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February 07, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-07

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T<Page 4-Wednesday, February 7, 1979-The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

Housing hunters hit the road

Vol. LXXXIX, NO 107

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Ply outh still inadequate

T HAS BEEN nearly a year since
newspaper articles revealed that
attendants at the Plymouth Center for
Human Development had physically
abused and also neglected many of the
facility's 800 residents. And now, more
than six months after the completion of
several state-wide investigations, the
center is still operating ata seriously
low rate of efficiency.
That disturbing news surfaced Mon-
day in a report issued by U.S. District
Judge Charles Joiner, who ruled that
the center has failed to meet court-
ordered staffing levels for improved
care of residents. He also indicated
that the center's accountability
system, designed to ensure that em-
ployees always know the location of
residents in their care, is "barely fun-
ctional due to inadequate staffing."
In March, Joiner, in response to a
suit filed by the Michigan Association
of Retarded Citizens, called for more
responsible staff accountability, a
significant increase in the number of
attendants, and to move passive
residents out of areas containing
mainly aggressive patients.

And yet with nine months to comply
with the federal order, the center has
still not provided that accountability
and still needs to add more attendants.
Center officials contend that high
absenteeism, tardiness and rapid tur-
novers made it difficult to meet the
court order.
But the center's officials have had
more than enough time to comply with
the order. They have ,also been the
recipient of a constructive list, of
recommendations from two state-wide
task forces appointed by Governor
Joiner ordered an April 4 hearing to
determine whether officials of the
state and the center should be held in
contempt of court for failing to comply
with his orders to improve conditions.
We urge the judge to punish those
responsible for not implementing the
court order. If it is shown that some of-
ficials are held in contempt, then those
individuals, should be fired and
arrangments made to place more ac-
countable officials with the difficult
task of rebuilding the Plymouth Center
as soon as possible.1

It was backwards. The landlor-
ds should have been worried
about competition with each
other, but thanks to the warped
Ann Arbor housing market, my
fellow apartment-hunters and I
were worried about competition
from other prospective tenants.
Aware of the dismal state of af-
fairs in Ann Arbor, we started
trudging through the slush and
snow of Ann Arbor last month in
search of a reasonable (by Ann
Arbor standards) place to stay
next year.
AFTER MUCH searching, we
finally found a place that was less
outrageous than most of the
others, but only after pestering
the landlord for days did he
finally make arrangements to
sign a lease. It became clear that
something was really wrong
when we profusely thanked him
for his effort rather than the
other way around.
During oursearch, we were
always very careful to make a
good impression on the prospec
tive landlords, always turning
down the stereo before calling
them lest they think we were loud
and undesirable tenants.
Why does this backward state
of affairs exist in Ann Arbor?
There is simply not enough
housing in the campus area. The
vacancy rate, last calculated to
be 0.7 per cent - some say it is
less -is well below the seven per
cent considered to be healthy for
competition. With a captive
University market, the landlords
need not be very competitive.
WITH SUCH a potential for
high rents and relaxed main-
tenance standards, rising proper-
ty values reflect the profitable
As the property values rise,
current owners are enticed to
sell, meaning the new landlord
will face even higher monthly
mortgage payments. Of course
the higher mortgage payments
are reflected in higher rents.
Since many of the entrepeneurs
buy the building mainly for tax
break purposes, they are usually
resold in a few years, meaning
another higher mortgage cycle.
An added bonus if the building is
owned for only a few years by the
same landlord is that there is
even more incentive to neglect

maintenance since the dump will
be unloaded in a couple of years,
breeds a particularly bad species
of landlord, but the economic
realities bring out the worst in
many of them.
So what can be done to alleviate
the problem? There have been
calls for the University to con-
struct more housing, but there
are several problems with this
action. University officials claim
that enrollment will be on the
downward trend over the next
several years, meaning that if the,
University were to construct any
major residential projects, in
several years the University
would be facing vacant housing.
Officials also claim financing

such a venture would pose
problems. It is difficult to assess
the validity of these claims, but it
seems unlikely that the Univer-
sity will undertake any new con-
struction, limiting itself to such
projects as the conversion of the
Michigan Union hotel. Actually,
the housing crisis is not new, and
the University should have built
more housing years ago, but it is
unlikely it will get done now.
ON THE subject of University
housing, residents of these
decorated cell blocks do not
escape the ravages of the Ann
Arbor housing market. Univer-
sity dorm rates are the second-
highest in the Big Ten.
Housing Division bureaucrats
offer many reasons for the price


