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October 01, 1982 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-01

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0

OPINION
Friday, October 1, 1982

The Michigan Daily

ate of 'U':

G aining profit,

losing purpose

lish Prof Bert Hornback has often
utspoken in his criticism., of the ad-
ration's plans for the University's
ction. The University, Hornback
s, is losing sight of its goals as an
tional institution.
nback spoke to Daily editor Julie
last week about the college's future,
bout his fear that profits, not people,
w the University's top priority.

Hornback: I don't have any objection to
a robotics institute, but when that means we'll
have to steal money from other units for it, that
I'm a little bit more worried about. The
Michigan Research Corporation seems not so
necessary to a university as, say, an arts school
or a natural resources school.
Vice President Frye told the LSA faculty last
month that he hoped we wouldn't lose track of
the really important things-which are the
educational institution and our" working
together in a community of intellectual life-
because we were worried about financial mat-
ters. I'm afraid that's just what we're doing.
Daily: Do you think in the future it's going to
be necessary to trade off the intellectual life in
order to turn a profit?
Hornback: It may be necessary for the
University to learn better how to fund itself, but
if we say that anything that makes money is
appropriate for us to do-because it enables us
to keep the University-well, maybe there
comes a time when we say if we don't have
money, we have to not do it.
Daily: Is the University administration
becoming more managerial, more business-
minded?
Hornback: Within the administration, the
language is the language of business. President
Shapiro and Vice President Frye are called the
Shapiro-Frye management team. The senior
administrators are called the managers. That
says something about our idea of a university.
But what we contribute to society is different
from what society expects from a business.
That doesn't mean that one is more valuable,
they're both necessary; but you don't want the
University simply to become another business.
Daily: What is the faculty's role in the
future? Are they going to help keep the Univer-
sity to its goals?
Hornback: It has to come from the faculty,
but the administration are faculty also. I'd like

to -see the Regents take a more active role in
the direction of the University.

ily: What is the University ignoring these
rnback: Frye and Shapiro keep telling us
ave to think in terms of the long-range, but
most important thing we have to think
it is the meaning of the term "university."
i't think we have any idea collectively what
term means. I suspect that the going
iition of a university is anything that
es money.
e going idea is that we need more money to
the faculty and the way we'll get it is to en-
age the faculty to become entrepreneurs,
iresearch that will result in ideas that can
ommercialized. The thinking is that this-
cost money at first, but that it will even-
.y pay off. The unsaid thing is that this sort
search will take us away from the kind of
king that makes a university and will take
way from spending time teaching.
ily: Do you think profitable research is
ng? I

Daily: How? Can they provide leadership?
Hornback: On the one hand, as a faculty
member I want to see the faculty govern the
University. On the other hand, if I can't per-
suade Mr. Shapiro and Mr. Frye that the
University is becoming something I don't want,
I want to be a citizen instead of a faculty mem-
ber and go tell the Regents about it.
Daily: The Regents have been coming under
a lot/'of criticism for not knowing the im-
plications of University investments that sup-
port nuclear weapons production and South
Africa. If those investments don't line up with
your vision of a university, who will you turn
to?
Hornback: I guess maybe you just have to
argue for the things you believe in to
everybody. I guess that's what a university
should be.
Daily: Is that one of the things that most irks
you about the priorities of the five-year plan,
that the goals are too pragmatic?
Hornback: I don't think they're pragmatic at
all. The most pragmatic thing around is
keeping the University.
Daily: Can we afford to keep the old idea of a
university?
Hornback: If we say we're a university, we
assume that the University is all in this
together. As soon as you say that, Mr. Frye
says you're talking shared poverty. Well,
dammit, there's nothing in the University
that's starving. We didn't even starve the
geography department; we just put a different
label on it.-#
If we're all in this together as a university, it
seems to me, for example, that the athletic
department makes a ton of money. We should
use that. Frye says we need money to keep the
buildings from falling apart. We've been

DOily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Hornback: "The most important thing we have to think about is the meaning of the term'
'university' . . . I suspect that the going definition of a university is anything that makes

money."
deferring refurbishing the buildings. That
surely is more important than new tartan turf
in the stadium-if we're in this together.
Daily: So you think the athletic department
shouldn't be splintered off from the Univer-
sity?
Hornback: One of the arguments is that if
you don't let Canham have his empire, all that
money to throw-around, then the empire will
dwindle and the general fund of the University
will have to start putting out money to support
the football team. Well, the answer's very sim-
ple. If it ever gets to that state and you have to
decide whether you want Romance languages
or a football team, you make that choice.

