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November 17, 1964 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1964-11-17

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54rmirhigat Dally
Seventy-Fifth Year

Why a Small Residential ollee?

Where 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.
The Residential College: Going
Backward into the Future?

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
second of a two part series.
W HETHER OR NOT the Univer-
sity grows, it seems clear to
me that something must be done
to improve communication and to
make faculty participation in
major policy decisions more ef-
ficient and more effective. At the
same time the faculty must be
relieved of purely administrative
chores and be permitted to devote
as much time as possible to teach-
ing and scholarship.
The boundary, however, between

policy decisions and what Charles
Odegaard, former dean of the
literary college, used to call "pure-
ly administrative decisions" has
never been defined. I think the
faculty should make clear what
kinds of decisions it wants to be
involved in and what kinds it is
quite willing to leave to the ad-
ministrator. Administrators are
confused on this point and fre-
quently make decisions which they
believe to be in accordance with
their prerogatives, only to learn
from the resulting roar that they
have stepped on tender faculty

I CONFESS I have no inspired
thoughts about how these desid-
erata may be achieved. The dean
and executive committee of the
literary college and department
chairmen are currently studying
the problem. I cannot predict the
outcome, but some streamlining of
the paths of communication and
decision must be accomplished.
For example, it has been suggested
that the present executive com-
mittee be abandoned and a council
of department chairmen be sub-
stituted. It has also been sug-
gested that we give up the faculty
town meeting as obsolete and


OR JUST BACKWARD? Since society
generally moves into the future back-
ward anyway, this question is actually
the critical one.
But one should be positive, putting
aside for a moment the present trends
in residential college planning. This done,
one can attempt an evaluation of what
exactly this new organization should do
and the alternative ways in which its
objectives can be achieved.
The problems being faced are prin-
cipally those caused by growth, as Dean
Burton Thuma said in his article for
The Daily last week. Thuma cited spe-
cifically: campus congestion, . student
anonymity, less faculty contact, less ex-
tra-curricular opportunities and no real
student government.
NOW IT MUST BE decided what the
residential college should actually do.
Is it to provide a quiet, peaceful en-
vironment, as distinct from a Times
Square one? Should it promote faculty
contact, extra-curricular activities as we
now know them and productive student
government? Are people, in fact, trying
to go back to the Oxford-Cambridge con-
If so, and often-expressed dreams of
building a cluster of residential colleges
indicate that this is the case, a step back-
ward is, in fact, about to be taken. The
Oxford-Cambridge idea is about as ap-
plicable to this university as a small
town is relevant to New York City. Try-
ing to duplicate the University on a small
scale within itself in the form of a resi-
dential college would be like trying to
set up an American small town on Man-
hattan in an effort to re-establish the
good old days. It's a useless attempt to
recreate the past.
This establishes the first considera-
tion for residential college planning: dis-
card the Oxford-Cambridge concept.
NEXT, extend for a moment the New
York analogy, or rather an analogy
with the east coast Megalopolis. This area
is growing considerably faster than oth-
er parts of the United States. Similarly
the University is now forced to grow
,much faster than other segments of
the economy.
There are strong forces that draw peo-
ple into Megalopolis, strong enough to
overcome people's repugnance to con-
gestion, anonymity and high prices. Ob-
viously forces just as strong are drawing
people (students and faculty) and money
to the University at an accelerating
rate. A major analysis would be required
for a full description of these forces, but
it is clear that they exist. They are prob-
ably bound up with the quality of facili-
ties, faculty and environment that the
University offers.
The residential college must be set up
in a manner which can take full advan-
tage of all of this. This implies that it
must be a part of the University, not a
separate entity. Faculty must be able to
participate actively in other aspects of
the University research, teaching and
public service efforts with which they
are concerned.
APPROACH THIS from another angle,
undergraduate teaching. The residen-
tial college is to be, Thuma said, "a radi-
cal change in our mode of operation."
If it is indeed to be this, and not a
step backward to bygone days, reform
must originate with and be able to flow
back to the rest of the University.
Thuma's statement in today's article
("There is hardly any educational idea
that has not at some time been tried")
notwithstanding, there is not an insignif-

icant amount of research and develop-
ment going on at this university and
elsewhere; to explain and improve the
processes of learning. Growth, that great
causer of problems, is the challenge that
has brought this about.
There is, agreed, no reason to expect
any "educational breakthroughs," given
the tremendous forces of academic stat-
us quoism that exist, especially in the
literary college. There is every reason to
hope, however, that the pressures of
growth imposed by society will eventual-
ly overcome such negative forces. Teach-
ing machines, programmed learning and
television techniques, side by side with a
inn of tn ,-f i -n fanfcf,,sAnf+c.

ought to be learning, must be considered
in designing the undergraduate educa-
tion of the future. Such considerations
are going on within a few isolated spots
around the University and must be part
of the residential college's future.
SO THE QUESTION returns. Is the res-
idential college actually a retreat from
these winds of change, an attempt to
erect, with hard-earned state money, an
impregnable wall against such changes
and developments; or, hopefully, is it an
attempt to implement and develop them?
The residential college has already
emerged as a long-delayed experiment
in college living, in providing living
quarters that are habitable, pleasant and
conducive to the pursuit of intellectual
development. What is, unhappily, very
questionable at this point is the degree to
which educational experiment can be in-
corporated into the organization.
JN VIEW of this discussion, the follow-
ing considerations must be taken into
account in establishing 'the residential
college (these considerations parallel the
10 "advantages" Thuma lists at the end
of his article today):
1) Removing a "sizable group of stu-
dents" from the "dense center of student
population is similar to the urban flight
to the suburbs for living and breathing
space. However, in the absence of student
cars, only the highest quality transpor-
tation connections with the Central Cam-
pus will allow the kind of interaction
that is needed, and high quality trans-
portation is very expensive. The present
North Campus bus service would be high-
ly inadequate in terms of the frequency of
trips and the number of campus points
2) "Use of our exceptional faculty" is
predicated mainly on the faculty's in-
terest in being used. If the organization
of the residential college is such that a
faculty member must commit either a
large portion of his time and effort to
the college, or none at all, then the flow
of creativity and innovation from the
outside into the college will be quickly
3) Ideally, this exceptional faculty
would go into the college, interact with
the students through teaching, seminars
and discussion, and then lead them back
to the "superb facilities of the Universi-
ty." These could then be approached in
a way that is meaningful and relevant
to what the student is learning and dis-
cussing in the residential college. (Need-
less to say, for literary college under-
graduates these "superb facilities" are
now entirely outside the realm of Univer-
sity life.)
4) If faculty are not to "lose contact
with their graduate students," the college
will have to be organized to allow maxi-
mum fluidity in faculty commitments
and so allow free interaction with other
administrative units of the University.
5) "The smaller, more intimate atmos-
phere" can only be valuable inasmuch as
it allows more interaction among stu-
dents, faculty and facilities in the learn-
ing process. In this age of the big city and
society's inner specialization of function
and goals, such an atmosphere is to some
degree anachronistic.
6) For the residential college to pro-
vide its own extra-curricular atmosphere
is, again, about as useful as building a
little, Utopian New York on Manhattan.
Such activities could, however, be valu-
able if they were of an original, crea-
tive type that contributed to and drew
from the whole campus, if they broke
with current traditions tying down pres-

ent activities.
7) "Student and faculty participation
in the affairs of the residential college"
would be important only as such par-
ticipation was a .way of designing and
implementing experiment and innova-
tion and carrying the results beyond
the bounds of the college to the rest of
the University.
8) Autonomy to preserve a series of set
ideas which are rooted in past concep-
tions would be useless. Autonomy of the
residential college to change and develop
in spite of outside pressures is what is
9) Tying the residential college to the
literary college in terms of funds (or
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Inferences from mage Hike

establish some sort of represen-
tative faculty council.
Prof. Warner Rice of the Eng-
lish department has put forward
the notion that the University
operation has now become sonlarge
and complex that professional ad-
ministrators should be employed.
This idea has much to be said
for it, but I fear it will not be
received with enthusiasm by the
faculty because they have tradi-
tionally viewed professional ad-
ministrators with grave suspicion.
If such administrators are pro-
perly trained in an academic set-
ting, I think they may prove quite
effective and eventually gain ac-
ceptance. If, however, they are
imported from industry, the re-
sults coud be catastrophic.
* * *
THE NOTION has also been
advanced that the literary col-
lege be split into three major
d i v i s i o n s: humanities, social
sciences and natural sciences,
much as I believeOhio State has
done. But this has dangers, too,
since it might serve as a barrier
to the kind of cross-fertilization
between disciplines which the lit-
erary college has developed to a
rather remarkable degree.
These various proposals have
advantages and disadvantages,
and before any procedure is fin-
ally adopted, the battlefield will
be strewn with corpses. One can
only hope that some more effec-
tive mode of operation will be
decided upon before the casuality
list becomes too long.
Such devices, however, meet only
certain of the problems of large-
size; and other procedures must
be considered besides those con-
cerned with purely administrative
reorganization. For example, it
has been pointed out that the
University, because of its prestige,
outstanding faculty, excellent 11-
brary and research facilities, is
best fitted for training graduate
and professional students and our
increase in student enrollment
therefore should be at the grad-
uate rather than at the under-
Although this view is not with-
out merit, there are some serious
obstacles. In the first place, grad-
uate training is expensive and
the cost-per-student would in-
evitably be much greater than in
the other universities and colleges
in the state. That we could per-
suade the Legislature to accept
this and make appropriations to
the University accordingly is a bit
dubious. Furthermore, human na-
ture being what it is, you may well
expect the other universities in
the state to take a dim view of
the idea. While they may be w-
ing for the moment, and in private,
to admit the superiority of the
University in this respect, they
naturally do not see this as a
permanent state of affairs. They
will attempt to achieve the same
stature and the competition for
state funds will be intense. Wheth-
er the state can afford three state
universities specializing in grad-
uate and professional training is
certainly problematical.
* * *
THERE IS a second obstacle. If
the other schools and colleges in
the University, particularly those
admitting freshmen, continue to
grow in undergraduate enrollment,
then the literary college's pro-
portion of undergraduate service
teaching will not only increase, but
we would be called upon to do
little else than service teaching
at the undergraduate levels-a re-
sult which a majority of our fac-
ulty will probably not receive with
Of course, the other schools and
colleges could follow our example
and specialize in graduate training
and the University would becomee
a strictly graduate and profession-
al institution. But this result, I
think, would be unfortunate. It is
true that our faculty is essentially
a research faculty of outstanding
scholars; nevertheless I am sure
that a large proportion of them

enjoy undergraduate teaching,
find it stimulating and would not
want to relinquish it. Further-
more, the graduate student grows
from the undergraduate. If we are
to feed the graduate school with
the best talent, our undergraduates
sh(ald certainly be taught by suc i
a faculty. To deprive the coming
undergraduate generations of this
opportunity would be to renege
on a moral obligation. We must
not, we cannot, dodge the respon-
sibility of preserving a strong un-
dergraduate program at the Uni-
THE UNIVERSITY may, as an-
other possible solution to the size
problem, establish branch under-
graduate colleges in various parts
of the state. If this is not done by
the University, it certainly should
be done by the state, although the
quesion of which agency should
do it is debatable. Such small
state schools can be excellent.
They can be Swarthmores and
Oberlins. But what the Univer-
sity itself has to gain by establish-
ing these branches, I do not see.
Added appropriations will come

considerable distance from Ann
Arbor. The faculty of the branch
may be excellent if the branch is
given enough money, but it will
not-let's face it-be our faculty
and will not be so thought of by
the outside world. As is most
natural, it will strive for autonomy
and stoutly resist academic con-
trol from the parent. I cannot help
but think that to say such a
branch is a part of the University
as the world knows it is simply a
form of self deception.
* * *
IN CONCLUSION, it will cer-
tainly come as no shock to this
academic community to discover
that I believe the residential col-
lege as we now envisage it will be
a satisfactory solution to at least
some of the problems of growth.
And, if it proves to be a reason-
able success, others ilike it should
follow. Some of the advantages
as I see them may be listed as
follows: 1) we take a sizeable
group of students out of the dense
center of student population in
the town; 2) we stay close enough
so that the use of our own excep-
tional faculty is feasible; 3) the
superb facilities of the University
are immediately available; 4)
those members of our faculty who
are on the residential college staff
need not lose contact with their
graduate students; 5) the residen-
tial college, being of limited size,
will appeal to those students who
find themselves lost in the present
literary college and prefer the
smaller, more intimate atmos-
phere; 6) those students in the
residential college who wish to
participate in the University's ex-
tracurricular activities can do so
while the residential college it-
self will have its own extracur-
ricular program for others of
its own student body who might
not choose to face the competition
in the larger arena; 7) both stu-
dent and faculty participation in
the affairs of the residential col-
lege can be much greater than
is now possible in the literary col-
lege; 8) although the faculty of
the residentialcollege will cer-
tainly ask for and need a certain
autonomy, it is an autonomy
which our own faculty gives to
part of itself and, therefore, will
be less grudgingly given; 9) the
funds for the support of the
academic budget of the residential
college will come to the literary
college and thus become avail-
able to our own departments, and
finally 10) certain educational ad-
vantages are possible.
* * *
ON THIS last point faculty
opinion varies widely between the
two extremes of the enthusiasts,
those who believe that we have
here the possibility of an educa-
tional break-through approaching
the magnitude of a cure for can-
cer, and those who hold that the
residential college will be a colos-
sal failure. The latter opinion ac-
tually does not worry me parti-
cularly. The residential college
simply cannot be a total loss-
granted a modicum of cooperation
on part of the faculty and the
University administration. That
such will be forthcoming I have
not the slightest doubt; nor do I
have any doubt that we can do
at least as well as the literary
college is currently doing.
But the extreme enthusiasts, I
must admit, frighten me a little.
In the first place they do not
agree amongst themselves and so
no matter what we do, some of
them are bound to be embittered.
In the second place, all of Them
are doomed to some disappoint-
ment because, in my opinion, the
likelihood of an earth-shaking
revolution in higher education is
exceedingly small.
For at least several millennia
teachers have been worrying about
the problem of how best to educate
the young. In my 36 years as a
member of this faculty, the prob-
leb of curriculum has been re-
peatedly attacked and committees
have trod over and over again

the treacherous terrain that their
predecessors have previously slog-
ged across. There is nardly any
educational idea that has not at
some time been tried and, for
that matter, is not now being
tried. Hence, I seriously question
whether my committees will come
up with any curricular innovations
or teaching methods that will
rock the world, improvementson
our current practices though they
may prove to be.
IN MY OPINION the reason is
quite clear. Learning and educa-
tion are really self-learning and
self-education. Hence, all that we
can possibly do is to strive mightily
to provide for the student those
conditions we believe to be most
conducive to self-education. I
think the residential college pro-
vides a better chance of doing this
because its small size will permit
a greater cohesiveness and
stronger esprit, the faculty are
hopefully more likely to be college-
minded than department-minded,
and experimentation in curriculum
and teaching method should be




To the Editor:
FROM THE announcement by
Vice-President for Business
and Finance Wilbur K. Pierpont
that student wages will be raised,
two inferences can be made. The
fact that the University will final-
ly raise student wages shows that
the formation and activities of the
University of Michigan Student
Employes' Union actually did
have some effect upon the admini-
stration. The pressure that stu-
dents can apply seems to be the
stimulus that creates a response.
Future attempts by students to
force action are almost guaran-
teed of some success solely because
of the University's aversion to bad
The second inference that can
be made from the announcement
is that the University will do al-
most anything to silence criti-
cism. Announcing a pay raise that
will not take effect for fourteen
months is expected to appease
most of the students who are
now receiving substandard wages.
It must be realized that such a
pay hike will do little to equalize
wage scales with the cost of living,
since past experiencehas shown
that tuition and room-and-board
charges increase every two years.
for a $1.25 per hour minimum
wage today is basedron current
costs, not on 1967 costs. The Uni-
versity has really done very little
by offering $1.15 in 1966 and
$1.25 in 1967. By that time these
wages will already be inadequate.
It is apparent that Pierpont's ac-
tion was not made with the best
interest of the University's public
image under consideration. It was
made with the hope of quieting
those students who have been
agitating for higher wages. Hope-
fully this endeavor will not suc-
The main long-range goal of
the UMSEU is the establishment
of a higher priority, or rather any
priority, rating for the STUDENT.
Student welfare should be upper-
most in the minds of the admin-

Sorority Editorial
To the Editor:
I SHOULD like to protest the
editorial of Sunday, Nov. 15,
"Time to Air Problems." As a rush
counselor living in a sorority unit,
exposed to the views of Panhel-
lenic, and in close contact with
rushees, I find Mr. Kirshbaum's
claims unjust and irrational.
I do not dispute the term
"whitewashing" nor the fact that
the sorority system is subject to
acute internal problems, but I re-
sent the implications of fraud in-
volved in recent attacks. Any
business pushing a product, any
institution promoting an image
must necessarily present itself in
the best light. Certainly labor un-
ions could not survive if they ex-
posed political intrigue, unfair
dues or other negative aspects.
And although one may justifiably
deprecate these ills, he is hope-
fully not righteous enough to ex-
pect the institution to divulge
them. The sorority system admit-
tedly has problems, but please do
not expect us to advertise these.
EVEN MY experience with The
Daily is proof that no organization
functions smoothly. Whenever a
number of personalities are in-
volved, strife is inevitable. Human
nature is such that even two peo-
ple are bound to conflict. I think
you severely underestimate the in-
telligence of prospective affiliates
in denying them this insight. We
expect these girls to be skeptical
of the Panhellenic image; we are
sorry that we fall short of it. But
we, too, are only human.
As a sorority woman and as a
rush counselor, I try to be honest
in evaluating Panhellenic - its
shortcomings and its merits. I per-
sonally have found the system re-
warding and do not on the whole
regret my affiliation. Any pros-
pective sorority woman must be
realistic about her decision. But
sorority living is a very personal
experience, one in which anyone
not directly involved is not quali-

ligious practices and members
must participate in these services.
People who cannot participate
cannot join. Therefore it is not
so much a matter of Trigon dis-
criminating in membership selec-
tion as a matter of the inability
of persons of other faiths par-
ticipating in Trigon's rituals. In
other words, these persons would
be eliminating themselves rather
than be eliminated.
A distinction must be made be-
tween religious discrimination and
racial discrimination. An individ-
ual's race or color is hereditary
whereas his religion is a matter
of his personal choice. In the
case of Trigon, the rushee is not
rejected because of something
beyond his control; his choice
happens to be incompatible with
Trigon's religious values, and he
thus disqualifies himself. If a
rushee can be rejected because of
personality incompatibility, he cer-
tainly can be rejected because of
religious incompatibility.
.1 * *
THERE IS no law that says a
religious group must make avail-
able its memberships to peoples
of alldfaiths. Even the civil rights
law does not demand that the
Catholic Church must baptize a
Jew. Trigon cannot be charged
on the same basis as a violation
involving racial discrimination. I
believe the regulation of IFC and
SGC should be changed to permit
religious discrimination, because
in a group like Trigon, the reli-
gious issue is one of the focal
points for the group. To penalize
Trigon for its religiousbelief would
be tantamount to denying reli-
gious freedom on campus. And
what would be the implications
for other religious and nationality
organizations on campus?
Carrying the argument further
to racial grounds, I question the
wisdom of SGC's power to deny
the members of an affiliated group
their right to choose their own
members on a racial basis, while
other groups can. The difference
between an affiliated group and
another organization is that the
members of the former live to-




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