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January 25, 1984 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-25

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

4

OPINION

Page 4 Wednesday, January 25, 1984 The Michigan Daily

I

'U' leaps at the chance to

babysit

By David Spak
If I had any dottbt that the over-
whelming majority of students couldn't
give a damn about what happens at this
University, those doubts were all
thoroughly obliterated in the past two
weeks. In that time, students have been
getting into the swing of a new term,
worrying about the chemistry problems
due Monday, and trying to stay warm in
underheated apartments. But the
University has moved to make major
changes in students' lives.
The students have hardly uttered a
whimper in protest.'
What happened that is so terrible that
this lack of reaction should upset me?
Why is this different from the apathetic
(but somehow understandable) respon-
se to a handgun control rally?
THE UNIVERSITY took two leaps
toward returning to its role as parent
and two leaps away from its role as
educator.
The first leap was the establishment
of stricter dormitory alcohol policies.
The University Housing Office's new,
improved policy, which one ad-
ministration said was designed to
protect the rights of non-drinkers, goes
much further to restrict drinking in
residence halls. It prohibits collecting
money at the door of any party to pay
for alcohol, prohibits students from
using dorm or hall council funds to buy
alcohol, forbids advertising the
availability of alcohol at any party, and
- this is the one I love - requires that
every party be registered with the
proper housing officials.
Can mandating that students keep a
guest list be far behind?
Dorm residents, though, did nothing.
Oh, a couple of West Quad gentlemen
wrote the Daily a letter and maybe a
few others muttered their disapproval,
but that's all.
LEAP NUMBER two is potentially

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any person, significantly interfering
with any normal University activity
(say, participating in a class strike),
and interfering with the freedom of ex-
pression of another (heckling again)
would be grounds for anything from a
spanking to expulsion.
WHO WOULD decide when you have
been naughty or nice? Not Santa, but a
hearing officer or hearing board. Most
of the time, this hearing officer would'
hand down a ruling, except when the
punishment could include suspension or
expulsion. Then the board, consisting of
a student, a professor, and an ad-
ministrator, would rule. (By the way, ins
this court it's the University's two votes
to the student's one.)
University administrators say this
code is long overdue. According to Tom
Easthope, an associate vice president
for student services, the code was
designed as a middle ground between
doing nothing if a student did something
wrong or taking that student to",court
(the one the government provides us).
"In the last several years there were
some types of things you don't want to
bring to criminal court, that you want
to handle internally," he said. "I'm not
sure everything should be brought.
through criminal courts."
That's so nice-I wish I believed him.
What Easthope really is saying is that
the University doesn't want to get a lot
of bad publicity for prosecuting a bunch
of Progressive Student Network mem-
bers for trespassing if they -decide to
take over another research lab. In-
stead, the University would quietly
suspend or expel the miserable gate-
crashers.
YET NOT one student has taken the
five or ten minutes necessary to write a
letter to the Daily to let everyone know
he or she is upset that the University
wants to play Mommy and Daddy Dic-
tator. Not one student has written that
he or she is upset because the Univer-

sity wants to become a surrogate legal
system. Not one student has said he or
she is upset that, by cracking down on
drinking in the dorms and trying to
enact this code, the University is
restricting our opportunities to make
our own decisions, and, thus, is restric-
ting our education.
That brings me to the University's
two leaps away from its teaching fun-
ction. Instead of saying to students,
"O.K., you are all young adults, so it's
time for you to function on your own in
society and make :your owl
decisions-good or bad," the University
instead is telling students they aren't
old enough to learn on their own.
The University could, have offered
alcohol and drug education programs in
the dorms and said that it's up to the
students to make the right choice for
themselves. Instead, administrators,
seeing that students have made and will
continue to make the "wrong" choice,
chose to tell them what the "correct"
choice is.
In developing the code of conduct, the
University also wants to tell students
that society's rules don't apply. "We're
going to give you the rules of how .it
should be," administrators want to say,.
That isn't what the University is here
for. It's supposed to be here as an
educational institution-a place whero
a full spectrum of ideas are scrutinized
and individuals have the opportunity to
freely choose among those ideas. Those
ideas include civil disobedience, and
free speech. They also include facing
the consequences of your .actions, as
any other member of society would.
I came to this University for an
education, not because my parents
needed a babysitter.
Are any students listening?
Spak is Opinion page co-editor.

more important and more dangerous. It
is - or more correctly, might become
- the imposition of a non-academic
code of student conduct. The Univer-
sity, to protect you from yourself, wan-
ts to force you to behave. And they are
going to give you the rules to obey as
well.

