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September 06, 1984 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-06

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Vol. XCV, No. 1 Page A-1 Ann Arbor, Michigan - Thursday, September 6, 1984 Eight Pages

Panel studi

Fears that an anticipated decline in the num-
ber of high school graduates will cause
enrollment in the University's largest college
- the College of Literature, Science, and the
Arts - to bottom out have prompted an inten-
sive examination of the school's quality.
Now the LSA Blue Ribbon Commission is in
the midst of a study which is likely to lead to an
overhaul of the school's distribution
ACCORDING to a subcommittee report
chaired by English Prof. William Alexander,
the college's distribution requirements are in
"disarray." And in the scramble to fulfill the
requirements, students often ignore whole

areas of learning, the report said.
The Alexander subcommittee report
suggested that changes in the current
framework of the curriculum are necessary.
"We do not believe that the general problem
can be solved by simple modifications of the
existing structure of distribution requirements.
We are convinced that the college should go
beyond simple modification to the more am-
bitious step of considering fundamental
changes," the report stated.
In addition, the report said that college
requirements should expose students to the
economic, social, political, and ethical im-
plications of higher technology.
SO FAR, THE eight-member Blue Ribbon

Commission has agreed with the Alexander
report in finding that distribution requiremen-
ts in LSA are in a state of disarray "in part
because almost every undergraduate course, no
matter how specialized or otherwise un-
suitable, can be used to satisfy them."
"We have become aware," the report added
"that some potential students, while convinced
of the distinction of our faculty, often choose
other schools because they do not expect (the
faculty's) high quality to affect the education
they would receive here."
In response to the probably drop in college-
age students, the report suggested that the
college intensify its efforts to recruit the
highest quality of students, upgrade the


ucational quality of the college, and offer dif- Michael Cohen, a political science professor.
'ent financial aid packages. "You have to do it slowly."
THE COMMITTEE also mentioned two more ONLY A FEW students and about 25 faculty
astic method of solving the problem: members attended the April 27 open meeting at
lucing the size of the school or maintaining which the interim report was presented. Some
present size but lowering the admissions of the faculty members at the meeting thought
ndards. the funds LSA receives to teach a given number
o far, however, the interim report has been of credit hours in less than other schools and
onclusive. Rather than proposing specific colleges on campus receive. Others commen-
idelines or formulating new requirements, ted that research on campus seems to hurt un-
report limits itself to posing questions and dergraduate teaching and counseling.
sing areas for future discussion. "I would not like to see this as a radical
Committee members insist that the job of downturn," said Charles Bright, lecturer for
organizing LSA will be long and difficult. the Residential College, commenting on the six
aking changes in the college is like turning a year decline in enrollment and the alternatives

supertanker," said commission member

The wave
of the future

The computer age has descended
upon us all. Every item that can be
manufactured by hand in one year can
be computerized the next. And
everything computerized can be
miniaturized or made obsolete in a
matter months.
The University is far from oblivious
to these facts and has been building up
its departments in the areas of com-
puters, electronics, and engineering for
several years now.
THE LATEST effort by the Univer-
sity in the high-technology area is the
construction of a $30 million
engineering building. The building fun-
ded entirely by the state, will house the
bulk of the computer and electronic
engineering departments and will be
equipped with :an experimental
microchip manufacturing facility. Ac-
coring to engineering school Dean
James Duderstadt, the facility will
allow professors and students to design
and build their own working silicon
The engineering school is also ex-
perimenting with a new compound,
gallium-arsenide, which, like silicon,
can be used as the base for computer
microchips. Prof. George Haddad,
chairman of the electrical and com-
puter engineering department, said this
new compound has the potential to
replace silicon because of inherent
properties that make it more conduc-
tive to miniaturization of high-speed
The high-tech effort is, however, far
from a recent development. The
University has long been considered a
leader in technological research and
development and is currently ranked in
the top five electronics institutions in
the nation.
BUT ACCORDING to sources in the
engineering school, the electronics and
computer departments are still in the
process of slowly becoming state-of-
According to Haddad, one of the

major obstacles is access to the
necessary equipment. As with all elec-
tronics equipment, research appartus
grow obsolete very quickly. Yet, he
said, the University cannot afford to
update all of its laboratories every
ECE is already the largest depar-
tment in the University. In recent years
the enrollment has doubled, and faculty
positions have increased significantly.
BUT THAT increase is apparently
not enough to handle the needs of the
student body. Because of "faculty
flight" to higher status and better
paying jobs at most presitigious in-
stitutions and positions in the private
sector, the high-technology fields are
suffering from inadequate staff.
"I would guess that we are the most
underfunded department in the Univer-
sity relative to our enrollment," Had-
dad said. He estimated that number at
2000 graduate and undergraduate
students, the result of a merger with the
computer science department this fall.
But things are looking up. "Our
rating has dropped off in recent years
because of inadequate equipment and
not being able to hire sufficient
faculty," Duderstadt said. "But we
have hired 20 to 25 new faculty in the
last three years in these (electronics
and computer) fields and they will have
one of the best facilities in the country
to work with." Eight of those faculty
members were hired specifically for
positions in the microelectronic
technology area.
Outside funds, from both private and
public sponsors are the principal support
mechanism for these researchers and
technicians. Haddad estimated that his
department brings in approximately $5
million dollars in outside funds for
research projects and he said that they
receive, in addition, about $2.5 million
in general fund support from the
Haddad's department has recently
received a great deal of criticism from
See'U', Page 6

