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April 18, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-04-18

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' t a
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich. News Phone: 764-0552
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must tie noted in all reprints.

Pass-no entr y grading:

Needed' now



Defending the indefensible

BACK IN the mid 60's, when U.S. planes
were making regular bombing runs
over North Vietnam, we were told by our
Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, that the
administration's war policy of large scale
aerial destruction was necessary to save'
the lives of American troops fighting in
the South and to obtain a successful con-
clusion to the hostilities.
Five years and thousands of American
lives later, we are still hearing that same
defense of bombing - a defense, in ef-
feet, of the indefensible.
In testimony yesterday before a meet-
ing of the Senate Foreign Relations Com-
mittee, Secretary of State William Rod-
gers stipulated that the renewed air and
naval strikes against North Vietnam
would protect Americans in the South,
guarantee the continued withdrawal of
American troops, and would give the
South Vietnamese a chance to defend
themselves against the "invasioh" by the
It seems improbable that the current
escalation will help to save American
lives. On the contrary, with the toll of

downed aircraft rising, the opposit
would seem to be the case.
As for Roger's claim that the with
drawal of U.S. troops would be aided b
the air strikes, it has been proven be
fore, in Germany during World War I
that heavy bombing raids, no matte
what the target, have had strategic mili
tary effect on the enemy. Raids may i
fact increase the morale of those bein
FINALLY, if it is necessary to bail ou
the South Vietnamese army wit
bombs every time the North Vietnames
and the Viet Cong launch a major of
fensive, American troops may nev
leave Indochina.
These ,arguments, of course, are base
on the military disadvantages of bomb
ing. There is, however, a more compel
ling objection - an objection to th
wholesale destruction of human being
It is this argument, in the final analysi
that makes a defense of the bombing hik
in North Vietnam indefensible.

IN THEIR proposal for grading
reform within the literary col-
lege, the Curriculum Committee
has made two very important
First, they have admitted that
many people are disenchanted with
current grading practices and that'
a pass-no entry grading, in some
form, represents an appropriate
Second, they have realized that
recorded failure is not a beneficial
educational experience and there-
fore has no legitimate place with-
in the college.
e The Curriculum Committee's re-
sponse to the second problem is a
suitable and ,logical one. Under
- its proposal, a student who does
y not pass a course simply has no
- record of that course included on
I his/her transcript and will not be
r subject to repercussions for hav-
ing tried and not succeeded.
1- However, it is the suggested
n schema of pass - no entry grading
g on an optional basis to which we
wish to take issue.
Psychology Prof. John Milhol-
land, chairman of the Curriculum
t Committee's subcommittee on
h grading and co-author of the pro-
se posal, described the subcommit-
f- tee's points of reference concern-
er ing grading as:
-Concern over the growing
abuse of grading by those students
d and faculty who are disenchanted
b- with current practices; and
- -Recognition that certain types
e of courses do not lend themselves
s to traditional grading and that
pass - no entry provides a m o r e
s, feasible system.
Ede The subcommittee, however, has
begged a very major question: Do
current grading practices have a
positive effect on the learning ex-

is to place the student in double
jeopardy, in which the eventual
outcome will be the subversion of
the non-graded alternative. On
one hand, the student desires to
create a new relationship towards
learning that is devoid of the ob-
stacles of grading.
On the other hand the scudent
has legitimate fear of an institu-
tional process that chooses to place
more value upon an A or B than
upon a pass. In such a situation of
extremely unequal competition be-
tween the graded and 'non-graded
track, the student's desires con-
cerning learning may mournfully
be sacrificed to the system that
still encourages grading.
Other serious defects permeate
the proposal of the Curriculum
Committee. The options presented
to students are of no value. ' The
changing of a grade in the Regis-
trar's Office does not alter the ef-
fect of grading in classroom com-
petition or upon one's learning.
Also, there is every indicatio-h
that under this plan, faculty who
have become dependent upon grad-
ing will continue to, do so. In gad-
dition, this proposal still recogniz-
es grading as a legitimate process.
Fourth, students wishing to take
courses on a pass/no entry basis
will still be placed-if situations in
which it is easier to let slide a
course graded in such a manner in
order to achieve the omnipotent A
in a graded class. And finally, the
passage of a counter-productive
and misleading proposal such as
this would endanger future at-
tempts at real change concerning
Ron Alpern and Steve Weiss-
man are members of the Com-
mittee on the Underclass Et-

