Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

April 14, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-04-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.






w1gV lw/1 IP97


How I Do
Editorial Director, 1964-65

dged When It Swung Public Relations
.nd dycollar worker are more deliberate the editorials give me a chance A nd P ublicless P olicy
and diabolical. All potential study to say something beyond, "See, I
or activity facilities connected can convince you, professor, that
with the University except resi- I knew what I was talking about." By Jeffrey Goodman
dence hails close at midnight. I don't get much pleasure from

here Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
LSA Faculty Should Vote
For Liberalized Re quirements

ary college curriculum committee to
liberalize the distribution requirements
would be a significant step in revitaliz-
ing University education and the atti-
tudes of students toward it. The literary
college faculty should approve the rec-
ommendations at its meeting Monday for
these reasons.
The report emphasizes the type and
quality of a course rather than its equiv-
alent worth in credit hours by specifying
that "three courses rather than a fixed
number of hours be required in each
distribution area." The distribution course
as the "key" to the diploma would be
deemphasized allowing the student to
choose an area for its educational value
rather than for its exact hour value.
MOREOVER the four-hour "filler"
course-with nothing attracting the
student aside from its number of equiv-
alent credit hours-would find its enroll-
ment drastically reduced. The advantage-
ous effects would be numerous, freeing
professors for other courses, freeing class-
room space for other overcrowded cours-
es, and hopefully providing a reevalua-
tion of the content, methods and objec-
tives of the "filler" course.
But that a student may choose "any
course within a department as partial
satisfaction of the area requirement" will
not be beneficial to increasing the depth
of courses available to the student unless
the two-semester sequence of the typi-
cal introductory course (the usual pre-
requisite to further study) be reviewed
and reevaluated. This is one of the rec-
ommendations of the curriculum com-
T.rOOOFTEN the second semester of an
introductory course is a rehash and
review in different terms of what was
covered in a previous course. Recogniz-
ably, this is of great value to those who
are concentrating in the area of the in-
troductory course, but it is no help to
those who have no overriding interests
in the area.
For the student with just an average
interest, perhaps a one-semester combin-
ed introductory course could be available
to freshmen and sophomores as it is of-
fered to seniors in many departments
now. This would enable the student with
the average interest a chance to fulfill
tne requirement at a more challenging
and rewarding level and perhaps even
convince some that this would be an ex-
citing area of concentration.
The committee's second suggestion is a
math-philosophy option which would al-
low the student desiring more mathemat-
ics and philosophy in his program be al-
lowed to substitute such a course for a
required social science, natural science or
humanities course. The primary advan-
tage of this would be that those con-
centrating in either math or philosophy
would be able to fulfill distribution and
concentration requirements simultan-
eously. Students majoring in other sub-
jects can do this now.
In addition, the necessity of a back-
ground in math for sciences and in phil-

osophy for the humanities would not
be overriden - math and philosophy
would fill some of the distribution gaps
necessary for graduation. Students would
be able to turn to math and philosophy
to supplement and reenforce their edu-
cation without feeling they were taking
time away from their concentration.
'THE COMMITTEE'S third suggestion
that "distribution requirements be sat-
isfied only by courses taken at the col-
lege level."
Too often students come to the Uni-
versity ill prepared from high school. The
quality of faculty, the level of the read-
ing matter that forms the content of the
course, and the degree of competition
within the classroom will result in dif-
ferences between college and high school
While the recommendations stress the
responsibility of the average student,
there remains the three-course check
insuring some degree of a varied educa-
tional experience for students. A reduc-
tion in distribution requirements would
under present rules enable some with ad-
vanced placement to place out of an en-
tire area of study. A check is needed on
this to insure that students get experi-
ence in the University approach to an
FINALLY, the ultimate beneficial effects
of the recommendations could extend
beyond the student and affect the edu-
cation offered at the University. The
closer student-faculty relations, a result
of the smaller introductory courses after
the "approved list" of required distribu-
tion courses is dropped and students
spread to upper level courses, could make
the first educational experience of fresh-
men more personal, meaningful and val-
uable. This is something that is often
lacking at present when the only stu-
dent-professor contact is with 350 other
students in the Natural Science Auditor-
Another good effect of the report could
be that the prerequisite system would be
eventually reevaluated and revamped.
Still another could be its effect on trans-
fer students, who could, if policies are re-
vised, could be freed from having to re-
turn to a freshman level course to ful-
fill some requirement. Transfer students
would be able to concentrate on courses
on a level with their university experi-
ence instead of "marking time" at a lower
level. It would then be easier to trans-
fer to the University without the present
complex problems of matching course for
distribution course to assure all require-
ments are fulfilled.
mittee truly preserve the "balance be-
tween depth and breadth within the dis-
tribution-concentration complex" and re-
flect the "qualities of intellectual initia-
tive and mature self-reliance" which all
students should have and which the Uni-
versity should foster. The faculty should
approve the recommendations of its com-
mittee this Monday.

