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September 10, 1981 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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Page 16 -Thursday, September 10, 1981-The Michigan Daily

Death of ex-

'U' student

stirs international row

By JOHN ADAM
Last July an incident halfway around
the world sparked a long-submerged
problem into a broiling public confron-
tation here at the University.
The alleged murder in Taiwan of a
former University Ph.D. student made
news across the country and brought
two basic groups - the Chinese
Nationalists and the native Taiwanese
- into a mud-slinging feud here on
campus as well as in many other areas.
ASSISTANT PROF. Chen Wen-Chen,
a statistics student who worked most
recently at Carnegie-Mellon University
in Pennsylvania after leaving Ann Ar-
b.or, was found dead July 3 in Taipei,
Taiwan.
The cause of Chen's death was not
apparent, though several sources said
they believed his death was "politically
motivated." Earlier reports from the
rIationalist Chinese government in
Taiwan said Chen might have commit-
ted suicide. A subsequent autopsy
questioned that, and the matter was put
under further investigation by the
Taiwan government.
Communities of at least three major
college campuses - the University of
Minnesota, Carnegie-Mellon Univer-
sity, and the University of Michigan -
were directly affected by the
mysterious death of Chen, and the wor-
ds "secret agents" surfaced in many
conversations about the incident.
WHETHER CHEN was politically ac-
tive against the ruling Kuomintang
(KMT) government of Taiwan is
debatable. His faculty advisor at the
University, Statistics Prof. Bruce Hill,
doubted Chen would have had enough
time for political activities.
"He was an outstanding student -
the best that I'd seen in statistics in 21
years," said Hill. He added 'that with
Chen's involvement in research and
with school work, Chen would have
been too busy for any political ac-
tivities.
However, in a move which a friend of

Chen's said he later regretted, the for-
mer University graduate student came
to The Michigan Daily along with a
group of Taiwanese students five years
ago to reveal the names of suspected
KMT agents working at the University.
BECAUSE OF a lack of evidence, the
newspaper decided not to publish the
information. Friends of Chen deny that
this incident had any bearing on his
alleged murder. Yet some students
here claim, as does Carnegie-Mellon
President Richard Cyert, that there are
KMT agents in the student community
keeping track of the activities of
Taiwanese students and reporting any
"deviations" back to Taipei.
A similar situation surfaced at the
University of Minnesota, where a for-
mer sociology student, Rita Yeh, was
recently convicted in Taiwan "for
spreading Communist ideology in
microfilms and notebooks." She was
found guilty in Jan. 1981 and sentenced
to 14 years imprisonment, according to
Mark Perrusquia of The Minnesota
Daily, the campus newspaper.
Perrusquia said people have been ac-
cusing the Chinese Nationalists of
spying for many years, and added that
once it was brought to the attention of a
University of Minnesota Vice-president
but "they couldn't make a case"
because of the nature of allegations and
the complainants' fear of being iden-
tified.
NEVERTHELESS, when guaranteed
anonymity, the Taiwanese independen-
ts are prolific speakers against the
government which one student descr-
tibed as "worse than a dictatorship."
. "Dictatorship is too good a word for
them," he said. The group of eight
students, made'up of ethnic Taiwanese
as well as Chinese, said they were sure
the government was involved in the
death of Chen. When asked what advan-
tage the government would have in
killing Chen, several persons respon-
ded, each with the same reason.
"There is a saying in Chinese," said

one member from Hong Kong, "when
you kill one, you can warn 100."
Another said, "It's a warning to every
student here - don't open your mouth,
just keep it shut."
THE GROUP of Taiwanese said they
had no doubt there are secret KMT
agents at the University, most of whom
they said work through a campus group
called the "free China Student
Association."
AN OFFICIAL ofthe Free China
Student Association, Shien-Ming
Chuong, flatly denied the allegations
that there are KMT agents in his 200-
member organization. "That's
ridiculous," he said of the suggested
link.
Eighty-three members of the FCSA,
in a letter to the Daily, denounced
charges that agents of the Chinese
Nationalist Government in Taiwan
were working in their organization.
They said they trusted their gover-
nment to deduce the truth about Chen's
Death.
The letter criticized the newspaper
article about the incident as biased and
irresponsible. It denounced history
Prof. Ernest Young's portrayal of the
government in Taiwan as a one-party
authoritarian state. (Young works at
the University's Center for Chinese
Studies).
ACCORDING TO Young, there are
two main ethnic groups on the Asian
island: the native Taiwanese, con-
stituting 86 percent of the population;
and the refugee Chinese Nationalists,
constituting about 13 percent of the
country's population.
The Chinese Nationalists run the
main government. The native
Taiwanese want a representative
government with proportionate power,
Young said.
Taiwan has been under martial law
since 1949, and is in gross violation of
human rights, according to an Amnesty
International Report.

