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February 05, 1960 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-02-05

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5 1960







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(In the January 16 issue of the
"Michigan Alumnus," Administra-
tive Dean Robert L. Williams ex-t
plored the "Current Challenge to
'4Igher Education," faced by the
State of Michigan. Dean Williams'
.rticle is herein reprinted.)
The University of Michigan
faces the current challenge to
ligher education with full conf-
dence. This confidence is the more
to be respected because we recog-
TiZe we have certain basic chal-
The basic educational chal-
lenges in the United States center
around several facts:
The increase in population with
the resultant increase in school
attendance, from kindergarten
through the highest graduate and
professional levels. The U. S. Com-
missioner of Education reports
tat one of every four persons in
America is presently attending
sacool. Today 90 per cent in the
14 to 17 age group are in school;
14 years ago only 82 per cent were
In school. A larger percentage of
high school graduates also are
continuing their education in col-
lege. Today 34 per cent of the
high school graduates in Michi-
gan go on to college. A few years
ago the figure was only 25 per
Costs Increase
The increase in total costs re-
lated to the constantly mounting
increases in attendance, creating
the firm obligation for each indi-
vidual educator to get a full dol-
lar's worth of service for every
dollar spent.
The "explosiveness" of knowl-
edge, with 4ts impact upon the
educational process. For example,
freshman chemistry has "explod-
," or expanded, so much since
the war that freshman labora-
tories now require more expendi-
ture per student than did doctoral
chemistry laboratories at the close
of the war.
The world political situation, so
dramatically illustrated by the
first Russian Sputnik several years
ago, which has had its ful lim-
pact upon educational thinking.
We realize now, more than ever
before, the importance of higher
Sducation .in national defense.
State Shares
The State of Michigan shares
in these national educational
problems. There are, however,
certain facets to our educational
problems in Michigan that differ
from the national pattern:
In Michigan 75 per cent of all
college students are enrolled in
tax-supported institutions. The
national average of 45 to 50 per
cent does not mean that Michi-
gan educates more persons than
it should.
Other states educate far more
than Michigan in proportion to
their population, but they do this
t hr o u g h private institutions,
which in Michigan do not enroll
large numbers of students.
Three State Universities
Michigan has three large state
universities within a radius of 35
miles. More than 60,000 students
are enrolled in these three tax-
supported institutions. No other
state duplicates this situation.
One institution in Michigan -
the University - carries respon-
iibility for three-fourths of all
graduate and graduate profes-
gonal education in medicine, law,
dentistry, public health, and so-
cial work.
This fact alone creates one of
Nur most difficult problems.
The University is different from
Other Michigan institutions and
we must gain full understanding
of this point if we are to receive
support adequate for providing
three-fourths of all graduate and
graduate professional instruction
for the entire state.
Unless this point is understood
we will fall victim to the "head-
eount" fallacy which assumes that

colleges require support only in
terms of the number of "heads"
or students, enrolled - without
reference to the level of educa-
tional service.,
On the basis of the head-count!
formula, a junior college with an
enrollment equal to that of the
University should receive the same
appropriation, without regard to

