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June 13, 1979 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1979-06-13

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Page 4-Wednesday, June 13, 1979-The Michigan Daily
~Michigan Daily'
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Moynard St. Ann Arbor, Ml 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 30-S News Phone: 764 0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Regents should
be appointed
TW STATE senators have proposed legis-
lation to have university decision-making
board members appointed by the governor in-
stead of through a statewide election-the current
method of selecting the bodies. We believe this
proposed constitutional amendment is worthy of
careful consideration, and a measure along these
lines should eventually be adopted by the people
of Michigan.
The policy-making board members at the
University of Michigan, Michigan state Univer-
sity, and Wayne State University are nominated
by their parties through a convention, and then
elected by state citizens. Boards at the ten other
state universities are currently appointed by the
governor.
Although the rights of state voters should be be
subverted, it is unlikely that citizens would lose
representation because they are not electing the
governing boards of the state's three largest
universities. It has been estimated by the
legislators proposing the bill that less than one per
cent of voters know who the candidates for the
boards are, much less care about voting for them.
Twenty per cent of those voting in a statewide
election do not even bother to vote for the univer-
sity posts.
Citizens of the state will be represented
through election of the governor. Truly interested
citizens would have more input through appoin-
tment than election.
However, there is still a danger of the governor
appointing someone because of a past political
debt. A prime example is Gov. Milliken's appoin-
tment of University Regent David Laro (R-Flint)
in 1975 to fill a regental spot. Mr. Laro was
Milliken's Genesee County campaign manager.
In order to avoid political appointments, a
commission, with representatives from all the
schools of higher education in the state should be
established to advise and recommend candidates
to the governor to fill the positions. Politics then
would play a diminished role, and appointments
would still be subject to approval of the state
Senate.
The position of board members, which is
currently given only ticket-balancing priority in
state nominating conventions, would be open to
more citizens, who may be more qualified, and
the selection would not necessarily force the ap-
pointment to be partisan. Not more than four of
the eight-member boards could be selected from
one political party. Democrats currently hold a 6-
2 majority on the University's Board of Regents.
Furthermore student representation on boards
through appointment may be more realistic than

