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September 09, 1971 - Image 32

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

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Page Eight


Thursday, September 9, 1971

Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, September 9, 1971

Faculty:. Attempting to gain a strong voice

A glance at the multiversity

(Continued from Page 4)
Assembly, Norman argues, "w e
don't go as far as some would
like us to."
Over the past few years, sev-
eral ad-hoc faculty groups have
formed in attempts to initiate
more change at the Univer-
In the forefront of this drive
for increased faculty power is
the Faculty Reform Coalition,
a faculty group trying to imple-
ment change and reform
through non-violent means.
Unlike Senate Assembly, the
Faculty Reform Coalition con-
siders itself an activist poli-

tical group with a predominant-
ly liberal viewpoint.
Formed in the spring of 1970,
the Coalition is currently or-
ganized into several task forces
which research and prepare po-
sition papers on various Univer-
sity issues.
This past year, the Coalition
worked extensively on Univer-
sity budgeting processes and
priorities and on the new Uni-
versity-wide judicial system
which was adopted by the Re-
gents in April.
Another political group on
campus - composed of both
faculty and students - is


Someone at

&eI)'NO has visited

- Radical College. This group was
organized in the fall of 1969 to
offer the University commun-
ity an alternative voice on Uni-
versity policies and politics as
well as to study undergraduate
educational problems.
"In almost all cases we didn't
get very far," says h i s t o r y
Prof. William Rosenberg, a
member of the group. "Our ef-
fect was kind of like a shotgun
- not well organized and not
that coherred, but when we fir-
ed our scattered blasts we suc-
ceeded in raising and focusing
in on certain issues."
_) Though the radical group is
no longer formally organized,
members are concentrating their
efforts in curriculum and un-
dergraduate reform. "We hope
to organize a program for the
study of social change where
students can take courses in
social change and work together
in a coordinated way," says
While the ad-hoc faculty
groups often contribute input
to many issues raised b e f o r e
faculty members as a whole, the
faculty's position on an issue is
still determ~ined in Senate As-
sembly, the representative body.
Perhaps the issue which most
sparked faculty's anger this past
yearkinvolved methods used by
the administration to deal with
state cutbacks in the Univer-
sity's budget.
In order to meet state rev-

enue losses, the University or-
dered across the board budget
cuts from all Univeristy de-
partments, drawing criticism
from many faculty members.
"A flat across the board per-
centage figure is not a very
satisfactory approach to Uni-
versity budgetary processes"
said Gerhard Weinberg, chair-
man of Senate Assembly at that
time. "It introduces r i g i d i t y
and allows no differential as-
sessment of varying programs."
Seconding Weinberg's posi-
tion, Faculty Reform Coalition
contended that cuts should be
made from non-academic areas
such as intercollegiate athletics
and University maintenance
services and not from instruc-
tion expenditures.
Another major issue raised be-
fore Senate Assembly last win-
ter involved classified research
projects at the University. Con-
tending that classified research
runs contrary to the concept of
an open, academic University,
about 100 faculty members and
students initiated a week-long
fast as a protest.
In its March meeting, Assem-
bly in effect rejected the con-
troversial proposal urging the Re-
gents to ban classified research
from campus.
Instead, Assembly passed a
less restrictive motion and called
on its Research Policy Commit-
tee to study the issue.

(Continued from Page 5)
(less than 2,000 students),
friendly, and open to all.
Presently, the biggest depart-
ment at Flint is education, but
the social sciences are growing
more popular, especially the ur-
ban studies program.
Another advantage of the
Flint campus is tuition. While
rising tuition hits Ann Arbor
students hard, in-state tuition
at Flint is only $480.
The degree given to grad-
uates at Flint is a B.A., but
many students transfer to the
Ann Arbor campus at the end
of their sophomore year.
Flint is primarily a commut-
er campus, with most of i t s
students living in Genessee
But there is an option of on-

campus living - for example,
in the University's three large
apartment buildings.
.Dearborn campus
Innovation is a key word to
describe the University of Mich-
igan at Dearborn.
Once open to only juniors and
seniors, Dearborn will welcome
its first freshman class of 350
students this term.
Freshmen and sophomores will
take a new core curriculum of
distribution requirements, aimed
at integrating basic knowledge
into a learning experience on the
physical, social, asd environ-
mental world of man.
Among the requirements is a
communications course, repiac-
ing English 123. Humanities of
social science faculty will teach

this course, which will utilize
visual and artistic expression as
well as written communication.
Another aspect of the communi-
cations requirement is a choice
of foreign language, logic or com-
puter technology.
The new curriculum also has a
science requirement including re-
quired courses in matter, ener-
gy and life and a math course.
One major difference this year
will be the Dearborn campus'
chancellor, a new position cre-
ated at both Dearborn and Flint
to replace' Vice President Steph-
en Spurr, who engineered much
of the two campus' reforms from
his post at the Ann Arbor cam-
Spurr is leaving this term to
become president at the Univer-
sity of Texas.


