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March 03, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-03-03

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.r..... -
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Eighty-SevenY ears of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Story

of a

woman

Thursday, March 3, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

JU'profs arenl
A CADEMIC FREEDOM is a high
sounding phrase. It rings of
principle and fairness. It is, unfor-
tunately a hollow phrase - nonex-
istant at this- University.
What is academic freedom sup-
posed to mean? It is the guarantee
that a professor can teach a certain
subject, without fear for his/her job.
In the past, this has been a vitally
important issue. For example, in the
thirties, when the theories of Darwin
were controversial, the concept and
practice of Academic Freedom helped
to dispel the fear of firing.-
Now, with no national scandals, or
inquisitions, the matter has been al-
lowed to lie dormant. At this Uni-
versity, nobody questions the exist-
ence of Academic Freedom - well
maybe somebody should.
No, we aren't suggesting that the
University is secretly beheading pro-
fessors with different, or even radi-
cal ideas and methods. But, there is
more to academic freedom than not
being told what or how to teach.
At this University, professors simply
aren't allowed to just teach, even if
they do it well. And that, is as much
a violation of academic freedom as
it is evidence of the warped priori-
ties of the prestige seeking admini-
strators who run this university.
Essential to the notion of Academ-
ic ,Freedom, is the practice of grant-
ing tenure. After five years, an as-
sistant professor is automatically

't Free to teach
brought up for review, before toe Ex-
ecutive Committee of the college, and
their teaching merits are judged. One
of the basic issues in the review is
whether or not the candidate has
published (academic articles is schol-
astic journals, a book, in fact, any-
thing.)
IN THIS INSTITUTION of higher
learning, the education of stu-
dents has time and time again been
given a low priority. The recent ten-
ure decisions of the LSA Executive
Committee, once again relegated
learning to the bottom of the barrel.
The case of Buzz Alexander points
to this conclusion. Last fall, Alex-
ander received an award from the
college for excellent teaching. He was
fnstrumental in the organization of
a teach-in on Latin America. Because
of the time commitment the teach-in
necessitated, Alexander postponed re-
visions of a book he had written.
Last week, the Executive commit-
tee decided that, award or no award,,
Alexander was not competent as a
teacher, going against the consensus
of students (who better a judge) to
the contrary. The dearth of publica-
tion justified withholding tenure,
which amounts to dismissal.
An oft-raised question is where
does teaching stop. Should the re-
sponsibility of a professor extend be-
yond the classroom? From the recent
decision of the Executive Committee,
the answer appears to be yes.

Back when All women beca.ne scbooteachers, secre-
taries or housewives, 'f' Prof. Paulme'S/ erman decided
to become an aerospace engineer. This is the first of a
periodic series of interviews with women in non-tradi-
tional occupations.
By JOAN REISMAN
WHAT'S IT LIKE to be a woman in engineering?
Pauline Sherman, professor of aerospace engineer-
ing in the University College of Engineering, was the
first woman engineer on the faculty in the College's
history, and the only one for her first 15 years here.
She came into engineering by accident. Always a
talentedmath and science student, she headed to New
York's free City College out of financial necessity.
Women had been explicitly barred from City College
liberal arts classes, but the idea of women in engineer-
ing had seemed so preposterous that no one ever
bothered to exclude them officially from that school.
One semester earlier, another woman successfully
tested the case in court, and Sherman gained admis-
sion without a fight.
One thing led to another, and she became committed
first to engineering and then to the aerospace specialty.
She confesses that in the early days of her career she
avoided mentioning that she was an engineer because,
she says, "people reacted as though I had two heads."
SHE RECALLS one professor who had a reputation
for telling ribald stories during lab sessions, but when
she joined the class, the frivolity ceased and resent-
ment against her grew. So, she made it a habit to
take a walk during the lab so they could enjoy their
jokes in her absence.
Later, she encountered a lack of credibility with

technicians, during an experiment involving heavy con-
struction work. Although she knew how to weld and
perform all the necessary operations, the lab tech-
nicians invariably went over her head to confirm her
ortlers. Eventually the project head instructed them,
"When she tells you to do something, do it!"
"Engineering is parallel to the rest of society," says
Sherman. "The higher up you go, the more difficult
it becomes. It's one thing to do your own work, another
to tell others what to do. The concept persists that
women shouid not be in charge, and both sexes tra-
ditionally think that."
She credits Affirmative Action and Equal Oppor-
tunity programs with recent strides, but also notes
their backlash effects. "It used to be that if a woman
or minority person was an engineer, people assumed
that person must be pretty good. Now they wonder,
'Are you qualified or just here because of Affirmative
Action?' "

