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November 04, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-04

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OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, November 4, 1982 The Michigan Daily
Finally, a hope for student participation

By Will Hathaway
What is this place, the University of
Michigan? Is it a center for the pursuit of
knowledge? Is it a brain factory with a
"dominant goal of job accreditation"? Is it a
corporate/military research institute? Or is it
really a "catalytic agency of social change for.
society"?}
The University is often called a "microcosm
of society." Clark Kerr terms it a "multiver-
sity"-a grouping of nations of students,
faculty, alumni, regents, administrators, and
staff. Kerr holds that a university is "a
pluralistic society with multiple subcultures"
where "coexistence is more likely than unity."
Even if we have a more optimistic view of
academia, it must be agreed: The present level
of coexistence among groups in our, college
leaves much to be desired.
ISOLATION, fear, and distrust have grown
up among the faculty, administration, and
students. The current budget crunch is turning
the different parts of the University against one
another is a divisive struggle for survival. This
has created a potential for disastrous conflict
and erosion of the quality of education. For
those of us in the College of Literature, Science,

and the Arts, a major problem lies in the
government of the college. How will our college
be represented? Who will make the decisions?
The educational, budgetary, and personnel
policies of the college directly affect the
present lives and aspirations of students. It
seems obvious that students deserve an equally
direct participatory role in the making of these
decisions. Yet students are excluded from any
real decisions in the college.
The decision-making power of the college
rests with two major bodies: the LSA
Executive Committee and the Governing
Faculty.
THE EXECUTIVE Committee consists of
the Dean (Peter Steiner) and six faculty with
rotating three-year terms. A slate of can-
didates for the posts is submitted by the
faculty. University President Harold Shapiro
chooses from this slate and his choices are ap-
proved by the Regents. The purpose of the
Executive Committee is to expedite college
decision-making while protecting the faculty's
interests. As its name implies, the committee
has executive power which is in reality almost
absolute. Its weekly meetings are closed.
The Governing Faculty acts as a constituent
assembly for the college's faculty. At its mon-
thly meetings, the Governing Faculty hears the

reports of the Executive Committee and gives
its approval, the "rubber stamp." Oc-
casionally, questions are raised by disgruntled
professors, but usually the Governing
Faculty's monthly meetings are carried out in
an attitude of bored acquiescence.
The Governing Faculty's problem lies not in
a lack of power, but, rather, in an acute lack of
interest. Approximately 900 faculty are eligible
to vote in Governing Faculty, yet average at-
tendance is fewer than 60. This faculty apathy
substantially weakens the Governing Faculty's
voice in the college's government.
IN ACADEMIC year 1980-81, "discontinuan-
ce proceedings" were begun against the
Department of Geography. In its highest tur-
nout ever (about 300) the Governing Faculty
voted against this abrupt elimination of the
department (a department rated second in the
nation).
The vote was ignored; student and faculty
petitions were ignored. The Executive Com-
mittee overlooked the students and the faculty
in favor of the administration. Now the College
of LSA no longer has a Department of
Geography.
Geography Chairman John Nystuen pointed
out the unfairness and lack of democracy in the
decision. He asked if there shouldn't be an im-

peachment of an Executive Committee so
unrepresentative of its constituents. He spoke
alone.
NOW THE administration is crying
"reallocation," and there are 22 departments
under review. The University and College of
LSA are being altered, transformed into
something very different. If students and
faculty don't act quickly, both will be shut out
of the process. We (or those of us who remain)
will then have to accept whatever the ad-
ministration decides upon.
As was shown by its decision to discontinue
the Department of Geography, the Executive
Committee does not accurately represent the
faculty. Its meetings are closed and its power
in college decision-making is immense. The
Executive Committee has consistently shown
little regard for student points of view. Now it is
clear that it cares nothing about faculty
opinion.
The American Association of University
Professors has recognized that in order to have
sound academic government at any institution
of higher education, there must be a joint effort
toward accommodation expended by all groups
within the institution. Students and faculty
must set aside distrust and apathy and work
together to ensure academic freedom both to

teach and to learn.
AT THE November 1 meeting of the Gover-
ning Faculty, a motion was made to amend the'
Faculty Code and create a student position on
the College Executive Committee. This
proposal will be on the agenda of the December,
6 meeting. The time between now and the=
faculty's vote on December 6 provides an op=
portunity for serious discussion of student and
faculty roles in college government. We must.
evaluate the present structure of government.
and see how new avenues of accountability and
a revitalized Executive Committee might,.
enhance the college.
Benjamin Franklin told his fellow patriots
"If we don't hang together, we will all hang
separately." That phrase aptly describes our
current dilemma. It will require the active in,,
terest and support of both students and faculty
to deal with this situation. The quality and!
meaning of education at the University hang in
the balance.
Hathaway is vice president of LSA
Student Government.

