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February 14, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-14

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Page 4-Thursday, February 14, 1980-The Michigan Daily


01i Sbdpean maiI
Nineiy Years of Editorial Freedom

Guidelines would discourage

Vol. XC, No. 111

News Phone: 764-0552


Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan


Un-American radicals' try
0 .11
r~'-,bl r ri 11 'r ricrvc har

A year has passed since stu-
dents rallied around the Samoff
case to stress the need for
making changes in the tenure
system-a system that allowed
certain departments to be closed-
minded in their research orien-
tations, have less tolerance for
diverse methods and approaches,
and ignore student sentiments in
retaining a stimulating and
dedicated teacher.
The reasons the Samoff case
attracted student support and
campus-wide attention were
numerous.hMany shared a con-
cern for the firing of a gifted
teacher and a critical thinker.
Others wanted to see a change
in University priorities; to bring

g of

at L UnxouJAsV U~
FREEDOM QF speech. It is-
perhaps the most talked about
right on this campus. It is probably the
most important. It is certainly the
most abused.
Almost everyone claims to be for
freedom of speech. Problems arise,
however, when particular groups or
individuals want to decide which
speakers should be free to speak what
speeches. It happened in December,
1978, when some protestors decided
that former Israeli Prime Minister
Yigal Allon should not speak here, and
proceeded violently to disrupt his.
speech. And it happened on Tuesday
night, when two radical groups decided
that former U.S. Ambassador to Iran
William Sullivan should not be allowed
to speak on campus.
The two groups-the Spartacus
Youth League (SYL) and the
Ievolutionary Communist Youth,
lrigade (RCYB)-opposed Sullivan's
Visit to Ann Arbor because of the
Atrocities they claim he committed as
qmbassador to Iran. The SYL
WTITH LEFTIST groups doing
'their ! best to bar William
ullivan from having his say, and, as
we noted yesterday, the People's
Republic of China cutting back on
reedom of speech, it seems that nice,
>roper, ordinary Americans don't
want to be left out -of the act. Yester-
ay, the school board of the little town
of Kanawha, Iowa banned John Stein-
1eck's classic novel The Grapes of
Wrath from use in high school
;ophomore English classes.
The Steinbeck work aroused the ire
>f Kanawha's parents because of its

V~~i11JV 1 I1v."

By Eunice Jones



organized a "Drive War Criminal
Sullivan Off Campus" demonstration
outside the Michigan Theatre where
the ambassador was speaking, and the
RCYB passed out "Make William
Sullivan Pay" flyers at a reception
following his speech.
The irony of such demonstrations
has been pointed out many times in
similar situations: Radical groups
rarely hesitate to exercise their free
speech rights in attempts to prevent
the freedom of speech of others.
This particular demonstration took
an insidious turn when a bomb threat
was called in to the police, forcing the
evacuation of the Michigan Theatre 30
minutes into Sullivan's talk. It is not
known which group or individual was
responsible for this bomb threat; the
radical groups cannot be directly im-
One fact is clear, however: Bomb
threats and anti-free speech demon-.
strations are beginning to make Ann
Arbor, Michigan resemble the Soviet
Union in one very unpleasant respect.
I n merica's
rng heartland
harsh language and the scenes in the
book that concern prostitutes. The
political attitudes the author indirectly
expressed were not mentioned as one
of the objections, but just as well could
have been. It's clear that the movers
and shakers of the cornbelt community
don't want their young ones' sen-
sibilities offended by notions that the
world out there is anything less than a
heaven on earth. Perhaps the next step
will be to eliminate mention of sexual
reproduction from books in that state;
after all, the stork brings the babies,
doesn't it?