Letters to the Daily
SYL Responds the hearing April 20, the SOB Johnson's Introduction to Short
To the Daily: hypocritically alleges that the Story and Novel, for example, I
The attempt to prevent Fatima SYL does not "come before the found myself challenged to dig
halil, a Near Eastern cam- board with clean hands." The deeper into the fiction works un-
munist woman militant from allegations by Moslem students der consideration-something I
speaking at the University in that the SYL's marshals rarely felt in other classes, in
April was thwarted when the "brutally attacked with knives which I just "got by." This was in
Spartacus Youth League (SYL) some unarmed Iranians" in a let- part due to the inherent interest I
successfully mobilized a wide ter to the Daily May 5 are paten- had in the subject, but also reflec-
range of campus organizations tly false. No one present at the ts the hours Professor Johnson
and community activists around April 19 hearing raised these spent making sure his students
the demands: Fatima Khalil charges. Where were these put something concrete into
must be allowed to speak at this anonymous "Iranian students" class.
University! Hands off the SYL' then? Several non-SYL witnesses He emphasized what few
Immediate restoration of SYL,' expressly denied that SYLers had University professors do: he
"attacked" anyone at the earlier cared, and he showed it.
full rights!fou Fr
At the Student Organization forum. Further, two members of When, for example, criticial
Board (S.O.B.) hearing on April the SOB, as well as the then- essays were returned in his class,
19, the Michigan Student Assem- president of MSA Irving they were not returned with a few
bly's (MSA) and the ad- Freeman, attended the April 20 perfunctory comments and
ministration's attempt to pin the forum where they saw a group of spelling corrections-and of
blame for an attack by Moslem Moslem students quietly walk out course a grade-but were retur-
students at a Spartacus Youth when it became clear that they ned by him in his office, and the
League forum entitled "No to the would be unable to disrupt the student was encouraged to sit
Veil!" on the SYL was defeated. forum, or prevent its going for- down to discuss her/his essay
Representatives from such ward. They also saw the SYL point by point.
organizations as the Farm Labor grant extra speaking time to Professor Johnson's comments
Organizing Committee (FLOC) those few Moslem students who showed something that many
support group, Science for the remained in order to allow them other professors here lack: he
pe, Industial workers of the fullest opportunity to present encouraged original thought even
World, and Young Socialist their point of view. when it contradicted his own lec-
Alliance, as well as individuals Finally, the SOB criticizes the tures in class. Many professors,
from the Graduate Employees measures taken by the SYL to unfortunately, grade down for
Union, the American Civil Liber- protect those attending the forum this. Their attitude is so defen-
ties Union, Black Student from physical danger and the sive, perhaps fearing criticism
Organization of the School of forum itself from disruption, as a from colleagues, that a paper not
Public Health, Public Interest "threat" to free speech. in total agreement with their
Research Group In Michigan However, our experiences over views has to be twice as good as
(PRsearchaGrouphInMAihigf the past six months concerning one that is in agreement to
spoke in defense of theSYL's the question of Iran have once receive the same grade.
right to remain on campus free again proven that free speech is a The other professor who em-
from harassment by both right that must be vigorously phasized learning, Pamela Erbe,
religious fanatics and the Student defended. Had we not protected is here only ona temporary basis
Organization Board. The SOB ourselves as we did at the April 20 She was asked to teach for too
waorcedztobad.wTheisBg (and earlier) forums-and made years to fill in wherever the
a statement accusing itself of clear to all that we were willing to department felt she was needed
violtion of due process in attempt defend them-they would not Unfortunately, she has spent so
to suspend the SYL, restoring have been held. It is as simple as much time with her students that
recognition of the SYL as a that. We apologize tono one for the department would never ask
rtueontigoup n d v satn declaring that those who sought to stay on.
thatditgwould "act as an advocate not to participate in the forum but Many professors who have
for the SYL" in any dispute with simply to shut it down would get a tenure, and who will be here for
University administration over "fist in the face." Par- years to come, care little about
the damage done by those who at- ticipation-even when it consists teaching undergraduates. Their
tacked the SYL forum. of nothing but slanders of our- emphasis, rather, is on resear-
Now, after the factand behind selves and our movement-we ch-and the eventual ideal that a
the scenes, the SOB is trying to encourage, as we did on April 20. professor who is well researched
revrs te vctrywononApilDisruptions we will not coun- in her/his subject is better
reverse the victory won on April tnne ulfe otah
19. Once again presuming our tenance. qualified to teach.
guilt, the SOB issued an "ex- The April 19 hearing and the This argument has its merits,
planatory statement" May 18 adjudication resulting from it but does not excuse the professor
which is nothing less than were victories for the whole from performing the many duties
another attempt to line up with campus community. We intend to of being a professor.
the band of Moslem fanatics who let no one-the Moslems or the * In a class I took with
tried to disrupt our forums on SOB/MSA-take this victory Professor Sidney Fire of history
Iran last April. Despite the fact away. -Bruce Richard two years ago, for example, the
that all penalties had supposedly The Spartacus Youth professor took no interest in
been lifted, the SOB now has League sreviewing the large stack of
,, . .papers he received-leaving that
"found it necessary to enforce" Teaching Priorities job to graduate student graders.
(i.e. to revive spcially for the gjbt rdaesuetgaes
SYL) a dead-letter regulation To the Daily: By the looks of it, however, the
(No. 5.4 of the Student As one who recently graduated graders were not so qualified to
Organization guidelines) from the University, I would like juge the merits of astudent's
requiring the SYL to register all to express my bitterness over the work, and Professor Fine was too
its public events in advance with propensity of many top-notch busy to help them out.
the SOB. In light of the professors here to ignore un- a In a film class taken last
harassment and difficulties the dergraduate education. semester with Professor John
sYL encountered in exercising its It is unfortunate that I did not Peacock, the graders were so
rights prior to the April 19 find more than a handful of unqualified that one admitted to
hearing (commented on by all classes in which the teacher was having seen Citizen Kane, one of
participants in the hearing) this an expert in her/his field and also the movies studied, only once.
guideline is nothing but an at- emphasized teaching students to Even so, he felt confident grading
tempt to lay the basis for more think hard about the complexities essays by students who had seen
harassment and political censor- of the subject until last semester. the movie far more times, and
ship. (Despite a disclaimer in the During the winter semester, I had far more profound insights
SOB "statement," the regulation took courses from the English into it. Needless to say, his com-
makes clear that its whole pur- professors who emphasized lear- ments hardly served as adequate
pose is to ensure SOB "approval" ning, sometimes at theexpense of feedback.
of events.) their own research and hence It is too bad that the University
Furthermore, after their own reputation in the depar- has fostered a system which
acknowledging that the SYL held tment. It made a world of dif- enourages the Sidney Fine
a "successful and peaceful" ference. method of teaching over the
forul AnpiYs m dj ediately after Taking P r~oe. .-nme L L 1uel Johnson method.
....,e ---. .. _e_," __..... -Dan Oberdorfer

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