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January 23, 1982 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-01-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

S,

OPINION

41

Page 4
e atutsanichig an l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Saturday,'January 23, 1982-

The Michigan Daily

Bigger but worse in an

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Vol. XCII, No.93

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

overcro wded

classroom

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

t

Federalism an Michigan

p RESIDENT REAGAN'S new
federalism policy, manifested
most recently by his proposal to tran-
sfer the costs of food stamps and aid to
dependent children from the federal
government to the states, presents
:Michigan with a situation that could
push the current budget problems to
the crisis level.
The Reagan administration announ-
ced yesterday that it will attempt to
transfer the costs of food stamps and
aid to dependent children to state
governments, while the federal gover-
nment will assume the costs of all
medicaid payments.
This switch will cost the states an ex-
tra $3 billion per year, a payment that
many states, including Michigan, can-
not afford.
If this transfer of expenditures bet-
ween Lansing and Washington were
limited to a tradeoff of Medicaid and
aid to dependent children, Michigan
would save $75 million per year. But
Reagan's proposal also calls for the
states to fund appropriations for food
stamps. This addition makes Reagan's
proposal a losing one for the state. It
would create another deficit in the
:budget at a time when Michigan is fin-
ding it almost impossible.to generate
extra revenues.
Gerald Miller, state budget director,
explained the situation best when he
said Lansing would not pick up the
"slack" left by federal aid cuts. "The
state simple cannot afford it," Miller
said.
Recent history has given Miller's
Z1 _ 7 __7_

statement credibility. In October,
Governor Milliken's office slashed
state welfare spending by;$152 million
in a desperate attempt to keep spen-
ding down before this year's monetary
situation worsened.
Now there are signs from Lansing
that another drastic budget cut is im-
minent. This cut could range anywhere
from $200 to $300 million. State aid to
dependent children, a program hard
hit by the earlier budget cut, would suf-
fer a blow that would. put the whole
program near extinction.
The dependent children program is
already overextended. As Milliken
pointed out last year, a family of four
receiving ADC payments now has less
than $500 a month with which to pur-
chase food, clothing, and housing.
In addition to the financial burden of
Reagan's proposal, allowing
Washington to completely fund the
Medicaid program will create further
problems. Washington will most likely
cut eligibility standards for Medicaid
to a minimum, according to Tom Clay,
of the state Office of Management and
Budget. Lansing will then have to
choose between wither "picking up the
slack* left by federal cuts or allowing
many needy residents to go without
medical care. In wither case, Lan-.
sing-and the whole state-loses.
Reagan's new federalism may bring
untold benefits to the few states that
can afford them, but Michigan, as 'a
result, will only sink further into the
budgetary crisis from which it is trying
to escape.

By Howard Markel
I am writing this missive
during a class at the University of
Michigan. My failure to pay at-
tention to the professor's lecture
has nothing to do with my inter-
test in the class; in fact, it is a
course that I enjoy and looked
forward to taking. My complaint
with the class, and all of my
classes this term, is directed
piimarily to those who run this
"smaller but better" institution.
I cannot derive the knowledge
my instructor is professing
because I am sitting in the very
back of a large room in Mason
Hall which is unequipped with a
microphone, megaphone,
telephone, or any other com-
munication device. Quite simply,
my class is so filled with people
that those of us sitting in the rear
of the room are forced to learn'
lipreading, or sit idly not com-
prehending the professor, or
write editorials for the Daily.
Apparently, Mr. Shapiro
proposed his "smaller but bet-
ter" economic model of the
University without consideration
of the one element that makes
any institution of higher learning
a great one: interaction between
the students and professors (i.e.,
the act of learning). It is, indeed,
quite difficult to communicate
and enjoy the experience and
education of one's instructor on a
personal level when there are
over a hundred other students
hoping to do the same thing. Fur-
ther, the professor is usually so
overwhelmed by a mob of studen-
ts clamoring to the lecturn at the
close of a class that he or she has
trouble responding to any
question or comment with more
than a perfunctory "Yes", "No",
or "Why.don't you consult your
teaching fellow?"
THIS PROBLEM seems to get
worse and worse with each en-
suing term. Class selection does,
in keeping with Mr. Shapiro's
theoretical model, get smaller.
Unfortunately, as in any textbook
example of supply and demand, '
the amount of students wanting t
enroll in the few remaining cour-
ses becomes larger.
If I recall my Economics 201
jargon correctly, I would point
out to Mr. Shapiro that his model
presents a direct cause and effect
relationship betwe'en the
shrinking course selection and
the overcrowded enrollment of.
classes. Any associate professor

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finding jobs for millions of unem-
ployed Americans.
Further, the University can
finally eliminate all of those silly
units and departments that were
offered in the past to give the
illusion that we were a well-
rounded college. As any graduate
student of Economics 'can tell
you, no one ever made a great
deal of money by studying James
Joyce.
My sarcasm, unfortunately, is
not in jest. The University -of
Michigan has not yet, officially,
become the Michigan Research
Corporation and Polytechnic
Trade School. However, if we
students continue to be more'
preoccupied with the color of the
alligator on our sweaters instead
of the state of public education,
we may lose in five years an in-
stitution that took over a hundred
years to build. The overcrowded
class that I originally referred to
is not a "freshman enrollment"
class, instead it is a 400-level
course on the English novel from
Dickens to Conrad. (One of those
upper level courses that juniors
and seniors pay x an elevated
tuition for.) The professor ap-
peared to be a bit bewildered
upon staring at a group of seven-
ty or so students. He expected a
class of twenty and stammered:
"My word, I didn't know that
there were this many people in
the tri-county area interested in
the English novel from Dickens
to Conrad."
Our University's president,
vice presidents, deans, associate
deans, assistant deans, and
assistants have "trickled down"
to the student body and public
that the University of Michigan's
only chance of survival is to pur-
sue the "smaller is betteg"
econometrics of Harold Shapiro.
Obviously, this means that class
selection, instruction, services to
the students, and validity of pur-
pose will shrink while tuition
assessments, administrators'
-salaries, and robotics research
grants become bigger. This, as
any economics major could tell
you, seems to be a dangerous way
to run a business, let alone as
valuable a commodity as the
University of Michigan.