--- -

/r >_
I n

discrepencies, but I suspect the
rate, would be a little more
reasonable if students began
leaving the dorms en masse for
cheaper off campus housing. But
with the dorms filled to over
capacity, the Housing Division is
not under much pressure to be
ultra efficient in order to keep
rates low.
Perhaps conditions will be
more reasonable in the future
when student demand eases, but
for now, it looks like students will
just have to fork over outrageous
rents. But the tenant is not com-
pletely helpless.
ALTHOUGH landlords hold all
the chips when it comes to setting
the rent, once the lease is signed
they are under many legal
And landlords do fear legal ac-
tion on the part of tenants.
There are the free services of
the Student Legal" Services as
well as the Tenant's Union to help
tenants in disputes. The Univer-
sity also offers mediation ser-
vices, which the landlords favor;
but the service does not advocate
one side of the case or the other.
Another feasible aid for'
beleagured tenants would be an
increase in the number of city
building code inspectors. Much
student housing is notorious for
flagrant code violations.
Although there are many lan-
dlords in Ann Arbor who are well-
intentioned and generally fair
business practioneers, they too
mst charge high rents to survive
economically in the market. But
the non-competitive conditions
attract many landlords who have
no qualms about offering shoddy
service for luxurious rents.
So while the market conditions
that create the outrageous prices
are here to stay for at least the
forseeable future, student renters
are not helpless. There are plenty
of laws designed to protect tenan-
ts, and with tactful negotiation on
the renter's part, landlords can
be forced to comply with these
minimum standards. With a littlb
effort, students can avoid being
totally defenseless victims in a
system where most of the cards
are stacked in the sellers' favor.
Night Editor Mark Parren
covers the housing situatiot
for the Daily.

Faculty, administrators
should disclose salaries,

THERE MAY not by any inequities
in the present salaries which the
University pays to administrators and
faculty members. Then again, there
may be some very severe and un-
justified payment differences. The
problem, quite simply, is that few
others besides department chairmen,
deans of schools, and select . ad-
ministrators know who is being paid
how much. Faculty and administration
salary disclosure by name, rank, and
department seems to be the best
method of discovering if and where
any problems exist.
We are painfully aware that the
disclosure involves some violation of
privacy. However, in this case, the im-
portance of the issue overrides the
desire of professors to keep their
salaries secret for personal reasons.
The public's right to know is important
because, after all, the taxpayers are
footing much of the bill. Still more im-
portant is the need for the faculty and
administration to be able to deal with
whatever inequities may exist within
H the salary system, and this can only be
accomplished through salary
Considerable debate has raged over
'what portion of a professsor's salary
should be revealed. Some believe that
only the money which comes from the
University's general fund should be
4 made public, but in many cases that
amount is not a true indication of a
R faculty member's salary. Because
each department bargains with
professors differently, a variety of
possible salary arrangements has
developed to attract and retain the best
faculty possible.
Full disclosure of a professor's in-
come in cases where professors earn
A outside money is neither desired nor
- "
Sue Warner ............................... .EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
.Richard Berke....................... MANAGING EDITOR
Michael Arkush, Julie Rovner...... EDITORIAL DIRECTORS
Brian Blanchard ................... UNIVERSITY EDITOR
Keith Richburg.............. ............ CITY EDITOR
Shelley Wolson ..................... PERSONNEL FI)ITOlt
Elizabeth Slowik ............. ...... FEATURES EDITOR
Dennis Sabo ....................... SPECIAL PROJECTS
. R.J. Smith, Eric Zorn..............r......... ARTS EDITORS
" t.d.A.4..."~a=f).mn Slnhna.,o.Rd ,1( , ,,,wR .'l1r m t

necessary; however, a knowledge of
the nature of salary arrangements
between professors and the University
is imperative. Therefore, disclosure
information should list only dollar
amounts which come from the General
Fund, but should also include ex-
planations of all outside arrangemen-
Salary discrepancies might exist
across departmental lines, within
departments, or in both areas
simultaneously. In some departments,
faculty members may be paid less
than their fellow professors in other
departments. This is understandable,
because the University determines
salaries based on the "market value"
of professors in a given area and the
reputation of the particular depar-
If the poor reputation of a depar-
tment allows the University to under-
pay professors in that department,
however, one should ask why that
department was allowed to deteriorate
in the first place. Evidence for such
departmental deterioration, in the
form of markedly lower faculty
salaries, should surface if faculty
salaries are disclosed.
Within departments, there are bound
to be large variations of salaries paid
to department members. This too is
understandable, because some faculty
members deserve higher salaries than
others. Indeed, the salary system is
based on merit. Presently, however, it
is usually department chairmen who
decide which faculty members are to
receive higher salaries, and thepoten-
tial exists for unfair practices based on
subjective standards of value.
Faculty salary disclosure, of course,
is not a panacea. But without it, many
problems cannot even be recognized,
much less resolved.


