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September 06, 1979 - Image 101

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-06

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schools and colleges ensure diversity

The large size of 'the University means many
things-both good and bad-to many people. But
despite any negative consequences of the Un-
viersity's size, it is this very bigness which
allows for one of its most prized credentials:
academic diversity. "
This characteristic is evidenced by the presen-
ce of 17 different schools and colleges within the
single University. The size of these separate
academic units range from just under 260
students in the School of Library Science to about
16,000 in LSA.
ADMINISTRATORS FROM each unit set their
own requirements and coordinate their own
programs more or less independently from the
rest of the University.

Architecture and Urban Planning
Architecture students have reputations.
around campus for spending long hours on
projects in the architecture studios on North
Campus. Both student and faculty affirm the
allegation that architecture students must con-
stantly keep their noses to the grindstone.
"It's a commitment-you work every available
moment you have," said one graduating ar-
chitecture student.
"ARCHITECTURE IS a field.that requires a
great deal of effort. The more practice, the bet-
ter you get," said Herbert Johe, assistant dean of
the College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Because of the great demands placed on
students entering architecture, the requirements
for applicants are heavy. According to Johe,

Music to law,
they re all here
there are always a number of "qualified rejec-
ts," or students who meet the standards for the
program but are not admitted because of the
high level of competition. He also said that just
about all students who begin the degree program
finish because of the high admission standards.
TWO YEARS of a liberal arts education are
required for admittance to the two-year un-
dergraduate program. Of the 105 admitted in the
junior year, about 75 have already attended the

The college also offers a graduate degree in
the field of urban planning, a two-year program,
which often leads students to jobs in government
~ Art
"There's tan awful lot of work for artists,"
contends Prof. Bill Lewis of the School of Art.
"Artists are employed all over. You see
something printed, published, on TV,
whatever-chances are there has been some
inky-fingered artist at work." Lewis said art
school may be a "more practical way of getting
an education" because of the widespread use of
artists in many areas.
Art students can choose from a wide variety of
fields of specialization, ranging from graphic,
industrial or interior design, art education,

photography, and fine arts such as ceramics,
painting, and sculpture. Film-making, jewelry,
weaving and textile design, and printmaking
courses are also offered.
BUT ABOUT half of an art student's work is
done in academic areas, usually in LSA. The art
school, then, has "fairly high academic standar-
ds" but also requires a portfolio for admittan-
ce-something not all art schools do. The pur
pose of the portfolio requirement, according to
Lewis, is to allow the school to see how much op-
portunity to work with artistic media a student
has had, and just what he or she has done with
those opportunities. About half the students
enrolled in the School of Art are transfer studen-
ts from other schools.
See 17 SCHOOLS, Page 8

S ,.
academics En1aI
Section F Thursday, September 6, 91979 Twelve Pages


prestige dependent

on faculty's reputation

If the faculty is the cornerstones of an
educational institution, then the University is
on firm ground.
University administrators and, faculty con-
stantly attempt-with much success-to find
distinguished instructors and draw them to the
For instance, every year former President
.Gerald Ford, who has had a certain amount of
experience with domestic and international
political affairs, stops in town to fulfill his duties
as an adjunct professor in the University's
Political Science Department.
ministrators are always seeking to add
prestigious figures to the already impressive.
faculty. But many of the professors earn their
reputations while at the University. For instan-
ce, Engineering Dean David Ragone was recen-
tly named by President Carter to the National
Science Foundation-an elite board of scholars
which determines funding for major research
programs-and as a specialist in automotive fuel
emissions, he has helped formulate federal
policies in the area.

Prof. James Chaffers from the School of Ar-
chitecture has received national acclaim in work
on community design, a unique discipline which
focuses on improving social conditions in poor
urban areas through architectural redevelop-
THESE ARE JUST a few of the faculty mem-
bers who many say have established a
nationally-respected reputation for the Univer-
A 1979 poll conducted by Everett Ladd and
Seymour Lipset, two researchers working in the
area of higher education, rated the University
fifth in the nation in an evaluation of faculty in 19
major departments. (See related story, Page
Why does the University faculty rate so
"It has been a long-term commitment over
many decades to have distinguished faculty at
this University," said Vice-President for
Academic Affairs Harold Shapiro. "Having
these faculty members is the best way to meet
our obligations to the students."
BUT SOME students are not convinced that

University faculty members are of exceptional
"I think they're average," said LSA Senior
Elisabeth Dow. "I definitely think that too
much emphasis is placed on professor's resear-
ch, and that they don't concentrate enough on
Scholars often argue that good faculty attract
good students, and that every university must
include as one of its primary goals an attempt to
improve the status of its faculty.
MOST UNIVERSITY administrators agree
there are several crucial requirements which
must be met in order to attract distinguished,
highly-respected educators to thiscampus:
* quality students. Professors considering the
merits of the University often look to the
academic caliber of the student body through
assessments of high-school test scores, accep-
tances into leading graduate programs, and
school commitments to innovate research.
" Good facilities. Scholars in the sciences and
engineering are concerned especially with the
structure of laboratories, computer systems,
library facilities, and updated equipment.
See FACULTY, Page 9


Doily Photo
Pali Sci with a

prof who knows
FORMER PRESIDENT and Adjunct Professor of Political Science Gerald Ford lectures to a Uni-
versity class. Ford has taught at the University on three separgte occasions over the last two years.

