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March 12, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-12

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OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, March 12, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Edie dmdat ent Ma
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Rethink 'smaller and better"

Vol.)(CI, No. 130

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

No winners at MSU

MICHIGAN STATE University's
handling of its budget crisis has
shown little thought or planning. As a
result, impassioned student rallies,
scathing memorandums stacked in
faculty mailboxes, and defensive ad-
-ministrators have created an at-
mosphere that may be a lesson to the
University of Michigan on how not to
balance the budget.
In light of the proposed elimination
of colleges such as nursing and urban
planning, student and faculty groups
from those units have fought tooth and
nail to protect -their own special in-
terests. Factionalism is a key word for
survival at MSU, pitting faculty mem-
bers against each other.
Distrust of the MSU administration
is rampant. A sign reading "Mackey
for Fuhrer" waved at Tuesday's rally
indicated the growing distrust of the
MSU president.
A faculty advisory committee was
formed earlier in MSU's term to help
Mackey select areas that need trim-
ming. Its report incited cries of
favoritism and faulty judgement from
the faculty of the schools the commit-
tee has slated for removal.
Student pleas for representation on a

decision-making body were met with
discouragement from the ad-
ministration. "Students are tran-
sient-they only care about the
programs they're enrolled in. They
couldn't possibly be objective," a
faculty advisory committee told the
Daily.
Thankfully, such flagrant disregard
for student and* faculty interests has
not taken place at the University of
Michigan, yet. Thus far, however,'the
University administrators have only
paid lip-service to these interests; now
is the time for the administrators to
take these interests to heart and show
they are truly concerned.
The stifling atmosphere at MSU has
clearly displayed the need for input
from students and faculty. The in-
terests of both faculty members and
students cannot be ignored merely to
make budget-cutting bureacracy easy
for a handful of administrators-as has
been the case at MSU.
The University of Michigan has an
easy opportunity to learn from the
errors of its East Lansing counterpart.
We can only hope they keep in mind
this example and look at the total pic-
ture when making important changes
in the structure of the University.

The University administration, in its efforts
to cope with a smaller budget, has begun
promoting a "Smaller and Better" approach
to cutbacks which threatens to undermine the
University's basic foundation. An account of
the administration's handling of the fiscal
crisis to date follows:
In anticipation of reductions in state funds
for the University, the administration has cut
the University budget by eight per cent for
next year. Under the guise of "shrinkage,"
the administration has planned extensive
"selective program reduction and discon-
tinuance."
This involves substantially cutting or
eliminating selected programs, departments
and services, based on ill-defined criteria,
under the guise of "Smaller and Better"
University. This criteria has not been debated
in any public forum to date.
The "Smaller and Better" policies tran-
slate into a smaller University with better-
paid and fewer faculty members. The faculty
who are targeted for higher pay are tenured
faculty who have researched and published
extensively, and belong to more
renumerative units.
This system threatens programs that are
essential to the academic needs and social
diversity of the University, even though they
are not as large, prestigious or renumerative
as the protected units are.
The "Smaller and Better" policies will
change the purpose and mission of the
University. Its primary commitment will
shift to "marketable" research, not to teac-

By Carol Isen
hing. There will be a shift in commitment
from providing diverse educational oppor-
tunities for the students to an emphasis on
providing a training ground for the
"marketable" skills.
Because cutbacks will hit untenured
faculty and financial aid hardest, and
because room and board has been raised by.10
percent for next year (tuition will undoub-
tedly increase also), both faculty and the
student body will be homgenized in terms of
race, ethnicity, class, and sex: white, middle
class, and male.
The process by which "Smaller and Better"
is being carried put is a highly centralized
one. Students, staff, and most of the faculty
have been excluded from the process of
determining criteria for the reorganization of
the University, and have not been provided
with channels for meaningful input.
Important decisions have already been
made. The LSA Executive Committee, in con-
junction with LSA Dean John Knott, have in-
structed that every department in the LSA
submit plans for cutting back by eight percent
within the next fiscal year. These plans were
submitted as of February 20.
In addition, the Center for Research on
Learning and Teaching, the Extension Ser-
vices, Michigan Media and Recreational
Sports have been targeted for 40-60 percent
reductions in funds. Public hearings were
held on these major reductions, their reports
have been submitted, and officially now the
decisions are completely out of our hands.

The Geography Department is the first unit
slated for discontinuance. Hearings on the
proposed cut were conducted last week.
During these hearings, members of the
University community continually expressed
their disillusionment with the decision-
making process. The members of the review
committee would not consider issues of
process, declaring that their sole respon-
sibility was to evaluate the Geography
Department according to the procedures
defined by the LSA Executive Committee.
We believe that it is the responsibility of the
entire University community to define its
future. Until now, we have had no formal role
in making the decisions that seriously affect
the quality of life at our University.
The University must respond to economic
entrenchment, but this response should be the
outcome of a serious, community-wide
dialogue on what the University's purpose is.
The first step in this dialogue should be the
public forum on the future of the University,
to be held in Rackham Amphitheatre tonight
at 7:30. The question of the University's pur-
pose, alternative approaches to meeting the
budget crisis, and the decision-making
process will be discussed by faculty, staff,
and students. We urge you to attend.
Carol Isen, a senior in the Residential
College, is a member of the It's Our
University organization, a student-faculty
coalition formed to challenge the Univer-
sity's "Smaller and Better "philosophy.