voiana ana
OUGHNESS at the expense of
controlling the arms race is
committing world suicide.
Officials in the State Department
said Thursday that Secretary of State
- :Alexander Haig likely would not set a
=starting date for arms limitations talks
with the Soviets. The scheduling of the
talks was to be planned during the
:January 26 meeting between Haig and
-'Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei
:Gromyko.
But the Reagan administration
claims that setting a date for the talks
" would weaken America's stance on the
curent Polish crisis. An agreement on
talks with the Soviets would dilute the
power of President Reagan's san-
ctions, officials claimed. America
remains interested in the concept of
talks, but would not want them to be
held under the "cloud of Poland."
Certainly opposition to the brutal
crackdown in Poland has merit, but
there must be limits to "toughness,"
no matter what the issue.
Arms limitation talks are the basis
for a harmony between the super-
powers. They are the starting blocks
for a rational world peace. Whether
actual weapon limitations are

1

the arms race
achieved or not, the talks show a
national commitment to keeping the
arms race under control, something
Haig seems to have little interest in.
The logic behind Haig's decision
seems slightly bizarre. The Russians
are not going to end their involvement
in Polish martial law because the
Americans refuse to seta date for ar-
ms limitation talks. The two matters
are unconnected, especially from a
Soviet viewpoint.
Because of Haig's action, controlling
the buildup of nuclear arms, a topic
that should rank first on any world
leader's list of crucial issues, has been
stalled.
Before yesterday, Reagan had kept
Haig's anti-Soviet passions within
bounds. In November, the president
wrote a letter to Leonid Brezhnev
proposing arms limitations talks "as
soon as possible." It now seems as if
Haig's. tough-minded policy has coun-
tered the president's original resolve.
American response to Soviet inter-
vention in Poland is a necessary and
important position, but sacrificing the
future of possible arms agreements is
possibly sacrificing the future of the
world.

t

of Economics will tell you that if
the university offers fewer
classes or fewer selections of a
class-without the reduction of
the student body (something that
is almost sacrilegious at a state
university)-the existing classes
are going 'to have to accom-
modate more students than
usual. Perhaps, 'we ought to
qualify Professor Shapiro's
economic model as the "smaller
is better except when bigger
becomes more economically
convenient" theory.
This qualification is inherent
even if it has not been formally
stated by our administration. It is
an insidious philosophy that
guides this University. The (uture,
years might bring about an
elimination of college courses as
we know them. Industry could
.team up with academe to
videotape a variety of classes and
package, market, and sell them
to incoming freshmen.
Classroom buildings could be
shut downmand millionsof dollars
would be saved in heating and

maintenance costs. Further, no
student will have a valid com-
plaint that class size is too large.
The student can stay at home
with his or her television set and
plug into any topic under the sun,
from General Hospital to Quan-
tum Mechanics.
THE PARTNERSHIP of in-
dustry and academe has more
profitable featurgs than any on'e
assistant professor of Economics
could fathom. Professors would
be able to rid themselves of the
time-draining nusiance of
teaching, dealing with students,
hiring graders to . grade
examinations, and forgetting to
attend office hours. They could
now devote alF of their time to
scholarly contributions to the
newly established Michigan
Research Corporation.
Professors will be the first to ad-
mit the vast importance of
manufacturing battalions of
robots who will build American
cars that do not seem to sell. This
is a much more pressing
problem, it seems, than the one of

Markel is an LSA senior

4

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By Robert Lence
NOW LISTEN TO ME,'
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ARUNt ARo-,Kp So rM c OJI/6
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FR6URE'AND SET Yco srRN(.{r IERE:
YOU M'AY WOT p~oF'
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ORDER - SEE

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04

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Daily muckracking on Schembechier

I

C

To the Daily:
On Jan. 19, the Michigan Daily
printed what amounts to a
muckraking editorial. Granted,
the Daily is within its rights to
criticize, any aspect of
wrongdoing in the University.
This editorial, however, titled
"Bo's gain represents a loss for
University," was a cheap and
carelessly expressed opinion.

tivity" is clearly without base.
The editorial also claims that
academic standards are being
sacrificed. Frankly, I don't see it.
Perhaps a football player's
education is in football. To con-
tend that the University should
suddenly step out of the crowd in
recruiting methods to achieve
some kind of specious ideal is a
but outlandish and superfluous.

And after complaining about
the unreleased salary infor-
mation, it seems a conscientious
newspaper might have waited to
learn the facts before rendering
judgment. Mr. -Schembechler's
salary will be disclosed, perhaps
when the arrangements are
finalized, or perhaps when all
faculty figures are released-as
is typically the case.

ting football in what the Daily
calls perspective.
Michigan (the state and the
University) is suffering through
somewhat austere times. The
editorial leads one to believe that
the Daily would have us all
declare, "We are economically
strapped; we can no longer af-
ford the best. Here, you (Texas)
take it."

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