been at odds-almost at war-
for the better part of four years.
The University has been trying to
get me to do things its way or
kick me out. I have been fighting
to do things my way and still
stay in.
Our differences have been great,
and the battles often costly, but
I do not regret them or even now
want to leave. For the University
offers me many things I could not
find elsewhere. It offers me time
to read, to talk, to think, to play
bridge and football. It offers me
resources like libraries, exciting
people and bookstores. It offers me
a chance to be on The Daily,
where I can find all the things
I want time for, as well as learn
a trade and try to get the world
remade in my image. It offers me
an opportunity to get a degree,
the supposed prerequisite to suc-
c ess in life, but since I have no
idea of what I'll do with adegree,
that doesn't seem very important
It also offers me -a chance to
get what it calls an education;
and if I want to stay here, it is
a chance I must, to some extent,
accept. And this is what the war
has been about.
I DON'T KNOW what I expect-
ed of college when I came here,
but I know I was disappointed. I
think most freshmen are. I may
not have known then what kind
of an education I wanted, but I
was soon convinced that I would
not get it by following the out-
lined path.
I joined The Daily and increas-
ingly looked to it and the reading
and talking I did on my own for
my education. The Daily taught
me what I know about writing. It
taught me how to put out a news-
paper and how this University is
run. It sent me to Lansing to
learn how the Legislature works
and to New York and Washington
to meet and interview United Na-
tions and government officials. It
also gave me more good ideas on
what courses to take than any of
my counselors ever did, and it gave
me more ideas of what to read
and what to think than any course
I ever took.
The Daily, as it became 60 hours
of my life each week, also forced
me to beat the system. Though I
had to transfer to education school
to do it, I avoided taking a for-
eign language. I got away with
taking nine credit hours a couple
of semesters, and once got four
Incompletes. I didn't go to any
classes for over a month one
semester and got a three-point. I
also had a two-point or less as
often as I had a three-point or
better (twice) and sometimes
wound up staying awake for 60
hours on dexedrine to finish a
semester on time.
BUT ALL my efforts to beat
the system have not been negative.
I have taken a half-dozen courses
without the "necessary" prerequi-
sites and have gotten into Honors
courses for which I did not meet
the "minimum" requirements.
(Some would say that taking Hon-
ors courses is actually a way to
make school easier, and in the
social sciences at least they are
probably right.)
Those teachers and counselors
who have made it hardest for me
to beat the system have argued
that I do not know what is best
for myself and should abide by the
regulations of the University. My
reply is that the University is ob-
viously not the authority on what
students should do since it keeps
changing its mind itself, and that
any rate it made its rules as the
best policies for 29,000 students a
year and not as the best policies
for me.
I think my view of credit hours,
distribution and graduation re-
quirements, classes and class work
is no different than that of most

students. The prevalent attitude
is not that the University or a
counselor or a teacher knows best,
but rather that the powers-that-
be must be obeyed.
It bothers me that so few people
choose to quarrel with these pow-
ers, and it makes me wonder if
one of the principal functions of
the University is to breed un-
questioning acquiescence to au-
thority. Though I don't see a con-
scious conspiracy, no doubt the
large corporations value this at-
titude, as well as the conformity
and striving for artificial goals that
accompany it, as the most im-
portant parts of the education
possessed by a college graduate.
THUS I THINK that it is worth
fighting the University just to
maintain one's independence.
Furthermore, there isno shortage
of things within the University
that are worth fighting about.
I mentioned above the breeding
of conformity and striving for ar-
tificial goals which are encouraged
by the University. With respect
to the former, I think there are
at least two important ways in
which the University encourages
conformity. Inside the classroom,
thr i hi tendenev tn o rade nn

