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September 07, 1978 - Image 63

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-07

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 7, 1978-Page 63



exploring new frontiers

Chief among the factors behind the
University's prestigious reputation-
along with the football program-is the
quantity and quality of the research
that goes on here.
If judged solely on the basis of dollars
spent, over $75 million annually, the
University ranks among an exclusive
cluster of five or six top research in-
stitutions in the country.
EXTENSIVE research is conducted
in virtually every University depar-
tment, from nuclear engineering to
linguistics, and is funded through a
variety of sources.
University Vice President for
Research Charles Overberger, who is
ultimately responsible for directing the
countless projects and distributing
research grants and endowment funds,
points out that only nine percent of the
research budget comes from Univer-
sity funds. Approximately 70 percent
comes from the federal government'
which he says is "by far and away the
largest donor."
Yet although University research of-
ten wins praise, it is not without its
critics. Many members of the Univer-
sity community complain that the ad-

ministration overemphasizes research
at the expense of other important
University responsibilities such as
providing quality teaching and superior
educational resources.
EARLIER THIS year, when Political
Science Prof. Joel Samoff was denied
tenure, many observers lamented that
his award-winning teaching ability had
been ignored. The departmental tenure
board's primary criticism of Samoff
was aimed at his research.
"The reason (Samoff was refused
tenure) is that the quality of his resear-
ch is not up to Michigan standards,"
states Oscar Morales, who sits on the
Poli Sci Executive Committee.
Overberger adds that quality resear-
ch and quality teaching are nearly
"WHEN FACULTY come to the
University of Michigan, they are expec-
ted to do research," he maintains.
"Doing research keeps them intellec-
tually at the front of their field: it gives
them a fine cutting edge.
"It's almost invariably true that the
best teachers are usually the best
researchers," adds Overberger, who
doubles as a chemistry professor. "I
think I'm a better teacher because of
my research."

Overberger also contends that
favorable publicity, which often ac-
companies research projects, may in-
fluence state legislators when they ap-
propriate funds for the University.
"IT DOESN'T affect them (legisla-
tors) directly," says Overberger, "but
it does stay in the back of their minds."
The bulk of University research is
conducted by graduate students in con-
juction with faculty members. The
students usually receive tuition grants
and sometimes monthly stipends in
return for their time and energy.
According to Overberger, most out-
side research funding is channeled into
the medical, physical, natural and
social sciences. Humanities and arts
lag far behind, he says, but are cat-
ching up as a result of new federal en-
dowment programs. ,
nment research, which was prevalent a
decade ago when the University was
conducting at least 76 military projects,
is becoming less abundant. Today, less
than $1 million a year is spent on
classified research at the University.
In the past, the University has been at
the fore of many pioneering research
projects such as efforts to cure sickle
cell anemia and the development of an
oral polio vaccine.

Currently, several faculty members
are conducting recombinant DNA ex-
periments which involve transplant-
ing the DNA of one organism into that
of another to better study the functions
of specific genes.
AFTER A University-wide ethical
debate, officials determined that
recombinant DNA research is safe, and
worthwhile. As a result, several
University labs were remodeled, under
federal safety guidelines, and they are
now being used for "high risk" DNA
Another widely-acknowledged type of
research is conducted at the Univer-
sity's Institute for Social Research
(ISR), where researchers gather and
analyze data in an attempt to answer
current political, economic and social
ISR, which is 'comprised of four
related centers, often receives national
attention when it releases results of its
extensive surveys. For example,
government officials in Washington
consider ISR's consumer attitude sur-
vey to be the primary subjective
economic analysis survey in the nation
and take its findings into account when
formulating policy which, con-
ceivably, influences many lives.

niversity Laboratory Director George
imilar to one used on the Pioneer Ve
layed an important role in engineering t
ick a
ny class
Before you're even out of your
reshman Composition class, you'll
ave to be become acquainted with
ome very important University
olloquialisms. All too soon you'll learn
or example, that the University uses
he word "crisp" as an acronym, a
oun and a verb all at the same time.
In order to accomplish this scholastic
eat, the University created CRISP the
cronym, which stands for Com-
uterized Registration Involving
"tudent Participation, a fancy way to
ay computer scheduling. CRISP the
oun is Room 215 in the Old Architec-
re and Design Building at the corner
f Tappan and Monroe Streets. And
RISP the verb is often used as a
niversity synonym for registering as
: "Did you CRISP for fall yet?"
eople are led through the so-called
CRISP maze" by orientation leaders
nd counselors. But, once unleashed at
e University, they are on their own to
attle the computers.
LSA Checkpoint can be a shining light
rough the darkness of registration.
heckpoint provides a telephone ser-
ice (dial POINT 10) which informs
tudents of LSA course availability
uring peak registration periods. In
ddition, Checkpoint publishes a
ewsletter of academic information for
SA students in October, December,
ebruary and August. The newsletter
ls. helps students in other University
dhools and colleges by outlining
RISP procedures and deadlines.
For early registration, a student
eeds an election worksheet, a student
erification form, a student iden-
fication card and patience while
aiting in line. Barring problems such
s broken computers, forgotten
gistration appointments or closed
ourses, registration should be a
DROP/ADD IS a similar process.
o drop or add a class, a student must
ave a drop/add worksheet and an ID
ard. But, if the course is closed, an
verride form is also necessary.
The override is a form, signed by in-,
tructor and student, authorizing the
omputer operator to schedule a class
yen if it is closed. Students can juggle
chedules for three weeks into the term
ithout fear of the wrath of counselors
r committees. Freshpeople, however,
ay need a counselor's permission to
rop/add in some schools.
Between the third and ninth weeks, a
tudent needs a "half-decent reason to
rop," according to a Student Coun-
eling Office counselor. In LSA, the
tudent needs instructor and counselor
pproval. A drop during this time
esults in a W (withdrawn) on the tran-
After the ninth week, dropping a class
s "next to impossible," the counselor
dds. LSA students go through the
same route as before, but if they are
denied the drop, they can appeal to the
Academic Actions Committee.
Students have been known to CRISP

in anywhere from several minutes to
several hours, depending on the com-

Daily Photo by PETER SERLING
Carignan works on a mass pectrometer
enus space shot. University researchers
he project.


I 1

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