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May 17, 1975 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-05-17

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Saturday, May 17, 1975

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Seven

University blasts Affirmative Action report

(Continued from Page 1)
the choice when women and
minorities have, by reason of
our social structure, been given
fewer opportunities to acquire
the experience.
"WE THOUGHT that in the
present situation, with the col-
lege under severe and continu-
ing financial pressure, it was
desirable to have the most ex-
perienced person in the posi-
tion."
Two Regents disputed that
conclusion. Several high Uni-
versity officials later agreed
that the "experience' issue
flies in the face of affirmative
action - a federally endorsed
concept which calls for women
and blacks to be hired over
equally qualified whites and
males to overcome past dis-
crimination.
But the Regents' majority
support for the Fleming-Rhodes
response appeared to greatly
cut the chances that the Cobb
affair will see further investi-
gation.
MOREOVER, Washington of-
ficials of the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare
(HEW) yesterday quashed their
regional office's brief attempt
to withhold a huge University
research grant.
The half-million dollar high-
way research contract had ap-
parently been held up pending
HEW's probe of the Cobb affair
for possible affirmative action
violations, but officials said it
would be many weeks before
any judgment of the Univer-
sity's actions is made.
Fleming and Rhodes' answer
to the Cohen committee report,
echoed loudest by Regents Law-
rence Lindemer (R-Stockbridge)
and Deane Baker (R-Ann Ar-
bor), claimed the study "places
undue reliance on the impres-
sions and statements of one in-
dividual-Cobb.
THE REPORT assailed the
actions of Fleming and Rhodes,
and noted Cobb's feeling that
she was "never accorded the

courtesies" usually given dean-
ship nominees.
Specifically, F 1 e m i n g and
Rhodes denied the Cohen com-
mittee's conclusions that the
two men never had a
"thorough" interview with Cobb,
and "never seriously consider-
ed" outside candidates while
preferring Frye.
"Both of us categorically deny
that we did not have a thorough
interview with Cobb," the state-
ment declared, evidence of this,
it continued, was that the total
interview time for both men-
including time in the Regents'
interview of Cobb - totalled
nearly three hours.
FLEMING and Rhodes fur-
ther contended that the report's
charge of failure to seriously
consider o u t s i d e candidates
"contrasts sharply" with the
view of three Regents who voted
for Cobb and felt the pair did
not voice their Frye support
strongly enough.
But the joint statement made
no mention of some of the re-
port'semost serious charges-of
failure to properly request a
tenure decision on Cobb, insis-
tence that tenure be granted
in LSA, and apparent failure to
extend Cobb "the traditional
courtesies."
Rhodes, whose voice was re-
portedly "full of gloom" when
he first contacted Cobb, blasted
the committee's work in a sep-
arate, personal response. He
termed the statement "merely
supplementation" to his joint
answer with Fleming, but the
"supplement" ran a p a g e
longer.
WHILE insisting he spoke
"not in any combative sense,"
Rhodes reinforced the adminis-
tration's attack on Cobb's cred-
ibility, chiding the report for
"astonishing reliance on the im-
pressions, interpretatons, state-
ments, and allegatons of one
individual."
Using terms like "misrepre-
sentation" and "frail evidence
indeed," Rhodes essentially re-

peated the joint statement's
claims, adding denials of dis-
courtesy to Cobb and alleged
vagueness his letter to the
Zoology Department requesting
a quick tenure decision on Cobb,
a cell biologist.
On the tenure request, he
declared: "I do not find the
letter in question ambiguous,
nor indeed do the vast majority
of those who have read it." He
cited no survey or statistics to
support this claim.
RHODES, known for his re-
fined manners and English ac-
cent, appeared most upset by
the charge of discourtesy.
"I want only to deny," Rhodes
said, reading from the state-
ment, "that in any of my deal-
ings with Dr. Cobb I behaved
with anything less than the ut-
most courtesy and considera-
tion." But he did not answer
the specific charge of speaking
in an unencouraging tone and
failing to congratulate or wel-
come Cobb.
Both men noted that more
detailed answers would be pro-
vided to HEW later.
IN A FURTHER indication of
the Regental support for Flem-
ing and Rhodes' posture on the
Cobb affair, the Board yester-
day issued its own three-page
statement, dealing primarily
with drawing up clear guide-
lines for the next LSA dean se-
lection. But in the midst of
these new rules, it contended:
"The President and Vice Pres-
ident have always interviewed
candidates with care"-an ap-
parent reiteration of Fleming
and Rhodes' reply to the Cohen
probe.
Regents Baker and Lindemer
used the strongest language in
assailing the administration's

