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September 09, 1971 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-9

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Section Two-Academics

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Thursday, September 9, 1971

Eight Pages


. .0.

An amoeboid expansion
Supplement Co-editor.:;jr t4<
For 154 years, education at the University has been
spreading, changing and spreading again.
Like an/amoeba under a microscope in one of its re-
search facilities, the University has pushed itself out in all
directions, pursuing virtually every academic challenge
in its path.
It has spread to such diverse fields as naval archi-
tecture and Russian studies. It has moved out into dozens
of research facilities which develop everything f r o m
methods of preserving peace to methods for finding mili-
tary targets to destroy. It has grown from a 40-acre plot "
in the middle of Ann Arbor to include more than 20,000
acres around the city and state.
Bringing together 40,000 carefully-selected students
and a highly distinguished faculty, the University has
combined its ingredients into a stimulating environment
and one of the nation's finest institutions.
Yet, in recent years, it has seemed that size and R"
national reputation have become, not ┬░exemplary of aca-
demic excellence, but rather roadblocks along the path
towards achieving individualized, quality education. r
Though the "multi-versity" offers "incredible educa-
tional riches", as one faculty leader describes it, there is am
growing fear that the University may have stretched itself
too thin.
When it becomes impossible for all the psychology pro-
fessors to know one another, when a freshman course
crams 400 students into an auditorium while another 100
wait to get in, and when the University discovers it has
more programs than it can afford, the advantages of
diversity seem negated by the consequences.
The problem of communication has come to be a Daily-Tom Gotteb
major one for administrators, faculty, and students.
As the University has grown, administrators have had The multiversity Expanding andsspreading
to become like corporate executives who, to keep the
University running efficiently, have had to cut faculty
members out of many decisions.
As a dean expressed it, "I feel frustrated because
communication between the executive officers and the
deans is so poor. I would like to be in the on the reasons
behind the administrators' decisions." .f .;.*
The faculty does -make itself heard, however, though
its representative body - Senate Assembly- and through
new groups such as the Faculty Reform Coalition, an
organization of moderate-liberal faculty members. .n..
In contributing its ideas on controversial classified
research policies, University budget priorities, and a Uni-
versity-wide judicial system and conduct code, the faculty
has used these channels to make its presence felt.
Just as faculty members feel their influence is limited
in some aspects of University decision-making, students
feel they have little input into the faculty-controlled areas
of curriculum and degree requirements.'r
The problems is made worse-by the large classes which ,
students often find themselves a part of - classes which
allow little chance to get to know the professor on an
individual basis. Although most professors schedule "of- ;
fice hours" during which students can come and talk with
their instructors, monolithic schools like the 16,000-student
literary college make student/faculty camaraderie and a --
"collegiate" atmosphere next to impossible to achieve.
Steps have been taken, however, to individualize the
academic experience. Students are increasingly register-
ing for independent study projects and the establishment
of the Residential College and the Pilot Program has
marked the creation of small living/learning communities
for at least some LSA students. ┬░
Yet the majority of students remain suspended In the
amorphous mass that is the University. As former LSA;t k "
Dean Alfred Sussman explains, "If you are the right kind :tHj
of person, the University offers you the independence to by-...y.t'..
do your thing. But if a person cannot take advan--Daily-Tom Gottieb
See 'U' EDUCATION, Page 8 . . with too many students for too few teachers?

A University education: From registration to graduation

Classified research debate:
Soul-searching for the U'

"Ann Arbor - Research Center of the
Midwest", boasts the postmark on corres-
pondence from the University of Michi-
But there is another name the University
has earned for its research efforts -
"Eyes of the Army" - a title conferred by
the Department of Defense (DOD) for the
large amount of research done here by
faculty members on contracts with the DOD
in the fields of remote sensing, surveil-
lance, and countermeasures.
And after a three-year lull, the issue of
the propriety of this research emerged last
term to become a leading subject of con-
troversy on campus.
University; researchers have specialized
In developing equipment with which men
and materiel can be detected, and with
which efforts to detect men and materiel
by others can be thwarted. In the 1 a s t
fiscal year, over $10 million of the Uni-
versity's $60- million in research contracts
came from the defense department - and

over half this research was classified. Only
four' universities in the nation captured a
larger share of the DOD pie.
A 'classified' project, by University de-
finition, is at the minimum, one in which
one or more of the researchers involved
requires security clearance so he can gain
access to classified data which will aid
him in his work.
Classification of a project usually im-
plies some restriction on the dissemina-
tion of the results of the research and often
places a shroud of secrecy over the entire
operation, with the results going straight
to the DOD. Projects whose results are
classified, are, presumably, those which in-
volve discoveries which the defenseudepart-
ment feels must be kept from potential
foreign" adversaries.
The dispute over the research is not a
new one. But with the establishment of a
committee to review all classified pro-
jects and the surprising defeat of a student
referendum asking a ban on classified re-
search in 1968, the issue appeared to have
been laid to rest.
But last term, the controversy re-emerg-
ed. In the fall, a Daily series detailing the
relationship of research done here to the
Army's "electronic battlefield" in Indo-
china, aroused little visible reaction.
But in February came the invasion of
Laos and the release of a letter from a
member of the committee reviewing class-
ified projects denouncing the committee's
procedures. These events sparked marches,
demonstrations and a fast, overwhelming
anti-classified and military research re-
ferendum votes by students, and a re-
evaluation of the subject by Senate As-
sembly, the University-wide faculty repre-
sentative body.
The issues of classified and military re-
search arouse strong emotions, on the parts
of both faculty and students. This is to be
expected, for they raise fundamental ques-
tions involving the University's relationship
to the government, the meaning of academic
freedom, the Indochina War, and secrecy in
an academic community.
Critics of the research have attacked
it on two levels. Faculty liberals, especially,

culty opposition to the research stems from
opposition not to the classified natureof
the research, but to the uses to which it
is put, in support of American policy in
Aware that devices developed and perfect-
ed at the University are being used today
by American forces in Indochina, t h e s e
opponents of military research argue that
the University should not be aiding and
abetting the U.S. military in what they
regard as an immoral war effort.
This combination of arguments has
spelled the end of classified research on
many major University campuses in the
last several years- Harvard, Yale, Prince-
ton, Stanford d Wisconsin, Berkeley. and
Michigan State, among others.
But, the defenders of classified research
have thus far held the upper hand on this
On the specific question of research class-
ification, it is argued that the defense de-
See TO BAN, Page 6



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