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January 13, 1984 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-13
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I

Chaos*
From page 1
Though certainly the rallying cause
of the '60s and '70s activists, the war
was only part of a sweeping effort by
young people to break free from the fet-
ters of conventional society, to
challenge the norms with which they
had been raised: Students wanted
power, the power to think and make
decisions for themselves; and they
wanted a voice in running their
colleges, a hold on the administrative
reins college officials so jealously
guarded.
The fervor with which students pur-
sued these goals was unprecedented.
Community residents feared the
"dangerous" student activists who took
over buildings and stormed through
classrooms demanding that professors
allow them to speak.
Parents were stunned when the
clean-cut children they sent to the
University of Michigan clad in kilt skir-
ts or button-down collars returned
home with straggly locks and bare feet
to oppose parental authority and reject
the white countertops and modern con-
veniences that symbolized life at home.
Still others read newspaper accounts
of "lawless demonstrators" whose
defiance of the law was a "malignant
disease" threatening to undermine
society.
The University regents realized that
in such an environment, with pressure
from students, parents, and com-
munity, the traditional leadership style
of outgoing President Harlan Hatcher
was anachronistic. The hard-line ap-
proach to student activists had back-
fired and led to bloodshed at other
universities, and such confrontations
more often than not fueled the students'
anger and provoked further disruption.
As chancellor at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison since 1964, the 50-
year-old Fleming had earned a

reputation as a wizard at dealing with
student protesters. And when Fleming
accepted the regents offer to become
president of the University on March
28, 1967, he had to summon all his skill
to the task.,
Fleming worked under pressure that
would have led most people to pull out
their hair in frustration. But today at 67
he is calm and good-humored,
seemingly unscathed by the radical '60s
and '70s.
Standing just over six feet tall, his
bright blue eyes contrast sharply with
his silvery-white hair which is combed
off his forehead, slightly longer than the
crew cut he maintained during the
early part of his presidency.r
He speaks precisely, vividly recollec-
ting the years of his administrative
tenure-from 1967 until current Univer-
sity President Harold Shapiro assumed
the title in 1979.
Fleming remembers better than
most the high level of emotion running
through the protests of this period as
students questioned not only the
University and U.S. involvement in
Vietnam, but American culture in
general, its social mores and rules.
"There were a combination of factors
working together to keep things in a
state of ferment all the time," he says.
"In many ways it was an exciting
period because every hour on the hour
something different was going on. And
if one could contain it within reasonable
limits, it may be argued that it was a
good educational experience for people
in the sense that they saw a lot of dif-
ferent models for life and they saw how
a democracy acts in a period when
people are upset about things."
Fleming had to contend with all the
inflamed factions at one of the nation's
most radically activist universities,
and even his critics concede that he
succeeded in keeping the University
together during that time.
Coupled with a liberal city gover-
nment led by Mayor Robert Harris and
police chief William Krasny, Fleming
allowed students considerable freedom
to protest without interference.

Fleming would let students have their
say and somehow the tension would
dissipate, the anger would fizzle at least
for the moment. Although -emotions
usually picked up the next day or even a
few hours later, the University avoided
the heavy physical damage, injuries,
and arrests that scarred many schools
under similar circumstances.
"My objective was always one of
trying to preserve the freedom of the
University to have all kinds of people

/I

campus, and after a long struggle, in-
cluding a takeover of the LSA Building,
students won approval to open a
student-run bookstore.
Later, students earned positions on
search committees for deans and spots
on other panels which decide Univer-
sity policies.
Through it all Fleming's policy was
basically one of appeasement, but while
he was committed to the free ex-
pression of ideas and went out on a limb

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'My objective was always one of trying to
preserve the freedom of the University to
have all kinds of people discussing all kinds
of things and still not ear the place to pieces.'
--Robert Fleming,
former University president

Cecile Licad
Rackham Auditorium
Saturday, January 14,

8:30 p.m.

