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September 11, 1981 - Image 125

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-11

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 11, 1981-Page 5-B,
Exhibit Museum sufers cuts

.. .-

Daily Photo by KIM HILL
PERSONAL COMPUTERS WILL soon be as common as typewriters and
calculators said Karl Zinn, a research scientist at the University's Center
for Research on Learning and Teaching.
LSA classrooms
et computers

Frequenters of the University's
Exhibit Museum need not worry too
much that dramatic cuts in the
museum's budget will mean dramatic
cuts in the museum's services to the
public, according to the museum's
The news may come as a relief to the
busloads of school children who visit
the museum each week.
"TODAY WAS probably the 100th
time I go to visit the Exhibit Museum,"
wrote Ann Arbor elementary school
pupil Vasco Lima, in a painstakingly
neat thank-you note to the museum's
"But today was the funnest," Vasco
continued, "because today there was a
guide to explain the birds, dinosaurs.
DESPITE A $41,000 cut in the Exhibit
Museum's 1981-82 budget, all that "et-
cetera" Vasco wrote about will not go
unexplained. The reduction won't affect
services to the thousands of annual
visitors to the scientific displays in the
wedge-shaped building at the corner of
Washtenaw and Geddes Avenues, ac-
cording to curator and director Robert
"The last thing we would do is cut our
services to the public," Butsch said,
who recently took a few minutes to
discuss the cut in a workroom in the
museum building, where he was super-
vising a class.
SO THE museum will continue its
guided tours and its sponsorship of such
programs as the AstroFest, Butsch
said. And the building will still be open
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through
Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on
Sunday, as usual.
Where the cut will be felt is in the
exhibit-preparing function of the
Museum, Butsch said. The $41,000
represents the salaries of three people

whose employment with the museum
ended July 1. Two of these people were
specialists in exhibit preparation. This
leaves just two exhibit preparers
remaining, said Butsch, who has
worked at the Exhibit Museum since
1947 and was named director in 1976.
"But since I'm one of the exhibit
preparers, and I have my ad-
ministrative duties, that leaves a staff
of one and a half persons to do all the
exhibit preparation," Butsch pointed
BUTSCH SAID the two departing
employees who helped prepare the
exhibits were within a few years of
retirement age and would probably
have found it difficult to use their
specialized skills in any other Univer-
sity department.
"I gave them a choice of retiring or
being laid off," he said. "They had no
alternative. They chose to retire."
One of those who left is Frances
Wright, a museum employee for 12

years. At 67-years-old, she says she had
counted on another three years of work.
"I FEEL like I've had three years of
salary jerked from underneath me,"
Wright said in a telephone conversation
from her home last week. "I would
have been happy to take a cut in pay
and work the remaining years. I loved
the job."
Wright said the loss in income makes
her feel "hurt, frantic, and mad - not
at the museum," she added quickly.
"They've been just as nice as they
could be. I couldn't ask for a better
group to work with."
In defense of the cut to the Exhibit
Museum's salary budget, Robert Led:
better of the LSA dean's office said cuts
were made in areas where it was felt
they would do the least harm.
"WE DISCUSSED it with Bob Butsch
and determined the salary cuts would
not appreciably affect services to the
public," Ledbetter said.
Ledbetter said the reduction in

museum funding in nd way reflected
any discontent with the quality of the
institution's service. Rather, he said,
the Exhibit Museum, as a non-
academic program, is particularly
vulnerable to cuts when the University
is seeking to trim all visible fat from its
budget. Though the Exhibit Museum of-
fers one course in museum methods, it
exists primarily as a service for staff,
students, and community, according to
director Butsch.
But despite Butsch's obvious pride in
the museum, he has no illusions about
its priority in the total picture.
"OBVIOUSLY, THE University is
about academics, and students and
professors come first here. We know
that. A museum setup like this is a
luxury," he continued, "and everyone
working here realizes that. This is one
of the best such facilities in the coun-
This story was reprinted from the
Daily's summer edition.