engineer
and wan:ed to transfer from geology to engineering.
She was told that if she didn't really excel she wry ildn't
make it. In other words if she wasn't better than the
male students, she wouldn't succeed."
BY THE SAME token, says Sherman, there's no prob-
lem with economic aid for the exceptional female stu-
dent but it is not there for the average woman.
No'ing the dictionary definition of engineer as a
"consructor of engines," Sherman notes that engineer-
ing was heavy work at one time, and it's been difficult
to buck, that concept. With techno'ogical advances,
"Everything has become so mechanized, strength is
not a consideration " she says.
"There's no reason for women to hesitate to go into
engineering, if that's what they're interested in," she
advises., "Although, at least in the past. women have
been paid less than men for the same job, engineering
pays better than most other jobs women do." And al-
though she concedes that dropping out of the engineer.
ing profession for a few years, such as to raise a
farnily, co ld pose problems, "it's the same with most
other fields."
Sherman herself an experimentalist, still finds cate-
gorical nrejndice wi'hin the field. Currently theoretical
and computer work is set aside as one aspect of the
field that women can handle. She challenges this ten-
dency to stereotype.
"There'snoreason women can't do whatever engi-
neering job men can do " she says. "Women are better
in some respects. Today women entering college have
higher grades and IQ's.
"While there's no evidence to say one sex is more
gifted than the other, that may indeed be the case."

Women in
to be equal,

engineering are still required to be better
she adds. "I knew a woman student who

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Automakers, UAW join
forces-environment loses

IT IS WITH incredulous eyes that
we scan the recent tete-a-tete
between the automakers and the
UAW. These two natural adversaries
have cast asunder years of disagree-
ment and are ti cahoots to pressure
the congress to slacken Federal Clean
Air Act requirements that fall due
when the first 1977 models roll off
the assembly lines.
Under the present requirements
suggested by the Environmental Pro-
tection Agency (EPA), the automak-
ers will be forced to reduce exhaust
emissions of several toxic chemicals
significantly.
The automakers claim that there
is no way that they can meet the
imposed standards by the deadline.
The proposed plan, submitted joint-
ly by the autormakers and the UAW,
would place extensions on the stand-
ards ranging from 1978 on through
1982.
In essence, what they are trying
to do is receive an extension on an
extension they already have. The
original deadline was 1975, but the
automakers wheedled and cajoled a
cowed Congress into granting them
two more years.

appears that Congress will once again
allow the auto industry to shirk its
obligation to alleviate some of the
damage their mobile pollution ma-
chines have done to the environ-
ment.
WHAT HAS CAUSED these sudden
amenities between auto manage-
ment and labor? Management has
said that they cannot meet the dead-
line imposed by the Clean Air Act.
They claim that if an extension
is not granted they will probably
have to close down auto production.
No production equals many UAW
layoffs. Ah, now it becomes clear.
But one factor not included in this
equation, is the environment. It is
obvious that the UAW has as little
concern for the environment as the
automakers.
Since the entire industry has de-
cided to sacrifice the air to the green-
back, it is up to Congress to protect
our rights to a liveable environment.
The auto industry has been given
more than enough time to meet Clean
Air Act standards. There is no excuse
for the amount of exhaust emitted
from today's automobiles. Another
extension will just give them longer
to bargain for yet another extension,
and meanwhile, we will all suffo-

WHAT HAPPENS VWHEN
THE FOOoDPRUNS o~n?

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LET THEM%
P A'!T DU*4G!

Dorm

rent

strike

Now with the aid of the UAW, it cate from our soon to be toxic a
If -.
MEDITOR

air.

OVER 400 STUDENTS have pledged to rent strike
against Ann Arbor's biggest landlord-the Univer-
sity. The strike, which comes in response to the service
cutbacks due to the AFSCME strike and in support of
the workers, is truly a gain for both the students and
striking workers here at the University. The coopera-
tion and mutual support between the two groups could
help the AFSCME workers in their fight for a decent
wage, the continued existence of their union, and help
restore the vital services these workers provide. In
addition, students are becoming aware of their position
as tenants, not simply residents, of University housing.
The dorm rent strike, initiated by a number of Alice-
Lloyd tenants, has been rapidly picked up by the
Tenants Union and there is presently fver $35,000 in
escrow with more flowing in each day. It is surely the
first time in history that significant numbers of dorm
residents have asserted their rights as tenants under
the Michigan Tenants Rights Act. One question, how-
ever, remains on everyone's mind-is the rent strike
legal ,and if it is, what laws apply to the University?
According to the Michigan Student Assembly's (MSA)
Housing Law Reform Project, the University is beyond
the regulatory powers of the state and city legislatures,
m many respects. Through various court interpreta-
tions in the past, the University has, in effect, come
to be considered a "fourth branch" of the state govern-
ment. The University was created by an act in the
Constitution of the State of Michigan. The Regents
have been invested with almost exclusive control of
all phases of the University's internal operations and
they have assumed and asserted this power throughout
the years. "