tment at the same time that the
University of Michigan (through
a faculty committee that
thoroughly scrutinized and
reviewed his research and cour-
ses) gave him a Distinguished
Service Award for excellence in
research, teaching, and service.
Because of Samoff's commit-
ment to undergraduate teaching,
student counseling, and minority
recruitment and retention, he
was relocated at the Center for
African and Afro-American'
Studies where his efforts and
talents in areas that were
deemed important could be used.
It comes as a shock to us that
now the LSA College Executive
Committee, headed by Dean,
Frye, instead of dealing with all
the problems that threaten the
caliber of education, at the
University of Michigan, has.
chosen to focus its attack on the
rehiring of good teachers like
Joel Samoff by other units in the
University. The proposed
guidelines follow :
"THE PRACTICE of offering
lecturer appointments to persons
who have been denied reappoin-
tment to a tenure track position
in the same or another unit in the
College is discouraged for a
number of reasons. Such a
decision not to reappoint is the
result of a negative judgment af-
ter a careful review of the quality
of theindividual'steaching,
research, and service, and their
relevance to the goals and needs
of the University, College, and
A unit that approves such an
individual may damage its own

reputation for excellence in the
eyes of the broader academic
community and may be per-
ceived as utilizing unqualified
staff. In addition, retention of the
individual is likely to be
duplicative in some degree
because the unit which denied
reappointment typically seeks a
replacement with similar areas
of expertise and responsibility.
Because'of these and other con-
siderations, the College will not
normally approve the appoin-
tment as lecturer of a person who
has been denied reappointment to
a tenure-track position at the
University of Michigan. If an ex-
ception is requested, the
rationale should be specified and
it should be clearly demonstrated
why the benefits to the College
from this appointment are not
outweighed by the factors listed
IT IS NOT clear how these
guidelines help us deal with the
grave, serious, and broad
problems we have reviewed. One
cannot expect the University
community to seriously believe
that the proposed guidelines have
pinpointed the cause of the
declining quality of education in
LSA as the rehiring of fired
faculty by LSA units!
The practice of relocating
professors who have been denied
tenure is by no means a
widespread practice. When it is
done, it is only in exceptional cir-
cumstances and for exceptional
individuals who are deemed to
add to the quality of education
and programs they join. The
College has always preached

departmental autonomy i*
determining the needs that cer-
tain programs need to address.
Do not the guidelines contradict
that long observed principle, by
setting policy that determines
what programs should and should
not. do as they define their;
The department of political
science which in 1972 had a solid
base for a subfield in Marxiarl
political economy had by 1978, in
denying Joel Samoff tenure, got-
ten rid of the last professor
associated with that subfield.
Surely, in view of this history, the
firing of Samoff could not have.
been a simple professional objec-
tive judgment based on the

Jje Samoff
student teaching to the fore; and
to have quality teaching reflected
in tenure decisions. All of these
issues continue to be of concern to
the University community.
IN THIS YEAR'S address to
the University Senate, President
Shapiro raised the issue of the
declining quality of un-
dergraduate education. He
discussed remedies for the
problem such as new programs
and changes in existing ones. A
few weeks earlier, the chairman
of the economics department had
complained about overcrowded
courses and how it had affected
the quality of the economics
courses. This, with other equally
critical and crucial problems on
the University agenda, e.g.,
minority attrition, low faculty
retention due to low salaries, un-
derutilization of women .and
minority faculty and increasing
tuition rates (Affirmative Action
Program Report: the University
1976-1980), indicated there were
policies that needed to be made
and changed. Any proposed
changes should have to link
teacher performance to goals
that the University aspires to
achieve, like quality education
for graduate and undergraduate
students, greater minority
enrollment, and making tenure a
method of" encouraging
achievement of these goals.
Nowhere were these con-
siderations more obviously
lacking than in the Samoff case.
Joel Samoff is a distinguished
Africanist and Marxian political
economist who was denied tenure
by the political science 'depar-

Dean Billy Frye
quality of his research. The
decision indicates departmental
hostility to a whole area of
inquiry that is respectable in
other major institutions. It cer-
tainly cannot be argued that;
Samoff's employment is causing
the quality of education in the;
units in which he is teaching to go
down. Furthermore, the excep-
tions in units like the Center for;
African and Afro-American;
studies and the Residential
College were made becaus
those units are explicitly commit-
ted to an emphasis on teaching.
From our previous experiences;
in trying to deal with the College
Executive Committee and Dean
Frye, we as students and
sometimes as student represen-
tatives have never gotten an atten-
tive ear. Actually, the proposed;
guidelines only prove to us what
we have already suspected, i.e.
the College has lost touch with
student and University reality..
We therefore appeal to the Vice-
President for Academic Affairs
to put the needs of the University
first by modifying policy
guidelines in such a way that they
serve important functions rather
than extending personae
harassment to certain faculty
people who are kept in this
University for the skills and co
tributions they make to th
University community-like Joel
Eunice Jones is a member of
the Samoff Student Support

