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March 25, 1973 - Image 10

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-03-25

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Sunday, March 25, 1973

Pge Ten

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

I

ENGLISH DEPT. CASE:* 'Tracking' brews
Trac kigbrescoo
Profs denied tenure in Ann Arbor publi
te P (Continued from Page 1) However, School Board President
Michael, however, claims most Ted Heusel says that although
students are aware that they areI there had been an attempt to stop
being "tracked," and those in the tracking in the past, the majority
(continued from Page 1) timehaving to show large amounts i be a humanities subcommittee. non-college preparatory track are of school board members now feel;
sell Fraser. "I find the criteria of publications early in one's ca- Rhodes calls the committee com- generally opposed to it. that tracking is necessary.
reasonable." reer." petent. He cites the need for an ex- A University study in 1966 ob- Aede astakn ildf-
reaonale" rer" pten. e cte th ned or n x- Uivesi yd in16ob Aberdeen says tracking will defi-
It is simply not true, he adds, LSA Dean Frank Rhodes believes ternal as well as internal review served that tracking was. strongly nitely be a campaign issue for a
"that the college cares only about scholarship and publication are of faculty work, as important in associated with dropping out of
publication aid not teaching.'' "one guarantee of the quality of tablishing a uniform standard school, with nearly nine times the
"Scholarship and teaching must teaching." the college. number of students in the lowerr
be in balance. Scholarship is gen- The LSA decision to reject the track dropping out.
erated out of teaching.Thatper- Inadditiontwo professors' tenure "requests The study also found that those

ntroversy
c schools
couple of candidates in the upcom-
ing school board election in June.
But he predicts that it probably
will not be called "tracking."
"It might be called 'excellence
in education' or something like
that, but it'll be there-very subtle,
but still there."

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son who is a lively teacher is likely
to be an active and vigorous schol-
ar. You couldn't get someone
through here who was a bad
teacher.
English Prof. Marvin Felheim
sees things very differently. He
calls the assumption ofeequal
weight a lie, and he sees an
enormous increase in the emphasis
given to publication in the last
few years. "People ought to pro-
duce all the time," he said.
But Felheim objects to the idea
that the only type of production
is publication. "There are other
areas of creativity."
In addition the problem of pro-
duction is where to publish. Ac-
cording to Felheim, most literary
journals are clogged up and are
more likely to take works by more
established writers. "The journals
are means to an end," he said.
"They are dull and nobody reads
them."
The apparent drive for publica-
tion may be rooted in the past.
Several years ago a ranking of
English graduate schools was pub-
lished, placing Michigan approxi-
mately 17thnationally. Since then,
according to Prof. Steven Wei-
land, there has been an increased
effort to up the department's na-
tional professional standing through
publication. "The ranking is ab-
solutely ridiculous," he contends.
"Our classrooms count first. I am
much less concerned with our na-
tional image."
"This was once a great depart-
ment, but it is not now," said Prof.
Daniel Fader. "At the time of pro-
motion we all become great teach-
ers. It is so easy to work at ad-
ministrating than scholarship. The
easiest one to judge is scholarship.
Scholarship is the most visible."
Hercontinues: "Teaching is ex-
aggerated. It is required of all of
us that we be good teachers. Bad
teachers should have no place in
the University, no matterahow
good their research.
"Scholarship is the one clear
piece of evidence that a man or
woman is working. Teaching can
become automatic," he added.
Publication is believed by some
to be the only way of judging a
professor's future potential. Fraser
says, "The college is being asked
to make a life time commitment.
Publishing is an indication of vi-
tality of years to come."
Fader agrees. "You want some-
thing promising for the future-
not a remark on the past," he
commented.
However W e ia n d disagrees.j
"One can demonstrate scholarly
attributes without at the same
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of who is quaiiied to judge a pro-
fessor's publication. Is it up to the
individual department members to
judge each other's work, or should
the decision be up to LSA?
Weiland charges "the dean is
suggesting we are not fit to evalu-
ate our own people."
Fraser defends the college. "I
think it is proper for the LSA
Executive Committee to act as a
check. What the majority of the
of English Executive Committee
wants is not always best for the
department,' 'he says.
Felheim questions the compe-
tence of those on the LSA commit-
tee. "What does the executive
committe know about the problems
of the field?"
According to Rhodes, all tenure
recommendations are reviewed 'by
an LSA executive subcommittee
from that department's area. For
the English department this would

was also based on a difference of
opinion about unpublished manu-
scripts.
In general, according to Rhodes,
the college p r e f e r s published
works. "Getting a book published
says something about its quality,"
he comments. "Theereviews re-
ceived also indicate something
about the quality. We prefer print-
ed material, but will on occasion
look at manuscripts."
The English department commit-
tee hadnapproved the unpublished
work of one of the professors.
"Mere publication is not always
a sign of quality," Weiland says.
"It is an acknowledged joke of how
much junk there is in our field."
In addition, there is a time ele-
ment involved. A person shouldn't
be spited because his work is only
a year or two away from publica-
tion, he adds.

pupils from working-class homesj
are far more likely to be in the
general curriculum than those
from middle-class homes.
And grading standards in the
college-oriented curriculum tend to
become more lenient than in the
general curriculum.
Human relations ombudsman Dr.
Robert Potts submittedaa proposal
in 1971 asking the Board of Edu-
cation to abolish the system of
tracking in Ann Arbor schools, but
it was set aside for "further
study."
It still has not been acted on, but
some administrators continue to
believe tracking is prohibited.

Phone 7

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Presenter-DR. EDWARD WALKER, Professor of Psychology
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DR. NAZLI CHOUCRI
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Presenter-DR. DONALD STOKES, Dean of Rackham School of Graduate Studies and
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DR. JOHN PLATT
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Presenter--DR. ALFRED SUSSMAN, Associate Dean of Rackham School of Graduate Studies and
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Critic-DR. CHARLES TILLY, Professor of Sociology and History
THURSDAY, APRIL 5-8:00 P.M.-Rackham Lecture Hall
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