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August 25, 1964 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-08-25

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A i. MM




'U' Join to Build'Hybrid' Dearborn Center


Special To The Daily
DEARBORN-Like its director,
the Dearborn Center is a hybrid.
Engenedered in the late fifties
by a fusion of industry and educa-
tion, the University's work-study
senior college here has grown up
with the philosophy of the man
who directs it.
He is University Vice-President
and Director for the Dearborn
Center William E. Stirton, himself
a hybrid of industry and educa-
tion backgrounds, who believes
that students can be simultan-
eously trained to "lead the good
life" through education and to
"enjoy good living" through occu-
Industry Arouses Interest
When a group of industrial
firms, led by Ford Motor Co., ap-
proached high University officials
in 1956, Stirton became interested.
The metal - working companies
were envisioning a joint work-
study institution for educating
trained, backgrounded personnel
-and- Stirton was chosen to ma-
terialize their visions.

He did. The Dearborn Center
admitted a pilot group of 37 stu-
dents in October of 1959, although
the Legislature had allotted the
campus no state appropriation.
Funded initially only by indus-
trial money which had procured
land and built facilities at a cost
of $16 million, the Center has ex-
panded to its present size of over
700 undergraduate students at an
annual cost to the state of more
than $600,000.
Part-Time Advantage
In addition, some 1000 gradu-
ate students and 350 extension
service pupils take part-time ad-
vantage of Dearborn's course of-
ferings and adult education pro-
"We're moving faster than we
anticipated back in 1959," Stirton
observes. He contends that the
bulk of the growth is yet to come.
But noting its present condition,
Stirton can be very proud of the
accomplishments to date.
With the unique educational-in-
dustrial cross-breed, Stirton has
in five years developed substan-
tial ties of cooperation with the
state-wide community college sys-

tem, established a firm commun-
ity relationship with industry that
may lead the University into for-
eign labor training programs, and
helped the University become a
pace-setter in educatioral and in-
dustrial training benefiting South-
eastern Michigan citizens.
Fusion in 1956
But the story of future expan-
sion must be preceded by the story
of fusion back in 1956-and that's
where Stirton begins telling about
"In 1956, industry came to edu-
cation," he commences. Specific-
ally, a high-powered team of
southeastern Michigan industrial-
ists conferred with University of-
ficials about their three-fold man-
power problem:
1) They were being plagued by
insufficient numbers of "quality"
2) They were unable to keep in-
struction current before the tide
of rapidly changing technology,
3) Their productive capacities
were being weakened by the ex-
cessive personnel turnover.

Future Employment Needs
An even stronger motivation
stimulating these metal-working
companies to seek the Univer-
sity's assistance, Stirton explains,
was their statistical projections of
future employment needs.
These initial handfuls of com-
panies-the list of cooperating
groups today has grown to 84--
unanimously predicted gaping
shortages of trained college grad-
uates. They presented figures like
-An increase needed every few
years amounting to 10 per cent
more college graduates than cur-
rently existed on their payrolls.
-Eight per cent turnovers every
year in key personnel when the
companies had been expecting five
and six per cent attrition rates.
-An annual labor need for 2,-
000 additional personnel, most of
them located in the "technical and
professional" classifications which
require college-degree holders.
Industry Concerns
These needs, projected over a
15-year period, pointed to the
concern which industries in the
southeast area were experiencing,
Stirton says.
To ease their employe short-
ages, the firms had come to ask
for the establishment of a joint
program whereby University stu-
dents would alternate between a

semester working on campus and
a semester working in industry.
For the firms, such an arrange-
ment would give them early-root-
ed ties with potential employes
and advantages for hiring evalua-
But the University was not im-
mediately sold on the plan, Stirton
"Industry had come to us," Stir-
ton emphasizes. "The University
wanted to be in the driver's seat
to structure a step-by-step ad-
vancement program for our stu-
dents-studying at Dearborn and
working for industry."
Their plan, to cost industry
some $10.5 million for buildings
and land, stressed the following
features, which the companies also
found acceptable:
1) A two-year senior college of-
fering limited graduate programs
expanding to a capacity of 1,650
on-campus students.
Specifically, the college would
present a tri-divisional selection
of courses.
2) A comprehensive policy to
help eliminate the threefold man-
power problem. Called the "coop-
erative education plan," it offered
an internship program for all en-
gineering and business adminis-
tration students.
3) An exciting new educational
venture, the trimester system, was


Put Your Ideals into Action!
* Acting to make 28,000 students politically aware
* Acting to register 5,000 new voters on campus.

o Acting

to support President Johnson's War on
Poverty, the Civil Rights Bill, Medicare,
moves toward Peace