discussing all kinds of things and still
not tear the place to pieces," he says.
"To a certain extent whether you can
do this is pure luck."
But meeting student confrontations
also required strategy and skillful
public relations. Perhaps the most
famous example of Fleming's adroit at
balancing students' rights and con-
taining violence came at a protest in
Madison of a Dow Chemical Company
recruiter.
Fleming personally posted $2,000 in
bail for eleven students who were
arrested at the protest.
Fleming says he made that move and
weathered considerable heat from the
public not so much to save the students
from the arm of the law but to prevent
them from becoming martyrs among
radical leaders-a situation which
could have escalated violence.
At a rally later the same night,
Fleming used the incident to his advan-
tage. "I figured it would be tough for
(the protesters) to work up a tirade
against the university if I, as the sym-
bol of the university, had just bailed
them out."
Conservatives promptly assailed him
as being "a little whacky" and liberals
hailed him as "a white knight." But
Fleming always insulated himself from
personal attacks or adulation.
"I never worried if I was a 'bad guy'
or a 'good guy' because I knew that
would change very rapidly depending
on the issue," he says.
The most significant outcome of the
incident was that Fleming maintianed
control without provoking further
protest. "The whole evening just fiz-
zled from the standpoint of radicalizing
the campus," he said.
In case after case Fleming repeated
the success of the Madison incident.
The result was a minimum of violence
in Ann Arbor.
This distinguished the University
from other activist institutions where
student demonstrators often found
themselves under the billy clubs of
local police.
The high tolerance for controversy
also allowed for important changes
most students today take for granted.
Until the late 1960s the University
operated under the doctrine of "in loco
parentis" or "in place of parents."
This assumed that the University took
the place of students' parents while
students were at school. Women were
shackled to a 10 p.m. curfew and many
social activities fell under University
supervision.
"In loco parentis" was abolished,
students were allowed to drive cars on

several times to protect that right for
students, he consistently assailed and
punished violent demonstrations.
"If police have to be used because
there is no alternative, then you will do
that," he says. "You can't be in-
timidated into not doing it by conduct
which is simply intolerable.
"I always believed that you had to
establish your credibility in dealing
with (students)-that you musn't
threaten them and then not do it
because if you didn't nobody would ever
believe again that you would."
Such tactics, the result of Fleming's
background as a labor-arbitration at-
torney, successfully dissipated tension,
but his methods also drew sharp
criticism from students who said he
was too concerned with mediation and
resolving conflict rather than working
toward any specific policy.
"He did an effective job from the
University's point of view by bringing
the school through that period very
well," says Martin Hirschman, Daily
editor-in-chief in 1970-71. But for
students trying to make progress on
particular issues smoothing and
mediating were seen as bureaucratic
roadblocks, said Hirschman, now an at-
torney, in Dearborn.
For example, Fleming opposed
graduate student teaching assistants' at
tempts to unionize in 1973. It was only
after several trips to court, pickets, and
a ruling by the Michigan Employment
Relations Commission that they won
and formed the Graduate Employees
Organization (GEO).
"He was pretty good at not adding
fuel to the fire," said Vicki Sork, who
worked on the GEO executive commit-
tee in the early 1970s. "But whenever
he talked he didn't really say anything.
He bored everyone to death, and
everything fizzled.
"That's the way he handled
everything. Let it dissipate and if it
could be dissipated quickly he would do
it," said Sork, now a biology professor
at the University of Missouri in St.
Louis.
"He made clear decisions behind the
scenes. You definitely knew he wasn't
on your side. His goal was to keep the
campus quiet."
Keeping a lid on campus violence,.
however, is an ,accomplishment that'
can't be downplayed. When univer-
sities across the nation were routinely
calling in police to carry off students
who were setting fires, throwing rocks
at police or flinging Molotov cocktails
into buildings, the relatively low level
of violence at the University was
almost astonishing. For example, the

By Anne Valdespino
FOR THE FIRST time in 10 years
the Leventritt Foundation
bestowed their coveted Gold Medal on
an extraordinary young pianist, Cecile
Licad, whose artistic presence will
grace the stage of Rackham
Auditorium this weekend. As a
recipient of the 1981 Leventritt prize,
Licad joins the ranks of musical
luminaries Van Cliburn, Itzhak
Perlman, Kyung Wha Chung and Pin-
chas Zuckerman.
The competition brought her inter-
national acclaim and skyrocketed her
career which, in 1979, had already
begun when she made her professional
debut with the Boston Symphony Or-
chestra at the invitation of Seiji Ozawa.
Since then her itinerary has included
appearances with major U.S. or-
chestras such as Chicago Symphony,
Philadelphia Orchestra, New York
Philharmonic and many others.