such advanced programs as medi-
cine, dentistry, law, and public
Cites Figures
In the other state-supported in-
stitutions, the typical enrollment
is divided by class levels:
Fifty per cent freshmen and
Forty per cent juniors and
Eight and one-half per cent
graduate students, mostly work-
ing for master's degrees.
One and one-half per cent
graduate professional students.
At the University the enroll-
ment is:
Thirty per cent freshmen and
Thirty-one per cent juniors
and seniors.
Seventeen per cent graduate
students working for master's
Twenty-two per cent working
for Ph.D. degrees or degrees in
medicine, dentistry, law, and
public health.
Has Meaning
This distinction in enrollment
pattern has a decided meaning in
terms of needed state support,
since costs increase with the ad-
vancement of the student.
Our studies, confirmed by those
of other research teams indicate
that for each dollar spent on the
education of a freshman or sopho-
more, the average cost will be: $2
for each junior or senior, $3 for
each candidate for a master's de-
gree and $8 to $10 for each can-
didate for the doctoral degree or
the graduate professional degrees
in medicine, law, dentistry, and
public health.
To illustrate: the University
spends from its funds, entirely ex-
clusive of student expenditure for
room, board, books, and other
items, more than $4,000 for the
education of one medical student
for one school year.
Any use of the "head-count"
formula overlooks costs of this
type - yet the University has the
largest medical school in the
United States.
'U' Enrolls
The University is enrolling
more than 5,000 students in the
most advanced areas of instruc-
tion - the curricula for the doc-
toral degree and degrees in medi-
cine, law, dentistry, and public
The University is enrolling an-
other 4,200 students working for
the master's degree. More than
9,200 students enrolled this fall
have already received baccalaure-
ate degrees.
The look ahead cannot present
a clear view of specific things and
events to come. Only one thing is
certain: change is inevitable.
'U' Must Change
If the University had not
changed with the passing of the
first 142 years, it would be out-
moded and ineffective today.
Changes that occur from day-to-
day, or year-to-year, are diffi-
cult to see in long range perspec-
tive. But the University is chang-
ing today.
The four most recent changes:
1. Establishment of the Flint
College in Flint.
2. Establishment of the Dear-
born Center in Dearborn.
3. Establishment of the In-
stitute of Science and
4. Establishment of the Vice-
Presidency for Research.
Other changes occur from year
to year which are not so dramatic
nor require a change in the or-
ganization or structure of the
Through the leadership of the
president and faculty, the Univer-
sity is making every effort to keep
abreast of current conditions in
order that it may best serve the
state and society which supports
But we must have help in order

to render this service - help in
form of financial support from
the state. Perhaps it would be
worthwhile to consider the Uni-
versity's budget for operations -
exclusive of funds for new build-
ing construction or capital outlay.
The University spent more than

$92,000,000 last year. This year's
total expenditures cannot be tab-
ulated at this time but probably
will exceed last year's $92,000,000.
Receive From State
This year the University is re-
ceiving from the state:
$32,867,275 for the General
Funds operations
500,000 for the Institute of
Science and Tech-
2,000,000 for the Mental
Health Units
346,000 for the Veterans
Readjustment Cen-
$35,713,275 Total
The remaining $57,000,000 to-
ward the $92,000,000 comes from
student fees, operations of the
residence halls, contract research
programs, University Hospital,
athletic departments, Union,
League and other self-supporting
Can Be Proud
The University can well be
proud of the state support that it
has received in the past. We could
not have attained our position of
leadership without continuous un-
derstanding over the years from
the governors, the legislators, and
the citizens of the state. This un-
derstanding and support have
been available without regard to
the name of the "party in power."
We must face the fact that al-
though the University has been
well supported over the long-time
pull, last year (1958-59) the Uni-
versity suffered an actal decrease
in the appropriation received
from the state.
During that year, the University
and Michigan State University
were the only two institutions in
the nation that had the dubious
distinction of receiving a decrease
in state appropriations.
Enters Year
The University entered this
year (1959-60) with essentially
the same budget provisions as ex-
isted during the preceding year,
except for one factor - salaries
were increased.
The legislative appropriation
for 1959-60 of $32,876,275, is $2,-
867,275 larger than the state ap-
propriation for last year, when
our appropriation was reduced by
The salary and wage increase
provided for the faculty and staff
required approximately $2,750,-
000 of the increase in state ap-
pripriations, leaving approximate-
ly $100,000 of the increased state
appropriation to meet all other
University needs.
Not Possible
It was not possible under these
conditions to restore the budget
reductions made in 1958-1959.
The enrollment of the Univer-
sity is estimated at approximately

