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August 07, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-08-07

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Page 4--Tuesday, August 7,1979-The Michigan Daily 'o ites
U comi ' t Mentto 'minonties
SMichigan Dail falters with little challenge
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom A task force to study Minority By BETH PERSKY classes, social life, and g
Student concerns was recently atmosphere are geared t
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI. 48109 appointed by Interim University UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS the white middle class,
President Allan Smith, in respon- claim their efforts to recruit ever accommodate son
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 60-5 News Phone: 764-0552 se to demands be members of the minority students are increasing, from a different backgroun
Black Student Union (BSU) at the but actual minority student Minority students and
Edited and managed by students April Regents' meeting. enrollment on campus has have indicated that the bes
The task force, as the BSU decreased steadily since 1976. portive or recruiting servic
at the University of Michigan demanded, will address itself to As excuses they cite a national minority student is that wh

st sup-
e for a
hich is

the evaluat

ices fcom
Able ad ministrato net
leaves Ann Arbor prp attn;
1 bA~aVC nn Or preparator
cially troub
" a need
S YLVESTER MURRAY helped bring ef- minorites r
ficiency and sound management to the city minority co
government's operations and finances during his 'a nee
.positions a
six-year tenure as Ann Arbor's city ad- students in
ministrator. He carries with him to Cincinnati's fices
management post the benefit of that experience - a need
and achievement. tenure-trac
His outstanding ability to follow through on and Teachin
ethat th
policies City Council set and to respond decisively opened up t
to crises is refreshing for a member of the often- . that ac
maligned bureaucracy. to review
Mr. Murray has been criticized for his specifically
authoritarian, almost military method of running investments
the city. Perhaps he has been more of a task- expects thi
master than an inspiration to his underlings. He is will begin
demanding and does not accept inefficiency. But review all m
that trait means he can deliver on promises that a to minoriti
task will be done or that proper procedures will be mit a report
term, a feat
followed, possible.
And while Mr. That the
Murray is a good med is good
manager, he is proud t represen
of the fact that he is minority sti
not a good friend to concern whi
his colleagues and der to recei
subordinates. He an- Beneath t
nounced at a City aside as are
Council meeting that mis.This s
he does not fraternize ever forme
with City Hall em- ns of minori
ployees, members of is not the f
city government, or ever be issu
politicians. Of course, it is difficult to maintain a
non-political role when one's job is to implement
policies of an intensely partisan body. But at the
same time, Mr. Murray's isolation has cut off
communication between his office and city
workers who become aware of situations before
they become problems.
But despite any denigration Mr. Murray has
received, he is unquestionably a man of action
who has returned city finances to solvency and set
firm policies during a difficult period for Ann Ar-
Although he may not inspire those who work
with and for him, he provides exemplary leader-
ship in his commitment to the job. He doubtless
will furnish Cincinnati with like dedication. Mr.
Murray nearly thrives under pressure, so Cincin- INTENSE
nati's racial and labor problems may provide a
welcome challenge.
Mr. Murray leaves a city with different ailmen-
ts from the Ann Arbor Guy Larcom left him six
years ago. Therefore, he should not be replaced
by a manager with identical attributes. Council
must examine the status of the city to devise a list
of desired traits and must call on other city em-
ployees as well as citizens to do the same. Mr.
Murray leaves an attractive post which he com-
plimented, itis hoped his successor can do the

ion of supportive ser-
inority students at the
and may address the
cerns of the BSU:
ed for college
y programs to finan-
led high schools
for recruitment of
iore representative of
d for work-study-
vailable to minority
supportive service of-
for the hiring of more
k minority faculty
ig Assistants (TA's)
e tenure process be
o include students
committee be formed
University policy,
that of South African
asking too much. He
s committee, which
meeting in the fall, to
iajor areas of concern
es in-depth, and sub-
t by the end of the fall
which is not humanly
task force was for-
. On the surface level,
ts a commitment by
ity to the concerns of
udents on campus, a
ich it must have in or-
ve federal funds.
hat level, it is brushed
most of the needs of
udents on this cam-
not the first task force
d to study the concer-
ities on campus. This
first report that will

trend in declining enrollment, as
well as competition from other
universities for a limited pool of
minority students.
This may well be true, but
other factors are involved. First,
the University's reputation in this
area must not be positive enough
to attract well-qualified minority
applicants, even though it's the
superior state-supported in-
stitution in Michigan.
climate at the University must be
negative'enough to drive away
minority students who are
already here. That would explain
the 68 per cent of all Native
American students who leave the
University before their senior
year, along with 46.3 per cent of
all hispanics, and 42.7 per cent of
all blacks. The white student at-
trition rate is only 26 per cent.
Even with national declining
enrollment taken into account,
the fact is that the percentage of
minority students in the Univer-
sity population has decreased
from 10.1 per cent in the fall of
1976 to 9.3 per cent in the fall of
This is another deceptive
statistic. The University com-
munity committed itself to fun-
ding for 10 per cent black
enrollment during the Black Ac-
tion Movement (BAM) strike of
1970, not 10 per cent total
minority enrollment. Black
enrollment is now 6.3 per cent,
down from 7.2 per cent in 1976.
And the original goal was set for
the fall of 1973.
MAYBE IT IS an unrealistic
gol. Maybe it's foolish to believe
that this University, whose

operated and staffed by minority
students. Minority students,
already alienated by ' the
bureaucratic, overwhelming
University, might feel more com-
fortable in such an atmosphere.
But the Minority Affairs office
in the School of Natural Resour-
ces was "improved" last Sep-
tember by combining it with the
general office of student services.
DEAN STARK of the School of
Education will make a similar
"improvement" in that school's
minority recruiting plan if the
minority faculty fail to submit an
alternate plan of action by the
end of the month, which she must
then approve.
When students applied great
pressure and attracted national
publicity to the University, along
with faculty sentiment in the
BAM strike of 1970, the ad-
ministration made a commit-
ment to actively recruit blacks as
well as other minorities.
The fact the BSU approached
the Regents at a meeting several
hundred students attended in or-
der to protest the University's in-
vestment policies in South Africa
probably aided their requests.
Like those of the BAM strike, the
new demands formed out of a
climate of protest.
But the pressure isn't on as it
once was. There are no goals for
minority student enrollment
being set this time. Rather, there
seem to be many excuses
available for what can almost be
viewed as a retraction of an
initial commitment.
Beth Persky is the Daily minorities

S 4,250. YEAH, I
2,r~uL:~I4.SHOOLD GO.
D ' 41 /

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