THE MICHIGAN DAILY
WednesdayMay 5, 1971
Rhodes: A look at innovation
By GERI SPRUNG
"The University is a place where we
maintain the connection between know-
ledge and the zest for life. We must unite
everyone in the imaginative considera-
tion of learning."
Relaxing in his office after the an-
nouncement of his appointment as the
new dean of the literary college, geology
Prof. Frank Rhodes gives the above
statement as his educational philosophy.
"If I had to pick one statement as my
motto," the slightly greying yet energetic
Rhodes explains, "it is this idea put so
beautifully by Alfred North Whitehead."
And well he might. For to students and
faculty alike, the 44-year-old Rhodes ap-
pears at least for the present an energetic
innovator, willing to try new approaches
towards education in his new role as over-
seer of the University's liberal arts pro-
"It seems to me to be very exciting," he
New dean for
(Continued from Page 1)
Announcing the appointment, Fleming
said, "Frank Rhodes has demonstrated
great talent in science, teaching, and ad-
ministration. He has been a highly suc-
cessful teacher and is popular with both
graduate and undergraduate students. He
is a scholar of great insight."
LSA is the largest and oldest of the Uni-
versity's 18 schools and colleges. With an
enrollment exceeding 16,200, the college
includes 29 departments.
Rhodes Joined the University faculty in
1968. Previously he had been dean of the
faculty of science at the University of
Born in Warwickshire, England, Rhodes
received his doctorate in 1950 from the
University of Birmingham. He attended
the University of Illinois as a Fulbright
Scholar and subsequently taught at the
University of Durham, Illinois and Ohio
State before joining the Swansea faculty
Dean-designate Frank Rhodes
explains, "that someone with ideas like
mine, which I think are fairly wild by
conventional standards, could be trusted
with this sort of Job. It's only a great
University that could do that."
The success of Rhodes' approach is
evidenced in his popularity among stu-
dents taking his geology courses. These
courses are consistently among the first
to be filled during registration and stu-
dents often speak of his "concern" and
"consideration" in dealing with students.
"I really like him as a person," says
Sheila Gisser '73, one of his former stu-
dents. "He is interested in students and
people can come to him anytime for any-
thing. He always has time to sit and
"Rhodes is an excellent lecturer," Lar-
ry Scott, Grad., adds. "He always tries
to get students to participate."
Perhaps some of the praise for Rhodes
comes from teaching habits startling to
those accustomed to most lecture-t y p e
courses. Firstly, Rhodes says he never
keeps office hours, requesting students to
visit him anytime they have a problem.
In further consideration of the stu-
dent, Rhodes tapes all his lectures. This
way, he says, a student who has missed a
lecture can come in, tal
tray of slides and learn
among students has bee
getting along well with o
administrators, a quali
tested during his tenure
The dean search co
President Robben Flemi
candidates for the deansl
with a list of four nar
Fleming would make th
was unanimous in the
Rhodes as one of the c
"He impressed us with
organization of the c
changes he would make
tee member Andy Hoffm
put my finger on any one
tinues, "but he made a
on everyone on the com
first day we met him.
We also talked to hi
fellow faculty members h
the University of Illinois
taught, and they all%
impressed," Hoffman e
Rhodes says he would
curriculum changes whic
more of a community atmosphere with-
in the college, return the emphasis to
undergraduate education, and b r e a k
down the artificial barriers between dis-
ciplines by instituting new kinds of inter-
"We have to create a learning environ-
ment where people feel anxious to learn,"
Rhodes says. "We've got to get students
and faculty talking together."
Another idea Rhodes suggests is for
professors to hold brown bag luncheons.
"These are feasible even with a large
lecture course," he says, explaining that
he had held a couple of these lunches this
year for his 250-staff lecture courses and
judged them a success.
"However," he adds, "these are two-
way discussions so we need both pro-
fessors and students who are open. We
are partners in a joint exploration."
Daily-Jim Judkis Rhodes himself is creating a n e w
atmosphere for learning for a group of
ke a tape and a his students he is taking on a geology
what he missed. field trip to England, his native land, this
des' popularity month. Besides studying geology, e a c h
n his knack for student is expected to prepare a dis-
ther faculty and cussion on one non-geologic topic relat-
ity sure to be ed to the areas the group will visit.
in his new post. Further, Rhodes feels "the dignity and
mmittee, a stu- importance of undergraduate education
appointed by has to be re-established." Personifying
ing to interview this idea, Rhodes intends to continue
hip and come up teaching one introductory course in
nes from which geology while serving as dean.
e final decision, Rhodes says he favors increased pass-
eir approval of fail grading and some sort of change in
andidates. the distribution requirements. However,
his ideas of re- he adds that these things should be done
allege and the through experimentation and trying all
" says commit- sorts of different approaches.
an, '72. "I can't "As Dean," Rhodes says, "I'm not
thing," he con- the boss of LSA. I'm the servant, liter-
good impression ally, of a particular group of scholars -
mittee from the undergraduate and graduate students
is students and "And so all I can hope to do is to per-
ere as well as at suade them to move with me in a par-
, where he also ticular direction," he says. "It has to
eere universally be done with their cooperation and not
mphasizes. against their will. I hope then an open
like to work for community to live in and learn in can
ch would create be developed."
Miss J hears1
gypsy coins c.
her to a far-aw
fashion look. TI
here in a flame
collection of lg
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