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

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Vol. XCIII, No. 49

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

A turnout for the better

PRESIDENT Reagan declared
yesterday that Republicans
"have every reason to feel good" about
the outcome of Tuesday's elections..
: So does the rest of the country-but
for reasons that should put a damper
on the president's high spirits.
The elections, touted as a referen-
dum on Reaganomics, did not produce
a resounding repudiation of
Republicans, but they revealed
precious few pats on the back, either.
Republicans lost two dozen seats in
Congress and several gubernatorial
seats. They hung onto control of the
U.S. Senate-hardly a strong affir-
nation of support.
In addition, initial results show an
even more encouraging trend. Voter
turnout in Tuesday's elections was ac-
tually higher than the last "off elec-
tion" in 1978. That increase reversed
an historical trend of continually
declining interest in elections, and if
the trend continues, may signal an end
to the nation's pervasive voter apathy.

It's too early, of course, to know
exactly why voter turnout surged on
Tuesday. But if the results of the elec-
tion are any indication, Americans are
losing patience with a deteriorating
economy, with spiralling unem-
ployment, and with outrageous
military expenditures.
In short, the results should be enough
to put the president's economic
policies firmly in check. From now on,
Reagan will have to compromise his
positions and moderate his policies.
Reaganomics has been put on hold by
the nation's voters. Never again will it
regain the jubilant momentum it had
as a result of 1980 Republican gains-
momentum that Republicans harshly
wielded in the form of budget cuts.
Dissatisfaction with Reaganomics
has hit home for the Republican party.
Despite the president's chipper mood,
things are looking pretty glum for him.
For the rest of us, however, things
are definitely looking up.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Compliments, little cash for 'U' staff

-- r
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To the baily:
I would like to let the Univer-
sity community know just how
the non-instructional staff feels
about the salary program.
We all can look back over the
past decade and know that hard
times have fallen upon us. We
have had to tighten our belts in
order to make ends meet. When I
say "we," I am speaking of the
non-instructional staff.
A few years ago when the
thought cropped up that a union
for non-instructionals might be
voted in, the University in its
wisdom came through with a
small cost-of-living increase two
years in a row and still
authorized the merit increase
(which, I might add, even with
both increases did not keep up
with inflation). However, it was
enough to convince most of the
staff to vote down the union. This,
of course, is what the University
was hoping for. I have to give
them credit for that.
Since then it has gotten wors,
instead of better for all but a
select few. While the faculty
received a few thousand in in-
creases, the staff got a few hun-
dred and that was for the merit
increase only. Who can put a
limit on a merit increase? A
merit increase should be given
for dedication and the perfor-
mance of duties. It should in no
wav h ecnnfused with a cost-of-

University for that length of time
would entitle you to a living wage
at least. Each of them is thinking
seriously about retiring from the
University and getting a part-
time job. They would be earning
more than they are presently
earning. These men will be hard
to replace because of their
specialized skills. Doesn't the
University care?
Last year, as you may recall,
the University said we were
going to receive an "x" increase.
Some of us were lucky enough to
receive an "x plus one" increase
or two percent more because we
were told we were doing an ex-
cellent job and deserved it. That
made us feel good until the next
day, when the instructional staff
increases were made public.
Their avserage increases were
three times our "x" increase and
some of them received six times
our "x". We were told it was
make-up pay, Tell me, who in
God's name other than the non-
instructional staff needs make-up
pay? The union gets theirs, the
instructional staff gets theirs,
and we get the brunt of it all.
Aren't we a part of the Univer-
sity, too?
Now, we don't mind doing
without when there is nothing
there, but there has been
something there for the select
few. Let's all be treated fairly
and nnt singleo ut nne 0rnhn as

University. Furthermore, non-
instructional staff have shown a
dedication and effort toward this
University that is every bit as in-
tense as that shown by their
faculty colleagues. They are a
Engineers art
To the Daily:
As an English major, naturally
I am delighted to witness the era
of mass-produced engineer-
automaton types. However, all'
gratefulness to the makers of this
oncoming, moribund
technological society aside, I do
think -that the College of
Engineering is going a bit far in
their possible excision of the
engineering humanities
program.
Certainly it is no matter to be
already overrun by miniature-
robot-engineers, but it does seem
something of a mistake to strip
them of the little dignity, er,
humanity, they possess.
Engineers, whether or not
anyone knows it, are human too.

critical part of the University
community."
We get the pat on the back -td
they get the cash!

AEL

-Les Shiye*
October25

i

e human, toO
Let's not completely dehumantte
humanity, or, for that matte',
engineers. After all, when the last
computer is destroyed in nucle r
war and all that's left is two Or
three people and a copy of Great
Expectations (which some
thoughtful fellow had tfe
foresight to salvage), it will beof
some advantage to appreciae
literature.
Perhaps then engineers will
have more time to read, to,
having destroyed the world. Ah
well, it will be too late to save
the engineering humanities
department then, but there's still
time now. Let's act before it is tho
late.
-Ellen Lindquigt
October 28

Ed. school coverage praised

To the Daily:
I thank you for your carefully
informative story ('400 Pack Ed.

ted my deep conviction that its
contributions to the education of
our state, to the nation, and to the
wmnrldI have h envera ll

, + !}, ,,; K. -

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