New VP for research

CHEMISTRY Prof. Charles Overberger's
appointment as vice president for re-
search is certainly consistent with Uni-
versity policy.,
In fact, the appointment bears a strik-
ing resemblance to last fall's Supreme
Court nominations of Justices Richard
Rehnquist and Lewis Powell.
The research post, like the Supreme
Court positions, is surrounded with con-
troversy. Instead of appointing liberals,
President Nixon appointed two conserva-
tive, "strict constructionists" to the court.
President Fleming appointed an apologist
Editorial Stafff
SARA FITZGERALD................Managing Editor
TAMMY JACOBS.................Editorial Director
CARLA RAPOPORT............... Executive Editor
ROBERT SCHREINER. .............News Editor
ROSE SUE BERSTEIN................ Feature Editor
PAT BAUER..............Associate Managing Editor
LINDSAY CHANEY.......Editorial Page Editor
MARK DILLEN.................Editorial Page Editor
ARTHUR LERNER ... ....Editorial Page Editor
PAUL TRAVIS..........................Arts Editor
GLORIA JANE SMITH...... ... Associate Arts Editor
JONATHAN MILLER..........Special Features Editor
TERRY McCARTHY .............Photography Editor
ROBERT CONROW ......................Books Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Linda Dreeben, Chris Parks, Gene
Robinson, Zachary Schiller.
COPY EDITORS: Robert Barkin, Jan Benedetti, John
Mitchell, Tony Schwartz, Charles Stein, Ted Stein.
DAY EDITORS: Dave Burhenn, Daniel Jacobs, Mary
Kramer, Judy Ruskin, Sue Stephenson, Karen Tink-
lenberg, Rebecca Warner, Marcia Zoslaw.
Brown, Janet Gordon, Meryl Gordon, Scott Gordon,
Lorin Labardee, Dfane Levick, Jean McGuire, Jim
O'Brien, Martin Porter, Marilyn Riley, Linda Rosen-
thal, Marty Stern, Doris waltz.
cey, Nancy Hackmaier, Cindy Hill, Jim Kentch, John
Marston, Nancy Rosenbaum, Paul Ruskin, Ralph

for classified research to the vice presi-
Unlike some arch-conservatives and
classified research proponents, however,
all three appointees are fine distinguish-
ed scholars. What can one say about their
appointments then? Certainly not that
they are unqualified.
Nevertheless, d e s p i t e Overberger's
scholastic pre-emihence he is not the sort
of person who should head a University
research network at this time.
OVERBERGER has recommended that
the duties of the research vice presi-
dent be expanded at a time when most
of the University community has demon-
strated its belief that outside research
-since that is what comprises most clas-
sified and proprietary research - should
be curtailed.
Overberger was notably not among
those who actively sought to alter the
University's virtually open-armed wel-
come for classified research.
Another matter of concern. is the sec-
recy which enshrouded Overberger's ap-
pointment. There was a student-faculty
search committee for the student serv-
ices vice president, a post near the bot-
tom among University vice president. But
for the higher paying,, more prestigious
research post the appointing procedure
was conducted in private.
There is no question that Overberger
will execute the duties of his office, as he
sees fit, with great skill and competence.
BUT THE question is }whether those du-
ties are the ones to be executed at all,
especially by someone who would main-
tain war research at this University.

THE STUDENTS and faculty of
the Committee on the Underclass
Experience (CUE), undertook the
task of answering this question.
The fruits of almost one year's
research indicate that grading
practices are, indeed, counterpro-
ductive to a good learning exper-
The results of CUE'S endeavors
on grading were presented to the
Curriculum Committee on March
13 and 20. They read in part:
S Grading fails to adequately
and accurately report evaluation
of the student.
* 0 Grading fails to encourage an
internal motivation to learn on the
part of the student.
-Grading discourages intellec-
tual exploration and experimenta-
-Grading fosters student cynic-
ism about the educational process.
-Grading can be assumed to
motivate behavior in pursuit of
high grades but it cannot be as-
sumed to motivate learning.
* Grading interfere's with heal-
thy intellectual relationships
among students and faculty.
-Grading leads students to per-
ceive faculty as obstacles to be
worked around in pursuit of high
-Grading leads students to see
faculty as judges rather than as
intellectual colleagues.

