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October 30, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-30

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Page 4-Tuesday, October 30, 1979-The Michigan Daily

R OTC Course credits: The

affirmative .. .

Editor's Note. Professor Wein-
traub 's article was first submitted to
the Michigan Alumnus. Professor
Cohen read his essay and responded.
Both were reprinted from the maga-
By Prof. Daniel Weintraub
'We have met the ROTC and
they are us...
After apologizing to Oliver Hazard
Perry, the Pogo comic strip, and the*
English Composition Board of the LSA
College, I hasten to add that the title is
apt. The citizen soldier is not alien to
democratic tradition. The Swiss and
Israelis come easily to mind. America
can claim lineage from the likes of the
Minutemen through the modern
National Guard and the Ready Reserve
units of the previous services. I shall
accept the premise, without defending
it here, that the citizen-solider concept
serves American well, and argue that
the University, as a public institution,
bears an obligation to assist in the
training of military officers. Further,
as a result of its size and eminence, the
University wields great influence, and
ought, therefore, to serve as a model. In
short, a healthy, active ROTC, engaged
in bringing the realities of military
training closer to the training of an
ideal 'citizen soldier serves the best in-
terests of the University and the coun-
There are two classes of reasons to
consider scuttling ROTC on campus,
one concerning the country's capacity
to make war, the other concerning the
suitability of ROTC courses for a
university. Strong reasons can be mar-
shalled against maintaining standing
armies and stocks of arms. (No purpose
would be served by listing claims and
counterclaims.) Many who hold these
convictions are willing to act and ROTC
units, as military units, represent
targets of opportunity. Action against

ROTC on university campuses can be
viewed as maneuvers to erode military
strengh or viewed more symbolically.
Regardless of convictions, positive or
negative, about military preparedness,
one can oppose ROTC on campus by
arguing that it is incompatible with the
principles or practices of a university.
Claims include the following: ROTC
courses in history and political science
are doctrinaire, and worse, they indoc-
trinate. Drill and technological aspects
of warfare are not fit subject matters.
The instructors are military officers
with poor academic backgrounds. The
military subverts the crucial functions
to a, university by controlling who
teaches and what gets taught.
What does a university's actions with
respect to the military accomplish?
Treat ROTC decisions as symbollic and
consider the impact of the following.
The LSA faculty at the University voted
in 1975 to continue to dency degree
credit for ROTC courses. (Withdrawl of
credit took place during the Vietnam
era). In 1976, the University of Califor-
nia at Berkeley re-instituted ROTC
credit. In February, 1979, the Univesity
College of Engineering voted to permit
increased ROTC credit up to the limit of
a student's free electives (15 hours in
some programs), while the LSA
Curriculum Committee is opposed to
ROTC credit and will not endorse a
similar proposal if brought before the
LSA faculty. It is reasonable to con-
clude that none of the above actions has
significantly influenced policy or public
opinion. I am certain that, regardless of
the convictions and actions with respect
to ROTC of those at the University or
any other university, the U.S. will con-
-tinue to spend substantial sums on
national defense. Like it or not, there
will be military training into the
foreseeable future.
Consider the practical consequences
of satisfying one's moral sensibilities
by voting against ROTC or ROTC
credit. Attaining the goal of eliminting
ROTC at the University will in no way
obstruct the supply of officers for the
armed forces. I maintain that we would

