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April 12, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-04-12

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..........

nt Eicima a4n
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

OSSVP post: A look at the candidates

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Reuben: Concerned with
the student in society

-
An explnation

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 1972

NIGHT EDITOR: ZACHARY SCHILLER

Fleming: Pulling a fs one

As THE SEARCH for a new vice presi-
dent for student services lags on, the
four candidates currently being consid-
ered are as much up in the air about
their chances as is the rest of the Uni-
versity community.
President Robben Fleming was pre-
sented with a list of four good prospects
by a search committee, but thus far he
seems to have made little or no progress
toward making a final decision.
It rests incumbent upon Fleming to
hold extensive discussions with each of
the candidates, in order for him to.make
an intelligent decision. He must acquaint
himself with each of them, discuss with
them their philosophies about what the
Office of Student Services should entail,
discuss possible salaries and then make a
decision.
Fleming has had some discussion with
each of the four being considered. How-
ever, he has not had any contact at all
Awith any of them since just after it was
first announced that they were the can-
didates for the job.
ONE OF THE candidates however has
ceived even more neglect from the
University. University of 'Wisconsin As-
sistant Prof. Elaine Reuben has not been
contacted by Fleming since well before
the search committee proposed her name.
In fact, she has yet to receive official
notification from the University that she
is one of the four being considered.
Reuben reports she has had no discus-
sion with Fleming, and has heard noth-
ing about her chances for the job. She is
"an excellent candidate for the post, and
certainly deserves more of a chance at it
than Fleming seems to be giving her.
Fleming would have a hard time mak-
ing a decision on the post if he had con-
ducted the same limited talks with Reu-
ben that he has had with the others.
However, it is ludicrous for him to ex-
pect to make an impartial decision on
the matter without having had any dis-
cussions at all with one of the candidates
the search committee presented him.
TWO YEARS AGO when Fleming was
considering a vice president for stu-
dent services, he postponed discussions
with the candidates until two of them
had voluntarily dropped out of conten-
tion, He in effect rejected the wishes of
the search committee and eventually

chose a candidate outside the committee's
list.
This year, Fleming may be attempting
the same maneuver. The search commit-
tee was formed to provide the president
with a list of names, all of which were
to be considered. If Fleming does not give
serious consideration to all the candi-
dates,- including Reuben, he will be vio-
lating the trust the University commun-
ity has placed in him.
Jerry De Grieck, '72, who was a member
of the search committee that selected
Reuben, said that if Reuben's allegations
are true, "Fleming is a liar."
He said Fleming had promised to no-
tify all the candidates of their selection
by the committee, and said that if Flem-
ing makes a decision without discussing
the issues with all the candidates, the ap
pointment should be invalidated. "The
fact that Fleming has rebuffed the com-
mittee is reprehensible," De Grieck said.
Fleming's lack of action may indicate
he has already made a decision on the
next OSS vice president. He is expected
to announce his choice next week so a fi-
nal decision can be made this month by
the Regents; and unless he makes a con-
certed effort to conduct more extensive
discussions with all the candidates, he
will show that he has not given them all
fair consideration.
REUBEN SAYS SHE does not know whe-
ther she is still being considered, but
she has not withdrawn from the contest.
She is clearly confused by Fleming's lack
of communication with her.
"I could change my mind about the
post, but who would I tell my decision
to?" she asks. The answer to her question
should be Fleming, but it seems Fleming
does not want to respond.
It would be disastrous for the Office
of Student Services to continue without
leadership for an indefinite period while
Fleming takes his time about interview-
ing the candidates.
Under former Vce President Robert
Knauss, the office was transformed into
a cohesive, efficient unit. Since his de-
parture, the office has become less effec-
tive without official leadership.
FLEMING MUST act now to discuss the,
issues with all the candidates, and
must announce his decision soon so the
office may again begin to function.
-GENE ROBINSON