-Grading fosters a competition
among students which is dysfunc-
* Crades are not accurate indi-
cators of future achievement and
-Grades in college are poor ,in-
dicators of success in graduate
-Grades in college are poor pre-
dictors of job success.
-Despite their lack of predictive
value, grades are presentiy used
in making decisions about grad-
uate student admissions.
* Grading may actually be de-
trimental to the upward social mo-
bility of women, blacks, and other
minority groups.
with these considerations in
mind, it becomes evident that no
modification of the A-E scheme
will eliminate the damaging ef-
fects of grading. Attention must
be focused upon the manner in
which grading may be replaced by
a coherent, non-graded environ-
ment which complements t r u e
GIVEN THAT graduate schools
continue to put emphasis u p o n
grades, although the degree of im-
portance does vary, and that some
faculty members find grading a
viable process, CUE has advocat-
ed reforms in the attempt to
create a coherent, non-graded en-
vironment for the first and second
years of the literary college exper-
ience. The recommendations are:
" Grading in all 100 and 200
level courses, and in all other
courses which departments recog-
nize as introductory courses large-
ly intended for underclass s t u r
dents, should be on a pass - no
entry basis. A student fulfilling
the requirements for such a course
should have a 'pass' recorded
on her/his transcript.
0 An instructor in a course
numbered above 299 will be in-
formed of the grading system
elected by each student. If a stu-
dent elects pass - no entry, she/he
will be graded pass by the in-
structor if the student fulfills the

requirements of the, course as
stipulated by the instructor at the
beginning of the course and there
should be no entry if the student
fails to do so.
Recognizing the distinction be-
tween "grading" and "evaluation",
faculty timembers should continue
to use traditional methods of eval-
uation when they see fit. How-
ever, feedback and evaluation
methods more appropriate to the
non-graded environment should be
developed, tried rout, shared, and
evaluated. Faculty and/or faculty-
student workshops should be con-
ducted on traditional and alterna-
tive fnethods of evaluation a n d
feedback on student and faculty
Thus, CUE advocates the crea-
tion of a coherent, non-graded at-
mosphere for the first two years in
LS&A. Such a position does not
prevent the eventual transition to
a non-graded experience that
would involve all four years.
Yet, the Curriculum Committee
did not establish the gradual elimi-
nation of grading as its goal. In its
meetings with members of CUE on
March 13 and 20, members of the
subcommittee on grading assert-
ed that grading was appropriate
in some situations.
Thus, these members of the
Curriculum Committee propose a
scheme of options under which
students and faculty would sup-
posedly choose which course;would
or would not be graded,. Faculty
would have the ultimate decision
to offer the course on a graded
(A-D - no entry) or pass - no en-
try basis. Students in a graded
course would have only the option
of having the Office of the Regis-
trar record a grade as a pass.
However, to, subcommittee mem-
ber Psychology Prof. John Atkin-
son, such "sweeping proposals"
are in reality quite harmless. At
one meeting, Prof. Atkinson said
that any student who has ambi-
tions for future success (graduate
and professional schools) will opt
for the conventional grading

Classified research:j
It oes on and on
O MANY MEMBERS of the University the issue of classified, re-
search may appear to be settled; the Willow Run Laboratories are
being disassociated from the University, the ineffectual Classified
Research Committee is being phased out, and the Regents have
established a new committee to review secret research.
Yet, despite the illusion that Michigan is "winding down" its classi-
fied research machine, war research continues to flourish here not
only at Willow Run but even in such seemingly innocuous places as
the Highway Safety Research Institute.
While some campus groups are focusing attention on localedefense
industries, the University of Michigan continues, to make its significant
contribution to the war technology which allows the United States to
wage war against the Vietnamese people./
Despite recent revisions in the Classified Research Plicy, the old
Classified Research Committee will continue to review over ninety per
cent of all secret research proposals, at least for the remainder of 1972,
Only a small fraction of proposals, those for units other than
Willow Run, will pass before the Regent's new committee. And, despite
the Regents' commitment to end the Universiy's connection with the
Willow Run Laboratories, the University continues to enter into Classi-
fied Research contracts, many of which have durations ,extening
beyond the end of this year.
Since these contracts are between various Defense Department
agencies and the University itself, it seems probable that the classified
research establishment may be. attempting to cement its relationship
with the University so that the ties cannot be easily broken.
IF THE UNIVERSITY'S actual intent is to rid itself of these
laboratories it is difficult to see how it can justify continuing to send
in proposals and continuing toenter into binding conracts to conduct
secret military research.
The most recent edition of the Office of Research Administration's
"Reporter" shows a substantial increase- in classified research con-
tracts for every year since the Regents adopted a policy on such
research in 1968.
This bulletin, in its "Grants received and contracts executed" sec-
tion, listed eight classified research contracts totaling over one
million dollars for the last report month.
It is even more distressing to learn that since my resignation,
from the Classified Research Committee only one year ago, the Uni-
versity has entered into sixty-five new classified contracts with total
funding close to seven million dollars.
THIS TYPE of criminal endeavor cannot be tolerated; we must
continue to explore ways, to insure that war research will cease.
Michael Knox is a graduate student in psychology and was a inem-
ber of the Senate Assembly Classified Research Committee in

scheme rather than pass - no en-
try arrangements.
only students who lack the motiva-
tion for graduate school w o u 1d
voluntarily take a course pass -
no entry and "jeopardize" their
future success. The implications
of this argument are quite clean
and include the development of
two castes - those who submit to
grades in order to gain entry into
professional tracks and those who
refuse to opt for grades and are
left to bemoan their "irrational"
The disastrous consequences of
such a caste system, fraudulently
based upon "freedom of options"