Women have strict hours their
first two years. The social mixing
of men and women at the fresh-
man level is curtailed. I wonder
if the University has something
to do with the lack of an all-night
theater in Ann Arbor.
More broadly, the whole typical
American morality is encouraged.
The line between acceptable aca-
demic assistance and cheating is
drawn at the point where cheat-
ing is defined as getting assistance
in a way or place that makes it
reasonably likely to get caught.
Health service will not sell con-
traceptives. The honor system is
only rarely "used.
ACADEMIC subject matter and
how it is taught are equally sub-
ject to criticism. There seems to
be almost a conscious effort to
avoid making the curriculum rele-
vant to the real world. Philosophy
is more concernedawith its stu-
dents learning what various phi-
losophers thought than with what
the truth actually may be. Eco-
nomics largely avoids questions
concerning who really runs big
business and the economy and the
role of economic imperialism in
this country's growth.
But for those who, like me, want
somehow to change the world, it
is the failure of political science
that is most depressing. Perhaps
because it is most unsure that it
really belongs among the indepen-
dent disciplines, political science
is the most pedantic of them all.
At present, anyone can pass al-

doing that, while I derive much
pleasure from thinking that per-
haps an editorial I write may say
something new, may convince
someone of something, may mean
more than one of the first five
letters in the alphabet. Few papers
are even intended to make me feel
this way.
More interesting, though, is that
I work harder writing editorials
than doing papers for class. And
likewise, I usually find it easier
to read non-textbooks than text-
books. I think the reason is again
that I usually find a relevance in
these places I cannot find in the
classroom, and relevance is what
is necessary to make one work
and learn.
BUT IT SEEMS to me that
such a relevance could be put into
the classroom, and in fact that
all the rest of what is now passing
for education is worth very little
without it. As Paul Goodman put
it in a recent article:
If a teacher wants to teach
something, he must think it
worthwhile; and students want
either to know 'something in
particular or to find out what
they should learn ... What is
most important, as John Dewey
suggested, is that the students
learn something in a way that
will lead them to want to learn
A good index of the worth of a
college might be a function of the
number of non-textbooks in the
average student's personal library

,... ..

c timnelnt P' 7d
Better For

Propaoandists Testify That This Is
You Than Real Health Care"