ELAINE REUBEN is a "together" wom-
an. She knows what she wants and
she knows what she can and can't do.
If she is appointed to the Office of Stu-
dent Services vice presidency, one draw-
back-as she's the first to admit-is her
lack of knowledge about the University and
specific details involving the office.
However, she is sensitive to the basic is-
sues the office should be dealing with, and
enthusiastic about trying to deal with
those issues.
Recently denied tenure at the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin ("their official position
is that I'm a superb teacher, but I haven't
published enough"), Reuben spends her
time "doing other things than being in the
library."
"It's not just students
against something . . . a lot
of these issues are going to
have to be fought out on a
community level."
The "other things" include a deep com-
mitment to the women's movement, and
she sees that as being carried over into
her work with OSS. "I would not be hired
to be concerned about women alone," she
says, "but that's very much a part of my
thinking."
"There's a feeling among radical circles
that we'll talk about day care and the men
can talk about imperialism," she says. Part
of her job would be to prove that a wo-
man could handle all aspects of the vice
presidency.
ALMOST MORE than her concern with
women's issues, is her concern with the
role of the student in society.
When asked about student power, 'she
says "the issues involved (with OSS) are
more than student issues, when we're con-
cerned about housing, about health care.
about the kind of programming into jobs
people are getting."
"It's not just students against some-
thing." she says, "You are talking about
major political issues here."
She feels that much of what goes on
in OSS should involve more than just

the students. She talks about the Univer-
sity as a state institution and says "a lot
of these issues are going to have to be
fought out on a community level-there's
a job to be done in getting more people
concerned in the University."
She feels OSS in its counseling function
will have to overlap into academic areas.
"There are a lot of college graduates that
aren't finding jobs, and the office is go-
ing to have to deal with that in some
ways."
"Traditional kinds of curriculum and
changing needs of vocational training" are
issues she feels OSS should be involved
in.
REUBEN IS excited about the idea of
working with the policy board, and says!
if she disagrees with the board, her job,
"by definition is to take the board's de-
cision back there (to the administration)
and argue for it and fight for it."
But, she also says "I don't think I'm the
kind of person that wouldn't indicate .at
the same time what I though."
"I don't think it's possible to live as a
role-player which is why I see it as such
a difficult job. There's a potential for get-
ting killed from both directions."
"It's a loaded situation, and the job is
just as good as the person in it." Reuben
adds.
She feels the same way about the policy
board - "if they don't represent anyone
but the individuals present in the room,
there's a certain undercutting about what
that (representation) means."
REUBEN'S APPREHENSIONS about the
way both the policy board and the office
itself function the justified, but she doesn't
yet have the knowledge of details to sug-
gest specific ways of making the office
more accessible to those is serves.
If appointed, she is asking for one se-
mester to get into the vice presidency job,
and then a joint appointment in the En-
glish department - she feels it's import-
ant to teach'at least one course to relate
to the student body in that way,
"There's a funny sense in which OSS
that there's a reasonable amount of good
will to make it a good one," she says.
Reuben has not only the good will, but
the outlook and sensitivity to make OSS
at least that.

The Office of Student Services
vice presidency has been open
since Vice President R o b e r t
Knauss announced his resigna-
tion from that job to become dean
of Vanderbilt University's law,
school late last summer.
Knauss left for his new job ear-
ly this term, but several months
before that a student-faculty
search committee started looking
for his successor.
The Office of Student Services
(OSS) is one of the ,lesser known,
offices around campus. While
many students are familiar with
OSS programs, very few know
anything about the office from
which they originate.
OSS is a collection of semi-au-
tonomous units, under the overall
direction of the Vice President for
Student Services and a student-
faculty policy board.
, Each of the five units - Hous-
ing, Health Service, Office of Spe-
cial Services and Programs, Ca-
reer Planning and Placement, and
Counseliing - have their own
policy committees. These commit-

tees and the overall policy board
are responsible for most of the de-
cisions concerning student affairs.
Thus, one of the cjhief questions
the search committee asked po-
tential vice presidents was how
he or she felt about working with
the policy boards.
About three weeks ago, the
search committee's list was nar-
rowed down to four possibilities
and submitted to President Rob-
ben Fleming, who said he would
make the decision by the April
Regents' meeting (scheduled for
next Friday).
Since then, The Daily has held
interviews with all four candi-
dates asking a number of ques-
tions about the candidates' views
on the policy board, on the office's
function within the administra-
tion, and on other topics relating
to OSS.
On this page are profiles drawn
from those interviews. The piece
on Elaine Reuben was written by
Tammy Jacobs, the other three by
Judy Ruskin.

