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September 09, 1971 - Image 33

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

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Section Three--Administration

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Thursday, September 9, 1971

Six Pages



.0 0

Minding the corporation

'U' administrators: Executives of an academic corporation

Hol nAl
Hol inthe pocket o f the U:
Students pay more for less

Supplement Co-Editor
Its capital comes largely from the state, its foremen
are prominent intellectuals, it invests in business opera-
tions all over the world, its most visible products graduate
each May.
And as with any corporation, the University's admin-
istrators keep the line moving.
This fall, as nearly 38,000 students fill out their com-
puter forms in order to study within one of the University's
18 schools and colleges, 30 centers, and 20 research insti-
tutes, a group of highly skilled business executives will be
agonizing over the problems of keeping each branch of the
University operating smoothly.
They are not the seasoned academicians one might
think would be at the nerve center of a college community;
and their jobs are not academic in nature.
Tucked away from the mainstream of campus, in a
fortress-like brick building, the administrators juggle bud-
getary figures and map profit-and-loss graphs, activities
which a casual observer might have trouble linking with
the process of education going on a few blocks away.
Nevertheless, these activities are not only central to
the University's educational process, but have more effect
on the daily lives of students and faculty members than
administrators like to admit.
With thousands of academic programs and non-aca-
demic services competing for University funds, adminis-
trators are able, through budgetary decisions, to dictate
what disciplines, and individual courses, will be staffed and
available to students during their stay at the University.
But their effect on University life does not stop with
finance. Over the past two decades, the University has
grown to such vast dimensions that smooth self-govern-
ment requires corporate minds to manage the large con-
Thus, the University's Regents - an eight member
body elected by the state to oversee the University - have
been delegating more and more authority to the highest
University administrators - President Robben Fleming
and the six vice presidents.
And while the Regents must officially approve all pol-
icy decisions, budgetary and otherwise, they base their de-
cisions almost entirely on the more knowledgable views of
the executive officers.
The scope of administrative power is even more visible
in its handling of non-academic problems.
For example, annual tuition raises are determined
completely by the executive officers without a word of stu-
dent input. The last two raises have upped tuition 31 per
cent to offset declining state appropriations.
Administrators also determine how to handle the po-
litical protests that are a relatively frequent occurrence
on campus. During the past year, the executive officers
have called police to the University to quell disruptive pro-
tests on several occasions, and have forced participants in
a peaceful sit-in in the Administration Bldg. to disband
under the threat of prosecution.
Similiarly, nearly all aspects of one's life in this aca-
demic community are affected by the decisions which come
down from the plush conference rooms of the University's
Needless to say, the substantial authority retained by
the administrators - who are largely uninvolved in the
educational process - has aroused the resentment of a
large number of faculty members and a larger number of
While the recommendations of the faculty's governing
councils have a significant effect on the decisions of the
administration and Regents, the faculty still lacks any reg-
ular channel into University-wide decision making.
The student body, meanwhile, has no more than a pit-
tance of influence with the administration and the Re-
Left with no legitimate way to effectively influence the
University's top decision-makers, student activists learned
See 'U' EXECUTIVES, Page 5