European tours have taken her to Lon-
don, Geneva, Vienna, Madrid, and
Budapest and her Far East
engagements feature concerts in Hong
Kong, Osaka and Tokyo.
A native of the Philipines, Licad's
country has provided constant support
throughout her career. In 1971 she won
the Manila Symphony Young Artist's
competition. Today she remains both a
Piano Scholar of the Philippines and a
Scholar of the Philippine Music
Promotion Foundation. Although her
schedule is hectic, Licad maintains
close ties with her homeland by retur-
ning every summer to give a series of
public concerts.
Another important part of Licad's
career has been renowned pianist
Rudolf Serkin. Their student/teacher
relationship began at the Curtis In-
stitute and continued at the Guilford In-
stitute in Vermont. In December, 1981,
Licad helped honor her teacher by par-
ticipating in a special concert televised
by NBC that celebrated Serkin's accep-
tance of a prestigious Kennedy Center
Award.
In Saturday evening's recital Licad
will perform some of the 19th century
piano literature which has won her high
praise from discriminating critics. Her
program will include Beethoven's
Sonata in D major 10 -3 and Schumann's
Carnaval Opus 9.
Also featured will be four selections
by Frederic Chopin: two popular
scherzos, B minor and D Major, a
Nocturne in F Major. Ovus 15 - 1, and

Cicile Licad: Piano virtuoso honored by Leventi

the dramatic Ballade in G minor. Ann
Arbor may look forward to hearing
Licad at her finest. Chopin requires two

musical v
she posse
grace and

Strummin
man
Dave Van Ronk
The Ark

Friday, January 13,J

8 p.m.

By Joseph Kraus
S THERE such a thing as a
musician's musician? A man who
has given far more to his field than he
has been given public recognition for? A
man who has spent his life learning and
expanding the art? A man who has in-
spired and taught others? Sure there
is.
Some of these men have familiar
sounding names even when most people
don't seem to know anything they've
ever accomplished. Muddy Waters- is
that kind of name and so is Robert
Johnson, and so, while we're on the sub-
ject, is Dave Van Ronk.
Dave Van Ronk has been a folk
musician all his life. He has seen quite a
bit of this country and he has chronicled
quite a bit of it. As a man he has led the
kind of life that makes good stuff for a
novel and as a singer he has influenced
two generation of American musicians.
As a young man Van Ronk served in
the merchant marines. When he tired of
life at sea he went to New Orleans
where he met and learned from such
great blues musicians as Furry Lewis,
Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Lemon Jeffer-
son and Leadbelly. At the same time,
being constantly exposed to the great

variety of music that the city had to of-
fer, he began experimenting with
ragtime piano and the possibilities it of-
fered for the guitar.
When his wandering took him to
Greenwich Village in the late 50's, he
was well received and began to earn in-
creasing respect. With the early 60's
came the folk revival, and Van Ronk
was at its forefront.
One of the first artists to earn a major
recording contract for folk music was
Bob Dylan, who recorded Van Ronk's
arrangement of "House of the Risin'
Sun" on his first album. Dylan is quoted
in the liner notes as saying, "I'd always
known 'Risin' Sun' but never really
knew I knew it until I heard Dave sing
it." (Rock fans take note: this was still
three years before the Animals sang it.)
Although Van Ronk never acheived
the commercial success of some of the
other folk singers, he continued to per-
form and at the same time influence his
contemporaries.
Another musician that Van Ronk
greatly influenced is Tom Paxton. Pax-
ton says on the liner notes of his album
Ramblin' Boy, "Van Ronk really tur-
ned me on to field recordings, the real
sources, and it's there you've got to go
if you want to learn it right."
Twenty years later, Van Ronk is still
travelling the country as a wandering
balladeer. He's outlasted many of the
people for whom he was an inspiration,
but his--music is still vital and enter-
taining. His performances are a mix-
ture of classic folk and blues numbers
mixed in with contemporary comic
songs.
Van Ronk is sure to perform his
classic arrangement of "Cocaine,"
described as, " . . . an underground
classic with the earmarks of immor-
tality." Pop music fans should be

familiar with the song from Jackson
Browne's recording of it on his Running
on Empty album.
Van Ronk is appearing this Friday at
the Ark. Admission is $6, and doors

open at 7:
p.m.
With al
experienc
the show i

Fleming: Not afraid to speak out

Van Ronk: Ramblin' into the Ark

10 Weekend/January 13, 1984

1.
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