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March 14, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-14

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OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, March 14, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Milliken sees more taxes in the stars

fS

1 HE CURRENT state of the Michigan
budget has something in common with the
strange alignment of planets known as the
Jupiter effect. Both had many people predic-
ting disaster last week.
When the Jupiter effect's astronomical won-
der occurred on Wednesday, many astrologers
thought it would bring imminent destruction
and cataclysm. Gov. William Milliken gave a
televised address Wednesday on another poten-
tial disaster-the state's $515 million budget
deficit.
Milliken's proposal to get rid of the deficit,
described as the worst financial crisis in the
state's history, calls for a 0.7 percent tax in-
crease-the first in 11 years-and a $450 million
spending cut. Under the state constitution, the
budget must be balanced every year.
The proposals spared the University any fur-
ther cuts beyond a deferment plan announced

Affirming a problem
TWELVE YEARS ago, the Regents agreed
mina crowded April meeting that the
University would increase black enrollment
from 3 percent to 10 percent within three years.
Their promise ended a massive strike
organized by the Black Action Movement that
brought classes and other University
operations to a virtual halt. Now-nine years
after that deadline passed-black enrollment
has climbed to only 5 percent, and actually has
dropped slightly in recent years.
Last week, University officials met with
representatives of the state legislature's Af-
firmative Action Committee and assured them
that the University remains just as committed
as it was in April 1970 to reaching its elusive
goal of 10 percent black enrollment. But they
warned that federal cutbacks in support to
higher education and financial aid for students
make the University's task more difficult and
will probably delay the realization of that goal.
That assessment came only three days after
a group of students and faculty members met to
discuss what they said were growing racial ten-
sions at the University. One faculty member
insisted that University budget cuts-not
federal cuts-were actually contributing to
growing racism on campus by making the
University more elitist.
But the administration's and the students'
diverging views on exactly what priority af-
firmative action has been assigned in the
University's new "smaller but better" plan un-
derscore that the conflict over black
enrollment did not end with the Regents'
promises 12 years ago.
The University is still trying to meet the 10
percent goal, said Assistant Director of Ad-
missions David Robinson. "In 1970, a commit-
ment was formalized to have 10 percent black
enrollment by 1973," he said at the committee
hearing Friday. "Of course, we have never
reached that goal, but it is still a goal."
But, for some students and faculty members,
the 12-year delay has been too long, and they
see no immediate signs for hope. Said Natural
Resources Prof. Bunyon Bryant at the hearing:
"There is a lot of pain. There is a lot of
frustration. There is a lot of anger."
Up, up, and away
COMMITTEES CHARGED with reviewing
the merits of three different University
programs got down to business last week.

A student raises his fist in the 1970 BAM strike (left); Regent
Paul Brown and his colleagues still have some tough choices
12 years later.

in January. The state's deferment plan would
withhold $38 million worth of payments to the
University for July, August, and September.
The state promises to pay those funds back in
the next fiscal year. The supposedly solid
promise may be less than concrete, University
administrators fear.
Milliken countered budget gloom and doom
on Friday with a rosy economic forecast. The
governor predicted a slow recovery for the
state, starting late this year. Unemployment is
expected to stay near a record 14 percent,
however, which considerably clouds the
forecast. Any promises of the recovery may
turn out to be as ethereal as the Jupiter ef-
fect-they depend on a 10 percent federal in-
come tax cut that may or may not materialize.
The state is pinning much of its recovery
hopes on a future in high technology-a future
with which the University is closely linked. Last
Monday, Milliken came to campus to attend a
High Technology Task Force meeting on North
campus.. The task force, which includes
Milliken, state industrial leaders, and our own
Harold Shapiro, currently is formulating 10-
year plans for a high-tech drive. The task force
plans to develop a technology institute
somewhere near Ann Arbor.

The panels commenced their delicate tasks
by attacking piles of administration-provided
guidelines and information for an April 30
deadline.
Two of the units-the Institute for Labor and
Industrial Relations (ILIR) and the Institute
for the Study of Mental Retardation and
Related Disabilities (ISMRRD) - have been
targeted immediately for possible elimination,
or at best, severe cuts. The third unit - the
Center for the Continuing Education of Women
- will undergo a performance evaluation
before being subjected to a budget review.
Each committee, as promised, includes one
student.
Now that the University administration's
"five-year plan" to cut the budget by $20
million is off the ground, officials have begun
looking for additional programs to review and
cut. One or more schools or colleges most likely
will be included in the next round of recom-
mendations. A budget review of a unit the size
of a school would be the largest in recent
memory.
Administrators say they hope to have four or
five more reviews going before the end of the
term.
Said budget-cutter and Associate Vice
President for Academic Affairs Robert
Holbrook: "If they're not all announced by the
end of the term,, it won't be for lack of trying.
The trouble is there are so many steps that
have to be taken very carefully."