* Acting to elect a Democratic President, Governor,
Senator and Representative

6 Please ma ke you rselIf
ati home i n the two
Shops-and, good luck
iAnn Arbor
Phone NO 8-6779 0 601 East Liberty
607 East Liberty
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officially to be instituted by 1960.
In October of 1959, the Stirton
hybrid opened on what he calls
its "insulated, yet isolated" 212-
acre campus. Located in the heart
of, the southeast industrial
complex, the four shining struc-
tures rose amidst farmland and
forest on part of the wooded estate
of Henry Ford.
Without tax funds, Stirton and
the University had set an exam-
ple for education-industry coop-
eration. He was now ready to build
a good name for the University.
Stirton vowed community ac-
ceptance as his top priority mis-
Today, he traces with his hand a
symbol of that acceptance - the
arc of a long sidewalk projecting
out towards the community where
it is joined several hundred yards
out by the Henry Ford Community
This "cement epitome," which
physically bridges the state-sup-
ported and local-supported insti-
tutions represents only one of a
series of Stirton's measures aimed
at convincing Dearborn citizens
that the University wasn't a "ruth-
less" educational overlord coming
to take over from Ann Arbor, he
Here to There
As he has broughft a Center
to the community, so also has he
endeavored to bring Ann Arbor
to Dearborn.
The walls of the classroom
building are decorated in maize
and blue stripes and the lunch-
room chairs also give hail to the
colors, Stirton points out.
The community has not been
unmindful of this two-way Dear-
born-Aran Arbor association. The
Zonta Club of Dearborn-an in-
fluential women's group - offers
several scholarships for Dearborn
students as well as loan assist-
In addition, Stirton notes the
interest shown by a series of local
advisory groups, who, in conjunc-
tion with industry, provide wide-
ranging religious and human re-
lations coordination between com-
munity and campus.
Statewide Reputation
But if the curriculum is struc-
tured to local requirements, Stir-
ton discloses that the school has
taken on statewide popularity -
particularly with the community
college system.
Although 48 per cent of its to-
tal population is composed of com-
munity college graduates, only
one-half of this group is from
the local Henry Ford institution.
Substantial groups from Muske-
gon, Grand Rapids, Delta, High-
land Park all journey to Dear-
born-mostly on a commuting bas-
is-to partake particularly in its
industry internship program.
With this influx of students
from more remote areas, Stirton
forsees a future which will bring
foreign students to train in in-
dustry here-and then go back to
be the native leaders of their
homeland corporations.
Many of the American indus-
tries abroad - such as the new
Bendix Corp. plant in Bombay-
'want trained local personnel to
run their plants."
By sending their "labor ambas-
sadors" to Dearborn, these com-
panies can train the potential
workers in their American factor-
ies implanting "the value of the
free enterprise system and their
company at the same time."
But implementing these ideas
remains for the distant future,
Stirton predicts.

AMID THE MUD and dust which characterizes an open-for-busi-
ness but unfinished school, Vice-President for the Dearborn Cen-
ter William Stirton discusses the future of his University branch
with members of its first generation of students.
Spark's Controversy
Managing Editor
The University's educational program is by no means con-
fined to its Ann Arbor campuses.
Its major centers outside the city are those described on
these two pages: the campuses at Dearborn and Flint. In ad-
dition, its extension service runs a statewide operation reaching
into the tip of the Upper Peninsula, teaching some 12,000
people who are unable to be full-time resident students on a
regular University campus.
The University would like to build more branches. But
the question of expanding the state's college system by adding
branches to existing universities has become a hot political
issue. The branch controversy is one aspect of the jealousy and
sometimes cutthroat competition which characterizes relations
between Michigan's 10 state-supported colleges and universities.
Late in 1962, the University was invited to establish a
branch at Delta College, a junior college in Michigan's thumb
area. When the negotiations between Delta and University
officials were made public, political hell broke loose across the,
state. Junior colleges, afraid that the more prestigious branches
would siphon away their students and funds, mobilized to
combat the menace. Michigan State University President John
Hannah, never one to let the University better him, threatened
to launch a concerted campaign to set up MSU branches across
the state. Other state educators declared that University of-
ficials weren't seeking to serve the state but rather were
"empire-building." An alternate plan-setting up an independent
state college in the Delta area-was debated. The battle finally
ended up in the Legislature, where the two plans, like teen-
agers playing "chicken," committed mutual suicide.
About this time, Gov. George Romney set up his committee
of 50 "blue-ribbon" citizens which has conducted a year-long
was that of resolving the branch controvery. But whether the
study of the state's higher-education system. Among its tasks
"blue-ribbon" committee's report-discussed in the first section
of this issue of The Daily-can settle this issue, and the general
institutional rivalry which underlies it, remains to be seen.


* Acting

to elect a -Democratic Council and Mayor
in Ann Arbor.


* Acting as the campus voice of Liberal Democracy
" Open to all students and faculty

$2.50 Dues

Call 5-3348

2539 Student Activities Building

r n _ i

North, South,

East, and West-
all around Ann Arbor
Orient yourself
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