M e
m w

Problems the new president will face

On Wednesday, January 24, an open
meeting was held by the Student Presidential
Selection Committee, of which I am a mem-
ber. (For those who are unaware, this is an
advisory committee to the Regents, providing
student input to the process of selecting a !uc-
cessor to ex-President Robben Fleming.) It
was our expectation that this forum would
provide us with additional insights regarding
student concerns about the University; at the
very least, we felt it necessary to inform
fellow students of concerns that had been
discussed at our previous meetings. Because
of the poor turn-out, our objectives were not
fully realized; this piece will hopefully better
achieve those aims.
One issue that troubles us is the lack of
student power in administrative decision-
making. Policy matters affect us greatly; it is
our educational environment, and perhaps
ultimately our future, that is being decided.
Furthermore, the Dearborn representative
on our committee informs us that on that
campus, students DO have a voice in Univer-
sity affairs; -they are represented on ad-
ministrative committees and hae voting
power. Shouldn't our rights also be
recognized in Ann Arbor?
ANOTHER ISSUE that we have examined
at length is the quality of teaching here. It
seems a concern of many students, par-
ticularly undergraduates, that classroom in-
struction is sacrificed for the sake of other
things. We recognize that the good reputation
of this school results from its excellent
research facilities and professional schools;
certainly we appreciate the value of a
diploma from a highly respected institution.
But must we assume a trade-off between
research and teaching, and between graduate
and undergraduate education? They need not
preclude one another; the University's
reputation in research and graduate schools
can be maintained, and the teaching im-

proved, to the benefit of students and the
university as a whole.
If the need for this improvement is
recognized, however, how is it to be effected?
We have discussed several policies to deal
with the problem, including less use of
graduate teaching assistants and quality
teaching as one requisite for tenure. These
are controverdsial Ideas and as a committee,
we have not yet approved any of them; we are
receptive to any additional input that can be



affect us greatly;


is our educational

en vironment,


ONE ISSUE that cannot be escaped is
that of fiscal affairs. It is apparent that the
University will soon face (and to an expert,
already faces) a fiscal crisis, primarily
because of falling enrollment. This crisis
could have great, and perhaps detrimental,
effects on education. Increased contributions
will be neeAed from government, business,
and alumni; but it is important that these
fiscal decisions do not put .too great an in
fluence on outside education. We do not wan
to become an appendage of government
business, or alumni interests; academic
freedom must be maintained.
But there may be ways to avoid some of the
expected fiscal crisis. Development of a
evening education program would increase
continuing student enrollment and offset
some of the decrease in first-time studen
enrollment. (It would also encourage better
relations between the Ann Arbor community
and the University.) Innovative education
could attract more students and greater cn.
tribution; experimental learning and inter-
nship programs could be implemented, for in-
stance. The situation is not hopeless.
Our assessment of this University's needs
has not yet been completed; none of the issues
discussed in this essay have been firmly
decided, and indeed, we may have eve
overlooked some.
We would appreciate additional insights; in
fact, we consider your opinions essential to
our decision process - after all, we were
chosen as your. representatives. Can, we
adequately represent your opinions if we are
unaware of them? Let us know what you think
- either through theDaily or by submitting
your ideas to our office at 264 Old Architec-
ture and Design.
LSA Senior Bridget Schol is a studen
member of the presidential search om

perhaps ultimately
our future, that is
being decided."
In committee, we have also spoken of the
University's need for increased dedication to
affirmative action policies. Every
educational institution has a social respon-
sibility to be sensitive to the needs of the
minority, as well as the majority. Our new
president should lead the administration with
a philosophy that some groups have been
ignored or discriminated against in the past
and deserve increased attention in the
present and, future. The unique needs of
minority, female, and handicapped students,
along with other special groups, must be
recognized and dealt with.

gun aiI

STAFF WRITERS: Sara Anspach, Ronald Benschoter, Leonard
Bernstein, Tony Bloenck, Mitch Cantor, Marianne Egri, Julie
Engebrecht, Mary Faranski, Ron Gifford, Marion Halberg,
Vicki Henderson, Steve Hook, Elisa Isaacson, Tom Kettler,
Carol Koletsky, Paula Lashinsky, Adrienne Lyons. C.J. Maleski,
Tom Mirga, Mark Parrent, Kevin Roseborough, Beth Rosenberg,
Amy Saltzman, Steve Shaer, John Sinkevics, Bill Thompson,
Jon Vogle, Joe vargo, Howard Witt, Jeffrey Wolff, Timothy
NANCY GRAU ............................ Business Manager
DENISE GILARDONE ......................... Sales Manager.
LISA CULBERSON..........................Display Manager
MARK SCHWARTZ....................... Clasified Ad Manager

'U' Hospital's problems more than skin deep

To the Daily:
As a freshman nursing student'
here at the University, I read
your recent article on inefficien-
cy at 'U' hospital with more than
customary interest. Sadly, this
is a problem facing many

Recently, several nursing strikes
at different hospitals'around the
country have focused on the
problem of understaffing in
hospitals. Yet, the public does not
understand that the nurses are
. «... , --1 4 - i- -

goals, and orientation of
professionals such as nurses,
doctors, technicians, physical
therapists, etc., they would
realize the need for some serious
soul-searching about the way
{lt - - ar :-ccinn -r Irv vi -.u a

the well-being of the whole persoi
with a heavy emphasis 01
preventative medicine.
Medicine is not stagnant; it i
growing by leaps and bound
through medical and technica
.uivanePG inereased educatio

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