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Making the grade at the 'U'

In their pre-kindergarten days
University students became acquainted
with those stalwart educational foun-
dations, the ABCs. And as their
academic careers progressed, those
same letters, with the addition of an oc-
casional D or E, have built a new foun-
dation - the GPA.
Although some students tirelessly
protest that grades mean little to them,
these noble speeches often exaggerate
the situation. Grades are indeed very
important here, as casual student con-
versation in library lounges and even
bars will confirm. Talk often indicates
a preoccupation with rehashing past
exam performances and speculating on
future course grades.
AND IT WOULD seem the concern
pays off when the computer printouts
arrive announcing the academic
achievements of the previous term. Ac-
cording to records in the University's
Office of the Registrar, the average un-
dergraduate grade point for fall term
1978 was 2.94, just a shade under a solid

B. For the same period freshpersons
averaged 2.91.
Individual grade point averages
(GPAs) show an overwhelming tenden-
cy to increase as students accumulate
time at the University. During the 1977-
78 school year, for example, LSA fresh-
persons needed a 3.06 to rank in the top
50 per centile of their class, while
sophomores needed a 3.15, juniors a
3.23, and seniors a 3.31.
Yet despite their ability to reap good
marks, many students contend grades
are rather arbitrary measures of their
work. Because the University has no
standard grading policy, individual
schools, departments, and faculty
members enjoy great autonomy in
establishing grading procedures. As a
result, an A in one class might often
represent much less effort or accom-
plishment than a C in another.
BUT MOST instructors make their
policies clearly known at the beginning
of each course, either in their course
outlines or in an opening lecture. And
should they happen to forget to mention

.grades, they don't forget for long. At
least one student, usually seated in the
front row, will invariably begin to wave
his or her arms demanding to know
whether the exam will be curved or if
the final will be cumulative.
If, however, an instructor does depart
from his or her announced grading
policy, students do have the right to file
grievances through the department in
which the course is offered, or through
the school or college.
In the past, the University has been
the center of debate over the merits of a
traditional grading system. Many
alternatives have been suggested, and
some - such as the pass-fail option -
have been adopted, but the traditional
form of grading prevails and is
generally viewed as a necessary com-
ponent of a college education.
WITHIN THAT broad framework,
however, instructors are free to weight
their exams or shape their grading cur-
ves in whatever way they see fit. Some
are prone to grading on the basis of
many quizzes and short writing

assignments, while others prefer a
spartan midterm-final format. And
even when instructors begin a course
by announcing a set of rigid
requirements to merit a particular
grade, they are usually willing to give
borderline students what they like to
call "the benefit of the doubt."
In the last ten years, students have
been "benefitting" more and more as
the University has experienced the
grade inflation trend which has hit
campuses nationwide. In the 1968 fall
term, the average undergraduate
grade point average was 2.82. Grades
hung at approximately that figure until
fall 1974 when the average for that term
jumped to -3.02 and stayed in that
vicinity until fall 1977 when ad-
ministrators began to crack down on
the upward trend.
"I think there has been a general
tightening up by departments and
faculty which has blunted the ac-
celeration of grades," said LSA
Assistant Dean Eugene Nissen. He ad-
See THE ABCs, Page 11
Freshmen Mark Canvasser,
Jim Rezinkoff, and Scott Floren-
ce maintain a vigil outside Mason
Hall in hopes of passing their
calculus' class. Last December,
South Quad sophomores Bonnie
Brooks and Steve Cole construc-
ted the snow display. Grades are
often an obsession with Univer-
sity students, especially among
those with hopes of entering a
professional school after they
receive their undergraduate
degrees. See related story, Page

f $:
t 1


Daily P

PROCRASTINATION CAN often lead to frustra
exhibited by this 'student working on a last-minute pr
are part of an accepted and inevitable way of life at th
How to pass,
you fail1 to v

tion and despair, as
roject. But such habits
he 'U'.
vork ;ยข4
possible. Danny was
y his grades.
y, of.course, is essential
ic survival, but it is .
delay it almost in-
tudents have perfected
procrastination using
esigned "study sub-
Following are some
stitutes to use when
ND/OR sleep. Four
y and twelve hours of
avoidable necessities to


Dedicated to Fred Freshman who is so
busy going to "college" he can't find
time to study.
* * *
While attending the University it
is important to keep in mind that the
main purpose of this institution is,
academic achievement. A survey of
students on campus has revealed a
wide variety of study methods and
techniques to deal with this portion
of the University experience.
Some students, it was found, are
more' intense than others-from
"Pre-med and Proud" who has been
seen outside the Graduate Library
only four times in the past year to
Joe "Let's Drink Beer" Jock who
has never seen the inside of a
library-but all students study at
some point in their academic
ME TDANNV F normie (the

ce whenever
not amused b
Some study
for academ
possible to
definitely. St
the art ofp
cleverly de
favorite sub
studying thre
meals a day
sleep are un

keep the body functioning.
" Work out at the CCRB (Central
Campus Recreation Building). A
healthy body is as important as a
healthy mind.
" Write letters-to everyone you
know, even your congressperson. Be
a good friend and a concerned
. Call home. Tell Mom how hard


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