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December 11, 1971 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-12-11

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







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News Phone: 764-0552

The administration: Seeking the
best' input before decision time

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



Budget needs student input

ALMOST TWO YEARS of discussioi
how to improve the University's
getary and planning systems came
close recently with a report on the m
by President Robben Fleming.
Fleming's proposal, however, is fra
with the potential for being simply a
garment for the same old process.
The Fleming proposal calls for I
areas in which the administration w
rec~eive advice from faculty and stud
These areas are: long-range plan
program evaluation, and resource<
Within the president's office woul
a large steering committee which w
be "composed of representativesf
each of the relevant vice president's
flces, plus faculty, and perhaps stude
Beneath this group would be three
mittees, each dealing with one of
speialized areas of concern.
THE TROUBLE with this set-up is
it would be dominated by faculty
have an interest in keeping budg
planning the same as it has been ir
The large steering committee may
no students, and if it did, they wou]
a small minority of the total membe
In the lower committees, stu
would presumably have greater input
they would still be a minority, and, in
case, lower committee decisions coul
overturned by the steering committe
During the time when the Unive
received a budget which included i
for expansion from the state, each
partment simply expanded existing
grams across the board. All this was
with a minimum of student input,
Editorial Staff
Executive Editor Managing Edit
STEVE KOPPMAN ,.. ,.. Editoria Page
RICK PERLOFF .... Associate Editorial Page
PAT MAHONY .... Assistant Editorial Page
LARRY LEMPEtT ...... Associate Managing
LYNN WEINER ........ Associate Managing
ANITA CRONE .............Arts
JIM IRWIN . .,. ... Associate Arts
ROBERT CONROW...................Books D
JANET FREY. Personnel D
JIM JUDKI . .......... Photogra 'vE
NIGHT EDITORS: Pat Bauer, Rose Sue Be
Lindsay Chaney, Mark Dillen, Sara Ftz
Tammy Jacobs, Alan enhoff, Arthur Lerner
ter Pulling, Carla Rapoport, Robert Schi
W.E. Schrock Geri Sprung.
COPY EDITORS: Chris Parks, Gene Robinson,
DAY EDITORS: Robert Barkin, Jan Benedetti,
Kramer, John Mitchell, Hannah Morrison,
Oberfelder, Tony Schwartz, Gloria Jane Si
Charles Stein, Ted Stein, Marcia Zoslaw.
Burhenn, Janet Gordon, Judy Ruskin,
Sheehan, Sue Stephenson, Karen Tinklenbei
Business Staff
JAMES STOREY, Business Manager
RICHARD RADCLIFFE......... Advertising Mi
JOHN SOMMERS .......... ........ Finance Mi
ANDY GOLDING ..Associate Advertising Mi
Rebecca Van Dyke Classfied Adv.; Fran H;
-Natlonal Adv.; Harry Hirsch-Layout.
Judy Cassel.
ASSISTANT MANAGERS: Paul Wenzloff, Steve E
Ashish Sarkar, Dave Lawson.
Sprts Staff
MORT NOVECK, Sports Editor
TERRI FOUCHEY......... Contributing Sports:
BETSY MAHON.........Senior NightE
drews, Sandi Genis, Joel Greer, Elliot LI
John Papanek, Randy Phillips, Al Shackelfo:
WHAT PART should students, fac-
ulty, and administrators have in.
drawing up the University budget?
The answer the University commun-
ity gives that question now will prob-
ably determine the character of the

