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September 04, 1980 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

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Page 2-A-Thursday, September 4, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Judge ponders Marwil trial d

By HOWARD WITT
As University administrators and faculty members
anxiously awaited a verdict, a federal district judge earlier
this month pondered his decision in a lawsuit that could
have major implications for untenured junior faculty here.
U.S. District Judge Philip Pratt was expected to deliver a
verdict before September in a case that pitted a former
assistant professor-claiming he was unjustly denied a
review of his qualifications to receive tenure-against his
department, College, and the Regents-claiming his con-
tinued presence on the faculty would be detrimental to the
University.
IN HIS UNPRECEDENTED suit against the University,
Jonathan Marwil, an assistant professor in the engineering
humanities department who was dismissed from his
position after six years, originally sought more than $1
million in damages or reinstatement to the faculty pending
a tenure review.
Off the University'payroll since May 31, 1979, Marwil is
suing the Regents and three members of the humanities

department administrative committee: Department
Chairman J.C. Mathes and Profs. Ralph Loomis and
Dwight Stevenson.
Marwil charges the committee members deliberately
sidestepped applicable department and College policies
requiring that he be granted a tenure review in his sixth
year as an assistant professor at the University.
THE UNIVERSITY CONTENDS that University-wide
policies were followed in Marwil's case and that depar-
tment administrators were justified in terminating his con-
tract because the outspoken assistant professor's
"abrasiveness" was detrimental to the department.
Specifically, administrative committee members have
cited what they alleged to be Marwil's intemperate and
contentious behavior, as well as questionable scholarly
production and worsening student evaluations, as reasons
for their concern about his effect on the humanities depar-
tment..
When he originally initiated his suit in the summer of
1979, Marwil alleged that his right of freedom of speech was
violated by the administrative committee, that committee

members acted with malice when they terminated his con-
tract, and that the University was guilty of several contract
violations.
DAMAGES SOUGHT AT the outset amounted to $1.1
million-to be received from the individual Regents and the
three committee members-although Marwil consistently
stressed that his real objective was a court-ordered tenure
review, not financial gain.
A series of University dismissal motions throughout 1979
and during the actual trial-which began July 7, 1980-suc=
cessfully whittled down Marwil's suit.
Neither the Regents nor the three individual faculty
members are now liable for damages, nor could they be
ruled guilty of malice or violating Marwil's constitutional
rights. Instead, the judge, if he decides in Marwil's favor,
could order that a tenure review be performed.
MARWIL AND HIS attorneys have indicated they were
disturbed by the dismissal rulings, but claim they never
considered dropping the suit because a court-ordered
tenure review has been their primary aim.
The complicated suit, reduced to its basic components,

x
lecision
suggests on the one hand an outspoken professor per- .
secuted by administrators who were ruffled by his4
frequent criticisms, while on the other hand; a group of
department administrators sincerely concerned about the
damage an abrasive faculty member could do in a close- R
knit department, and earnestly pursuing every avenue to
get rid of him.
Marwil had reportedly clashed with a number of ^
humanities department colleagues over issues as
seemingly minor as office space allocations to policies as
important as hiring criteria. The former assistant 2
professor claims his direct opposition to department 2
chairman Mathes at department meetings in early 197"
over hiring policies prompted Mathes, Loomis, and Steven-
son to initiate rather unorthodox contract termination
proceedings against him.
MARWIL MAINTAINS THIS non-reappointment review
was inappropriate because it was conducted during the first 2
year of a two-year contract. Reappointment reviews are
normally conducted during the final year of a contract,
See JUDGE, Page 13

m

4M$

THERE WERE some tense moments
at the July meeting of the Regents
and other University officials at
Interlochen before the tuition hike
was approved. Above, Vice-Presi-
dents Henry Johnson and James
Brinkerhoff, along with Regents
Thomas Roach and Deane Baker
contemplate the proposed 13 per
cent increase.

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Regents hike tuition"by
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(Continued from Page 1)
probably not support as large a tuition
increase next year.
University President Harold Shapiro
said if a tuition increase of less than 13
per cent were instituted, the University
"would not fall apart. But we think
that's the easy way out."
Shapiro and other University
executive officers told the Regents they
doubted the University's high quality
programs could be maintained without.
a substantial increase in student sup-
port for the University.
UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS have
vowed to mount a large-scale campaign
for endowments and other donated fun-
ds in order to make up for the smaller-
than-necessary amount of support from
the state. Butthe administrators say a
drive for donated funds is a long-term
effort, and the University needs funds
immediately-hence the relatively
large tuition hike.
Michigan Student Assembly
President Marc Breakstone said that
attitude upsets him: "The thing I object
to most is that students are bearing the
greatest burden. It seems ironic that
students are bearing the brunt of hard
times but aren't being compensated
proportionally in terms of quality of
education.
"It's just not fair that students are
paying so much, and the money is going
to some areas from which they do not
benefit directly," he said.
BREAKSTONE ALSO agreed with
Dunn that the University should have
attempted to decide which programs
will lose money before deciding on how
much tuition would have to go up to
support the remaining services..
According to Vice-President for
Academic Affairs Billy Frye, financial
aid will be increased by about
$875,000-an eight per cent increase
over last year.
"We expect to increase our financial
aid allocation to ensure that no students
will be denied the opportunity to attend
the University of Michigan for lack of
money," said Frye.
However, according to Associate

Tuition Rates
Pe Academic 1980-81

Resident

Non-resident

Undergraduate -
Lower Division ....
4ndergraduate -
Upper Division ....
Graduate .........
Dentistry ..........

... $ 682 (up $ 72)
.. . 768 (up $ 86)
... 1054 (up $120)
1584 (up $180)
.1172 (up $168)
.. .1732 (up $198)
. .. 612(up$ 68)

$2060 (up $236)
2218 (up $254)
2308 (up $264)
3030 (up $346)
2518 (up $364)
3336 (up $382)
612 (up $ 68),

Law ff
dediclne1
Cpndidacy1

0 0 ..0 0

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Director of Financial Aid James Zim-
merman, the Office of Financial Aid
only anticipated a 9.5 per cent tuition
increse for the coming year when the
final awards were calculated. He said
the actual tuition hike of 13 per cent was
so close to the office's estimate that it
was unnecessary to revise awards.
"The difference between our in-state
tuition hike estimate and the final
tuition increase was only $80 for the
coming academic year," he explained.
Zimmerman added that the office had
not computed the difference for out-of-
state students. The Daily estimated the
difference for out-of-staters to be ap-
proximately $140.
The Regents incorporated the tuition
and salary increases into a $246 million
general fund budget-an increase of
about $20.8 million over the 1979-80
fiscal budget.
The general fund budget, as well as
the total operating budget of $622.5
million, is based on a three per cent in-

crease in the state appropriation tothy
University.
IN THE EVENT the state's ap
propriation increase is less than three
per cent, the following contingencies
could be enacted, according to Frye: F
" Temporary limiting or freezing exl
penditures from central accounts; -
" Replacing some general fund ek:
penditures with funds from indiredt
sources; and,
" Enforcing a hiring/promotiop
freeze of whatever magnitude and
direction might be required to offset the
problem.
FRYE SAID FOR every one percen-
tage point the state appropriation i4
crease falls below the three per cent:
mark, the University will be about oe
million dollars short.
Shapiro stressed the importance s
the nine per cent salary increas4~
saying the University pays less t$
faculty than some of its peer iq.
stitutions.A
The president also pointed out the
necessity of cutting back some Univ4r

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