deny ourselves a crucial opportunity to
exercise control.
The chain of reasoning that leads to
ROTC at Michian (and ultimately to
advocating credit for ROTC) is that
well-educated citizen soldiers make the
best soldies. Officer training should
take place in civilian colleges, those
that attract outstanding students and
keep outstanding faculty. Teachers in-
fluence students. Administrators in-
fluence students. Civilian colleges can
be presumed to civilize. The military
should be linked closely with the rest of
society. Kicking ROTC off campus
removes teachers from their major
source of influence over the military,
namely, through teaching. Teaching
occurs in the classroom and by exam-
The negative statements about ROTC
presented above contain truth and
deserve comment. Courses in military
indoctrination and drill do not now
generate credit anywhere at the
University and shall not generate credit
in the future. Yes, there is doctrinaire
material in ROTC courses. Overlap
exists with courses in history and
political science. ROTC instructors
have tried to arrange for the co-
teaching of courses with regular
University faculty and for crosslisting
courses (e.g., 'Navy Officer Education,
Program 301, navigation, is also
Astronomy 261), with only small suc-,
cess. Course work can be partly con-
cerned with developing various skills
and a base of useful knowledge, much
like the work in an accounting course in
the economics department or certain
courses in the statistics department.
The individual programs, especially of
the Air Force and Army, have a great
deal of freedom in course content and
organization. (The Navy program is
technical and more prescribed.) The
three services nominate instructors.
The propose; we dispose. (The we is
the University's ROTC committee ac-
ting in conjunction with the President of
the University. I chaired the ROTC
committee last year as we disposed,
much to the discomfiture of one of the

services). The instructors are not
academicians, and the' selection
procedue is not academic. Never-
theless, the University can command
the- cream of the military corp. All
ROTC instructors hold bachelors
degrees, usually in engineering or
history. A 1977-78 staff profile showed 11.
masters degrees spread among the 15
instructors with eight instructors pur-
suing masters degrees and two at work
on doctorates at the University. They
are very bright, motivated, and suc-
cessful career officers. They possess
professional galifications analogous to
those of teachers in art, architecture,
music, business administration, and
the law. As in the law, role models are
needed, yet students have limited con-
tact with the military at a civilian
univesity. The three services therefore
require that ROTC students have direct
interaction with military officers in the
The merely doctrinaire can be
forgiven, but in the University, indoc-
trination cannot. At least the point of
view is clearly tagged by an ROTC
course title, which is not always the
case for other courses. In addition, the
instructor comes complete with
uniform and shined shoes. Political
scientists will challenge certain
statements in a military course.
Students are not dummies and they are
capable of doing the same. Student
are not dummies and they are capable
of doing the same. Student course work
is primarily other than ROTC so that
the University's non-military instruc-
tors have the edge in face-to-face hours.
(In addition, ROTC instructors,
through their graduate work at the
University, are also directly confronted
by civilian' faculty.) If you believe that
ROTC courses constitute harmful
political indoctrination, then ask your-
self whether all that mickey mouse will
take. If the course and ROTC instruc-
tors are as bad as the naysayers say,
and University students are as good as
they are touted to be, then.,... This type
of argument leads me inexorably
toward the conclusion that ROTC

should remain on the University cami-
pus. In a phrase, the type of student we
have at Michigan should compose the
officer coprs of the U.S. armed forces.
If one grants that ROTC deserves a
place on the University campus, then it
follows that we should, as always, aim
for excellence. The granting of credit
for ROTC by all schools and colleges
will enhance the quality of our ROTC
programs. Since the university system
pays in credits, students will take cour-
se work more seriously merely because
credit is attached. The scrutiny and
subsequent monitoring accompanying
the credit-granting is good for ROTC.
The LSA, for example, would gain a
measure of control if it were to grant
credit. The University's ROTC commit-
tee now monitors quality, but the
greater the civilian interaction the bet-
ter. There should be more than
teaching, and exchange teaching, and
crosslisting -of courses when ap-
There are many sorts of pragmatic
reasons to support ROTC and credit
uniformity. The ROTC units award
scholarships (on the basis of
merit). about $600,000 worth-and an
equivalent amount in staff salaries flow
into the community. ROTC provides
career options with expanding oppor-
tunities for women. The lack of credit
means that students who take ROTC as
an overload must', pay any excess
tuition attached to the overload.
Unequal ROTC credit across schools
and colleges leads to the student
inequities that now exist. But these kin-
ds of arguments tend to carry little
weight in decisions about ROTC.
My claim is that ROTC is special. The
fact the ROTC exists to train military
officers must not be obscured. Military
instructors and a military curriculum
are necessary. In military jargon,
civilianizaing military courses is a
ridiculous undertaking. Upgrading
them is not. We make all sorts of ac-
commodations for worthy causes. The
worthy cause is strengthening ROTC at