Jackson: Dealing with
the students as humans

A

MURRAY JACKSON is a quiet soft-
spoken Juan. Not a particularly dyna-
mic speaker, Jackson would bring a sensi-
tive, human quality to the Office of Stu-
dent Services.
His ideas and hopes for the office center
aroznd the rather refreshing notion that
students are hman beings and should be
treated accordingly.
Worried about reaching students and
including them in the decision m a k i n g
process, Jackson is constantly concerned
with the thought of treating students as
equals.
Jackson is afraid that many Universities

Ross. Right man but the wrong job?

Choosing a vice president

THEWCOMMITTEE in charge of finding
candidates to fill the Office of Student
Services vice presidency did a pretty good
job.
All four candidates would make an at
least adequate vice president, but there
are two outstanding candidates who de-
serve special mention.
Murray Jackson's devotion to the con-
cept of a dominant policy board in the of-
fice, and his insistence on emphasizing
the office's treatment of students as hu-
man beings, makes him an excellent
choice for the job.
Elaine Reuben, too, is an excellent
choice, although President Robben Flem-
ing seems thus far not to have noticed.
Reuben's ability to relate student issues
to the community at large and her ex-
perience in working with the' women's
movement are two important factors of

the many that recommend her.
Bob Ross is the right man for the wrong
post. Although we feel he would do a
more than adequate job in certain aspects
of the OSS vice presidency, his lack of in-
terest in the more mundane facets of the
job lead us to feel he doesn't really want
it, and wouldn't be happy with it.
Henry Johnson, as is said elsewhere on
this page, is taking a cautious approach
to OSS, and while he, too, would do an
adequate job, we couldn't expect any
strong support of students, or any bril-
liant new programs if he were chosen.
BUT, FOR Reuben and Jackson in par-
ticular, the search committee is to be
congratulated - either would add much-
needed leadership to OSS and the Uni-
versity.
r -TAMMY JACOBS
-JUDY RUSKIN

ROBERT ROSS is the resident radical
on President Fleming's list. With an
excellent background in area radical poli-
tics - an SDS organizer back in the early
sixties - Ross has some fine, totally radi-
cal ideas.
Ross would probably do a fine job in
many University positions. However, he
does not appear to be quite suited for the
OSS vice presidency. He seems to have
little interest in the job, and would pro-
bably become bored with it quite quick-
ly.
Ross believes that the key battles have
been won. "You've got the policy board,
you've got theutrashing of perietal rules
in the dorms, and you have the black ad-
missions quota. The point being tha't at
least what I used to see the key princi-
ples you had to break through on -
we've had those break-throughs. Now it
is a question of extending them."
Ross sees his role in extending these
break-throughs as being in an advocate
position, "especially in the out-of-classroom
life of the student." In addition he would
generally push for student self-government
and try to extend progressive student in-
put into other areas.
HE WOULD ALSO see himself trying
to open the University to other constituen-
cies, primarily the working class.
"That's not really part of the vice presi-
dent's job description, but that's a role I
could see myself taking," he said. "T h e
problem with all of this is that in some
ways the next vice president for OSS is
Johnson:
HENRY JOHNSON adopts a wait and
see policy towards the Office of Stu-
dent Services. Neither an outright stu-
dent advocate nor a strong administra-
tive supporter, Johnson takes a "cautious
route when talking about the job.
Perhaps his greatest assets are his en-
thusiasm and interest in the position. He
has given considerable thought to some
of the current programs in OSS and to
some of their existing problems.
Overly involved with internal technical
details, Johnson has at least indicated that
he is concerned about OSS. However, he
tends to think of the office in limited
terms, without having any broad general