University for a generation. Behind
the technicalities of budgeting, behind
the graphs, dry words, and long com-
mittee names, are the details of hu-
man life-a- student being able to get
into a certain lecture, an administra-
tor having a carpeted office.
No one any longer disputes the im-
portance of budgeting to every mem-
ber of the University community. Nor
does anyone dispute that, no matter
what the outcome of the present de-
bate over budgeting, the Regents will
have the last word on the budget. Nor,
at last, does anyone dispute the claim
that at least some nonadministrators-
facdlty or students (but, for some rea-

there was no need for setting priorities
since adequate funding was available for
THE NEED FOR setting priorities has
come when the University budget has
been insufficient to expand all or most
of its areas. In such a case, priority set-
ting should result in cutbacks of out-
moded programs.
However, faculty members have been
reluctant to re-evaluate their programs
and make selective cutbacks. Instead,
budgetary belt-tightening .has been ac-
complished by eliminating clerical help,
reducing equipment purchases, and re-
placing retiring tenured faculty with
lower-paid teaching fellows or assistant
The problem of a non-growth budget
and the resulting need for setting priori-
ties brings out the conflict between fac-
ulty and student interests. Students have
an interest in vibrant academic programs
and lower tuition. Faculty members have
an interest in higher salaries and main-
taining the prestige of their departments.
While it may be true that sqme of the
faculty, particularly the younger mem-
bers, have an interest in eliminating out-
moded programs, the older faculty - the
ones who are usually working in the out-
moded programs - have the most in-
fluence in their departments. These ten-
ured faculty could be expected to resist
program cutbacks.
IT IS POSSIBLE that Fleming wishes to
give the faculty a large role in his new
'program in order to convince them that
salaries cannot be raised. If faculty mem-
bers participate in the over-all budgetary
planning, they will see that salary in-
creases must come from cutbacks else-
where - in areas equally as tender as
the paycheck. With this overview of the
budgetary situation, faculty members
would be less likely to agitate for higher
Aside, however, from the ulterior mo-
tives, if they exist, for having a large
faculty input in the budgetary process,
the point remains that the faculty do
not have an interest in cutting back their
own deadwood programs. And, with a no-
growth budget, such cutbacks will be
necessary in order to provide new and
innovative programs.
The group which has the greatest in-
terest in academic improvements and is
the least squeamish about cutting irrele-
vant programs, is the students. It is
therefore in the interest of academic ex-
cellence to make sure that students have
a substantial input in the new budgetary
IT WOULD BE presumptuous to assume
that faculty members would have a
completely negative effect on innovative
academic plans. Nonetheless, the case is
strong for a large amount of student in-
put, which, when juxtoposed with facul-
ty interests, would provide an academic
schedule in the best interests of all par-
ties involved.

[HE GOVERNING power over the
University of Michigan lies in
the Regents. In discussing planning
therefore, what one is talking
about is how to construct internal
machinery which will bring to the
Regents for their consideration the
fruits of the best thinking as to
the conduct of University affairs.
The term "planning" covers a
multitude of items. For my own
purposes, I have tried to limit my
thinking to three areas which I
regard as of particular importance
to the University of Michigan at
this point in time. One has to
do with so-called long-r a n g e
planning; a second involves the
question of how we can better
evaluate ongoing programs in or-
der to be sure that our limited re-
sources are used most construc-
tively; and the third has to do
with the allocation of resources,
particularly "new" money, whe-

Ongoing programs are being
evaluated in the schools and col-
leges all the time. The problem is
not so much that programs are
never reconsidered as it is that it
is so difficult to provide guide-
lines which have enough uniform-
ity to make comparisons. More-
over, in addition to the funds in
the academic budget there are
University funds heavily invested
in students services, health serv-
ices, financial aids, the physical
plant, public services, etc. If we
are to effectively weight the value
of all of our programs we need
a more consistent and well-
thought-out procedure for doing
In allocating our resources it is
my judgment that we do this
quite well within the schools and
colleges. But we have no mechan-
ism for weighing cross-college
priorities, or for considering the
kinds of financial needs which are

at the problem in the best way.
Secondly, I have suggested that
what I have called the Office
of Planning and Budgeting be at-
tached to my office. I do this for
two reasons. The first is that dur-
ing this formative period I do
want and intend to play a signi-
ficant role in the work of t h e
Steering Committee. The second is
that the president's office is the
only place within the University
which has jurisdiction over the
whole University. If we are to try
and cross jurisdictional lines, it is
hard to see where else the office
can function without limitation.
The third principle upon which
my thinking rests it that the
work of the Office of Planning
and Budgeting will be advisory to
the deans, directors, executive of-
ficers, and finally the Regents.
The fact that the recomienda-
tions which emanate from t h e
office are advisory may trouble
some members of the academic
community on the grounds that
there is no guarantee that they
will be followed.
It is truethatunder my scheme
there is no guarantee that t h e
recommendations of the various
planning groups will be followed.
To make then mandatory would, I
believe, be a mistake. The Univer-
sity of Michigan has a strong
tradition of decentralization, and
it has developed strong deans
and directors. The record speaks
for itself. The University did not
reach distinction by accident. In
the last analysis, it is the admin-
istrators who are held responsible
for what happens. If they fal,
they are dismissed, and they all
understand this.
At every level within the Uni-
versity. deans. departmental
chairmen, executive officers, and
even - the president through
SACUA (the top faculty body),
now consult with executive or ad-
visory committees. For the most
part the counsel which is receiv-
ed is not binding. At the same
time, any administrator under-
stands that he ignores the advice
he receives at his peril, i.e., his de-
cisions had better turn out well
most of the time!
It is my belief that if we can
develop a mechanism for giving
good advice on long-range plan-
budget allocations, then admin-
ning, program evaluation, a n d
budget allocations, then adminis-
trators will welcome realistic ad-
vice and apply it in most cases.
If this is correct, the purpose of
giving the advice in the first place
is validated, and at the same
time the necessary administrative
structure and authority is main-
THE MOST difficult problem to
resolve, in my view, will be how
to appoint the people who are to
serve on the various committees
which are called for under my
draft proposal. The number has
to be small enough to have a
workable group, and it has to be
large enough to be recognized as
representative. Since we start with
a large number of colleges, and
an even larger number of centers
and institutes, plus widespread
budget needs which are within
none of these, the selection prob-
lem is formidable.
to have a "town meeting" style of
problem-solving within a 1 a r g e
university. In the last analysis,
there may be no better way to
deal with problems than to do
one's best to select administrators
with good judgment and then
simply replace them if they exer-
cise poor judgment. In the mean-
time, I think we ought to experi-
ment with a system patterned
along the general lines I have sug-

F OR THE PAST YEAR, the University administration and sev-
eral faculty committees have been attempting to devise a
method for involving the University community in determining
budget priorities.
Since the University has been receiving less and less funds
from the state for beginning new academic programs and ex-
panding old ones, the major task ahead is to determine which
current academic programs and research areas should be sacri-
ficed for others. And beyond that, which areas sh' Lild the Uni-
versity channel its limited new funds into - environmental
sciences? nuclear technology? peace research?
Since these "priority" decisions may determine the concerns
of the University over the next five or ten years, the question of
who should make them takes on particular importance.
Although the faculty is sure to be included in the new
budgetary planning mechanism - how strong should its voice
be? And to what extent should the mechanism involve students,
who have rarely made a concerted effort to be included in the
budgeting process, despite its importance to their lives here.
To provide some insight into this complex issue, The Daily
asked a prominent member of each group in the community -
the faculty, the student body, and the administration - to set'
forth his views on the subject.
PRESIDENT FLEMING discusses the rationale behind a plan
he recently circulated among University administrators. The plan
provides for several committees, composed largely of faculty
members, to advise the executive officers and the Regents on
budgetary priorities and long-range planning.
WARREN T. NORMAN, a psychology professor, is the chair-
man of Senate Assembly, the faculty representative body. He
defends the recent trend toward more faculty involvement in
University decision-making - budgetary and otherwise.
MICHAEL DAVIS, Grad, is a member of Student Government
Council and has worked for many years with faculty members
andkstudents to broaden student input into University decision-


President Fleming and the Regents:
Finalizing the University budget

ther it be derived from outside
sources or through internal econ-
It wouldbe in error to suppose
that we do not deal with these
problems now. The question is
whether there is a better w a y.
"Better" may not mean substan-
tially different final decisions than
those we now make; it may sim-
ply mean that there is agreater
sense of confidence in the decis-
ions because there has been wider
participation than is now the case.
IT IS NOT easy to sort out the
considerations which are involved
in attacking three problems of the
kind described above. University
office shelves all over the country
are burdened with long-r a n g e
plans which were arrived at after
great efort only to be consigned
to oblivion because of unanticipat-
ed changes in controlling factors.
The lesson may be that effective
plans must be the product of suf-
ficient involvement by operating
officials to keep thembrealistic and
assure their consideration by ad-
ministrative officials who are in a
position to bring about results. At
the same time, there is also the
need for sufficient involvement of
other members of the academic
community to add a perspective
beyond that of officers who must
spend most of their time dealing
with day-to-day problems. Exactly
what combination of personnel
that requires is difficult to say.

outside the college. That is, how
does one weigh the need for more
money in student counseling ver-
sus the need for more dollars to
fund badly needed academic pro-,
grams in a burgeoning field such
as the environmental sciences?
The draft proposal which I have
circulated to the executive offi-
cers and the members of the Pro-
per Role Committee (a faculty
group studying budgetary plan-
ning) is an effort to indicate the
state of my own thinking on how
we might organize ourselves to
meet the three problems I have
outlined above. I do not view this
as the only approach, or perhaps
even the best. It simply represents
my own thinking. I look forward
to receiving the comments of the
Proper Role Committee on my
draft. Many details have been de-
liberately omitted simply because
they can be filled in relatively eas-
ily if the overall scheme seems to
have some merit.
THERE ARE two or three as-
pects of my draft which perhaps
deserve some comment or explana-
tion. First of all, I have suggest-
ed that no formal reorganization
of our present structures be un-
dertaken during an experimental
period. I say this because our
own inter-office relationships are
good enough to dispose of any
worries as to whether certain per-
sonnel can be made available, and
also because I think we need a
year to see whether we are going

The faculty: Comitng
back to the forefront#
THE UNIVERSITY is an organization which operates in large part
by means of a highly decentralized system for decision making.
Questions of curriculum and general educational policy are explicitly
delegated by the Regents' by-laws to the governing faculties of the
various schools and colleges.
Questions of appointments, promotions, and compensation increases
are in most units effectively decided at the departmental and college
level and are usually heavily influenced by peer evaluations of merit.
And in the conduct of classes and research the autonomy of the 'individ-
ual faculty member is, and traditionally has been, subject only to the
most minimal of specifications or constraints.
It is accordingly not very surprising that the bulk of faculty time
and effort devoted to decision-making within the University has taken
place "where the action is"; that is, at the levels of program, depart-
ment, and college operations. There have been a number of additional
conditions prevailing in recent years that have served to reinforce this
First, we have been going through a period of rapid growth and
expansion in the area of higher education ever since World War II. The
needs which this has generated for program development, staffing and
maintenance functions at the "grass roots" has absorbed a large part
of whatever time and energy faculty members could make available
for these sorts of activities.
Second, the massive expansion of federal funding for programs
in both research and training has supported a strong disciplinary, and
hence departmental, orientation for many faculty members. It became
dramatically obvious -to almost
everyone during this period, that
one could get his (or rarely, her)
rewards far more quickly and ?, J>< ys
more surely for being a good
physicist or a good "psycholo-
gist", than one could for being
a good "professor"
Finally, most university admin-
istrations, Michigan's included, did
little to encourage faculty involve-
ment in the processes of policy-
setting, decision-making, or gen-
eral governance of the institution
during this era.
BUT A NUMBER of things have
happened in the past few years
that have tended to reverse this
general orientation. The Univer-
sity is no longer expanding rapid-
ly. Federal support for disciplin- Prof. Norman
ary research and training p r o -
grams has leveled off or even begun to decline. Central administrative
personnel have changed and, with that, a change has come in some
relevant orientations fnd attitudes. And mechanisms have' been evolving
that function more effectively than those of the past to involve faculty
(and, to some extent, students) in the affairs of the University as a
Perhaps the single most important development of this latter sort
was the creation several years ago of Senate Assembly and its attend-
ant committee structure as the representative, legislative arm of the
faculty. University Senate (the full faculty) had never been able to
act very effectively on matters of University-wide concern and there
was little evidence that the old Senate Advisory Committee (the pre-
decessor to SACUA, the current top faculty committee) ever got much
of a hearing, let alone that it had much of an impact on University-
wide issues.
Whatever one's view of particular actions that have been taken by
the assembly on various matters it has attempted to deal with since
its inception, several things have become, I believe, increasingly clear.
First, its consideration of issues of general concern to the university
community has characteristically been deliberate, serious, and far from
perfunctory in nature. Second, its committee structure has generally
operated effectively both to provide the background needed for legis-
lative action by the assembly and to serve in an advisory capacity
to the executive officers of the University.
IT IS IN THE LIGHT of these sorts of considerations that we now
find ourselves presented with a number of alternative suggestions, and
opportunities. Faculty interest in the solution of University-wide issues
has been rising and recent reports from theassembly's committee on
Rights and Responsibilities.of Faculty Members and from other sources
give no evidence of any early abatement of this phenomenon.
Administrative officers have shown not only an increasing willing-
ness to consult with their advisory committees on a regular basis, but
in a number of recent instances have initiated such consultations on an
ad hoc basis as special issues have arisen. And finally, major additions
to the system for obtaining faculty participation in the areas of plan-
ning and budgeting have been proposed by the president and by