Everyone knows engineers use com-
puters, but imagine a history class in
which a battle between a Roman army
and various Teutonic tribes is enacted
on a computer. Or perhaps an an-
thropology class in which the population
structure of a primitive hunting society
is "grown" with the aid of a computer.
Computers are coming into the
classroom. Computer manufacturers
shave teamed up with such popular tex-
tbook publishers as McGraw-Hill Inc.,
and Scott, Foresman & Co., to produce
educational .software for use of tex-
books. One computer manufacturing
official estimated that computer sof-
tware will eventually complement a full
95 percent of the textbooks in use, ac-
cording to a recent report in The Wall
Street Journal.
research scientist at the University's
Center for Research on Learning and
Teaching (CRLT), the home-size
microcomputer and its uses will be an
"ordinary" resource in the future.
"We should be anticipating a time
when nearly all college students and
faculty members do computing and
handle information in a familiar and
personal way."
But the replacement of a teacher with
a computer is "not a likely outcome,"
said Zinn.
1 STUDENTS ARE motivated to learn
using media other than the computer
more efficiently, said Zinn, who added
there are many functions a teacher can
do which a computer can't - such as
recognizing patterns in learning over
time and the fatigue and emotions of
the student.
"Students will need a teacher, but
less as a source of factual and
organized knowledge than as a mentor
in the processing of information and the
forming of value judgements," said
Stanford Ericksen, founder of CRLT, in
his memo to Faculty.
STUDENTS OF all disciplines will be
able to work with computers. There is
already a University English course en-
titled "Literary Uses of the Computer,"
and the space age technology of the
computer is even being applied to the
Glen Knudsvig, an associate
professor of Latin, said his department
s hoping to incorporate computer-
assisted instruction into elementary
Latin classes by next year.
"The initial stages will be centered on
drills, exercises, and self-tests," said
AT THE FLINT branch of the
University, Prof. Robert Schafer uses
the same computer methods in his
istory of Western Civilization class.

Among the 19 exercises written in
FORTRAN, there is a game designed to
illuminate the Industrial Revolution,
and a problem-solving exercise based
on Jeremy Bentham's late 18th century
"felicific calculus of Pleasures and
Erickson said there are four basic
teaching responsibilities which can
never be supplanted by computers:
* Teachers must guide students in
scanning and selecting from multiple
sources of information which will be in
the computer's memory. They must
advise the students "which buttons to
* The value judgements expressed
and exercised by the teacher will
always be necessary since "infor-
mation is neutral and technology is
amoral, but how they are used is not."
" The methods and techniques of
problem-solving will continue to be a
difficult topic of teacher instruction.
Students must comprehend the logic
behind specific procedures and to learn
how to adapt to such principles and
novel events.
* The evaluating function of the in-
structor will be significant but more
complex in the years ahead, and
teachers will have to meticulously
scrutinize their value judgements.
Karl Zinn of CRLT said he believes
that in five to ten years students coming
to college will have already learned to
program computers in high school -
just like it. is assumed now that
everyone has taken a typing course.
In addition, said Zinn, the personal
computer will become as much a part
of the student's own inventory as a
calculator and typewriter is now.
A GOOD gauge of their rising
prominence is the software available in
the marketplace for all types of people.
Consumers can choose anything from a
Dow Jones- package to programs
claiming to help people with their love
In a computer magazine adver-
tisement is a girl dressed in panties
with the words "Interlude, the Ultimate
Experience," promoting a computer.
There are over 100 Interludes in the
program (according to the ad) with
names like "Satin Sheets," "Rodeo,"
"The Chase," and "Caveman Caper."
This, coupled with rumors that the
two giants - IBM and Sears - are
going to work together to market a
home-sized computer, make it ap-
parent that computers will be available
on the mass marketplace soon - for
students and teachers as well as
bricklayers and businessmen.
This story was reprinted from the
Daily's summer edition.

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