To share or not to share
Sound technology comes through
again! Two recent trends in music-
enjoyment will accommodate those
who'd like to shut the world out, as
well as those who'd like to bring it in.
Daily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM

6
U

THE RUDOLF STEINER
SCHOOL
of Ann Arbor
a Waldorf Elementary School
2796 Packard Road, Ann Arbor
Enrollments for September
are now being taken
For 'information: Please write for free literature to: "The
Rudolf Steiner SchoolAssociation of Ann Arbor," 2836 White-
wood, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104, or call:
973-0643
If no answer, please leave message at 769-4270 or 662-6398
The school does not discriminate in regard to race, sex, nat'l origin, etc.

Administration launches redirection of

'U,

mri 'w W dob. _/ i i i rwi i' i i "MW Pft/ i IMW 7W i i ' 'RW

(Continued from Page 1)
process by which programs are
reviewed for possible cuts, claiming the
administration has not seriously con-
sidered the input of faculty members or
students in deciding whether a program
should be cut or eliminated.
THese critics have insisted that the
University administration should allow
more students to participate in the
several review committees that
examine a targeted program or depar-
tment before a final decision is made by
the administration or the Regents.
Still other students and faculty mem-
bers (including geography department
Chairman John Nytuen) have warned
that the t University will impair its
ability to attract top-quality students

and faculty members once fear spreads
that departments and programs are
being axed.
"I feel a lot of the things that are
being done (by the administration)
right now in haste because of the
economic situation are going to have
some very long term effects on the
University," said geography graduate
student Margaret Wilder after the
Regents' decision to eliminate her
department. She said the University is
earning a poor reputation around the
country for its cutbacks.
. Geography department Chairman
John Nystuen, who claimed the ad-
ministration had "secretly targeted"
his department, sharply criticized the
way the administration has dealt with
its budget problems. "I think it's a
mistake that's going to plague the
University for some time," he said. The
administration has "made a spectacle
of itself by turning on part of its own
organization," he added.

BUT THE administration, noting that
students are transient and often ill-
informed on the complex issues
surrounding the University budget,
have chosen to limit student par-
ticipation in the reviews primarily to
open hearings.
When students or faculty members
point their fingers at. the ad-
ministration, claiming that the ad-
ministrators are heartlessly cutting
programs and jeopardizing people's
futures, the administrators are quick to
point out that the redirection is all in the
name of quality. If the University is to
maintain is quality, they say, hard
choices have to be made concerning
what programs and departments are
worth keeping when the money is short.
"This University, like other. quality
universities, is really in a constant
process of change," said University
President Harold Shapiro. "If you're
going to have a quality educational en-
vironment, you are going to have to

4WEEJUNS

r

change continuously over
time ... That means you have to make
explicit decisions about stopping a
program, or restructuring a program,
or redirecting a program."
"THE PRIMARY force driving this
redirection, if you want to call it that, is
not fiscal, but, a desire to maintain a
quality university, an extremely high
quality university," he said recently inA*
an interview.
In fact, Shapiro said, even if there
were no short-term fiscal constraints,
the administrators would still seek to
shore up the University by cutting those
areas which are of inadequate quality
and using the money saved to
strengthen the University's outstanding
programs and departments. Through
such selective cutbacks, the ad-
ministration claims it can create a
"smaller but better" University.
Following the smaller but better ap-
proach, the University has decided to
avoid large across-the-board cuts,
which they say merely make excellent
programs mediocre and good programs
poor. Instead of cutting quality in-
discriminately, the administration will
cut its weak programs dramatically,
while sparing its strong departments
any major surgery.
"IN ORDER to maintain the
programs that are excellent, I think we
have to reduce the scope of the Univer-
sity," says Vice President for
Academic Affairs Bill Frye, one of the
most influential administrators in
deciding where the ax will fall.
"An across-the-board cut," says
Shapiro, "is only appropriate when you
think what you've got is exactly right,
that you have exactly the right
distribution of efforts - therefore the
best way to get smaller is just to pull
everything down just a little bit. I don't
make that claim," he asserts.
"I don't think what we have is per-
fect. I don't think the strength in the
various academic departments is
uniformly the same quality. And so I
think some judgement is called for."

E


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