Michigan and locking it ever more
tightly into the University structure.
This does not mean taking the
soldiering out of the training of citizen
soldiers. Repudiation and rejection
assuage the moralist in each of us. The
consequence of rejection is the loss of
control, over ROTC itself, and over the
military minds of tomorrow. The
College of Literature, Science, and the
Arts should be no less attractive,.to
ROTC students than our other schools
and colleges; it too, should grant credit.
In 1963 Professor Carl Cohen wrote
about the vulgarizing and the sub-
jugation of American youth by the
military ,establishment in an article
concerning the place of the military in a
democracy. (Having observed crowd
behavior at gatherings' like Michigan
football games, I am not convinced that
the military has anything novel to teach
us about vulgarity.) A University
education should do more than in-
noculate students against brainwashing
tactics, whatever the source. I would
hope that our students are activists who
will act in the country's best interests.
Professor James White, associate
dean of the Law School (and pilot with
an Ohio Air National Guard squadron),
put it aptly two academic years ago
when he challenged the assembled
ROTC cadets and midshipmen at their
annual awards ceremony to "make
trouble." He emphasized the importan-
ce of a questioning, probing, thoughtful,
officer corps, even at personal cost to
their careers. The talk was blunt,
provocatiave, and effective. I was
moved to consider the likelihood that
prospective military officers anywhere
else could ever have heard anything
quite like it.
ROTC at Michigan? Having ,an
illustrious ROTC campus is worth
fighting for.
Daniel J. Weintraub, who takes
the affirmative side in the debate,
is a University. professor of psy-

Je 3tEIpan BatI
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXX, No. 47 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students-at the University of Michigan

... And the opposing view


Park caused own coup

HOCKED AND puzzled by the bi-
zarre scene of events surrounding
the assassination of Korean President
Park Chung Hee, American diplomats
and Korean experts have failed to pin-
point the underlying tensions in that
country which caused his murder. No
doubt it was the ever-increasing
amount of internal discontent and
general dissatisfaction with Park's
repressive policies which led to his
As the most recent accounts have
shown, the premeditated plot to kill the
president was orchestrated by his
longtime friend but recently-turned-
critic, Kim Jae Kyu, the director of the
Korean Central Intelligence Agency.
Kim may have been the one to pull the
trigger - thus putting an end to one of
the world's most oppressive
democracies - but it was Park's per-
sistent hardline policies which spelled
his eventual downfall.
Since he seized power in a coup in
1961, Park had maintained an ironclad
hold on the government. Challenged
both within his own clique and by
members of the opposition New
Democratic Party, Park moved deftly
to overcome each obstacle on his road
to absolute power. He rivaled former
Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu
as Southeast Asia's most repressive
And like Thieu, he was an important
ally of the United States, and therefore
was given immunity from the verbal
prosecution which is directed against
most of our nation's enemies. He could.
go on and restrict freedoms in South
Korea - all in the name of national
security - while the U.S. stood idly by,
quiet and content.

