THE . I M1GaAN DAILY
Thursday, SeptOr bar 4, 11)75
Page FGur THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thu rsd~y, September 4, 1 ~75
Fleming: the cool,
prof turned VP
If you ever pass a man with short
silver hair, wearing granny spec-
tacles, an elegant but conservative
suit, and a gently paternal smile, rest
assured you are within touching dis-
tance of the President of the Univer-
sity, Robben Fleming.
Fleming, an old style liberal direct-
ing the University from the second
floor of the Administration Building,
manages to portray a wise, fatherly
image. He claims that he would ad-
vise students in the same way that
he advises his ow-n kids.
JN SPEAKING to him it is hard to
realize that he is an expert in labor
relations, has worked for the federal
government in mediation, and it has
been rumored, could easily become
Secretary of Labor if he so desired.
This past year his experience in
labor mediation has served him more
than adequately in dealing with a
rash of labor activity on campus. The
clericals, registered nurses and grad-
uate employes all organized unions
in the space of a year, and Flem-
ig's administration combatted their
unionization in a manner which could
onfly be described as wily and hard-
But despite Fleming's expertise all
three fledgling unions succeeded in
becoming legal, and eventually faced
the University administration over
the bargaining table.,
LAST WINTER a group of black
and other minority students, the °
Third World Coalition, took over the
Administration Building, and camped
out for a few days.
Fleming refused to deal with the
minorities as long as they remained v
inside the building, though he agreed
to talk over their demands once they
vacated. For a while it was touch t'
and go, but eventually Fleming won.
The minorities left the building, and
trailed down South University in a
long "protest march."
Fleming met with the minorities,.
but nothing substantial ever came of
LAST FALL F l e m i n g instituted
"values year," dedicated to what he
described as an examination of ethics,
social values, and their role in higher F leing R
education. He said it was "Born of
a concern for what's been happening
to our ethics and value structures."
Fleming's moral philosophy, that of
maintaining ethics and values, enia-
nates from the Kennedy era. During
his years as president of the Univer-
sity that stance has often been se-
verely tried-the student activist era
cracked a few university presidents,r
but not Fleming.
But more r e c e n t l y, Fleming's
smooth veneer was dealt a mighty
blow. The Affirmative Action Com-
mittee brought out a report criticiz-
ing Fleming and the Vice President
for Academic Affairs, Frank Rhodes,
in their actions in dealing with a can-
didate for the position of Dean of
LSA, Jewel Cobb, a black educator.
BOTH FLEMING and Rhodes fa-
vored offering the deanship to Billy
Frye, presently acting dean of LSA.k
However, the Regents voted to offer
the position to Cobb.
The report claimed the administra-
tors acted in "bad faith when they
offered Cobb the position. Fleming
defended his actions by maintaining
that they acted on the belief thatU
during the present economic crunch,;
experience in a Dean was more im-
portant than hiring on the basis of
Yet Fleming's defense appeared toh
fly in the face of his belief of honesty,
integrity, and ethics-that is if he be-
lieves these standards apply to fol-
lowing Affirmative Action guidelines.
Regents: Overseeing the
John Feldkamp, the University's
housing director, would probably
make a great landlord. Running the
fourteen or so housing complexes-
dormitories and Oxford housing -
probably provides Feldkamp with
enough experience in financing; main-
tenance, and institutional food to run'
But as the University's landlord,
Feldkamp, who has often been de-
scribed as "baby-faced," or "cheru-
bic," has his fair share of problems.
Last winter, applications for living
spaces in University housing greatly
exceeded the actual n u m b e r of
FELDKAMP decided to solve the
dilemma with a lottery, and the stu-
dents who didn't luck out were
forced to search for off-campus hous-
ing long past the prime time to find
liveable situations. And the majority
of the unfortunate homeless blamed
However, Feldkamp maintained
that months earlier he had warned
the Regents and other administration
officials that the University would
experience a housing crunch. The
regents, on the other hand stated
that they knew nothing about the
crunch until they were confronted by
the lottery. Obviously, there was a
bureaucratic snaful somewhere along
But the lottery went through, and
some students are still scrambling for
places to live.Meanwhile, Feldkamp
is still touting the great services that
the University provides in its housing.
