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February 03, 1980 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-03
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Page 8-Sunday, February 3, 1980-The Michiganlaily




(Continued from Page 3)
department, yet have received only the
bare minimum raises."
Numerous attempts to reach Silber
were fruitless. Over several days, B.U.
secretaries said he-was constantly in
meetings, and said he was unable to
return messages. Boston University of-
ficials declined to give his home phone
Sam MCracken, a spokesman for
the president who is familiar with the
salary increase process, says Zinn's
accusation is unfounded. "I don't know
why he hasn't received more increases,
but I do know that many of Silber's
critics have received substantial raises
over the years. Increases are based on
academic accomplishment."
"Academic. accomplishment is not
very important if you're number one on
his enemies list," Zinn maintains.
Earlier in the year, President Silber
accused Zinn of being involved in an ar-
son incident that took place in the ad-
ministration building in 1970, a year
before Silber became president. "The
charge was preposterous," said Zinn.
"I've never been involved in any sort of
fire at B.U."
Silber later said he had his facts
wrong and publicly apologized to Zinn
at a faculty assembly meeting.
Turning to the recent charges against
the B.U. five, Zinn claims that the five
faculty members were singled out
among as many as 20 professors who
honored the picket lines by teaching in
alternative locations or by not teaching
at all.
The administration of B.U.
discovered the various "infractions" in
a number of ways. Mcracken noted
Silber's office had possession of photos
of Zinn and political science professor
Murray Levin teaching their class out-
doors (so as to not break the clerics'
picket lines). History professor Fritz
Ringer stated publicly that he would not
teach his classes during the strike. It is
believed a letter that journalism
professor Caryl Rivers sent to the B. U.
Free Press, which voiced support of the
clerical workers, enlightened the ad-
ministration of her actions.
All five professors are either critics
(Continued from Page 7)
have such dirty minds that I've heard
that old Phil Donahue stand-by
"breast" spliced out because they
didn't like the context.
That's why the best movies don't of-
ten work on television, just as the best
novels (i.e., classics) don't make the
best films. They lose something in the
translation, and with our favorite
(Continued from Page 6)
In Smiley's People, Smiley in turn
blackmails Karla.
The final scene takes place near the
Berlin wall, where during the cold war
tourists would come to look for escape
attempts from the East. Today, in this
novel, it is a rundown, unglamorous,
quite seedy place to live. According to
the book's jacket liner, this is the scene
for the "final, convulsive encounter"
between Smiley and Karla. And one of
the two wins.
Holmes lost it at Reichenbach Falls,
yet Conan Doyle resurrected him. Hor-
nblower was shipwrecked and faced
certain death, but in the next novel
managed to escape the fiendish
Spaniards and command a fighting ship
again. Will Smiley now retie, to die
peacefully in his sleep?

of President Silber or activists in the
faculty union which Silber has been
fighting for five'years.
"This is relatively unique in the
history of the American university,"
comments the 55-year-old Levin, who
taught his class of 300 on Marsh Plaza,
the center of campus. "An attempt to
destroy the tenure of university
professors . .. for teaching outdoors."
THE HARVARD-educated Levin
has earned the reputation of be-
ing one of the school's most
radical professors. He was a consistent
participator in campus anti-war ac-
tivities during the Vietnam era; today
he is, with Howard Zinn, the most out-
spoken critic of Silber. Levin lectures
class in a dry, witty manner, taking
equal pleasure in explaining the essen-
tials of Plato's Republic or describing
his ranging (and somewhat
exaggerated) personal experiences.
Currently, though, his favorite topic of
discussion is President Silber.
"We have a faculty union at BU''
Levin recounts, "because of John
Silber. I've been here for two and a half
decades and we didn't have a union un-
til last year. Silber has created the
union through his abuse, his grossness,e
his disruption, his vindictiveness, and
his arbitrary behavior."
Levin also claims to have been vic-
timized by Silber's alleged
discriminatory salary policies,
although they were revised somewhat
when the most recent contract
agreement was settled last March.
Before the contract agreement salaries
and benefits for university faculty
members were below average for com-
parable universities, says Levin.
"There were also some political
issues involved (in the contract set-
tlement)," Levin explains. "The
faculty wanted more say in university
policy pertaining to budget cuts and
tenure review."
By late last March an agreement was
finally reached between faculty and
administration, but when the contract
was presented to the university's
Trustees (comparable to our Board of
Regents), its passage was halted by
discussion of a pair of issues - the date
works, any loss is too big. But the
trimmings and stylistic gift-wrapping
in a not-so-great film are often beside
the point, and those movies, especially
if we've seen them once, can be more
enjoyable at home. The emotion seems
more concentrated, and we're much
more naturally forgiving, since we
haven't plopped down a few bucks and
always have the channel selector
And television can offer the same in-
sulation from the world we get from two
hours in a dark theater. The seductive,
womb-like refuge of a movie house can
work wonders for broken hearts and
crushed spirits. Watching movies on
television, a few other ingredients are
necessary: Food and drink, those
timeless soul-boosters; an empty
house, denying true fraternal contact
and thereby enforcing one's holistic
solidarity with the blue-glowing tube;
and finally, a late-night hour,
preferably after midnight.
So the next time life's regular allot-
ment of disappoints comes crashing
down on your sanity, don't go out to a
a ovie-stay in. And -remember that
somewhere out there, in houses and
apartments and rest homes, otherstare
huddled before their sets, and that
you're part of a community of reborn
souls. You have nothing to lose but your