Daily: Isn't the football team a prime exam-
ple of something being valued because it makes
money?
Hornback: Yes; and although there are all
sorts of people at the University who admit
they find Canham's business practices
disgusting, still "he makes money."
It all has to do with what we think is the most
important thing at the University. I bet if you
asked around in the Fleming Administration
Building what we want, the answer's going to*
be money.
Dialogue is a weekly feature of the
Opinion Page.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

WE(JECT Iw 'LtxYRS' WAANP

Vol. XCIII, No. 20

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent amajority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Vacation fr
HOSE presidential news confer-
ences just keep getting more and
rmore interesting.
: Tuesday night, under, the less-than-
intense questioning of the Washington
press corps, the president again
doclared that he had saved the nation's
economy from the "brink of disaster,"
acid that he had finally set the nation on
tie road to prosperity.
i$ome prosperity. With unem-
pl>yment creeping up (there's a very
good chance it will be above 10 percent
in the figures tobe released next week)
atd business expansion nil, applying
th e word "prosperity" to the economy
seems like a sort of cruel joke. Even
sdme of the cheerier economic models
sh ow the country at the bottom of the
recession, with recovery still some
time off.
The president points to lower in-
terest rates and inflation rates as proof
that his economic program is working,
but his "proof" is very misleading.
Yes, interest rates are declining, but
the decline seems .due more to the
lethargy in business expansion than to
an~y brilliance on the part of the
president. As Wall St. economist Henry
Kaufmann pointed out, the reason the
rajtes are falling and can be expected to
continue to fall is that businesses just

om reality
don't want to borrow money; they
don't want to risk expansion during the
depths of a recession.
Further, the prospects for lower in-
terest rates in the long-term is not as
good as the president would have his
listeners believe. The president's
enormous arms buildup is costing an
enormous amount of government
borrowing, which will serve to keep in-
terest rates high for some time to
come.
The president's statements on in-
flation are also deceptive. Inflation is
indeed lower, but that decrease is due
in part to the president's recession,
large harvests, and cost decreases in
petroleum which were quite beyond
the president's control.
Rather than rescuing the nation
from the "brink of disaster," the
president has brought it closer. He has
exacerbated basic economic
inequalities in the nation and
frustrated what little progress was
being made before his election. Instead
of moderating his policies to spur
recovery, the president persists with
his economic program and his
vacation from reality. One can only
hope that November will help wake
him up.

FOkA WAE
IT UNERINES
1NC..NTIV ..
you OWNERs
SPLIT VGNUE1
EVENT-y. ISN'T
THAT THE

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0

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Daily guilty of 'childish mud-slinging'

,A
{ Ily
e
o
r
Y t V
i<2

To the Daily: '
This letter is in response to the
Week in Review segment entitled
"Engineering a move" (Daily,
Sept. 26).
I am an electrical engineer. I
'am not "skinny." I do not have a
calculator hanging on my belt or
a slide rule in my pocket. I never
bump into walls or people due to
"my glasses falling off the bridge
of my nose." I don't even wear
glasses.
Am I taking these gross

generalizations by the staff of the
Daily too seriously? I suspect
that it's difficult to know when
George Wallace has made a
racial slur or is just "joking
around" with his black friends.
The Daily's past record on
engineers - especially when it
came to the editorial staff-has
been questionable.
From reading the Daily one
would assume that engineers are
spoiled by the University and
state, well-paid, war mongers,

and, of course, social outcasts
(nerds, losers.. . ). Maybe your
readers would be interested in a
few fun facts about us engineers.
" We receive less money per
student than any other college at
the University.
"'We contribute the most to the
general fund because of our
research, and don't receive much
of this money back.
* The move out to North Cam-
pus has been held up for 20 years
now by the state of Michigan
because they never gave us the

appropriated money.
I've read your one-sided ar-
ticles and opinions that play on
people's emotions, rather than
their intellect, long enough. It's
time that The Michigan Daily
started responsible journalism
instead of childish mud-slinging.
If somebody has an opinion con-
cerning anything, I want to see
his or her name underneath and I
expect to see the other side as
well.
-Kevin O'Connor
Sept. 28

Letter offensive

Another important error...

To the Daily:
I am deeply distressed by J.
Kruse's letter (Daily, Sept. 25)
criticing the scholarship fund

of him as a teacher and scholar,
of his attempts to build com-
munity, and his concern for
social justice. They are not
diminished by the tragedy of his

To the Daily:

did not say, as your reporter:
quoted: "Grammar ands

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