Outlawing some of the no-nos might'
seem rational enough. Falsely repor-
ting a fire or explosion, possessing a
firearm or dangerous weapon, stealing
or damaging property, selling illegal
drugs, and knowingly possessing stolen
property are illegal as it is. Your local,
sheriff can throw you in the clink or fine

you for doing those nasty things - if a
jury of your fellow citizens convicts
you.
But there's more. If the new code
becomes University canon, some less-
than illegal exercises conceivably could
be used as reason to kick a student out
of school. Harassing (read "heckling")

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

yolXCIV-No. 95

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Blanchard's grace

STUDENTSAND University ad-
ministrators hardly have reason to
dance in the streets, but Gov. Blan-
chard's proposed increase in state aid
to higher education is certainly cause
for some celebration.
Blanchard's plan to tie a 10 percent
increase in state aid to a un-
dergraduate, in-state tuition freeze
would give.the University a $16 million
increase in funding. And in his "State
of the State" address last week, Blan-
chard showed some understanding of a
crucial problem facing University
students when he noted higher
education "is becoming costly for
students of even average means."
However, it is likely the tuition
freeze plan would only benefit in-state
students. Tuition bills for graduate and
out-of-state students could still be
hiked considerably, University ad-
ministrators say.
Nonetheless, if the University
decides to disregard the governor's
recommendation, they could still get
a $9.8 million funding boost.
Considering that last year this time
Blanchard called for a $5 million cutin
state aid to the University, this seems
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like a welcome change. Yet some ad-
ministrators say the appropriations
increase isn't enough to undue damage
done by low state appropriations in the
past.
Blanchard's budget offer falls
millions of dollars short of the Univer-
sity's request last September for $36 to
$40 million more in state funds. But the
upward move in funding to higher
education, and Blanchard's stated
concern about the problem of student
accessibility created by high tuition
gives reason to praise his latest
proposal.
Blanchard's call for a Michigan
Merit Scholarship Fund which would
give cash grants between $600 and
$1,000 a year, renewable for four years,
to 500 high school seniors who score
high on the American College Test
(ACT's), is another laudable move.
Blanchard is moving in the right
direction and students have reason to
hope that their concerns will be ad-
dressed. Let's hope the state
legislature -sees the wisdom of the
. governor's move and then the Univer-
sity community may have some reason
to be festive.

third in a series
The research scientist at a
university is in an enviable
position compared to his or her
counterpart in an independent
research institute or laboratory.
The academic scientist's work is
subsidized by the educational
resources of the university.
Students are available to be used
as assistants and apprentices,
and the cost of their training can
be paid in degree credits rather
than money. In addition, the
academic scientist is granted
tenure, so that when research
contracts dry up, or the scientist
is no'longer onsthe forefront of
new discoveries, he or she can
continue to earn the same salary
for the remainder of their em-
ployment lives with relatively
light teaching duties-a kind of
semi-retirement with full honors
and pay.
Nevertheless, despite these ad-
vantages, scientific research
may in fact be better off outside
the university than within. One
dark cloud on the horizon of
university research' is the zero-
sum competitive nature of spon-
sored research in the university.
In the 1960s when expanding
educational budgets and expan-
ding research budgets coincided,
university research and the
demand for university resear-
chers expanded at an enormous
rate, with budgets increasing by
something like 25 percent each
year.
BUT IN THE 1970s and in-
creasingly in the 1980s with the
lack of growth in both research
funding and educational budgets,
the competitionramong research
universities for contracts and
grants has taken on some of the
irrationality of the arms race. In
the past the great research
universities could quietly take 10
to 15 percent of their educational
budgets and shift this over to
research support and field a first-
rate research program that
would attract federal contracts
and grants. But today that is not
enough. The universities who can
raise new money through alum-
ni donations and squeeze an extra
twenty million dollars a year out
of their general funds will be the
ones who modernize their labs,
buy the newer and more expen-
sive research equipment and pay
the higher salaries demanded by
the big name research scientists
who win the big federal research
contracts and grants. The others

