100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 16, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-02-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4-Thursday, February 16, 1978-The Michigan Daily
hbr Sidjigan ai1y
Eightv-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom,
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 114
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

'Selective democracy' on ballot issues

Quiet
SOMEWHERE IN
U. S. visit a
tion of a coa
tlement last we
tation Secretary Br
nounced a major n
prove and promote t
transit systems.
Publicity on the Sec
ment was far from
sidering the nature a
of the new proposals.
Speaking before th
Club in Washington,
President Sadat had
only a few days befor
a policy which, for
acknowledges the in
the personal automo
anlintegral part ofA
aria will remain so for
-he major stress
course, is to work tow
transit more attractiv
crucial, however, is
phase out the const
new highways in the
favor of maint
interstate highway
The policy also str
make vehicles "soci

progress for transit
between Sadat's by increasing auto safety and fuel ef-
nd the rejec- ficiency. More emphasis will be placed
1 strike set- on studying the impact of transpor-
'ek, Transpor- tation on the environment.
rock Adams an- One interesting idea contained in the
ew policy to im- new policy is for the government to ex-
he nation's mass periment with a free, federally-
funded public transit system in some
retary's announce- major city. Adams was correct when
1 adequate, con- he suggested that improved mass
.nd scope of some transit could revitalize a decaying ur-
ban area-if only by easing traffic
7e National Press jams, reducing pollution and creating
where Egyptian new jobs.
I made headlines When President Carter first announ-
e, Adams outlined ced his ill-fated energy program to
the first time, Congress last year, it was a mystery
evitable fact that and an outrage to many that he did not
bile has become include any proposals for mass transit
American society with the plan. But now that the energy
r many decades. legislation is bottled up with natural
of the policy, of gas pricing technicalities, the public
ard making mass transportation advocates can rejoice
ve to people. More in the - exclusion of those transit
the proposal to proposals.
ruction of major The result is that while every
e next decade, in alteration made in the energy plan by
aining existing. Washington legislators has been a sub-
s. ject of critical scrutiny, the major
policy on mass transit announced by
esses the need to Adams last week went over smooth as
ally responsible," silk.

To The Daily:
Regarding your editorials of 10
February, specifically "No Gains
from Death Vote," and typical
Daily double-standard and
hypocrisy in general: "The
agreement ... to hold a 'new'
election seems . . to be the best
resolution to a bizarre problem"
("The Mayoral Mess: Solved"
vs. "Deserving as much op-
position is the idea of placing
such an issue (capital punish-
ment) on an election-year ballot"
(same page, "No Gains"). Well,
well - selective democracy,
meet The Daily.
Why is it that the people should
only vote on some issues and not
others? Is it because we don't
want the ill-informed and
irresponsible electorate deciding
such literal life-and-death issues
as capital punisihment? That
might be - perish the thought -
"democratic"! One might
respect another's opposition to
the death penalty for whatever
reasons, but to advocate its
denial of democratic due-process
largely because the vast majority
("73 per cent") happen to feel
otherwise is quite simply
ridiculous. Instead of deter-
mining the fate of capital felons,
you would rather that we concern
ourselves with nonflammable
bovine, Detroit's progressive
decomposition, and other mat-
ters of equal import.
You argue that the issue of
capital punishment "is one of
several scare-hysteria types,
against which rational argument
fails to make headway.
Argument over the question is in-
stead devoted to one emotional
outburst after another." Well,
well - Daily statement of vast
thought, wisdom, and rationality,
meet "We are opposed to the

death penalty in any form for any
reason" (three sentences
previous). You argue that "the
death penalty question . . . will
create pressure on state can-
didates for office to make it a
majort campaign issue." God
save the country if politicians
should ever make a major cam-
paign issue of matters of great
voter concern. One can only
imaginewhat The Daily would
editorialize if John Vorster
thought that mandatory
sterilization of blacks shouldn't
be a "major campaign issue" but
instead decided that urban decay
in. northern Koekenaap was
deserved of greater voter atten-
tion.
I am rather confident that a
definitive November referendum
in the Upper Peninsula on the
fate of Project Seafarer would
meet with enthusiastic Daily
support. But I have never heard
such "scare-hysteria" argumen-
ts("People will be X-rayed to
death," "The U.P. will be nuked
into Lake Superior," etc.) about
an issue in my life. I am also-sure
that The Daily would very much
like Seafarer to become a major
campaign issue in this election
year.
But what would we do if we
didn't have The Daily to tell us
what is and isn't important, let
alone what should and shouldn't
be subjected to the toils of
democracy?
-David Morgan
EDITOR 'S NOTE. The Edit-
orial Board of the Daily has
not endorsed a November ref-
erendum on the fate of Proj-
ect Seafarer in Michigan. Such
referendums have" already
been held in the Upper Penin-