critics on the Cohen panel and
elsewhere.
L I N D E M E R, speaking
in loud, strident tones, called
the report "totally unfair, un-
warranted, and in some in-
stances rather vicious."
All eight Regents gave indi-
vidual statements in reaction to
the Cobb affair. James Waters
(D-Muskegon), the only black
on the board, and Sarah Pow-
er (D-Ann Arbor), the only wo-
man, offered the strongest
criticism of Fleming and
Rhodes' actions in the Cobb
affair.
Waters, speaking in a low,
resigned voice, looked straight
at Fleming and called Cobb's
two-year contract offer "an act
of lack of good faith" by the ad-
ministration, and said Cobb had
not been given "due process."
POWER, whose voice quiver-
ed as she spoke, urged greater
consideration of women and
blacks for high positions, and
expressed "regret" that talks
with Cobb were not resumed.
She praised Flemings actions
and did not mention Rhodes.
Asked later if this reflected op-
position to Rhodes' role in the
crisis, Power said emphatically,
"No comment."
She also joined with Waters
and two other top-level offic-
ials, who requested anonymity,
in voicing disappointment at the
Fleming - Rhodes statement on
the "experience" factor in se-
lecting deans.
In the day's other "Cobb af-
fair" development, Affirmative
Action Director Nellie Varner
confirmed earlier reports that a
Consumer Products Safety Com-
mission representative had in-

formed t h e University last
Tuesday that its half-million
dollar contract was being held
up.
Varner added that HEW
Equal Opportunity Specialist
Bernard Rogers "indicated that
the contract would not be clear-
ed until some materials asso-
ciated with the Cobb investiga-
tion were received by his re-
gional office.
But Barry Anderson, Acting
Chief of Onerations in HEW's
Higher Edtucation Division in-
sisted yesterday that the con-
tract was not being withheld.
He said the regional office acted
outside its authority.
FOUND BURIED
TREASURE
PRAGUE () - A Slovak
bricklayer was digging a well
at his newly built house in Sal-
ka, Nove Zamsky, eastern
Czechoslovakia, when at the
depth of 2 meters he discovered
an earthenware vessel contain-
ing 85 silver soins.
Experts say they have been
in the ground since the 16th
century; the earliest is dated
1471 and the newest 1588. The
collection is of considerable nu-
mismatic value, experts say.
RENT IT !
TV's
Stereos
Air Conditioners
HI-F ISTUDIO
215 ASHLEY--668-7942

Goddard College
Summer Study In
Theater/Music/Dance
June 2-August 22, 1975
An intense program of daily class-
es, workshops and performances.
Visiting artists include: Laura
Dean, Nora Guthrie, Ted Rotante,
The Rubenstein Theater Founda-
tion, Eric Salzman, Sara Rudner,
Meredith Monk/The House, Steve
Paxton, and the Bread and Puppet
Theater. Paul Vela, Director.
Other Summer Programs include:
Social Ecology; Women's Studies;
Learning Disabilities.
Academic credit. Options for con-
tinued work at BA and MA levels.
Write: Office of Summer Programs
Goddard College, Box TML
Plainfield, Vermont 05667

.Laurence Harvey &Frank Sinatra in 1962
THE MANCHURIAN
An incredibly suspenseful film concerning a bizarre plot
by the Chinese to interfere with the American electoral
process and take control of the government. Harvey plays
the role of a broinwashed soldier who is trained to kill of
the drop of a certain card. Sinatra as his wrtime com-
mander and Angela Lansbury as his scheming mother
struggle over his personal fate.
Cinema Guild TONIGHT AT OLD ARCH.AUD.
7:3-&:0 rtl ADONLC~iY $l

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