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April 16, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-16

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OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, April 16, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Ee m t sa nver iy ia
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Another liberal university

Vol. XCII1, No. 156

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Skewed symbolism

AFTER SEVEN years of protests,
the Regents finally took the
initiative to divest from most of the
University's holdings in South Africa.
The protesters should be sated, if not
jubilant, right? Hardly. While 90 per-
cent divestment is an accomplish-
ment, in effect the University's stand
amounts to little more than ap-
peasement, rather than full-fledged
support, of the principles behind
divestment.
The move to divest, though not
devoid of practical implications, was
largely supposed to be symbolic.
Proponents admitted from the start
that a $50 million loss in investments
could not topple the rigid system of
apartheid. But they did argue that the
action would be a strong stand as part
of a growing movement that will not go
unnoticed by either American cor-
porations, the South African gover-
nment, or blacks forced to submit to
apartheid policies.
Instead, the Regents essentially say
that it's abhorrent for Ohio firms to in-
vest in racism, but Michigan firms are
absolved because they provide jobs for
the state's floundering economy. In

other words, forget about humanism
and moral integrity when important
economic interests are involved.
Unfortunately, the funding for this
university is inextricably linked to the
state's economy. There are, however,
a multitude of other Michigan-based
firms that have no stake in South
Africa's system.
Regent Nellie Varner (D-Detroit)
could not have been closer to the truth
when she said she was "unable to
make a distinction" between those
firms which are Michigan based and
those which are not. Clearly there is no
distinction to be made; and investment
in South Africa is an investment in the
unmitigated racism that is so an-
tithetical to principles of both the
University and the nation, regardless
of the corporation's address.
The groups which have lobbied for
complete divestment have said they
are not satisfied with the supposed
statement made Thursday. 'One can
only hope that they continue their ef-
forts for a decision that is less
hypocritical and more in keeping with
the ideals of this institution. The ten
percent does make a difference.

turns to high
SC lecturer in community studies. "You get
yDaniel Lindley the money at the cost of changing the em-
By DanieLineyphasis."
SANTA CRUZ - It was perhaps the best "Emphasis" is at the center of debate on
financed, boldest experiment in the history of campus. A primary concern when the school
American higher education, embodying the was conceived was a high-quality liberal arts
dreams of an entire generation of reformers. education, with an interdisciplinary focus.
Clusters of small colleges, the better to That approach already has been in decline for
foster intimacy and promote independent several years, and there is concern that a
studies, were modeled after systems at Ox- high-tech facility may cut further into liberal
ford and Yale. Narrative evaluations of arts programs.
students' work took the place of letter grades From its beginning in the the turbulent
to discourage competition and promote 1960s, UCSC has attracted activist students.
education as pure search for truth. Clark Demonstrations and sit-ins are still common-
Kerr, then president of the University of place. Students once cursed a visiting Gov.
California, said the goal at the new Santa Ronald Reagan and rocked a busload of
Cruz campus was "to make the university frightened regents. Although the faculty
seem smaller even as it grows larger." adopted an optional grading system in 1981 by
TODAY, 17 years after its birth, the UCSC three votes, in the first year only 6 percent of
campus set up to avoid the pitfalls of "factory the students chose grades.
education" is ironically contemplating real STUDENTS have been equally skeptical of
factories - a research and development park the research and development center. Many
for manufacturers of computers, silicon chips share the fear of humanities and social scien-
and other high-technology items - as its ces faculty that it will further tilt the em-
economic salvation. phasis to science. But the greatest fear seems
But critics say this is only one to be that the facility will become a center for
manifestation of the dilution of the Santa Cruz weapons research. A student organization,
ideal. Intimidated by enrollment declines and Community for University and Industrial Ac-
spurred by bureaucracy, administrators and countability, formed to study the plan has
some faculty also have helped adopt a named weapons research as one of its prin-
grading option and erode the college system. cipal concerns.
The school once lyrically described as The high-tech corporations surveyed by the
"Walden Two of the Redwoods" may be tran- university have themselves shown little in-
sforming itself into Anycampus, U.S.A. terest in locating on the campus. for the sake
Silicon Valley computer companies, of academic connection. According to a
mushrooming 30 miles away, have been feasibility study, the main attraction is
spilling over the mountains into Santa Cruz relatively inexpensive land and a pool of
County for several years. It is only logical, cheap labor. The study found that pure
school officials argue, to take advantage-of research and development would not pay;
that. In addition to the growing ranks of com- factories must be built to assure profits.
puter science students, the campus has plenty These factors make it debatable whether
of vacant land. The plan is to slice off 50 acres corporations will be working in tandem with
to accommodate the high-techs. Construction cmputer students, as the administration
could begin by 1985. At a forum last fall, hopes. There also is concern that the in-
however, community reaction was so adverse dustrial park will siphon off professors, who
that a second meeting was cancelled. may devote more time to research and less to
"AT THIS point I'm generally critical," teaching.
said Mike Rotkin, a city councilman and UC- IN ITS PLANNING infancy, the park has