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Stephen Spurr

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(Continued from Page 1)
tage of the University's diversity, he is likely to wind up con-
fused and lost."
The University faces problems, not only because of its
large community of scholars, but also as a result of the breadth
of its operations. As state allocations to higher education are de-
creased, the University must consider whether it has indeed over-
extended itself in terms of the number of institutes, departments,
and facilities it supports.
Just as the University's size has posed problems for admin-
istrators, faculty, and students, the maintenance of the Univer-
sity's tradition of excellence has meant further frustr,%tion for
these groups.
While wanting to, maintain the University's reputation, var-
ious groups sometimes feel that other concerns - budgetary
restrictions, individualized education, or social awareness should
take precedence over the traditional "way of doing it."
With limited state allocations, administrators are hard-press-
ed to preserve the quality of University education as they find
they cannot meet departmental requests for equipment and staff.
And consequently, the perennial problem of too many students
for too few teachers is once again aggravated.
While undergraduate students may take pride in the Uni-
versity's national reputation, many feel that that reputation rests
too heavily on research and graduate teaching and not enough on
their own education.
Though undergraduate and graduate students share the
same professors, many instructors admit their preference for their
smaller, more "stimulating" graduate-level courses.
Faculty members also feel their research time is wisely spent,
enabling them to be better teachers by keeping them abreast of
developments in their fields.
Also looming over the faculty member is departmental pres-
sure to "publish or perish" - pressure which forces the faculty
member to produce quality research or face the possibility of
losing his job.
As one professor comments, "Any major University is caught
in a reward system based on national recognition, while local
work is neglected. It is accidental that there are good teachers
here for they were neither hired as such nor encouraged to teach."
For those who would like the University to make other changes-
taking stronger stands on moral and social issues-the University's
traditional stance is again difficult to alter. Faculty members and
administrators generally feel that the University should remain "an
ivory tower", isolated from rumblings in the world outside
This sentiment was revealed when faculty members, seeking an
end to classified and military research on campus this past year,
were countered by faculty members, who asserted that University
research should not be limited by such restrictions.

And other professors oppose classified research, not because of
its military implications, but because they feel it is contrary to the
concept of a free and open University.
Another social position some feel the University should take is
that the University should open its doors to anyone wishing to attend
it. Yet once again, the maintenance of academic excellence stands
in the way.
As President Robben Fleming says, "The academic environment
here is more serious than many schools, partly because some time
ago the University made the decision, not to have a wide-open ad-
missions policy. However, we may not be able to continue in the
light we started out."
An indication of the type of change to which Fleming alludes
was seen last March, ,when following the week-long Black Action
Movement strike, the University committeed itself to providing the
funds necessary to achieve a ten per cent black enrollment by 1973.
But despite major developments such as the RC and the black
admissions plan, change takes place sporadically at the University.
Many reforms, particularly the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS)
degree and the course mart program, have been made by the faculty
only after students vocalized particular concerns.
But when it comes to more massive changes, such as the ex-
tension of pass/fail grading to the whole college, the faculty is more
cautious. Feeling responsible for the stature of University degrees,
most faculty members seem reluctant to set the University off onto
a .new academic course which might jeopardize its national reputa-
Many faculty members also feel that because they are involved
in University education for 'a longer period of time than students,
they are thus better qualified to judge the viability of academic
Students, however, trying to institute reforms while they are
still in school, become disillusioned as faculty members often rele-
gate their proposals to committees for further study.
The major obstacle facing academic reform may be that the
University has not defined for itself one cogent academic road that
it should follow.
"There is a very serious need for self-study in the University,"
says former Assistant LSA Dean James Shaw. "We need to define
policies and find out philosophically where the University is and
where it should be headed."
But with its size and its tradition, it is difficult to change the
University's approach to education after more than 150 years.
As psychology Prof. Ronald Tikofsky says, "The University is
growing and maturing. But with the onset of maturity it has to
operate withingthe constraints of adulthood and with the responsi-
bilities of being an adult."




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