sula and have showed
resounding opposition to the
Navy project's presence there.
on Nelson's music
To The Daily:
Having lived for eight years in
Austin, Texas (progressive coun-
try western mecca)before
moving to Ann Arbor, and thus
knowing something about Texas
music, I was particularly an-
tagonized by Mike Taylor's
review of Willie Nelson's perfor-
mance Sunday night. His com-
ments reflect an unfamiliarity
with Nelson's music and the
culture from which it arose.
Truthfully, I don't think he has
ever listened to a Willie Nelson
album, for if he had, he would
have noted thateNelson's impec-
cable live performance was a
clear reflection of his fine album
performances. Also, he would
have noted certain details such as
"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
.is only one of'a medley of tunes
from Nelson's western drama
The Red-Headed Stranger. Many
of the comments Taylor does
make exhibit an ignorance of
Willie Nelson's place in the
history of country and western
music.
Taylor, in addition, seems to
equate lack of audience response
with poor performance. Let me
remind you that Nelson played to
a Michigan audience, most of
whom were also unfamiliar with
Nelson's music. But for those for-
tunate people who have spent
many a night in Austin bars
drinking cheap beer and
plaything dominoes to Willie
Nelson's songs, Nelson's perfor-
mance was a true delight. My ad-
vice to Michigan natives before

attending such a concert in the
future - have a few more beers
before coming.
- Merrianne Timko
Near Eastern Studies Dept.
teaching nominations
To The Daily:
An open letter to women
students from the University's
Commission for Women:
Friday, February 17, is an im-
portant date. It's the deadline for
nominating faculty and teaching
assistants for good teaching, ser-
vice, and achievement awards.
The awards nominations give
you the chance to do something to
acknowledge faculty members
and teaching assistants who have
been especially supportive of you
in your pursuit of educational and
career goals. One suggestion is
that you write a letter to the
Awards Committee describing
the -assistance you've received
from a faculty memberor
teaching assistant, and ask that
the person's department include
it with their nominating
materials.
Departments have been asked
by the Awards Committee to
limit the number of nominees for
Teaching Assistants Awards to
one or two, so the sooner you act,
the better.
We hope 'that through the
awards process the faculty
members and teaching assistants
who have made a special effort to
help women students to achieve
their educational and career
goals will be acknowledged.
- Bernadette Malinoski
Co-chair, Commission for
Women

v L - _..' _

The 'U's unknown

links to apartheid

They gather monthly in the heart of
America's corn belt - in Moline,
Illinois, 150 miles west of Chicago.They
are all white, all male, all older.
They are the fifteen directors of
Deere & Company, a corporation which
boasts about being the world's largest
producer of farm equipment, with sales
of $3,133,790,000 in 1976. They not only,
discuss John Deere cultivators and
coripickers,'but also promote the flow
of dozers, crawlers, scrapers, and ex-
cavators, as well as lawn mowers,
snowblowers, and snowmobiles. They
approve the search for profits around
the world, including in South Africa.
WHO ARE these men? Two-thirds are
officers in the company. The others, the
five "outside" members of the board,
are powerful heads of other huge cor-
porations - UAL, Inc., Baxter Trav-
enol Laboratories, A.O. Smith Corpor-
ation, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., and the
University of Michigan.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN??
Yes, there is President Robben
Fleming.
Since I learned about this several
months ago I have not found one per-
son, among several dozen consulted,
who knew that Fleming was on the
board of Deere. Some of the regents ap-
parently don't even know, for when I
recently asked Regent Sarah Power
about this she said she couldn't
remember whether or not she knew it.
This general ignorance of the situa-
tion has led me to examine it, through
public records mainly available in the
business library (such as the "10-K Re-
ports" which corporations must file an-
nually with the Securities and Ex-
change Commission).
I HAVE FOUND numerous potential
conflicts of interest. These merit both
serious community discussion and
public clarification of many points by
Fleming. I hope that any questions of
possible impropriety can and will thus
be settled.
Like many other members of the Uni-
versity community and citizens of the
State of Michigan I- am grieved by my
inadvertent support of racism and in-
humanity in South Africa. The recent
public forum in Ann Arbor, sponsored
by the University, made it unmistak-
'ably clear to me that functionally I am
supporting apartheid through the Uni-
versity's investmehts of over $40
million in corporations that seek profits
through activities in South Africa. I
believe we should dispossess these
stocks, and the sooner the better.
WE HAVE .NOT seen Fleming's
position on this issue. I am worried that
,his apparent vested interests may hold
sway over broader social and moral
considerations. For if Fleming ad-
vocates - let alone acts - to divest
from South Afica, he certainly will step
on toes (or worse) of many of his close
associates. Fleming would risk losing
prestige and friendship in his peer