-tech
Cvermprumpteu mixed feelings among poten-
tial supporters. Dean McHenry, UCSC's first
chancellor, one of three men most responsible
for its overall design and professor of politics
emeritus, recently called the facility "a good
idea." However, the prime location for the
center is on a site dearest to McHenry's heart
- the unique UCSCsfarm andearboretum,
close to the cmapus entrance. McHenry
likened the siting to "putting a gas station in
your front yard."
Page Smith, another of the school's foun-
ding trimvirate, emeritus professor of
history, first collegekprovost and a widely
published author, broke with the school some
years ago. He now lives in the Santa Cruz
Mountains, dividing his time between writing
history and raising chickens. "I'm sure there
are problems with research and develop-
ment. But it's a side issue," he said recently.
"What young people want more than anything
else is what I would call 'the living word.' If
they're not getting that, it's only common
sense to get something leading to a better
job."
Smith said the campusi"neverswent very
far" toward realizing its goals of close
relationships between faculty and students
and emphasis on independent and multi-
faceted study anyway. A growing ;
bureaucracy and burnout among faculty
members, many of whom becametpractically
obsessed with grantsmaaiship, tenure and
publishing, made the experiment more
fleeting and quixotic.
Despite problems, there still is a sur-
prisingly positive student feeling about the
campus, however. In a 1981 survey, 94 percent
of undergraduates said they were satisfied
and would go there again. Enrollment, which.
dipped in 1977 and 1978, has risen back to
6,7 004 from a low of 5,700.
What remains unclear at this point is the
ultimate nature of the institution from which
they will graduate.
Lindley wrote this article for Pacific
News Service.

Interior 'truths'

NOW THAT Secretary of the Interior.
James Watt has been rebuked for'
knocking the Beach Boys, he has em-
barked on an aggressive, but
misguided anti-media campaign
designed "to get out the truth."
Watt is upset particularly with the
Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street
Journal, and with the Washington
media, in general.
"We call it flock journalism," Watt
told reporters last week. "We have a
phenomenal record, but I can't
penetrate page one with the truth," he
continued.
The Associated Press has twice
asked Watt to document the "inac-
curacies" reported by the media. He
declined on both occasions, however,
saying that he wouldn't "waste his
time."
More upsetting than Watt's baseless
accusations, however, is his claim and
apparent belief that the nation's
parklands and refuges are in better
shape now than when he took office.
Smokey the Bear, Bambi, and
countless other "good" Americans
would probably disagree with Watt on
'that point, however. Congress has
voted three times to ban wildnerness

leasing for gas and, oil drilling,
something that Watt tried to execute
on several occasions.
Watt has also pushed hard for new
regulations giving states authority to
decide whether to grant strip mining
rights to companies that own coal
deposits in national parks, forests, and
wildlife refuges.
Moreover, on the issue of land sales,
the Reagan budget projects raising$17
billion over the next five years through
such sales and Watt has said that up to
37.5 million acres could eventually go
on the market. Some protector of the
interior.
Although Watt would have us all
believe that he is dedicated to the
preservation and upkeep of our coun-
try's wild and unspoiled land, his
record as Secretary of the Interior
gives little credence to that claim.
Watt's attack on the media, like his
attack on rock music, smacks of
rhetoric spewed during the McCarthy
era. If he thinks the media have
treated him unfairly, then he should
come forth with evidence to back it up.
His refusal to do so indicates he has no
such evidence.