Frank Rhodes (they call him I
for short) has been described as
lank, and dour. But according t
former students he never used 1
that way. Rhodes came to the
versity as a geology professor,
was known to students foi
liberal ideas and accessibility.
haps the trials and tribulation
holding academia together has
its souring effects on Rhodes,
vice presidents for academic Af
As Dean of LSA, Rhode's pre
position, he held weekly coffee h
for the LSA students. But afte
began taking on the burdens of
demic affairs a year ago, he ca
ed the intimate student-dean sess
Now, he conducts his businessI
the plushly carpeted upper ech
of the administration building,
rarely, if ever, has contact with~
RHODES has a 'eputation fo
peccable manners in his del
with people. But that reputation
dealt a blow last term when
Board of Regents voted to
Jewel Cobb, a highly qualifiedb
educator from Connecticut, the
tion of Dean of LSA.
The Administration favoredo
ing the position to Acting Dei
LSA Billy Frye. Both President F
ing and Rhodes were criticize
their actions in a report by the
firmative Action Committee in
gating the Cobb affair.
The Report accused both hig
} ministrators of not acting in
faith" and noted Cobb's feeling
she was "never accorded the
tesies" usually given to dea
In response, Rhodes blasted
committee's report and stated a
May Regents meeting, "I want
to deny that in any of my del
with Dr. Cobb I behaved with
thing less than the utmost cou
BUT despite the recent crit'
directed towards Rhodes, he h
the past been widely hailed as an
novator." As dean of LSA he
t~h ,;;responsible for starting the W
Studies program and Inteflex,a
year medical program.
Yet at the same time, he has
accused of rigidity and close-mi
Rhodes, just before taking on
vice presidency, asserted tha
though he is not a "wild-eyedr
lutionary," he was still comm
Sw'er to "maintaining and enhancing
Sarah Power, being the only woman on the Board,
the tough task of not only shooting down ugly stereot
but also voicing minority opinions to the Board.Shl
a resident of Ann Arbor active in the Democratic p
and her term expires in 1984.
Regent Thomas Roach is a Democrat from Gr
Point, graduated from the University in 1951, beco
a Regent in 1972. His term expires in 1980.
James Waters, the only black member on the Bo
received his law degree from the University and
came a Regent in 1970. He has repeatedly criticized
Administration for its handling of the "Cobb affair."
term expires in 1979.
Last, but surely not least, is Regent Lawrencel
demer - the other Republican on the Board. He
recently appointed by Governor William to the State
preme Court - replacing Thomas Kavanaugh who
cently died. He is a wealthy Lansing attorney w
term of office expires in 1980.
LINDEMER represented Milliken and his controve
Lieutenant Governor, James Damman, in a state inv
gation into alleged conflicts of interest on the par
Damman. Charges against Dammon were event
dropped by state attorney general Frank Kelley.
It is specualted by some political observers that Li
mer's appointment to the Court was a pay-off by Mill
for his services. His confirmation by the state legisla
is expected to run into stiff opposition.
University as a community of people
who are committed to transmitting
and adding to knowledge."
RHODES WAS widely acclaimed
for his experimental ideas while pro-
fessor. Many students were disap-
pointed, however, when he did not
implement radical changes in LSA,
though he maintains that during his
three-year tenure "more (had) been
accomplished . . . than in the pre-
Rhodes has held the vice presi-
dency for a little more than a year
now, and so far his track record is
not particularly admirable as far as
change and innovations are concern-
ed. But then, as he commented in
1974, "Changing anything is a huge
Rhokes is considered to be the
most logical successor to Fleming. In
his years here at the University he
has gradually abandoned his so-called
liberal stances in favor of more the
c o n s e r v a t i v e administrative
guidelines. As vice president for aca-
demic affairs, and as the possible
next president of the University, it
is likelysthat he will always veer
away from that "huge undertaking."
The University Board of Regents, the state-wide elect-
ed body that has complete control over affairs of the
University - to the point of hiring, firing or laying off
any University employe, including President Robben
Fleming - is composed of eight, highly partisan mem-
bers, six Democrats and two Republicans.
They come from all parts of the state-Petoskey, Mus-
kegon, Lansing, Ann Arbor--and roll in once a month for
a two day meeting.