derstand in detail. It claims that only
full-time experts (that is,administra-
tors) should draw up the budiget, and
that student - faculty participation
should be limited to advising.
The other party-what we may call
the "interest party"- argues that the
University budget is too important to
be left to experts, that only those who
are directly affected by decision's un-
derstand what they mean, and that
therefore students and faculty should
have the major part in drawing up the
budget (since they constitute most of
those affected.
THERE ARE many aspects of this
dispute worth careful consideration.
I'd like to consider only one here: It
seems to me that, insofar as it makes
sense to let students and faculty par-
ticipate in budget making, it makes
sense to let them decide what budget
goes to the Regents.
Budget making -- like any other




ate the consequences, make judg-
ments concerning which consequences
are preferrable to which, and so set
standards by which to,'decide between
various alternative budgets. ("Setting
The third stage is "choosing a bud-
get". The budget makers, applying the
standards to the consequences, choose
the budget that seems to have the
most desirable consequences.
THE FIRST STAGE of budget mak-
ing, though essential to a good bud-
get, is technical (that is, requires spe-
cial skills or expertise). The second
stage is ethical (that is, requires no
special skills or expertise, only knowl-
edge and judgment). The third stage
is more or less ethical, depending on
how complete (and binding) the
standards worked out in the second,
Those wishing to limit student-fac-
ulty participation to advising clearly

matter. Right now the administra-
tion's executive officers do the weigh-
ing of consequences, the working out
of standards, by themselves (more or
less). If student-faculty participation
is to be limited to advice at this stage,
advising would mean either -
-that each student or faculty mem-
ber participating would report his per-
sonal evaluations to the executive of-
ficers; or
-that a student-faculty committee
would report its corporate evalua-
tions to the executive officers; or
-that a student-faculty committee
would tell the executive officers what
evaluations and judgments to make
and what standards to use.
No matter which meaning of ad-
vice we take, the same question re-
mains: What should the executive of-
ficers do with the advice. The execu-
tive officers could handle a particu-

allowed the final decision to be made
for them. Advice would be virtually de-
Third, the executive officers could
try to compromise their evaluations,
judgments, and standards with those
of the students and faculty participat-
ing. This third way would be like the
second, insofar as the executive offic-
er rose above that human temptation
to see all questions of value through
their own eyes. However, insofar as
the executive officers did what seemed
right in their own eyes; the third way
would be like the first and amount to
no participation at all.
THUS, EITHER participation in the
second stage approaches decision or it
is nothing. That is, I suppose, sur-
prising, but it should not be. People
generally want to advise when they
think they know something relevant,
not when they think they do not.

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