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September 07, 1972 - Image 76

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-07

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,Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, September 7t 1972 1

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, September 7, 1972

administration
in a fortress

Sprinkled throughout the for-
tress-like Administration Build-
ing hide the University's top
administrators. While invisible to
the student population, these
executives are the people who
really control the day-to-day op-
erations of the University-far
more so than the relatively pow-
erless faculty, the distant Re-
gents or the largely-ignored stu-
dents.
These administrators are pow-
erful and: often power-driven.
Their functions are sometimes
far removed from the educa-
tional process: More often than
not, they can be found huddled
over proposals for next year's
budget or meeting in executive
conferences to decide whether
the University can afford a new
plantt extension.
They determine t u i t i o n in-
creases (subject to subsequent
approval by the Regents and the
state legislature), the direction
of the University's affirmative
action programs for minorities,
when police are to be called in
to quell student protests, and
almost all other decisions affect-
ing the academic and non-aca-
demic lives of students.
Six vice presidents each con-
trol different areas of the Uni-
versity's affairs. Filling the role
of mediator, problem solver and,
Father to the University is Presi-
dent Robben Fleming.
Although the Regents - the
eight-person governing board of
the University -have the final
say in all University matters,

they generally follow the wishes
of Fleming and the vice presi-
dents, effectively g i v i n g the
administrators decision - making
power.
The Regents occasionally show
their ultimate power, however,
as last year they rejected a plan
to curtail war research which
had the support of the adminis-
trators. They finally approved a
weakned research policy.
The six vice presidents each
have vastly different jobs, and
more often than not the defini-
tion of the job is a direct reflec-
tion of the person filling it.
Wilbur Pierpont, vice president
and chief financial officer, has
been in office longer than any
other executive officer. Pierpont
is the wizard who juggles Uni-
versity finances to balance the
budget, and makes sure that
salaries and bills get paid.
Vice President for State Rela-
tions and Planning Fedele Fauri
is the University's lobbyist in
Lansing. He is the one who push-
es state legislators for more
state funds, fighting an uphill
battle in his second year at the
post.
Henry Johnson, vice president
for student services, heads the
massive Office of Student Serv-
ices. Johnson's job is to coordi-
nate all the various aids to stu-
dents the office provides. John-
son is one of the newest' admin-
istrators, this being his first
year.
The man who has inherited the
hot seat in the controversy over
war-related r e s e a r c h is Vice
President for Research Charles
Overberger. Overberger has long
been active in the research field,
but this is his first year as vice
president.
Vice President for University
Relations and Development Mi-
chael Radock really holds two
jobs. A former journalism pro-
fessor, he spends much of his
time overseeing the University's
periodicals. The rest of his hours
are spent trying to obtain alumni
contributions and gifts.
Allan Smith, vice president for
academic affairs, deals closely
with the faculty on most issues.
He, for example, has veto power
over faculty : requests for new
funds, and helps set faculty
salaries.
Working in close conjunction
with Fleming and the vice presi-
dents are Richard Kennedy, sec-
retary of the University; Roder-
ick Daane, the University's legal
counsel; and the chancellors of
the Flint and Dearborn cam-
puses.
These men are rarely seen on
campus-occasionally they ven-
ture as far as the University
Club for lunch-but their effect
on the campus community is
perpetually present.

You'll Find
MICHIGAN
Beer Mugs Glass-
wareO Playing
Cards 0 Bookends
Ash Trays ! Sweat
Shirts 0 T-Shirts
Jackets 0 Caps
Hats 0 Six Footers
Gloves @ Blankets
Car 0 Robes
Banners
Pennants
RINGS AND
JEWELRY
a k AT

regents: rule
by remote control

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" coney island hotdogs ! iumboys--lV4 lb. of beef
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___________________________________________________________

By LINDA DREEBEN
People who like to try every-
thing at least once may want to
attend a meeting of the Univer-
sity's Board of Regents during
their four years here.
Although most students view
the Regents as an amorphous'
body and know little or nothing
about them, the eight-member
board. is charged with running
the University.
Under the State Constitution
the Regents are responsible for
general supervision of the Uni-
versity, and governing the allo-
cations of general working capi-
tal. Serving staggered shifts, the
Regents run in state-wide elec-
tions for eight-year terms, and
usually are pulled into office by
the party which carries the state.
Students and faculty pressing
for changes must present their
proposals to the Board in order
to implement them.
However students feel that no
credible or respected channel of
communications seems to exist
between the two groups.
They also find that the Re-
gents-who are on campus only
two days each month-are often
unaware of student view points
and feelings, and charge that
the Regents lack understanding
of campus issues, campus life,
and University policies.
During an open discussion of
pass-fail grading systems last
November, Regent William Cud-
lip (D-Detroit) was surprised to
learn that the University no
longer requires compulsory at-
tendance.