The hierarchy huddles

Though students will notice few apparent changes
when they return to the University this fall, they will be
paying more money for a smaller faculty while receiving
reduced services - all the result of policies they had no
hand in shaping.
Without fanfare or warning, the University has cut
back programs rather than expanded them - the first de-
parture in recent memory from a traditional pattern of
growth. For the student, this means a more expensive edu-.
cation whose quality is more questionable. From the Uni-
versity's point of view it is the outgrowth of a money crisis
of an unprecedented degree.
University administrators claim this latest financial
mesa the fault of a stingy Michigan legislature for fail-
ing t upport this campus the way it should. Legislators,
in tu accuse the University of misusing the state funds
given hem each year.
The elements of this fall's bleak fiscal scenario would
seem to provoke little direct criticism of the University.
Inflation and the current national economic malaise make
the University's responsibility for these developments ten-
uous, at best. And the state can hardly be faulted since it
is subject to the same pressures, only on a greater scale.
But as an aggregate, the facts surrounding the Uni-
versity's financial struggle reveal quite a different story -
one where the administration's desire to maintain at any
cost all the programs of a specialized but diverse multi-
versity caused each individual program to suffer.
For the most part, there are no fixed criteria for judg-
ing a program's worth. A new academic program or center
will be approved from time to time, seldom with consider-
ation to the difficulty in cutting it back should funds no
longer be available.
Careful attention is paid to novel or exotic programs
fried at other schools and often the prospect of federal or
private support a new program may attract is enough to
urge recommendation of a program which would otherwise
hold little broad interest. Such an interest has been indi-
rectly responsible for the existence of millions of dollars of
University income, usually gained through f e d e r a 1 re-
search programs.
When students suggested reducing certain programs
last year to more adequately fund others, the problem of
budget priorities became more apparent. Administrators
said there simply was not enough money to fund a proposed
new program of increased minority admissions students
wanted. Students suggested certain o t h e r programs be
eliminated or modified. But while the student demands
were eventually met, virtually all University programs re-
mained intact, and it appeared that a tuition increase
would provide the funds for the admissions plan.

Consequently, in these recent years of below-average
state appropriations increases, every dean or department
chairman becomes a begging, cajoling supplicant before
the University administration at budget time.
Whether it be a request to supplement the sagging de-
fense department support of the University's Willow Run
Laboratories or a plea by the music school for a professor
to teach tuba, few deans can avoid the intense bargaining
for limited fuids.
They know Allan Smith, as vice-president for academic
affairs, assumes the role of an ultimate watchdog who
makes the final decision but must also make the system
Yet it simply hasn't. Where a few years ago, the Uni-
versity was among the top ten schools for faculty salaries,
now it is 27th. Class size has risen, classes have been can-
celled, and teaching fellow positions reduced.
By increasing class size and student enrollment at the
same time, education has taken a back seat to survival;
through the reluctance to cut programs completely, all pro-
grams have suffered.
The situation was considered at least tolerable until
last Feb. 11, when Gov. William Milliken delivered his anl-
nual budget message containing his recommendations for
funding all state agencies during the 1971-72 fiscal year.
Due to over six per cent unemployment statewide and a
lengthy General Motors strike, prospects for balancing the
state's budget seemed exceedingly slim. Cutbacks in all
state agencies - including the University - had been or-
See 'U', Page 2

-Daily-Gary villani
Outside the huddle-seeking a voice

Sex bias: Showdown with the government

Supplement Co-editor
Last fall the United States government
found the University guilty of discrimina-
tion against women in its employment
The conviction was not in a courtroom
nor by a jury, but by the Department
of Health, Education and Welfare
(HEW), which upheld a complaint of
sexism filed against the University and
opened a Pandora's box of troubles for
the administration.
The charge and its consequences drew
into sharp focus the problems of dis-
nriminAfinn ranca h +he TTniverity .i+u

responsibilities, and performance" in the
same job classification, and an allot-
ment of back pay for women who have
been receiving less than men in the same
Thus, certain aspects of the sexism
issue are at least temporarily resolved,
and the University's "affirmative action
plan" has become a model for several
other universities that have been chal-
lenged by HEW this year.
However, critics say that the "affirma-
tive action plan still leaves much to be
desired, and the entire affair ignores
many facets of possible sexism at the
One of the most hitter criticisms of the

discriminatory practices in hiring wom-
en. The charge was filed by FOCUS, a
group of Ann Arbor professional women
and following two investigations, HEW
upheld their claims of discrimination.
HEW then technically cut off all fed-
eral contracts to the University, in ac-
cordance with an Executive Order that
prohibits the government from granting
contracts to institutions which discrimi-
nate, and places the responsibility of
judging "contract compliance" on HEW.
HEW's ban on funds to the University
technically deprived it of federal money
for a negotiating period of about two
months. However, in reality, only one

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