THEIR OPEN sessions, held on Thursday and Friday
afternoon in the third week of the month, have been
described as for the benefit of the public only. Although
the University's officials and the Regents flatly deny
that they have closed decision making meetings, their
open sessions are often times to smooth, the votes taken
too quickly and the comments too pat, to believe they
were not thought out beforehand.
Nonetheless, their meetings are well attended by the
press, University administrators, students and professors.
Press releases are passed out after the Regents vote on
an issue and the entire meeting is taped. The monthly
Regents session is a gala affair, to say the least.
But for the Regents, their public meetings may be the
anticlimax of their vsit to Ann Arbor. They are tradition-
ally housed in the posh Ingalls House, an exclusive hide-
away for visiting dignitaries, catered to by their own
staff, and fed by the Pretzel Bell, a restaurant known
for its excellent roast beef and spare ribs.
BETWEEN the wining and dining, and the afternoon
sessions, the Regents have almost no contact with the
campus or students. Last fall the Regents ate dinner in
Markley dormitory, one of the rare social events includ-
ing both the overseers of the University and the students.
The Regents were amazed to learn that bike theft was a
big problem on campus, and were slightly confused by
the food lines in the cafeteria.
But despite the fact that the Regents have little feel
for the campus and the students, they are still the govern-
ing body, and their politics determine to a certain extent
how the University works.
Deane Baker, one of the twoRepublicans, is president
of a construction and land development company in Ann
Arbor. His term of office expires in 1981.
BAKER HAS been referred to as the most "verbose
and recationary" member of the Board.
Paul Brown, whose term of office expires in 1978, is a
Democratic attorney from Petoskey. He was graduated
from the University in 1956.
Regent Gerald Dunn is a former Democratic state
senator from Lansing. An executive secretary of the
Metropolitan Association for Improved School Legisla-
tion, his term expires in 1977.
A long time University devotee, Robert Nederlander
was graduated in 1955 and received his law degee in
1958. He is vice president and director of the Nederlander
Theatrical Corporation. His term of office expires in 1977.
was edn tr
Perhaps the single administrator
the that has the most direct contact with
t al- your everyday student is Vice Presi-
revo- dent for Student Services Henry John-
iitted son. Have a problem with one of your
the classes or even an idea about how
the buses to North Campus could be
run more efficiently, pay a visit to
Johnson-he is always open to your
inputs and ideas.
Besides just doing what he is paid
to do, Johnson enjoys working with
people-as evident from his varied
has past experiences. Once graduated
ypes from Morehouse College with a de-
e is gree in Sociology in 1958, Johnson
arty immediately went into social work,
first as a psychiatric worker in 1960
osse to an administrator at the W.J.
ping Maxey Boys Training School north of
here in 1964 and finally to his present
ard, position which he has held since June,
His DURING THE Administration Build-
ing sit-in by minority students last
Lin- February, Johnson played a key role
was in amending the somewhat tenuous
Su- relationship between the minorities
re- and the administration. He has a spe-
hose cial interest in minority affairs-he is
the only minority vice president at
rsial Johnson's chief right-hand man is
esti- Tom Easthope, assistant vice presi-
t of dent for student services. He is also
ially an excellent person to talk to if you
have any concerns.
nde- "His rapport with the students and
iken his demand for excellence from his
ture colleagues is impressive," says John-
Frye, Kennedy, Pier pont: Attempting to
hold their own despite staggering odds
Billy Yrye, often though of as "a very
hikeable person" and an effective admin-
istrator, is presently acting dean of the
literary college (LSA) - the largest
college within the University, compris-
ingsome 16,000 students, He was pro-
rnoted to the office when Frank Rhodes
became vice president for academic af-
fairs in July, 1974.
In the year he has directed LSA. Frye
BESIDES being an administrator,
Frye is regarded by most students as
being exteremely accessible and open
to their opinions, something that one
doesn't always find among other high
0o the other hand,being relatively
removed from student life is Richard
Kennedy, secretary of the University
KENNEDY also works closely with
University President Robben Fleming
and Vice President for Academic Af-
fairs Frank Rhodes, not to mention the
Board of Regents.
le has long been involved with the
Ann Arbor community, with his wife
being an Ann Arbor public school teach-
er.After graduating from the University