"We're getting so damn per-
missive," he said. "First they
did away with compulsory at-
tendance and now they're going
into pass-fail."
In past years students, con-
tending that the Regents did
not give serious consideration to
student proposals, have dis-
rupted Regents' meetings to
present lists of demands. While
students this past year still felt
the Regents did not seriously
consider their p'oposals, few
disruptions occured. Instead stu-
dents and faculty members en-
gaged in several sharp verbal
exchanges with the Board 'dur-
ing open sessions.
The Regents meet publicly
one Friday morning each month
to vote on all policy decisions.
Most of the decisions, though,
have been worked out in ad-
vance during closed meetings
and the Regents rarely disagree
publicly among themselves or
with the, University's executive
officers.
Most of the matters submitted
to the Regents for their ap-
proval are simply procedural.
At every meeting, for example,
the Regents approve faculty ap-
pointments and leaves of ab-
sence, when the real decisions
were made earlier by the faculty
members' own department.
Proposals such as tuition in-
creases and dorm fee hikes are
worked out in advance.
Because the Regents rely
heavily on the administration to
gather information for them,
students feel that President
Robben Fleming and the execu-

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tive officers "feed" the Regents,
prejudicing them against stu-
dent demands.
However, it became clear last
year that the Regents don't al-
ways listen to the administra-
tion's proposals. Last February,
during the final stages of a long
debate on classified and war-
related research at the Univer-
sity, the Regents rejected not
only plans submitted by stu-
dents and faculty, but also a
compromise proposal worked out
by the administration.
In recent years groups and in-
dividuals within and without the
University community h a v e
questioned the Regents' policy of
spending long hours in closed
sessions. Critics charge that
many issues taken up in these"
meetings call for open discus-
sions.
Almost two years ago, a state
senator challenged the legality
of transactions occuring during
these sessions.
However, it seems that Uni-
versity executive officers and the
Regents themselves are coming
to believe that some issues tra-
ditionally discussed in closed-
meetings can be taken up open-
ly. And it appears that an at-
tempt is being made to open at
least a few more hours of meet-
ings to the public.
The Regents typically spend
about 14 hours in meetings dur-
ing their two monthly sessions.
Although a two-hour meeting
Friday is open to the public, the
Regents meet in closed session
most of Thursday, Thursday
evening, and early Friday morn-
ing.
This past year, however, the
Regents opened several Thurs-
day afternoon sessions for pub-
lie discussion about issues of
concern to the. University com-
munity including proposed Uni-
versity policies on classified re-
search, two proposed Afro-
American Living Units, and
methods of funding the Public
Interest Group in Michigan. At
these sessions the Regents took
no action but listened to and.
questioned opponents and pro-
ponents of each issue, sometimes
entering into sharp exchanges
with those in favor of the pro-
grams.
Before considering a student
or faculty proposal, the Regents
usually ask that a carefully re-
searched plan be prepared. How-
ever, both students and faculty
found this past year that the
Regents reject even carefully
prepared and extensively sup-
ported programs.
The proposed Afro-American
housing-which would have set
up living areas for all students

interested in black culture-was
submitted to the Regents before
their March, meeting. Students
and housing office personnel had
spent months developing aca-
demic and social programs for
the units. The proposal had re-
ceived wide support from cam-
pus and non-campus groups and
over 100 students had already
been accepted into the program.
After listening to both pro-
ponents and opponents speak at
their March meeting, the R-
gents postponed their decision,
stating they did not have
enough information. Two weeks
later, they rejected the plan,
establishing instead a commis-
sion to research the problems of
black students at the University.
An important factor in the
apparent gap between the Re-
gents and students is the social
background of the Regents.
Many of them come from middle
and upper class backgrounds
where the position of Regent is
viewed as a socially prestigious
one. The life style and values of
members of the University-com-
munity are significantly more
radical than the Regents'-mak-
ing communication between the
twogroups . sometimes impos-
sible.
Yet, despite their appearance
to much of the University com-
munity as a solid unified group,
the political viewpoints of the
Regents run the gamut from
conservative to liberal.
'Sources in the administration
say that the two most recently
elected Regents-James Waters
(D-Muskegon) and Paul Brown
.(D-Petoskey) - have substan-
tially liberalized the political
viewpoint of the Regents.
Both seem more interested
than the rest of the board in
talking to students and finding
out students' opinions.
However, while both Waters
and Brown supported the Afro-
American Cultural Living Units,
neither publically dissented
when the Board rejected the
proposal and instead approved
the formation of a plan un-
acceptable to the black students.
Regents Gerald Dunn (D-
Stockbridge) and Gertrude
Huebner (R-Bloomfield Hills)
are considered to be fairly lib-
eral, and often side with the
students in issues raised before
the Regents. Huebner, for in-
stance, was the sole supporter
of a more liberal classified re-
search proposal.
More moderate in outlook, Re-
gents Robert Nederlander (D-
Birmingham) a n d Lawrence
Lindeman (R-Stockbridge) gen-
erally hold the "swing" votes.
Lindemer is one of the more
vocal Regents and has lashed
out at students for what he sees
Ns their "rude" and "insulting"
behavior when talking to Re-
gents.
Regents Robert Brown (R-
Kalamazoo) and William Cud-
lip (R-Detroi are the most
conservative members of the
board. During 'the debate on
classified and war-related re-
search, Brown rejected imposing
strict guidelines, asking "What
if we were invaded and in dire
need to keep the enemy from
swarming over us?"

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