k4 ; -
+ =mss

THE WAY PUBLIC OFFICIALS (from university to corporation to
United States presidents) operate today and the way their constit-
uents see themselves in relation to the officials means that ultimately
the press is the only institution which has responsibility for seeing the
officials are responsible to the public. This is dangerous enough since
one can never be dead sure of the candor and objectivity of the press;
even more, the situation frees officials to act virtually in any way
they choose: their public relations men can always represent them as
moral and responsible even when they are not. Compared to the offi-
cial representation, the press-always only an observer-cannot carry
the same legitimacy.
The art of public relations is telling partial truths in such a way
that one thinks the whole truth has been told and so the apparently
whole truth is advantageous to the teller. The purpose is always to
disqualify questions and challenges by using phrases which leave no
possibility of question or challenge. Moreover, if the doubts are not
expressed publicly and directly, they can be ignored altogether; the
concern is not with reality or information but with an image of reality.
When officials can reduce everything, seemingly authoritatively, to
a few pallid or fervent generalities, the public is tricked into forgetting
its doubts and no longer sees the need to require straightforward re-
sponses. It insists, usually by not insisting otherwise, on the official's
right to be unresponsive. Partly, this is because it is not given a full
enough accounting to ask intelligent questions; more, it is because the
pseudo-explanation sets up a barrier of sacredness protecting the claim
to unquestionable expertise and rightness which the official makes.
All but the unholiest are intimidated, and the public has heard the
holy phrases so often that it has never thought it has a right to demand
that the officials say what and why they are doing. By default, it is
even willing to be intimidated.
TAKE THE RECENT (April 8) speech in which Lyndon Johnson
seeks "to review once again with my own people the views of your
government (on the war in Viet Nam)." Pick almost any statement at
"Why must this nation hazard its ease, its interest and its power
for the sake of a people so far away? We fight because we must fight
if we are to live in a world where every country can shape its own des-
tiny. And only in such a world will our own freedom be finally secure.
This kind of world will never be built by bombs and bullets. Yet the in-
firmities of man are such that force must often precede reason-and
the waste of war, the works of peace."
It is beautiful, except that (more likely because) it says nothing
It does not say why we must fight instead of pursuing some other
course (nor do Johnson's later allegations of North Vietnamese aggres-
sion provide a justification, for they do not answer those who question
whether we are facing aggression in the first place). It does not say
what Johnson means by shaping destiny; it does not speak of the re-
lation between whatever conception of independence is involved and
our final security; it does not detail the infirmities of man nor how
force and reason relate to them; it does not speak of the relation
beween fighting now and the works of peace at a later time.
ESSENTIAL CONNECTIONS are not clarified; essential assump-
tions are not stated; there is nothing approaching a basic discussion
of alternatives. One can read speculations in news stories and analyses,
but the fact remains that the authoritative line is no line. Even the
attempted justifications which appear in The New York Times are
insufficient, but the deplorable thing is that an official entrusted
with power should rely on the press or anyone else to state the
rationales for his policies in the first place.
If the public grants authority, it must be told constantly and
unambiguously how it is being served, and this must be done by
the official himself or he is effectively operating without a public.
The phrases-and the whole rest of the speech-are not those of
an intellectual, and they are not those of a public official who takes
seriously his duty to account for his actions and views and to respond
fully and honestly to his constituents' doubts. Yet the speech is good
public relations, and because of this it is acceptable.
THE IMPORTANT POINT here is that the protestors against the
war are by no means the only ones who can validly insist that John-
son's speech is not an explanation but a poor construct, for the effect
on all citizens of feeding the public only appearances is ultimately to
make the public a servant of its officers.
This is done by manipulating the public into obeisance by bas-
ing one's whole communication with it on whatever can be found in
the real situation that will make the public happy. And the public re-
lations men do their job well: their words omit and beg, confuse and
obfuscate, yet because they are The Word they assure all is well.
Instead, those selected to exercise delegated authority should always
serve their publics (which is less obvious in practice than in writing).
Policy statements and justifications should impart information rather
than distortion, for distortion always alters the relationship between
those who decide and those who enact, and nothing should tamper with
this relationship. Moreover, there must be means by which public
judgments can be transmitted into policy.
EXHORTATIONS TO OFFICIALS to be more honest and open will
not change the situation. The difficulty-the symbolic holiness which
experts, specialists, leaders, statesmen enjoy-exists because this cen-
tury's chaotic centralization of decision-making and control over social
affairs has outpaced the establishment of means for democratic con-
trol. Informational output from the vast federal machinery of welfare
state, defense establishment, compulsive foreign involvement, etc., from
the public machineries of super-universities, from the private machiner-

ies of bureaucratic corporations-information from these sources has
not kept pace with their development. (Even if this were not conscious
or intentional, we now have a new kind of managerial Marxism.)
The emotional response of the citizen has been more and more to
abrogate his right to obtain information and to participate and a ten-
dency to support, from his end, the official's barrier of inviolability. As
the gulf widens, there is also a corresponding lack of development from
either side of the structural requisites for decentralized operation, a
lack which makes greater information flow not only impossible but
THE CONCEPT AND PRACTICE of public relations is thus an es-
sential prop for this growing distinction between public- or private-of-
ficial and individual: Without public relations, those who run the
machinery would not be able to maintain their freedom from respon-
Unfortunately, however, if those out of power suddenly learned
enough about the official view to want to change it, there still would
not exist viable methods for combining in one policy or one official
the many different conceptions of a desirable course. An increase in
the amount of information communicated will not abolish the func-
tional necessity for public relations unless there are simultaneous
changes in the institutions which produce information and which
should operate according to feedback from those receiving it.
It is easy to think of structural ways to decentralize education,
industry and even most of the functions of the federal government, but
it is more difficult to decentralize something like national foreign policy.
Nevertheless, to the extent that it is possible to construct a single policy