and colleges- still perceive students in some
sort of "master'serf" relationship, and he
would like to seestudents recognized as
individuals.
"Students are much more part of the
University than anything else you can think
of," he says. "Without students we have
no University."
"There are many- administrators and
faculty who would take issue with me on
that. They feel that the University would
be a great place if we didn't have, to
deal with students," he continued.
JACKSON STRESSES that more import-
ance must be accorded to the functions of
OSS. The student must be able to feel that
it's an integral part of his education.
Again Jackson is concerned with t h e
treatment of students within the Univer-
sity. "I think students are fellow human
beings trying to find a way to deal with
the life situation we find ourselves in, and
we are here to help one another try and
do that," le says.
"We can't do that if I look upon you
as a student and .I'm something else and
I'm ten times better than you or higher
than you."
He is not primarily concerned w i t h
brilliant new programs but with "human-
izing" the office. "One of the big prob-
lems of universities and colleges is that
people tend not to treat each other as
equals, equals as human beings, and that's
unfortunate," he stated.
"Part of societal difficulties permeate
and carry over to the University. Some
may say that's not our difficulty but I,
don't agree with that."
JACKSON IS A total student advocate.
He declared, that even if he personally
did not agree with a decision of the OSS
policy board, he would take that decision
"to the wall to make it a reality."
He does, however, expect the policy
board to be willing to make another de-
cision if their original plan did not work
out as expected. It is not an unreasonable
request.
"That's all I would ask," he added.
"That's all I would ask of anyone."
Bringing with him experiences gained
as President of Wayne County Community
College, Jackson summed up his feelings
by saying "In my view everybody should
have the change to do what he can or
cannot do, so that they know themselves
what they can or cannot do. I think that's
what it's all about."

od

-Daily-Tom Gottlieb

going to be maintaining and custodiaring
an existing structure. I'm not sure that's
the role for a radical. Others could do it
as well as I."
"If this were a period of high tension,
high confrontation, high militancy, then
that vice presidency becomes a highly vis-
able and highly important role, and I would
see my function as defending student rad-
and acting as a buffer between them
and repression. But that doesn't seem
to be the nature of the period."
He feels that in the absence of a cul-
tural revolution, and under normal condi-
tions, an increase in student power will
not increase the influence of the vice pres-

ident among the other administrators.
Only during periods of high confrontation
does the influence of the office increase,
when others turn to the OSS Vice presi-
dent for advice.
PART OF THE University's problem, ac-
cording to Ross, is that it prepares stu-
dents for a future in a society from which
they are alienated. "I think a lot of what
is wrong with the University is that it
leads to the' future," he commented.
Because of Ross's radical outlook, it is
extremely doubtful that Fleming w ii 1
appoint him to the post.

About the policy board

Middle of the road candidate

OF THE major strengths of the Of-
fice of Student Services ,has been its
almost-two-year-old student-faculty pol-
icy board, which makes joint decisions
with the vice president.
However, the policy board, needless to
say, is' only as strong as its members, and
the selection process for members is in
desperate need of revision.
Student Government Council's most
important role, in many ways, is nits au-
thority to appoint ,student members of
certain committees, including the OSS
policy board.
But SGC has botched almost every-
thing it's attempted in recent months,
and its policy board appointments are

board, had decided to resign, and then
changed her mind).
The new applicants were interviewed,
and one of the recommended students
was told sle was no longer recommended.
The SGC president retained her board
seat.
At that point, questions were brought
up about another of the recommended
candidates - Dave Schaper, the notor-
ious SGC elections director - and his
name, too, was bounced from the recom-
mended list. Several original applicants
were re-interviewed, then told they were
not qualified.
So there is now one seat still open, plus
one Lion-literary college seat that SGC
had not interviewed for yet.

ON ISSUES with which he does not sup-
port the majority view of the policy board,
Johnson feels that the best way to repre-
sent the opposing views to the administra-
tion is through some type of forum. He
believes that the contrasting opinions
should be expressed with final "arbitra-
tion" coming from "higher up" if neces-
sary.
In the interest of giving all opinions the
best presentation possible, Johnson stated
that he "would never attempt to take an
opposing view to the Regents or the execu-
tice council." He would prefer that each
side - himself and board - present their
own opinions.

University," Johnson said. He sees Univer-
sity programs for minority students as a
two way response, each doing and learn-
ing from each other. This would include
minority students in the process of de-
veloping and implementing programs aside
from merely being recipients of existing
programs.
LISTING HIS priorities for the post,
Johnson stated that he would "continue to
do those things which are going well and
try and find ways of doing different, bet-
ter and newer ,things."
"I don't want to get in the position with
a lot of preconceived notions," he contin-
ued. "I'd really like to move out and sort

i

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