simply for criticizing the government
or calling for more personal liberties.
Throughout his continual moves to
clamp down on the rights of Korean in-
dividuals, Park would always point to
the threat from the North Koreans as
his justification for sacrificing his
people's constitutional rights. He felt
that any threat to the internal strength
in South Korea would pave the way for
communist intrusion from the north.
By simply reinstating that fear, Park
could keep every president from Ken-
nedy to Carter in his camp. And with
U.S. support, Park could continue the
same course without fear of losing
Perhaps he felt he could hold power
forever. But the Carter administration
entered the White House in 1977 with a
radically different policy toward
Korea. The President announced he
would withdraw all American combat
troops from Korea because he felt the
Korean air force and army were com-
petent enough to handle any attack
from the north.
This announcement shocked and
angered Park and his aides. Perhaps
as a desperate attempt to get Carter to
change his mind, Park became more
lenient toward the country's dissiden-
ts. It was not that move, however, but
rather the revelation that the absence
of U.S. troops in Korea could stir
another North Korean invasion, that
made Carter announce a complete flip-
flop several months ago.
But in keeping U.S. troops there,
Carter has not driven a tough bargain.
He did openly criticize Park's
repressive policies, but he failed to ob-
tain a promise from the South Korean
president to liberalize his gover-
..,,,. , .n_ _ 4mn -ir ic: ir: nnf

By Prof. Carl Cohen
What is at issue between Prof.
Weintraub and myself? What is
proposed by one of us and rejec-
ted by the other?
It is "the citizen-soldier struc-
ture"? No, nothing pertaining to
the concept of the citizen-soldier
is in question. The acceptance of
that ideal, of course, does not
warrant the inference that the
University of Michigan "as a
public institution bears an
obligation to assist in the training
of military officers." The
Cleveland Museum and the New
York Public Library are also
public institutions and they bear
no such obligations-for the ob-
.vious reason that training
military officers is not what they
were designed to do. It is not what
the University was designed todo,
Is the issue "kicking ROTC off
campus"? No, neither the
University nor any of its colleges
have propsed that or contemplate
it. Officer training programs
have been long in association
with the University, want to
remain so, and almost certainly
will remain s.
Is the issue how we may'
"assauge the moralist in each of
us" or satisfy our "moral sen-
sibilities"? No, the moral merit
of military organizations, or the
morality of their uses, is not in
any way before us. Pro. Wein-
traub mistakenly implies that his
opponents are motivated by some
soft-headed, quasi-moral animus
against military institutions. The
questions at issue here are not
essentially moral at all.
Well, then, what is the issue? It
is simply this: Should the College of
Literature, Science and the Arts at the
University grant credit to ward an
academic degree for courses designed,
taught, and authorized solely by one
of the Reserve Training Corps
(ROTC)? My answer is no: Wein-
traub's is yes.
It is difficult to isolate, in his
essay, what really bears on this
issue. He thinks "military in-
struction and a military
curriculum are necessary" for
the country. It certainly does not
follow that such instruction need
receive credit toward
graduation in this college. He
believes that if such degree credit
wer. ran1 T ALS Anuld have

ultimate mission. The University
has a very different mission; its
concerns sare and ought .to be }
strictly intellectual.
The intellectual standards of
LS&A are very ligh. As a long-
term member of its Curriculum
Committee, I report this rigor
proudly. Untold hours and
energies, and the most thoughtful
judgments enter, at many levels,
into the appointment of faculty in
LS&A, and the spproval of cour-
ses for credit in LS&A. Many
academics with PhD's and fine
records would like to teach at the
University but are not given the
opportunity to do so. It is not
snobbery but truthfulness to ex-
press plainly the reason for their
rejection: They are not good
enough. Many of those once
thought good enough are not
retained after a long
probationary period on the
faculty. Ours is an intellectual in-
stitution of the very highest
category. We sometimes fail in
our efforts to screen out the
mediocre, but not for the lack of
In the College of LS&A we are
exceedingly chary in our award
of credit toward academic
degrees. Why? Because credit is
our chief instrument for
recognizing our students' in-
tellectual achievement; it is our
only way of certifying, to other
schools, and to potential em-
ployers, work conpleted satisfac-
torily. We do not-and should
not-delegate its award without
careful circumspection. It is our
duty to protect the value of the
credentials we issue.
Whether degree credit should
be granted for ROTC courses is
therefore a very easy question.
As a College we give credit for
courses that meet the intellectual
standards of one or another of our
several departments, and pass
the inspection of the College
Curriculum Committee, and are
approved by the College
Executive Committee. If ROTC
instructors, most of whom have
masters degrees and a few of
whom are doctoral students, of-
"fer courses that one of our depar-
tments will support for credit un-
der its auspices, such a recom-
mendation can come quickly to
the Curriculum and Executive
Committee and is likely to meet
with little objection there. We
-J... .. o Ddv'P,