By Thomas Detwyler

Africa and the University through
Fleming's fellow board members.
DEERE & CO., an aggressive inter-
national conglomerate, has plowed its
way up Fortune's list of America's
largest industrial corporations, from
103rd place in 2970 to 66th in 1976.
During that period beere's;,worldwide
sales nearly tripled, to $3.13 billion.
Overseas profits in 1976 were $41
million, on sales of $716 million.
John Deere began its South African
operations in 1962 when it bought ma-
jority interest in a farm implement
manufacturing firm at Nigel, forty
miles southeast of Johannesburg.
Deere makes tractors, implements and
parts there.
BY 1970 DEERE operations were so
successful that it was exporting to fore-
ign markets, including the United

corporations which has signed the Sulli-
van statement of six principles, which
includes such points as equal pay for
equal work regardless of race. But the
Sullivan statement has been criticized
as ineffective because of its general
terms and its neglect of important
issues such as recognition of black
labor unions.V
PRESIDENT Fleming joined the
board of directors of Deere on October
28, 1975. Obviously he bears no respon-
sibility for corporate practices before
that time. But during the past two years
just what has headone to change or per-
petuate Deere's South African actions?
The public record is mute on this, and I
ask for his response.
Beyond Deere's direct interest in
South Africa, Fleming might also feel
pressured by his co-directors who rep-

"the free world's largest airline"),
whose chief executive officer, Edward
Carlson, came on board Deere with
Fleming in 1975.
President Fleming himself is a link
with Chrysler Corporation. He has been
a director of the giant automaker since
1972. Early last year Chrysler reduced
its stake in its South African unit from
100 per cent to 24.9 per cent.
Of course the University of Michigan
has scrupulously avoided investing in
Deere, Chrysler, and the other firms
primarily represented by Deere's
directors. Nonetheless, we are invested
in at least seven of the corporations
secondarily connected with these direc-
tors. Four of these companies are ac-
tive in South Africa. To help protect
their vested interests, what pressure
might they place on Fleming through

reasors). This observer thinks that
such prestige is low or even negative
(but we could vote on it).
As for "keeping up with the Joneses,"
enough said, except it's true that others
do it. A prime example is Clifton Whar-
ton, who until recently was the
president of Michigan State University
as well as a director of Ford Motor
Company and Burroughs Corporation
(both firms heavily invested jp South
Africa too).
3. The excitement and challenge of
helping the captains of industry solve
their problems. Perhaps after a decade
as University head Fleming no longer is
stimulated by the problems of aca-
demia and a mere $440 million-a-year
institution. (It does seem rather trifling
business compared with Deere's $3.1
billion or Chrysler's $15.5 billion

DEERE AND CO. Board of Directors
WILLIAM A. HEWITT EDWARD E. CARLSON WILLIAM B. GRAHAM ROBBEN W. FLEMING LLOYD B. SMITH SAMUEL C. JOHNSON (Plus nine "inside"
Chmn. and Chief Exec. Off. Chmn. and Chief Exec. Off. Chmn. and Chief Exec. Off. President Chmn. and Chief Exec. Off. Chmn. and Chief Exec. Off. directors, who are also
DEERE AND CO. UNITED AIRLINES, INC. BAXTER TRAVENOL UNIV. OF MICHIGAN A. 0. SMITH CORP. S.C. JOHNSON AND SON INC. DEERE officers.)
($3,133,790,000-1976 sales) ($2,409,000,000-1975 sales) LABORATORIES ($440,907.000-1978 budget) ($619,000,000-1976 sales) ($600,000,000-1976sale)
($681,000,000-1976 sales)

II
*Continental Oil\
Corporation
*Continental Illinois
(Corporation (banking)
*American Telephone and
Telegraph Company

*Dart Industrie
Incorporated
/Seafirst C'
(hanl
*Aluminum Corporati
of America

'S
orporationNorthwest
king) Industries Inc.
on B
First Chicago
Corporation (banking)