A win-loss record
S TUDENT GOVERNMENTS, like their
athletic team counterparts, win some and
lose some.
LSA Student Government could count a rare
recent victory in its campaign to keep foreign
graduate students who have trouble speaking
English from teaching classes. LSA ad-
ministrators took the first steps last week
toward implementing a new college-wide
requirement that foreign TAs prove their com-
petency in English.
Under the new rules, all TAs who hold high
school diplomas from outside the United States
will have to appear in front of a board to prove
their proficiency in spoken English before they
are allowed to teach LSA courses.
To counter opposition from foreign TAs on
campus, the University has promised jobs out-
side the classroom (as graders, for instance) to
TAs who fail their proficiency exams.
For certain other endeavors, however, suc-
cess has been hard to come by' Problems of the
Student-Faculty Policy Board seem sym-
ptomatic of the problems of student gover-
nments in general-high hopes but few results.
Student members of the board complained
that the board-created in 1969 as a forum to
voice student concerns and re-created in 1979
after a dormant period-has become ineffec-

Students on the committee have accused the
administration of attempting to paciy
students with the board. A plan sent out by the
board, comprised of six students and six
faculty members, that suggested ways to im-
prove teaching and revise tenure was virtually
ignored by LSA deans.
Several student members have chalked up
the board as another student loss.
Treasure hunters
S OME SAY money makes the world go-
'round. Money certainly is accounting for a
lot of movement among University students-
these days-both coming and going.
More and more University engineering
students are leaving the state upon graduatign,
according to engineering college figures.
Students are now heading West and South in
greater numbers than before-not for warmer-,
temperatures, but for the considerably hotter
salaries available in the prospering Sunbelt,
region.
The number of engineering graduates from
Michigan who remained in the state dropped by'
25 percent last year, College of Engineering
Dean James Duderstadt recently reported. The
trend may dampen efforts to revitalize
Michigan's economy, Duderstadt warned,.
because it may hurt chances of attracting high
technology industry to the state.
While money is luring students away, money
also is responsible for recent University efforts
to lure certain students in. The University
plans to start admitting more out-of-state
students, according to members of the LSA
Admissions Advisory Council.
Although some officials claim the University
hopes only to attract a pool of high-quality
academic talent from out-of-state, the issue is
one of quantity, not quality. The quantity of out-
of-state tuition is three times the in-state rate.
Some advisory council members hope that
more out-of-towners arriving on campus will
balance losses from declining graduate student
enrollment and cutbacks in state support.
And some say money isn't everything.
The Week in Review was compiled by
Daily editors Julie Hinds, David Meyer,
former Daily editor Julie Engebrecht, and
Daily Opinion Page staff member Kent
Redding.

tive.

"-~ -F& .

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

English test for TAs too harsh

Vol. XCII, No. 128

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

M*lken' s

tax hike:

To the Daily:
I am voicing my concern on the
new policy of English testing for
foreign teaching assistants. I
fully realize the problem of the
language barrier between a
foreign TA and students in a
classroom setting. But, I have
serious doubts about the new
policy and its possible im-
plications.
The new policy requires any
person holding a high school
diploma from outside the United
States, and who wishes to hold a
teaching assistantship, be
examined for competence in
spoken English. Those who do not
pass by the second week of the
upcoming term must be assigned

to duties not involving classroom
presentation. They must also
immediately enter an English
training program. I support this
part of the policy wholeheartedly.
But , the new policy also
stipulates that graduate student
support will be cut off if the in-
dividual does not pass the test by
the end of the fall term. This is a
matter of life and death for most
foreign TAs. Because they cannot
work on a student visa, they have
virtually no alternative source of
income. This is unfair to the
present foreign TAs. As for the
implications for possible in-
coming foreign TAs, it is even
worse.

Each department goes through
a screening procedure of selec-
ting " the most intellectually
promising and qualified students
as their prospective TAs. Most
foreign candidates have some
English abilities. But this policy
will require them to have the full
confidence of going to another
country and passing an
exam within 14 weeks-an exam
for which they cannot study and
which serves as their sole means
of financial support. This is
unrealistic and harsh.
Of course, foreign students who
choose to study in the United
States want to learn the language
and know the people. A good
policy will enhance this idea, if

we care to foster it. If each depar-
tment is able to find non-
classroom presentation jobs for
them, why can't they continue to
do so and concurrently par-
ticipate in an English training
program? The policy we now
have is a bad program for a bad
situation.
I would be naive to assume that
the makers of this policy do not
realize its implications. Is this
the new "smaller and better"
trend? It may be the former, but
it is certainly not the latter.
-Frank Ma
Math 112 teaching
assistant
March 13

4

An inevitable solution

GOV. WILLIAM Milliken has
proposed what he once described
as unproposable. All those earlier
promises have been broken. A tax hike
has been proposed by our governor,
and it's about time.
Milliken announced during a
televised presentation last Wednesday
that he was proposing a state income
tax hike of 0.7 percent. The tax in-
crease, if approved by the Michigan
legislature, would take effect April 1-
not a minute too soon.
Amidst the budget-cutting furor that
has so recently taken hold of our state
politicians, it seemed doubtful that this
solution would be introduced. It has
been 11 years-and uncountable
budget reductions-since a Michigan
income tax increase has been
proposed. The inevitability of the
situation finally dawned on our
lawmakers.
Michigan cannot stand a higher level
of budget cutting. Essential services-
such as welfare payments, aid to
families with dependent children, and,
most important from our point of view,
appropriations to higher education-
have become so depleted that their
neglect borders on atrocious.

The effects of these spending cut-
backs, however, are not always as
immediately visible as they might
seem. Deteriorating support for any
public service, be it a learning in-
stitution or state grants to the poverty-
stricken, may, in time, lead to the
moral bankruptcy of the entire state.
With the recent state 'budget cut-
backs fresh in our memories,
Milliken's proposed tax increase
comes as welcome relief. Additional
revenue from this measure should
provide the state with the extra time it
needs to recover from its monstrous
recession. The cost of this time-the 0.7
percent tax hike-is minor compared
to the possible cost of more massive
spending cuts. While no one likes to
part with their hard-earned dollars
through taxes, this payment is cer-
tainly going to a good cause: a finan-
cially salvaged Michigan.
Milliken's tax plan should be suppor-
ted. Although state Republican leaders
will cry out against it, every politician
still in contact with his constituency
should soon realize that further cuts
are no longer feasible, and that this tax
hike may be the only way out of the
recessionary bind in which the state
now sits.

Sinclair

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