A blood sample is taken from an anesthetized ferret during research into Reyes syndrome at the School of Public Helath.
'U animal research
s tirs1ixedreactions

See LSA, Page 6
Dozens of
odd gifts
to 'U'
What do the Burton Memorial Tower,
the Law Library, and a Space Invaders
video game have in common? They are
all gifts that were given to the Univer-
Almost every time the regents meet,
they must put aside a portion of their
agenda to accept gifts presented to the
University by individuals. Normally
these gifts include money, art work, or
stock in companies. But the regents
also get off gifts that don't immediately
strike you as being of use to the Univer-
LOOKING OVER the list, you can
find Christmas trees, sailboats, maple
trees, candles, cars, a Space Invaders
video game, and even a six person in-
flatable rubber life raft.
"We try to steer away from strange
gifts," said Jon Cosovich, vice
president for development and Univer-
sity relations. "If the University is
equipped to handle it and the University
can find a good use for it, then we'll
generally accept it."
English Prof. Bert Hornback once of-
fered the University a $20,000 gift.,But
the University refused to accept it.
AT A TIME when most profs in LSA
taught two classes per term, Hornback
taught five classes - the equivalent
load of two-and-a-half faculty mem-
bers. He wanted the University to
credit him with a $20,000 gift in ser-
But Cosovich didn't accept his offer.
So Hornback went to the regents
meeting last April. The regents didn't
accept his offer either.
"I didn't expect any response from
(the regents)," Hornback said, adding,
"I'm serious about the idea."
The unusual gifts given to the Univer-
sity are usually put to good use. The
Space Invaders video game was
donated to the Mott Children's Hosptial.
The sailboats were donated to Camp
Michigama and the maple trees were used
for landscaping. The Christmas trees
meat to the Michigan League to use
for decoration. But the six-person
inflatable life raft? Well, you'll
have to figure that one out
for yourself.

Throughout the history of medical research, rats, frogs,
pigs, and monkeys have been dissected, probed, injected,
and examined for the betterment of medical technique and
for the knowledge that can be applied to humans.
According to medical school Prof. Daniel Ringler, the
University's research labs use animals extensively in
experiments. "'There are 35,000 animals at this
University in 26 different buildings, 240 animal labs," he
said. "There is everyting from aligators to sheep."
THE UNIVERSITY'S policy regarding laboratory
animals states that research may not be "random and
unnecessary" in nature and its anticipated results must
justify its performance. Experiments cannot cause
unnecessary suffering or injury to animals and in
experiments that are likely to cause the subject
considerable pain,". . . the animal must first be rendered
incapable of perceiving pain" through anesthetization.
Susan Schurman, executive director of the Humane.
Society of Huron Valley, had a different story about
University animal research. While she said that she
maintains "a friendly relationship," with University
researchers, including regular meetings and inspections of
facilities, she said that the guidelines are not stringent
enough to protect the animals.
"A researcher pretty much has carte blanche to do
whatever he wants with animals during an experiment,"
Schurman said. She added that "some experimenters will
not ,anesthetize (the animal) because it would interfere
with the nature of the experiment."

ALTHOUGH Schurman admitted she is sympathetic with
those who favor stricter guidelines, she said such
regulations would not be effective.
"The only people who could enforce those kind of
guidelines is the researchers themselves," she said. "Their
view of the animal has to change. They have to realize that
it is a being that can feel pain and can suffer. It is not just
something they can exploit as necessary."
Ringler, who is a veterinarian specializing in laboratory
animal medicine, said that the University will inevitable
hear about abuses. "The technitions, who feed and water
the animals, are always watching for problems with the
animals, and students are very concerned about these
issues. Often they will let us know if they think something
bad is going on."
RESEARCHERS who are found to be practicing
inhumane experiments can be brought before a University
committee and, finally, can appeal that decision to the Vice
President for Research, Alfred Sussman. Ringler said that
normally, however, the problem can be resolved by
meeting with the individual investigator.
He said the most common types of abuses are committed
by students who are not properly trained in procedures
such as injections. "The students may not always want to
admit that they are not qualified," Ringler said. "But those
things are easy to correct, we just show them the correct
See RESEARCH, Page 6

SNR toughens academics

A mandate from the University's central ad-
ministration calling for stepped-up academic
program has forced the School of Natural Resour-
ces to change it's graduation requirements and
make the school more difficult.
"I think we've increased the rigor of the
program," said John Bassett, natural resources
school associate dean.
UNDER THE new curriculum, effective for the
first time this term, students are required to enroll
in more natural resources and take fewer electives.
They are also being required to take more math and
science classes.
The changes are a result of a budget review of the
school completed last summer when the University
cut the school by 25 percent. Like the art school and
the education school, natural resources is a victim
of the University's five year plan to reallocate $20
million in general fund budget monies to "high

IN ADDITION to the new curriculum, the school
is also redesigning its methods of recruiting studen-
The school has been ordered to slash its fres-
hman and sophomore enrollments so that by the
end of the transition period. the school will only ac-
cept upper class students.
And as a result, the school has hired a staff person
to work on recruiting graduate level students and
transfer students. According to Bassett, the new
position involves planning a strategy on how do we

enrolling freshpersons. This fall the school will get
only about 15 transfer students.
In order to get more graduate students, the
school is establishing more grants and scholarship
According to Bassett, more scholarships is the
only way to lure graduate students to the Univer-
sity's natural resources school. "That's how you get
grad students, good ones, you buy them," Bassett

'I think we've increased the rigor of the program .. .
We're really designing a new school.'

:. ,&J"' '1

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