The separation,
of research.
and education
By Robert Hon igman

university. Like the arms race, it
will impoverish every other fun-
ction of the institution and lead to
a moral and social bankruptcy
with unwanted and unexpected
consequences. One consequence
will be the polarization of science
into the haves and have-nots, the
technocrats , and the anti-
technocrats, with the latter
resenting having their own
educations and those of their
children impoverished to pay for
the scientific careers of an elite
few. Those who have will find
themselves increasingly tied to
federal policies and a political
elite that will increasingly call
the shots as to what will be
researched. For most of the
students,passing through a great
research university will be a trial
by attrition, a process of
eliminating everyone but a few
elect apprentices.
What we are talking about here
is quite simply the bankruptcy of
the educational system of the
United Statessand the
polarization of people into com-
peting interest groups without
common interests or language.
The great library of Alexandria
was destroyed once by people
who hated science, which they
identified only with a ruling elite,
but the greater tragedy wasn't
the destruction of the library but
the loss of faith by the average
person in science and the scien-
tific endeavor.
A SECOND AND equally dark
cloud on the university research
horizon is the clogging of tenure
routes. Science, more than most
professions, suffers from rapid
obsolescence and needs fresh
young personnel to remain
creative and new. But the tenure
BLOOM COUNTY

tracks of virtually all major
research universities are
clogged, and there is a kind of
professional arterial sclerosis
hanging over academic science.
This means that university
administrators are now putting
enormous pressure on alumni,
students, and state and federal
legislators to create new faculty
positions which are not neededfor
teaching purposes, but merely to
allow new young scientists to be
hired. There is also intense
pressure to modify or abolish
tenure, or at least use selective
retrenchment to provide funds to
create new positions. Even with
new positions, artificially sub-
sidized, it is by no means certain
that enough new positions will
open up throughout academe to~
permit a new generation of scien-
tists to develop.
The real answer to this
problem is of course to separate
scientific research from the
university.. Much of scientific
research already cuts across
disciplinary lines and requires
team leadership and centralized
administration that doesn't
really fit into the scheme of
university organization. If we let
the major scientists compete in
an arena where (as in major

league sports) only the best sur-
vive, and only as long as they
produce, society and science can
only benefit. Obviously, no in-
dividual university scientist wan-
ts to have such a short and
perilous professional life-but if
we look at the situation solely
from the viewpoint of what is best
for science and society, this is a'
better solution than merely
doubling the size of faculty in a
time of declining enrollments to
create jobs f6r newcomers while
keeping the old-timers on the
rolls at inflated salaries and light
teaching duties.
Scientists are probably good
educators and teachers in much
the same way that they happen to
be talented musicians, or tennis
players, or just merely left-
handed-that is, by coincidence..
The mixture of sponsored
scientific research with the fun
ction of teaching is a confusion of
two separate and frequently con-
flicting goals. The goal of scien
tific research is to explore the
unknown, to be on the frontiers of
knowledge exploring little known
by-ways and paths of interest
only to the specialist. The goal of
education is to civilize
knowledge, extracting from the
mass of knowledge and confusion
that which is reasonably known4
and reasonably important and
bringing the refined products to
the new generation. Ideas which
are the heart and meat of
education are boring and old-hat
to the researcher.
It wouldn't hurt and it might do
a lot of good to separate spon-
sored research from the univer
sity, letting the two trade with
each other as equals, exchanging
things of equal value on the bot,
der land between the old and the
new.
Honigman is a Universifs
graduate and . an attorney ii"
Sterling Heights.

kISAES S£AYq :S £TI
NOBODY KNOWSW 4AToF
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IlL i N &NQGE UT
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_

Letters and columns represent the opinions of
the individual author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes of the Daily. Unsigned
editorials appearing on the left side of this page
represent a majority opinion of the Daily's
Editorial Board.

I

by Berke Breathed

A ur1fln.,-hv/cfrknmr ki 2 T'NA

Lb

; 1

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