Daily Photo by CYRENA CHANG
ABOUT 50 DEMONSTRATORS shouting "Tenure for Samoff" circled
in front of the LSA Building a year ago to protest College tenure

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Editorial policies


Relaxed 'accuracy code' lets U. S.


Unsigned editorials ap-
pearing on the'left side of this
page represent a majority
opinion of the Daily's Editorial
Board. Letters and columns
represent the opinions of the
individual author(s) and do not

necessarily reflect the attitudes
or beliefs of the Daily.
Cartoons frequently appear
on both the left and right sides
of the page; they do not


To the Daily:
I know this will come as a
shock, but the U.S. government is
lying about Afghanistan.
This revelation appears in an
article in the January 26 New
York Times delicately entitled
"US Accuracy Code Relaxed
Over Kabul."
You remember the "accuracy
code." It's the one that guaran-
teed that the government gave us

necessarily re


)resent Daily

the truth, and nothing but the
truth about Cuba, Chile, Viet-
nam, Iran, and other hot spots.
After those experiences, you
may be wondering how much
more relaxed the "accuracy
code" could get.
In any case, correspondent
Bernard Gwertzman confirms
that "the State Department and
White House routinely publicize
information about Afghanistan

here, even when its authenticity
is questionable...
"The result of these kinds of
statements is to produce accoun-
ts suggesting Soviet actions for
which the Administration has no
solid confirmation."
As examples of unsubstan-
tiated rumors, Gwertzman cited
reports of Soviet casualties of
chemical warfare being used
against rightist forces, and of dif-
ferences within the Karmal

government in Kabul.
And the media just as routinely
presents it pl as gospel!
So the next time you read about
how unpopular the Afghan
government is, or how brutal the
Russians are, or how noble
Afghan counterrevolutionaries
are, just remember that laid-$
back "accuracy code."
-Fred Feldman,
Social Workers Party

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Draft cartoon displayed irresponsibly



To the Daily:
The vexing issues raised by
social change-particularly with
respect to the roles of the
sexes-require clarification and
sensitive analysis. In your
shocking cartoon of February 7,
1980, depictin, Gloria Steinem
receiving a military haircut, the
Daily abdicated its journalistic
To the Daily:
We would like to congratulate
the University Musical Society on
the fine performance of the Feld
Ballet which we saw on Friday,
February 1.
However, since one of us is in a
wheelchair, our enjoyment was
hampered by the fact that we-had
to sit in the wheelchair section.
As you are aware this section is
located on the far left of the main
floor in the Power Center, which
limits visibility of the stage. In
addition, we were dismayed to

responsibilities and acted like a
tabloid-pandering to the
prurient fantasies of the reader-
ship rather than providing
genuine insight into the terrible
ironies implicit in the draft of
women. The visual imagery of
the cartoon-equating feminism
with masculinization-is par-
ticularly pernicious because it
cynically obscures the real
questions raised by the draft of
Are national defense and
military aggression necessarily
Are military and sexual
A' poem for
To the Daily:
This poem was written by my
son, Mark, at a time when he was
frustrated and confused by the
many diverse values and
pressures of our society. The dep-
th of his feelings and love, as ex-

aggression versions of one
another and therefore presumed
to be sex-specific to males?
Is the peaceful problem-solvin
of national security crises an op
tion that the draft of women could
The draft of women makeq
possible a trenchant critique of
military thinking and prac*
tice-but only if we are respon-
sible and decent enough to con-
duct it. The Daily evidently is not:
-Margot Norris, Director,,
Women's Studies
his parents
like wine,
They try to do their best for
To them it's like climbing a
It it weren'tfor them, I
1 wnud"t y , r

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