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Clouded MSA fumble

T'HE DUST IS only now beginning to
settle at the Michigan ' Student
Assembly following the ruckus raised
last week over the confusing MSA elec-
tion code revision. But, there is still
some dust clouding the air and no one
can quite agree just what happened.
Two weeks ago, David Schaper, a
long-time activist in student politics
with a clouded history himself, presen-
ted a first draft revision of the code to
MSA. The Assembly then carefully
reviewed his draft for several hours,
making about 200 additions, deletions,
and rewording a number of sections.
But, as it later turned out, no one at
the meeting had the forethought to
keep one complete record of all the
changes mandated by the Assembly.
So, when Schaper returned the next
)week with the final draft there was a
great deal of confusion about just what
c~hanges were supposed to have been
included.
yAfter reviewing the final draft that

Schaper submitted, some Assembly
members accused Schaper of
manipulating his authority by ignoring
some of the changes mandated and
even adding a sentence of his own to
the code.
But, later, Schaper and some MSA
members contended that the sentence,
which could affect some Assembly
members re-election campaigns, was
approved by MSA. Other MSA mem-
bers said they thought the sentence
was voted down. And others just
couldn't plain remember what hap-
pened. There are no complete minutes
of the meeting to turn to, leaving the
actual tally uncertain. For the mean-
while, it appears most MSA members
are satisfied with Schaper's recollec-
tion of the meeting..
In the future, MSA members might
find consistent and complete minutes a
more reliable record than their shaky
memories. It seems a shame to spend
six hours debating an issue only to
forget what you decided.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:-

Daily misses nuke learn-in

To the Daily:
Oh, well! The Michigan Daily
missed the boat again; This time.
it was the Learn-in On Nuclear
(and other related) Issues. This
event was sponsored by the Arbor
Alliance and had the support of
the Michigan Student Assembly,
the LSA Student Government,
Public Interest Research Group
in Michigan, the University Of-
fice of Ethics and Religion,
University housing office, People
United for a Human Future,
Women's International League of
Peace and Freedom, and many
other groups from around the
state.
The event was called a "learn-
Books, not
To the Daily:
I would like to bring up a topic
which is central to the recent
rash of proposed budget cuts
and program eliminations at the
University. The focus of this ac-
count concerns administrative
overload of clerical staff.
It appears fromall practical
circumstance that if cuts are to
be made, those who are wielding
the cleaver should trim the fat
around themselves first, and then
wade through the bureaucratic
jungle they have createdrat the
University in the past ten years.
To cite a specific example, one
needs to go no further than the
second floor of the infamous
Flemming Administration
Bunker (alias FLAB). Herein
-,.4U :- 1...... - U

In" because the Arbor Alliance
feels that learning happens best
when knowledge and experience
flow in both directions. As a
result, we brought in a wide
variety of experts who were in-
terested in interacting with the
participants in order to help
people inderstand the multitude
of problems that we face living in
a Nuclear World. And because
the issues are so varied, we had
eleven different workshops.
The workshops went from basic
informational ones, such as the
ABC's of nuclear power and
ABC's of nuclear weapons, to
more broader subjects, including
National Alternative and Com-
steno pads!
himself, Harold Shapiro;nall of
whom are encamped on that
floor.
It strikes the common mind
that under this structure,
somebody has more than one
secretary! In fact, a walking tour
of the Bunker and inspection of
the "dirty dozens' " outpost(s)
would show that Harold Shapiro
need not walk more than ten feet
before he rams into another
secretary.
This is only one example of the
veritable army of clericals that
has accumulated on this campus
to justify the existence of ill-
begotten, second-rate Lieutenan-
ts.
It is high time that students
demand the honorable discharge
of these clericals, and those

munity Alternatives to some very
specific workshops: Health Ef-
fects or Civil Liberties. These
were just six of the workshops
the Arbor Alliance organized.
Sydney Lens, founder of
Mobilization for Survival, author
of 18 books, and contributing
editor to "The Progressive" gave
an inspiring keynote address
Friday night. He shared the plat-
form with Shirley Johns (a nor-
thern Michigan activist) and
Charlie r King (Singer-
songwriter). The Keynote Ad-
dress was heard by over 250
people, as a connection was made
between nuclear power and
nuclear weapons.
People always seem to com-
plain that the anti-nuclear
movement lacks the expertise to
speak intelligently on the com-
plex issues with which they con-
cern themselves. Yet, the par-
ticipants in the Learn-In included

boaty
Don Rucknage, University
Human Genetist; Prof. Marc
Ross, an energy consultant to the
Mellon Institute; state Rep.
Perry Bullard and L. Jondahl;
Stuart Lev, an attorney with the
National Lawyers Guild; and
Richard Webb, a nuclear
engineer who has worked at the
Big Rock Power Plant.
The Saturday workshops were
well attended as was a state-wide
coalition on Sunday. The
evaluations of this event indicate
that it was a smashing success.
It is a shame that more of the
student population did not attend
and it is even a greater shame
that The Michigan Daily failed to
provide coverage of this
educational event. But everyone
knows that pizza makes good
copy.
-Jonathan Weiland
March 11

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