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March 21, 1981 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-21

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I

- OPINION
Page 4 Saturday, March 21,1981 The Michigan Doaily
-I - -

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Ten radish questions about a
'smaller but better'University

Vol. XCI, No. 138

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 4810U9

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

The return of the myth
of monolithic Communism

I T IS BECOMING increasingly
clear that virtually all Reagan
foreign policy will be ,formulated
around the administration's obsession
with a self-conceived "Communist
conspiracy." Regardless of whether
the administration is designing its{
policy approaches to Central America,
the Persian Gulf region, or Black
Africa, all policy-making will pivot on
concern for countering the "Soviet
threat."
Caught up in a paranoid fear of some
imagined monolithic Communism, of-
ficials from both the State Department
and the National Security Council have
warned this week of a number of
Communist plots to undermine world
freedom. Secretary of State Alexander
Haig, who appeared before the House
Foreign Relations Committee
Tuesday, sternly told the represen-
tatives of a Soviet plan to encircle the
Persian Gulf region's oil fields. He,
also warned of a large-scale Com-
inunist plot to "takeover" Central
America.
Though it is true that the Soviets
have an avowed ambition -for world
revolution, this is no cause for looking
for the Russians at every turn in world
affairs. Certainly, the Soviets would
like to see El Salvador "liberated from
its capitalistic bondage," but that does.
not mean the Salvadoran insurgeticy,
which has been amounting naturally.
thlere for some time, is no more 'than a
carefully executed Soviet operation.
The administration's McCarthyistic
rhetoric in and of itself is not
necessarily frightening. But, the plans
being designed in Washington to coun-
ter these supposed plots are very
frightening.
In response to the so-called Com-
munist conspiracy to capture the Per-
sian Gulf oil fields, Haig said the
United States has now drawn the line,
and if the Soviets or their surrogates
cross it, the United States will defend
the region with every military means
available.,
Regarding the Communist con-
spiracy aimed at "the tultimate
takeover of Central America," Haig
said the United States still has time to
foil the plot by stopping the Com-
munists now in El Salvador.
According to Haig, "the seizure of
Nicaragua' was the first step of a
"four-phased operation" to control
Latin America. "Next is El Salvador,

A 'radish' question is one that concerns
roots. It is to be distinguished from a 'radical'
question, which is one that carries a con-
notation of drastic change, and therefore
must be considered irresponsible. In such a
serious operation as the current modification
of the University's size and quality, irrespon-
sible questions are not to be tolerated. Hence
some 'radish' questions:
1. If The University of Michigan must get
smaller because budget constraints dictate
it; and, if the budget constraints stem from a
state economy that is in crisis; and, if that
economic crisis is caused by a faltering in the
state's dominant industry of automobile
manufacture; and, if that faltering is due to
an unhealthy national economic situation, in
which not enough Americans can or will buy
enough American cars to keep the auto in-
dustry healthy enough to keep the state of
Michigan prosperous enough to maintain its
foremost university at a consistently high
level of quality - then why is the University
of Michigan dependent upon the economic
state of the automobile industry to begin
with?
2. If the University must get smaller
because an economic situation dictates it,
why are its administrators insisting that it
will also get better? Is it nor more reasonable
for them tovomplain that these drastic cuts in
funds will inevitably reduce the University's
quality? Why are they not complaining?
3. If the University can make good its ar-
ticulated aim to become better while

By Peter Ferran
becoming necessarily smaller, will that not
prove that it could have been 'better' all
along? (Even 'much better,' inasmuch as it
did not previously face this drastic reduction
in funds?)}
4. If it is reasonable to conclude that a
smaller University will be better only if it can
reduce its faculty and administrative staff to
an affordable number of the most competent
and most efficient people, then might we not
logically expect to see less'competent and less
efficient teachers and administrators fired? -
5. Why are we not seeing faculty and ad-
ministrators fired? Why are we seeing in-
stead departments and programs eliminated.
or reduced? Is it because recreational sports,
continuing education, and research on
teaching and learning are by common
agreement less vital to the University's
mission than, say, football, business
education, and research on highway safety?
Is it because a subject like geography is self-
evidently less important to the idea of higher
education than.subjects like environmental
studies, and computer science?
6. Is it not reasonable to suppose that the
sagacious men and women who are making
decisions about how to reduce the size of the
University while improving its quality might
wish to propose the firing of a few less com-
petent teachers from every department, and
the firing of a few less efficient ad-

ministrators from every school, rather than
go through the cumbersome process of
eliminating entire departments and thus
losing some competent teachers?
7. Is the University perhaps fearful .of
violating the American university principle of
tenure, which guarantees that a selected
faculty member cannot be fired on any except
the most emergential grounds (e.g., criminal
or outrageously immoral behavior?) Does the
economic crisis constitute such an emergen-
cy?
S. Does incompetence qualify as a ground
for firing a tenured professor?
9. Which of the following best describes an
incompetent faculty member?
a. averages fewer than ten students in each
class taught;
b. publishes fewer than four articles or one
book every two years;
c. serves on fewer than three committees
every four years;
d. is a Marxist
10. Why does The University of Michigan
appear to be accommodating conditions of
our American culture rather than challenging
or defining them? Should not universities leak
rather than follow the culture?
Peter Ferran is an associate professor
of Theatre and Drama at the University's
Residential College. .