Wasserman

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Tenure no good

I

for, 'U'

To the Daily:
If we want to really begin to
restructure the University, then
tenure for professors should be
phased out. One way to look at
tenure, is simply as the entren-
chment of a group of professors
at the expense of students,
teaching assistants, and un-
tenured professors. The job
market for teachers is tight and
tenure creates a perpetual glut.
Too many tenured professors

want to live too well off of
knowledge and ideas. But even
worse than this, the institution of
tenure itself might very well be
holding up changes which would
lead to new and more creative
ways of living -for professors and
students.
Phasing out tenure goes well with
the idea that professors should
not spend their entire lives
teaching, but live in a more
creative way. Instead of the

I

IT WOUL1NT BE WHOLESOME TO HAVE THE WRONG
ELEMENT PRINKI NG OVER THERE"
Lee Manionw
S TE OFO
t' ov duly.i PAr
CELEBRATORy
Ai

Learning from an athlete

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
Jesse Barkin's article loosely
based on the retirement of Gym-
nastics coach Newt Loken and
carried in the April 15 "Spor-
tsview." Where did Barkin get
his information? Irresponsibility
runs rampant throughout the
piece, which will certainly go
down in the annals of literary
history as one of the most
misbegotten tributes ever. It is
disrespectful to someone of coach
Loken's integrity to build him up
by running down the rest of the
athletic department, with whom
he worked. Barkin has obviously
never been close enough to Bo or
Don Canham to get actual quotes,
he makes up his own.
Barkin states that Canham's
philosophy is "Maize and Blue
don't mean shit if it ain't mixed
with a healthv dose ofgreen'"

A lot of resentment toward
athletes is being created in the
media these days. The real
problems are large enough
without pseudo-satirists like
Barkin, i.e. "I used to think I was
a writer," creating myths out of
rumors. A responsible media is
something our society counts on
as a basis for knowing issues and
forming opinions. Responsible
reporting is based on gathering
facts, not purely speculating. An
unresearched article like Mr.
Barkin's can do a tremendous
amount of harm to the truth.
Perhaps Jesse Barkin will try
to get in touch with me so we can
discuss the University athletic
department and staff as it really
is. Or maybe he would rather
continue writing fiction which his
editors allow to slip through their
fingers unrevised. I auestion

routine way professors now live,
a rotation plan could be worked
out, say, where professors teach
a total of 20 years, over a 45 year
span. Of course they would have
to live frugally, and maybe even
find an alternative profession to
their current jobs. The
possibilities are enormous.
From the students' point of
view, dropping tenure would be
welcomed because students
might have more say about who
teaches, instead of having to be
taught by whoever has tenure in
the field. Professors who didn't
get tenure before, and who were
cast adrift, might under no
tenure still be teaching. Barbara
Bono would still be here if there
were no tenure.
There could also be enormous
savings moneywise. Professors
with tenure could not command
exorbitant salaries, while
younger professors live on much
less. Ending tenure might spread
the money out a little more
evenly, and even students might
save because tuition could be
lowered (or even maintained at
the present level).
It has been suggested to me
that phasing out tenure might
create anxiety because tenure is
the only port in the storm.
Tenure provides job security, and
this say many, is its justification.
Yet the real situation seems con-
trary to this view. Instead, since
teaching jobs are so few, getting
n pznvir ,nh aa nrnfenr

an immediate and pressing
problem. Phasing out tenure, on
the other hand, has long term im-
plications, but would be felt im-
mediately. Phasing out tenure
could be an important part of
redirection, and different ways of
implementing it could be worked
out. Within one generation, we
could change the way univer-
sities teach and don't teach.
College life after this change
would be very different than it is
now, and much more in-
vigorating.
There"is only one serious
criticism of my proposal that I
wish to address. The charge is
that without tenure, many
"politically unliked" professors
would be in danger of being can-
ned by the conservative ad-
ministrators controlling the Un-
iversity. Of course it is true that
the conservatives will always
fight to keep themselves in con-
trol, and hence be against large
scale change. But this will not
happen, I believe, because as
mentioned, students will be in a
position to have more say on who
gets fired and who does not.
Students might begin to search
out those professors who have the
wisdom they desire to be touched
by. This does not mean that
students' likes and dislikes will
determine who teaches and who
doesn't in a haphazard manner.
But most students know what
they want; they know when
teachers ve something to offer.

T R
*

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