test or they cannot. Many of them
cannot. Most of the military in-
struc ors, after all, are here for
one short ,tour during their
military career and-except in a
few cases-would not be
seriously considered by our
departments for academic ap-
pointments. Much of the material
in these military courses, as
Prof. Weintraub agrees, is dead-
fully doctrinaire. (Weintraub's
parenthetical intimation that the
critics are uninformed is entirely
unfounded, by the way. Specially
appointed committees of our
college have not only visited and
discussed these courses with
ROTC officers, but have pored
over the ROTC texts and syllabi
with meticulous care). Much of,
the subject matter taught, even
when serious and demanding, has
no place in a college of liberal ar-
ts. To propose that degree credit
be granted by our college simply
because a course is offered by the-
ROTC, thus treating these
military units as though they
were cademic departments, is
not justifiable. Indeed, it would
be irresponsible, and a betrayal
of our intellectual trust as a
public institution of higher lear-
But, it is argued, some ROTC
courses do meet the highest stan-
dards. Our own College of
Engineering grants degree credit
for up to 15 hours of some ROTC
courses. Fine! Congratulations
are sincerely due to those ROTC
instructors whose teaching is of
such quality. My colleagues and I
welcome efforts to cross-list
courses having appropriate con-
tent and making appropriate
demands. For example: Suppose
the ROTC would like to have.
degree credit granted for its
course in military history. Let
them put that before our history
department, one of the finest in
the country; that department's
recommendation is almost cer-
tain to be accepted. If our history
department would not accept the
ROTC course in military history
as one of their own offerings,
should we, as a college, approve
it for agree credit nevertheless?
It certainly won't get my vote.
Again, courses in international
politics are offered by the ROTC.
When such courses are recom-
mended for degree credit by our
political science department, one
f +,h wn.,rw'l A .' 4,.a - . u

for most of us the question is one
of intellectual standards and in
tellectual appropriateness o
There is no vendetta again.
ROTC in ourcollege. Neither ..
colleagues nor I seek to "scuttle"
it. On the contrary, there would
be an earnest effort, in the
several departments, to
cooperate with military scholars
of distinction. To be blunt,
however, most ROTC p-rograms
have not been intellectually
distinguished. Prof. Weintraub
reports that for him the ROTC is
"special." But neither it nor anyy
other institution-not the En-
vironmental Protection Agency,
or the Tenant's Union or the U.S.
StatenDepartment-is special
enough, in my book, to authorize
degree credit in the College of
Literature, Science and the Arts
without meeting the normal
standards of this college.
Two final comments. The
claim that granting military
degree credit for its courses will
"strengthen" the ROTC is very
doubtful. Easier credit a'-
cumulation will help recruit motie
students into the ROTC
programs, to be sure. But re$l
strength-both for the military
units and for'the University-lies
not in size but in intellectual.
solidity and good repute. These
will be best assured when all may
know that ROTC courses
carrying degree credit have met
the normal standards of the
College of LS&A.
Lastly, it is sometimes argued
that there are many courses 0f-
fered for degree credit now, in
LS&A, which cannot meet the
standards here 'insisted,
upon-and that it is therefore un-
fair to insist upon their being met
by the ROTC, I'm not sure the
premise is true. If it is, let these
.courses be called to the attention
of the Curriculum Committee, let
them be re-examined, and - if
they are indeed inferior-let us
eliminate them. But let us never
use the presence of weak elemen-
ts within our college or Univer-
sity to. justify the introduction of
other elements of which we will
not be proud. ROTC officers do
their work to the very best of
their ability, applying the highest
military standards. As a univer-
sity faculty we must do our work,

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