upon which the new contract would ex-
pire, and whether or not a clause for-
bidding a "sympathy strike" would be
A major campus strike ensued from
these torturous negotiations, one in-
volving at first the professors, but
which was soon joined by librarians and
secretaries - a remarkably unusual
demonstration of solidarity. It was as a
result of this strike that the Trustees
forced onto the contract a statement
that there should be "no sympathy
strike or any other interference in the
operation of the university." This was
the clause that ensnared the B.U. five
when they honored the striking clerics'
picket lines.
The five are shocked that the univer-
sity is invoking an obscure disciplinary
clause in the case - one which may
lead to their termination.
"That clause has been traditionally
reserved for professors who, for exam-
ple, have suffered from long-term
alcoholism, or committed an immoral
act or crime, such as stealing univer-
sity property," Ringer explained. "It
never occurred to us that the university
would use it for less serious circum-
When the story of the B.U. five was
leaked to the press, repercussions rat-
tled throughout the Boston academic
community. Dr. Salvador Luria, a
Nobel laureate and professor emeritus
from MIT, sent a petition to the B.U.
Trustees demanding the ouster of
Silber and stating that his policies
threatened academic freedom
everywhere. The petition was signed by
over 600 professors from Harvard,
Wellesley, Tufts, Northwestern, and
other local universities. The Boston
Globe stated in an editorial that the
Silber administration was setting a
dangerous precedent in challenging the
principles of academic openness by
trying to end the tenure of the five
professors.hAt that time it was also
reported that three B.U. Trustees
resigned in protest over decisions made
by Silber and a member of the board
pertaining to, among other things, the
1979 faculty strike.
N NOVEMBER 15, over 600 stu-
dents demonstrated in protest
of the administration's action
against the professors. A month later
B.U. faculty members voted by more
than a two to one margin to ask the
Board of Trustees to remove John
Silber. And a bill is being filed in the
Massachusetts State Legislature
calling for an investigation of possible
violatioiis of the university's charter by
the B.U. administration.
Beyond that is a murky mix of half-
truths_ and unknown facts. Perhaps
Silber felt he had gone too far - at a
press conference he said he was ready
to drop charges against the five if they
would only submit written apologies. It

was an offer quickly rejected by all of
the professors.
"It will be a cold day in you-know-
where before I apologize for what I
did," said Caryl Rivers. "The last time
I was asked to give a written apology, I
was in the second grade and dumped
grape juice down someone's party
dress. I think it is outrageous that such
a request be made." Professor Andrew
Dibner said that he thought it was
Silber who owed them an apology.. "I
did absolutely nothing wrong," he said.
Silber later denied he made the offer
at all.
Despite all the furor engulfing Silber,
he still maintains the avid support of
the majority of the university Trustees.
"The Trustees are grateful for the
strength and perseverence of Dr. Silber
and support him and his endeavors on
behalf of the university," Board
Chairman Metcalf was quoted saying at
the faculty assembly in which the no-
confidence vote was passed.
"Some of Silber's accomplishments
need to be put in proper perspective,"
emphasizes Ringer. "The steady in-
crease in applications over the past
four years is not that unusual because
B.U. is a lively, big school located in
one of the best cities in the country."
The university Board of Trustees
recently announced a tuition, room, and
board hike of $1,120 - one which will
bring the total cost of attending B.U. for
one year to over $8,000. In response, the
Faculty Assembly issued a statement
calling the increase unjustified because
the university has spent an inordinate
amount of money for non-academic en-
A look at a recent purchase will
illustrate the university's thought-
fulness. Planning to invest in some
housing for the elderly, the ad-
ministration is setting out to renovate
aging apartments located in Kenmore
Square. Well-known for its rowdy punk
rock bars, discos, late night munch-out
delis and pizzarias, and close to both
student dormitories and Fenway Park,
the home of the Boston Red Sox, the
square is not exactly conducive to the
lifestyles of the elderly. Yet the univer-
sity seems to think the buy is a sound
one with money-making possibilities.
Because of the continuous controver-
sy surrounding B.U., One might expect
tuition at the university to be slacking
off. But such is hardly the case. Ap-
plications are surging in at about the
same rate as last year - meaning over
15,000 admission applications are being
received. The B.U. five, meanwhile,
are resting their hopes on the findings
of an ad hoc investigating committee
which will report soon to Silber.
Zinn however, is not optimistic.
"He'll probably overrule the committee
and bring his own charges, which
means we will eventually end up in ar-
bitration," Zinn says. Such arbitration
could easily last more than a year, and
cost the five $15,000 to $20,000.



C 7

0 i""Oo )i I


Elisa Isaacson

RJ Smith

le Carre's
latest anti-thriller
Supplement to The Michigan Daily-

Tenure troubleN
in Boston a
Ann Arbor, Michigan-Sunday, February 3, 1980

re fun

Cover photograph by Jim Kruz

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