Letters o e ally

,ye ". r "-
r,9 ,-. I' 1

t "

To The Daily:
IT IS with interest that we read
Prof. Easter's remarks concern-
ing the atheltic department. It ap-
pears that sufficient money is now
made to contemplate a million dol-
lar sadium renovation.
And yet the Faculty Senate last
year directed its members on the
Board-in-Control of Intercollegiate
Athletics to us6 the surplus for a
new recreational building.
But is the athletic department
really as insensitive as they ap-
pear to the needs of the University
community? In order to save mon-
ey to build this recreational build-
ing, they rightly intend to cut out
scholarships to the minor varsity
sports and put them on a need
basis (but not until all Big Ten
schools agree though). They will
then bastardize the good name of
student-run sports by calling them
club sports !
They should also cut out all the
unnecessary cost of recruiting and
over-staffed coaching, and t h e
needless traveling expenses.
The money saved should also be
set aside for our new recreational
building, which is needed urgent-
ly by the students, faculty a n d
The danger is that the money
will be used to put the existing
genuine amateur club sports on a
minor varsity level. This should be
opposed rigorously. It is h i g h
time that the "academic" com-
munity controls the professional
sports activities, before this
creeping canhanism makes all
genuine club sports into varsity
Only this week end the motel ex-
penses of over $100 of one such
club sport were picked up by the
afhlafi rnamnf uh--ainn

Letter in .Support of Josh McDowell

creational building. We look to the
faculty members .on the Board-in-
Control to make sure that this is
a precept that is accepted by the
reluctant Athletic Department.
- -D. F. R. Mildner
April 17
To the Daily:
Jacobs a few days ago concludes
that because SGC seems unable
to' institute a competent appoint'
ment policy to the OSS Policy
Board the members of thatboard
should be directly elected by the
students at large. In my campaign

last Fall for SGC, I carried this
logic one step further: Stripped of
its powers to appoint members to
the board, why do we need SGC?
The students on OSSPB should
be' elected and SGC should be
abolished. We need less politics
and more action.
-Phil Cherner, '72
April 13
The Editorial Page of The
Michigan Daily is open to any,
one who wishes to submit
articles. Generally speaking, all
articles should be less than
1,000 words.



To The Daily:
IT IS unfortunate that a paper so seemingly
dedicated to the abolition of prejudice and dis-
crimination should demonstrate such an appal-
ling prejudice in its own reporting. I refer to The
Daily's reporting on the recent visit of Josh
McDowell to this campus.
-The only space Josh's suggestions for social
reform made was an editorial (Daily, April 13) by
Mr. Marty Porter.
It is a well known fact in debating that when
a person is unable to criticize another man's ar-
guments he often resorts to ridiculing his de-
livery and style. Mr. Porter commits this same.
error. He not only knocks such "pertinent" items
as Josh's haircut and bluejeans, but by lifting
quotes out of context he suggests that Josh's
style is a front or public image behind which
lurks a deceptive "Fuller brush man."
At the crux of Porter's criticism was the charge
that the titles for Josh's lectures and the pub-
licity for them were "deceptive". He never once
said specifically how they were misleading or in-
acurate. F "Prnrhpovev - What You Don't

relationships between men and women. Porter im-
plied that the lecture was unsuccessful because
Josh "did not offer hints on how to achieve a
triple orgasm". That is because the theme of the
lecture was that maximum sex is achieved
through maximum personal relationships - NOT
maximum techniques.
Porter concludes by saying that "Josh's mes-
sage is not exactly suitable for refutation." Why
not? Could it be that all of the complaints about
"maximum publicity" are a smokescreen to cloud
the issue that Josh presented?
Porter quoted one negative student to misrepre-
sent the positive response to Josh. Out of 800
comment cards fully 95 per cent were positive!
PORTER EVEN overlooked the fact that Josh
drew over six times as many students, on the
Diag as a war protest did the following day. This
highlights the fact that the student movement
for social change has lost a lot of steam over the
last couple of years.
That fact does not, however, nullify the need
or urgency for constructive changes. Unless Por-



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