*Borg-Warner
Corporation
ell and Howell
('orporation

C'hrysler
C'orpora tion

Con
In
*Goodyear Tire and
Rubber Company

tinental (roup
ncorporated

fees earned by a director, payment of
which is deferred to future years." How
much has Fleming been paid by Deere?
Has he deferred receipt of any pay-
ments, for example until after univer-
sity retirement? Does he hold any stock
options (a common and significant
form of income which is not included in
the "total direct remuneration" fig-
ures)? What -is the disposition by
Fleming of all such payments and op-
tions given to him? - Does he keep
them or contribute them to the Uni-
versity? (A few years ago the president
publicly mentioned that he gavehis in-
come from his Chrysler Corporation
board membership, in the neigh-
borhood of $10,000 per year, to the Uni-
versity. Is this still the situation?)
6. Cultivating the -garden. Perhaps
through his corporate connections the
president has loosened up gifts - be-
quests, grants, etc. - to the University.
To what extent is this the case, especi-
ally from Deere and Chrysler? And
what, if anything*, have the University
or its members had to "give" in return?
OTHER FORMS of university public
relations and fundraising are more ap-
propriate and less compromising. The
University should give greater atten-
tion to identifying and solving the
problems of ordinary people. Instead
we cater too much to commerce and its
moguls, eroding public support.
7. Working as a director to make the
corporation more socially aware and
responsive. Here at last is the only
possible justification for a university
president also being a corporation
director. To admit this reason for mem-
bership and open it to community dis-
cussion would be to open the Univer-
sity's doors to needed fresh air. We
need active discussion about subjects
like the roles of corporations in the
world today. (Incidentally, this would
bring us much closer to clarifying values
than all the dry doings of the recent
"Values Year" which Fleming
promoted at the University.) Here in-
deed is a channel for exercising true
educational, ethical and social leader-
ship.
Clearly Fleming's role on a corpora-
tion board should be very different
from the parts of most other directors.
Most of them gained their chairs
through privilege or private manipula-
tion, not through earned public trust
William Hewitt reached the top of
Deere by marrying the boss's daughter
("terally). Lloyd B. Smith essentially
ierited his position in a corporation
s.0. Smith) still controlled by the
.amily. Such directors will look after
their private and financial interests.
Usually it is someone else who must
defend the broader public interests.
The president of a great public acade-
my like'the University of Michigan is a
special public servant, having both
immense power and obligation to
promote public understanding. I d not

First Wisconsin
Corporation (hanking>

Major Corporations connected with the University of Michigan
through President Fleming and Deere and Co.
(Each Deere Director also sits on the boards of the corporations attached above.)
Corporations underlined are currently doing business in South Africa.
*Denotes a Corporation in which the U of M is invested.

States, significant amounts of agricul-
tural equipment made at Nigel; profits
in 1970 were 17 per cent of sales
revenues.
Cheap labor allowed such profits and
low production costs. In 1970 Deere em-
ployed 360 people, many of them
African or colored. The lowest em-
ployees got 19 cents an hour, $7.60 per
week - about one-third the estimated
amount required by an African family
to meet expenses in the Johannesburg
area. Meanwhile, skilled workers, in
jobs reserved for whites, made $1.47 an
hour starting pay.
In that year Timothy Smith, Director
of the Interfaith Center for Corporate
Responsibility (and a recent South Afri-
can investments forum speaker in Ann
Arbor), interviewed one of Deere's top

resent the South African interests of
still other corporations.
The accompanying diagram shows
the structure of relations between the
University of Michigan and major cor-
porations represented on the board of
Deere & Co., through the connection of
President Fleming.
THREE OF THE four corporations
headed by other outside members of the
Deere board do business in South Africa
(according to "Directory of Firms
Operating in Foreign Countries"). For
example, Baxter Travenol
Laboratories, which makes medical
care products and is one of the 300
largest American industrial cor-
porations, owns 40 per cent of Kea-
grams, Ltd., South Africa.
In turn, the outside directors plus

their- connections, during our delibera-
tions on the appropriateness of doing
business in South Africa?
FOR THE UNIVERSITY an import-
ant general question is: How might
Fleming's relations with the corpora-
tions that he directs, and with his fellow
board members, encumber his acting
in the University's best interests?
An even more fundamental question
is this: Why should the president of a
public university - a public servant in
effect - sit as a corporation director at
all?
Any of several answers may be of-
fered. But I believe only the last-men-
tioned below is legitimate.
1. It's a "private affair" and no other
explanation need be given. I don't think
so. Certainly a major reason Fleming

yearly.) But the University still has lots
of problems, and we've hired a presi-
dent to help lead us through them.
4. Keeping in practice. His board
membership has provided opportunity
for Fleming to keep his labor man-
agement and negotiation skills honed.
Within a year after he joined the Deere
board, 27,000 production and mainte-
nance workers had to strike for five
weeks in order to get satisfactory
tracts. But certainly being a dir
not requisite to such activity.
5. Supplemental income. It can't be.
that Fleming really needs the money.
With a current University salary of
$73,640 annually he is the State of
Michigan's highest-paid employee, well
above even the governor. His perks in-
clude use of the presidential mansion on

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan