with members of The
Board since that Friday night
strengthened the feeling - that
members of The Board felt The
Daily was losing contact with
many groups on campus, that its
editorials were following a trend
towards negativism and "politi-
cal pamphleteering," that criti-
cisms of policies were degenerating
into criticisms of personalities and
that the did not have a proper
concern with the libel laws nor
fear of breaking them.

The Board, they claim, was at-
tempting to create a balance of in-
terest and a wider breadth of sub-
ject matter than the seniors pro-
vided for in their recommenda-
tions. Board members indicated
they had few specific ideas on how
Miss Dow's appointment would
yield this result, but they based
their decision on a "vague notion"
that it would improve the news-
In her petition, Miss Dow wrote
that "if there is no one on the
staff to express a view held by
many on the campus, I would
strive to obtain a guest editorial
of that opinion." ("This does not
mean that there should be a pro-
con editorial on every controversial
issue," she said.)
Browder Leaves
After Prof. Browder left The
Daily at 4:30 a.m., the juniors dis-
cussed what action they would
take. Seven decided to resign be-
cause they felt that the Board's
using appointments to influence
editorial policy was unjustifiable,
though legal, use of the board's
They asserted that accepting the
positions for a month, one of Prof.
Browder's suggestions, would only
have proved whether or not the
means The Board selected to alter
the editorial tone was a good one.
The juniors protested the end: us-
ing appointments to change the
image of the editorial page.
They felt that accepting The
Board's appointments would have
a subtle, but powerful effect on
curbing the writings of understaff
personnel,"who couldn't help but
fear that their editorial opinions
would have an effect on what ap-
pointments they received as sen-
Juniors Announce
The juniors announced their de-
cision to resign at an all staff
meeting at 5:30 a.m. They said
they would publish one edition of
The Daily in which they would ex-
plain why they could not accept
the appointments.
The juniors reconvened at 10
a.m. to continue discussions and
plan for the Sunday edition. Dur-
ing the- day, Witecki -came to talk
to -the juniors - several times and
asked them not to quit the paper,
arguing that their resignations
could mean the death of a quality
newspaper and open the way for
enemies of The Daily to join the
staff and curb any critical apprai-
sals of the University.
The juniors offered several com-
promise staffs to Prof. Browder
and tried to secure a meeting of
The Board for Saturday or Sun-
day. Unable to arrange for the
meeting or to gain a receptive re-
action to their proposals, the jun-
iors reiterated their intent to re-

and continue working on The
Daily in their capacities as junior
night editors. They constituted
themselves as a "task force" and
planned to publish The Daily us-
ing the seniors' recommendations
(but providing for two people on
the magazine instead of one) as a
'de facto' staff, while they tried to
negotiate an agreement with The
Board for permanent appoint-
Harrah did not go along with
the juniors' decision, choosing in-
stead to accept his appointment as
acting city editor under protest.
He signed the editorial and agreed
to work with the juniors on the
'task force.'
In taking their action, the jun-
iors believed they would not com-
promise their principle that The
Board should not directly inter-
fere with editorial policy. At the
same time, they could publish the
paper under a free editorial policy
and insure the quality of the pro-
duction by the experience they had
gained on the staff.
Board Resorts
They also hoped to use the time
between the April and May meet-
ings of The Board to reach an
agreement with The Board. The
juniors believe The Board resorted
to using appointments to improve
the paper, because the breakdown
in communication between the
senior editors, and The Board
made less severe action seem in-
They hope to convince The
Board that communication is
possible and desirable and to pro-
pose means to formalize better
means of communication. The
juniors also admit that much of
The Board's criticism of the
Daily - reflected in the appoint-
ments-is valid, that the juniors
realized these weaknesses and that
they stand-ready to propose ways
of correcting them.
The Board met in a special ses-
sion Sunday afternoon to consider
the events of the ,weekend. It ac-
cepted the resignations of the sen-
ior editors and acknowledged the
decision of seven of the eight jun-
ior editors to reject the positions
to which they were appointed.
Line Established
"In order to establish a line of
communication with The Daily
staff," The Board resolved that
Harrah, who had accepted the po-
sition of city editor, be "senior edi-
tor in charge of The Daily until
such time as the position of editor
is filled."
The Board asked the coopera-
tion of every member of the staff
in the interim period and opened
up petitioning for the vacant sen-
ior positions. May 15. was set as the
deadline for petitioning
-In setting qualifications for pe-
titioners, The Board waived pre-
vious regulations which stated
that "no student shall be eligible
for appointment unless he has
completed an authorized try-out
and training program in a satis-
factory manner or presents evi-
dence of other training or expe-
rience which is its substantial
Board Decides
The Board decided to let all stu-
dents who are of junior rank or
above and scholastically eligible
petition for senior staff offices.
The Board had no assurance that
the juniors would re-petition or
would accept new appointments
from The Board, Prof. Browder ex-
After the Sunday meeting, Prof.
Browder released a statement
adopted by The Board defending
its power to make staff appoint-
ments. "According to the senior
editors of The Daily, it has now
become scandalous for the student
publications board to exercise its
normal and lawful authority. The
issue is not whether The Board
has acted responsibly or lawfully,

but whether The Board's tradi-
tional powers and duties are sub-
ject to being altered or abolished
upon the authority of The Daily.
"The Board cannot voluntarily
forfeit its own authority. It is al-
ways ready on the other hand to
adjust differences between it and
The Daily editors with respect to
the operation of the newspaper or
The Board. The Daily is probably
the freest student newspaper in
the country. The freedom is of as
much concern to The Board as it is
to the editors. The Board intends
to preserve it in any case."
Juniors Proceed

The juniors believe that the
senior staff recommended by the
seniors, with addition of Miss
Bleier on the magazine, is one of
the best possible arrangements of
the eight petitioners within the'
traditional senior staff structure.
Staff Tests
This staff will be tested for a
month before The Board meets
again. One week's operation gives
an initial indication that it will
function harmoniously, the juniors
say, but a full 30 days could prove
The chances of having this staff
approved by The Board are com-
plicated by the belief on the part
of many that such an approval

carries with it the implication
that The Board has admitted it
does not have the right to make
appointments, that it must always
follow the seniors' recommenda-
The juniors will contend that
no such implication is indeed
present; and that the staff rec-
ommended by the seniors is a bet-
ter one than the one named by
The Board.
If there is to be a Daily pub-
lished next semester by the pres-
ent staffs, some compromise may
be necessitated. At this point, how-
ever, no such compromise has been
offered which would be acceptable
to both parties.

' I









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