Secretary of State Haig
to be followed by Honduras and
Guatemala," Haid said gravely.
Worse yet, Richard Pipes, a member
of the president's National Security
Council said ' that "Soviet
leaders... have to choose between
peacefully changing their Communist
system in the direction followed by the
West or going to war. There is no other
alternative and' it could go either
way:,.
Although the Reagan State Depar-
tment quickly disclaimed the commen-
ts and emphasized that the statement
merely reflected Pipes' personal
feelings, it is still less than reassuring
that Pipes is a man advising the
president on foreign policy-making.
If officials in Washington continue to
formulate this country's foreign policy
on a basis of paranoia and antagonism
toward the Soviet Union and a
mythical rmonolithic Communism, we
had better brace ourselves for rough
times ahead.
The administration should rethink
its dangerous world outlook hell-bent
on seeing clandestine Soviet intentions
in every international development.
Otherwise, the United States may well
find itself .caught in a 'series of wars
around the globe defending democracy
against the threat posed by some
imagined Communist conspirator
lurking in the shadows.

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f 1 + THE MIaas Kti. c~.JOIRNAK.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
University, MSU nurses join forces

1

,

To the Daily:
As students at the University of
Michigan School of Nursing, we
would like to call attention to the
recent decision of the Michigan
State University president to
eliminate the College of Nursing
from the MSU curriculum.
There exists no rivalry where
the future of nursing is concer-
ned. We are joining forces with
MSU nursing students and others
around the state to block this
proposal.
The MSU College of Nursing is
a baccalaureate degree program
as are many state college nursing
programs. Baccalaureate
prepared nurses are taught
theory as well as clinical skills.
We use this background to think
and act in our patients' best
behalf, in addition to making
beds, giving medications, and
(the ever popular) emptying bed
pans.
No longer is nursing a passive

and submissive profession. Nur-
ses care for patients intimately,
around the clock and at the bed-
side.
The shortage of nurses has
been documented by both the
American Nurses Association
and the American Medical
Associaton. It does not make sen-
se to close a College of Nursing
based on this rational alone.
Also, a school that prepares
nurses to educate future nurses
should not be eliminated.
Mackey uses questionable
rational in stating that the
"College of Nursing is not essen-
tial for the Colleges of Medicine
to meet their primary objective."
Nurses are not physicians. In a
patient care setting, nurses and
physicians work as a team for the
patient.
At Michigan State University,
the Colleges of Medicine and the
College of Nursing do not operate
cooperatively. We need to

question how the nursing school
is involved in the objectives for
MSU's two schools of medicine.
As the consumers of - health
care, we seek your support.
Please inform the elected mem-
bers of MSU's Board of Trustees
how much you value nursing.
Your state legislator would value
your opinion too. Public input is

greatly needed. Please support
the University of Michigan
Student Nurses by signing the
petition being circulated. Thank
you for your support!
-The University of Mich-
igan Nursing Council
and Student Nurses
Association
March 15

Clerical hand-holding

_;
_ .,;

To the Daily:
Before doing any more name
calling, I suggest D. F. Antera
(Daily, March 12) take a look at
who these "second-rate
Lieutenants" and "overload of
clericals" exist to serve.
As a University clerical, I have
taken care of your academic and
personal matters more times
than I can remember (either
because you were not around to
meet your deadlines or maybe
because you just couldn't get it
together to do it yourself). If it
were not for my rush trips to the-
bindery, library, or Rackham to
name a few, I believe some of you
would never leave the system.
And those whom you call
"second-rate Lieutenants" are
the ones who have stayed up all

It is obvious that you are blind
to half of what we do for you
(above and beyond our "job
description"). Fortunately, .the
students with whop I am in con
tact are sensitive to and ap-
preciative of the many facets of
my job - those which exist most
obviously for your benefit along
with other more obscure duties
you are not aware of.
You are understandably bitter'
about financial aid reductions
and tuition.hikes which affect you
personally, but I would think
twice about your "demand" for
clerical cut-backs, for you will
only hurt yourself. Any skilled
clerical worker at the University
can easily find a higher paying
job elsewhere and then you would
have no one to hold your hand*

Hands offposters!

N.
rN

To the Daily:
I put up some posters on Thur-
sday, and they were down on
Friday. So I put up more, but
those were gone by the time I

pus activities and services here
at the University. Organizations,
entertainers, and students use
them for publicity.
Besides those who destroy

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