-_

li

TENANTS RISING
by RICHARD DUTKA

HOWEVER, THE. MSA Housing Project also notes
that a close reading of the law reveals that the Uni-
versity, like any other landlord, is responsible for com-
pliance with state housing law in the dorms. "Just as
the constitution gives the University much autonomy,"
Paul Teich, director of the MSA Housing Project noted,
"it also gives the state legislature control over public

isleg
As we've seen previously in this column, Ann Arbor
is fast becoming a town in which only the rich can
afford to live. This means that not only are students
deprived of access to a public education due to exorWb
nent rent, limited housing, and a high cost of living, bt
AFSCME and other workers who work in Ann Arbor
are forced to live in Ypsilanti and other outlying areas
where the "reasonably priced' housing is located.
THE AVERAGE salary for an AFSCME worker is
about $8300 per year on which often an entire family
must live and pay for education; not a, large surn when
all a family's needs are taken into account. The last
AFSCME contract included only a 712% increase in
wages over the course of three years; with inflation
beating that "raise" in a single year, AFSCME workers
have seen their real wages cut.
By withholding their rent, students are not just be-
coming aware of their rights as University tenants, but
they are helping to place a focus on the University.
Their support of the striking workers poses a united
front against a university which, when forced, tries to
benefit one sector of the U n i v e r s it y population
(workers) at the expense of another (students). A re-
ordering of priorities ought to provide extra monies
for AFSCME's living wage; it should not be taken from
students' pockets. A growing bond between University
workers and students could also mean mutual support
in the future when students are fighting against higher
tuition and dorm rates and for more University husing.
The result could only be better living conditions and a
better education in a town where both are rapidly
deteriorating.

----------!s
health and general welfare; thus the University can
be bound by legislative decree to provide decent hous-
ing for its tenants." Even John Feldkamp, head of
Univeristy Housing, stated that the dorms must com-
ply with the state housing code. Except by way of in-
tricate and untested legal interpretations, the Univer-
sity seems to be exempt from. city regulation.
At the very least, the University must comply with
the state laws regulating overcrowding, lighting and
ventilation, fire and safety protection, toilet facilities,
and most important-general repair and cleanliness.
Additionally, the University is obliged to provide all
the services as stated in the lease; an obligation which
cannot be met when the service-workers are on strike.
It is on these latter points that the snowballing dorm
rent strike is legally based.

Genesis
To The Daily:
On the night of Saturday, Feb-
ruary 12, Genesis performed one
of the tightest two-hour sets that
has graced a Detroit stage.
Their combination of high ener-
gy music, sophisticated lyrics,
and talented stagemanship left
this fan and what seemed to
be most of the sold-out crowd

Letters
glow was purposely much loud-
er than the subtle opening vo-'
cals.
Phil Collin's handling of the
audience was that of the mas-t
ter showman. Using the sexual
intro to last year's tour ver- l
intro to last year's tour versionT
of Cinema Show, he then twisted
the story into a lead-in for their
stunning version of Supper's t
Redv His imntr iadno n ni-

to

the,

stageshow. Their use of smoke
lasers and their finely synchro-
nized light show were impres-
sive, but a mere highlight to
their songs.
The point of view of your re-
porters is that of only two peo-
ple. After discussing their re-
view with others who viewed the
show, it was generally agreed
that Genesis deserved a better
review. Genesis hasn't had the

Dail
Feb. 24, 1977, Eclipse Jazz en-
dorses the demands of AFSCME
Local 1583 and pledges iius
wholehearted support to the
strike effort. We urge the Uni-
versity negotiating team to re-
turn to the bargaining table and
resolve the dispute quickly and
fairly in order that students may
again concern themselves with
education rather than the where-
abouts of their next meals.

necessary consequence of an
AFSCME victory.
In anticipation of a speedy
and equitable settlement,
Eclipse is continuing its prep-
arations for the March 19 An-
thony Braxton concert; tickets
will continue to be sold.
Despite Eclipse's affiliation
with the University Activities
Center (UAC), this statement
in nn wam ;ni4a i mrqminmi

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