24,000 for the fall of 1959 and ap-
proximately 24,500 to 25,000 in
the fall of 1960.
The University will, therefore,
carry forward into 1960-61 certain
unmet needs or shortages from
the past, plus additional needs
created by an increased enroll-
ment, and an increase in services
requested from the state.
The needs for 1960-61 above
budget provisions for this year
fall into four categories:
1) The need for salary and
wage increases for the faculty and
staff. The University faces a prac-
tical situation in obtaining and
maintaining continuity of service
from outstanding scholars and re-
search workers. Since 1939, real
income, or purchasing power, of
the University faculty has in-
creased approximately 19 per
cent. The entire civilian labor
force of the nation, on a per cap-
ita basis, has enjoyed an increase
in real income of 69 per cent since
1939, permitting an equivalent in-
crease in the standard of living.
This 50 per cent arrearage for
the faculty member has been ac-
cumulated over 20 years, and con-
sequently cannot be recovered in
one single year. It is hoped to
"catch up" by steps, by adding
five per cent to the wage scale
each year in the future, until this
shortage has been eliminated.
The need for salary increase is
further heightened by mounting
college enrollments throughout
the nation and the continuing
shortage of qualified university
faculty members.
There will be another 200,000
college students enrolling in the
United States in September, 1960,
and approximately 3,000 more
qualified college teachers will be
available. Competition for faculty
members becomes more vigorous
each year with the increasing
shortage of teachers.
2) The needs of the schools and

It will be necessary to add 126
teachers to the staff for 1960-61
in order to maintain resasonably
acceptable teacher-student ratios.
3) The needs of the business
and plant operations, including
obsolescence expenses.
4) The needs of ancillary acti-
vities related to the instructional
and research functions of the
research functions of the Univer-

One of our greatest challenges
is to gain real understanding of
the University.
There are, at the present time,
two current misunderstandings
about higher education in the
State of Michigan, which I would
like to discuss. The first misunder-
standing is based upon reports
made by the Michigan Citizens
Research Council, which say in
effect that the taxpayers of Mich-
igan on a per capita basis pro-
vide more funds for higher educa-
tion than do the citizens in any
other sta'te.
This is erroneous. Earlier it was
noted that the University spends
about $92,000,000 a year and that
about $35,000,000 comes from the
State Treasury.
The taxpayers, in other words,
provide $35,000,000 and the stu-
dents, their parents, patients in
the University Hospital, and oth-
er non-State supported activities
provide the remaining $57,000,000.
In the computations made by
the Citizens Research Council,
however, the full bill of $92,000,-
000 was erroneously considered as
being provided from the pockets
of the taxpayers of the state.
Council Summarizes
The Citizens Research Council
summarizes for the State of Mich-
igan by pointing out that the
citizens of the state in 1957-58
provided $192,000,000 for the sup-
port of all institutions of higher

As indicated earlier, this state-
ment is erroneous in fact. Any-
one may check the facts by writ-
ing to the Auditor General of the
sttae asking how much money the
state provided for higher educa-
tion in the year in question.
The answer for all higher edu-
cation in Michigan is approxi-
mately $95,000,000 - less than
half the $192,000,000 reported by
the Citizens Research Council.
Give Insufficient Funds
The State of Michigan, while
making generous support over a
long period of time for higher ed-
ucation, has not in the past sev-
eral years provided sufficient
funds for its University, with the
tremendous emphasis given to ad-
vanced studies which call upon
this institution to provide 75 per
cent of the graduate and gradu-
ate professional education of the
This point we must understand
- the University cannot exist on
sums of money which might be
adequate for institutions not car-
rying responsibility for so much
advanced study and research.
The second misunderstanding
about higher education can be de-
scribed by reference to an article,
in a recent Sunday magazine sec-
tion of a Detroit newspaper, which
carried the title that colleges and
universities are the worst man-
aged businesses in the United
I cannot speak for all institu-
tions in the United States, but I
can give you full and complete as-
surance that the University is well
managed and receives at least a
dollar's worth of service for every
dollar spent on behalf of the stu-
dents, the state and other agen-
cies which provide the $92,000,-
000 under which we are operat-
ing this year.

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