Tippecanoe and Goodman, Too

most any political science course
merely by regularly reading the
newspaper. Knowledge of a little
history and philosophy plus read-
ing a few good books and getting
into a few good discussions leave
political science classes very little
to teach, and anyone who doesn't
do these things on his own should
not be majoring in political science
Prerequisites seem to matter
more to political science professors
than they do to the professors in
any other department, yet political
science is one of the most un-
exciting of all departments, al-
most to a man holding nothing but
moderate and unoriginal views.
Worse, political science is the most
irrelevant discipline. It says almost
nothing about what a better world
might be and little more about
how this world might be changed.
There seems to be an attempt
to avoid anything that might be
timely and even to avoid bringing
in relevant timely material. (A
course I am taking this semester
in national security policy discuss-
ed guerrilla and limited warfare
extensively but touched on Viet
Nam only briefly when students
brought it up. It is interesting to
note both the pressing necessity
that many professors felt to de-
vote special instruction to Viet
Nam and the lack of participation
in the teach-in by the political
science faculty,
THE SUBJECT of creativity and
originality arises again in another
aspect. Granted that compart-
mentalization of knowledge is
necessary, perhaps the most im-
portant faculty a student can de-
velop is the ability to evaluate and
integrate what he learns. He must
do more than know or understand
what he has learned; he must be
able to place it in perspective. But
to place something in perspective
requires that one look at it cri-
tically, that one try to debunk it,
to carry it to its logical extremes,
to cnmnare it to other knnwiedge.

and the number of textbooks in
that library. Present teaching
techniques here do not discourage
the sale of textbooks when a
course is over and seldom encour-
age the purchase of non-textbooks.
I HAVE NOT entirely given up
on the University. Someone who
knows what he is after when he
comes here can learn valuable in-
formation in the classroom. Some
who come here with a strong
spirit of independence can avoid
falling into the white collar psy-
chology. For these people the Uni-
versity offers either an education
or the time to get one.
Those who suffer are those who
need to find a purpose or realize
their own freedom. They are
given little support. Even here,
however, there is some hope. Little
if any of what I have said is
original. Most of my concerns are
shared by others, some of whom
are in a position to get things
The Viet Nam teach-in proved
that faculty are people too, and
this is a great thing. Distribution
requirements are being eased and
there is increasingly talk of abol-
ishing grades. The residential col-
lege is an encouraging experiment
that may solve quite a few prob-
I DO NOT regret that I have
spent four years here. It has been
a constant battle, but, given the
rest of the world, to stay and
fight was the best alternative. I
think I won my war. So much the
better if one can hope that 10
years from now thewUniversity
will still be waging war-but on
my side.


LET'S ASK AUTHOR Paul Goodman to
become the President of our Univer-
sity, and if your expression of incred-
ulity or simply non-recognition has pass-
ed and your curiosity is piqued-maybe
you will give him at least one of your
busy little ears, or at least know his name
after reading the following passage from
a national news magazine (a magazine
our parents all read, and whose opinions
have our respect for being assiduously
weighted, while still in possession of that
certain journalistic comprehension of the
radical position):
"Goodman is a dynamo of ideas, a per-
petual-motion machine of plans and pro-
posals . . . Essays, pamphlets, books -
memoranda to mankind-flood from his
pen. If he were to cease and desist, much
of the excitement would disappear from
the intellectual and moral atmosphere."
HIS GRIPE is that corporate organiza-

archy, or at least a coherent personal
philosophy, to the President's job. Imag-
ine the force of an unpolished but bril-
liant "scattergun approach" thinker-in-
tellectual in residence sitting in the Pres-
ident's chair. Goodman's "force for good"
would depend on how much autonomy
from the Regents, the Legislature and
the populace he could achieve.
Of course, the University might cease
to function, and we would live under
some type of martial law, enforced no
doubt by Regent-commanded gas troops.
BUT IF GOODMAN could somehow in-
stitutionalize the best of his personal
educational goals-that of closely tying
life and seemingly non-academic exper-
ience to traditional scholarly pursuit with
experience always held as the supreme
value in cases of conflict-consider the
potential excellence of the University, not
turning out finely machined "nothings"






Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan