Friday, September 28, 1984
The Michigan Daily
The shortchanging of the und
By Robert Honigman
The following cost data collected by the State
indicates the amount of money spent on direct
instructional costs for a student credit hour
each semester during the 1981 to 1982 school
year at the University of Michigan:.
Language ....$55.23 $121.26
Mathematics ... 39.67 58.17
Psychology .... 22.05 50.89
Social Sci. ......,26.12 58.65
Assuming a freshman took 3 credit hours a
term in each of the above subjects for a total of
30 credit hours for the 1981 to 1982 school year,
he or she -would have received $1,108.56 worth
of direct instruction from the University.
Adding an overhead rate of 80 percent, each
freshman and sophomore in the liberal arts
college of the University, would have received
some $2,000 in instructional value from the
University during that school year. Since
tuition for freshmen and sophomores during
that season was $1,364 for in-state residents and
$4,120 for non-residents, it is apparent that the
University by taking in a sufficient number of
non-resident freshmen and sophomores can
fully cover the cost of its entire freshmen and
sophomore classes without using any state
So where does the state money go?
AS THE TABLE reveals, it goes primarily to
graduate students who cost anywhere from
four to 29 times per credit hour to teach -
primarily because of smaller classes and more
personal faculty attention.
As a practical matter, the University could
not attract a world class faculty without sub-
sidizing graduate education. It goes much fur-
ther, in fact. It takes tens of millions out of the
educational budget to subsidize research. It
subsidizes scholarships and assistantships for
graduate students. It offers world class faculty
reduced teaching loads.
During the 1978 GEO certification hearings,
the University attorney attempted to show that
graduate student teaching assistants were like
athletes attracted to the University by scholar-
ship funds. He asked Harold Shapiro, then
Vice-President for Academic Affairs, what
would happen if the University did not offer aid
to graduate students.
SHAPIRO: In my judgment, we simply
would not get an adequate number of qualified
Question: Why? This is one of the best
universities, one of the 10 or 15 best universities
in the country. Why wouldn't they come here?
Shapiro: Very simply because the univer-
sities with which we compete for these students
do offer financial aid for students, and we have
to be in a position to offer attractive situations
for them, equally attractive situations.
TWO YEARS LATER, in 1980, Don Hunt,
editor of the Ann Arbor Observer questioned
President Shapiro about the decline in faculty
teaching loads, and President Shapiro respon-
It had been typical around the university to
teach three classes a semester twenty years
ago, whereas now the load is more typically
two classes....We have to offer competitive
salaries and working conditions, and we intend
to remain competitive.
In other words, the University could not at-
tract and maintain a world-class faculty unless
it offered reduced teaching loads, graduate
teaching assistantships, competitive salaries,
adequate laboratory space and equipment, and
other amenities that are costly.
MOST EDUCATORS are comfortable with
this system of priorities for a number of
reasons. For one thing, virtually all univer-
sities which offer graduate programs spend as
little as possible on their undergraduate
programs - preferring to spend the money
promoting graduate programs and research.
The cost data presented at the beginning of this
article for the University is not out of line with
the cost data collected from other Michigan
state-supported universities. For another, the
fact that Michigan's freshman enrollment is
up, along with a higher quality of applicants -
despite increases in tuition and the watering of
undergraduate education - is seen as
validating or legitimizing the priorities of the
University. University officials often ask of
students who complain: "But why did you
come here? Why didn't you go someplace that
doesn't have an expensive faculty?" In essence
they are asking: "How can you halve your cake
and eat it too; how can we support an expensive
world-class faculty and still keep tuition low
and class size moderate?" Thus, the Univer-
sity's policies seem rational, while com-
plaining students seem to be irrational as well
Keep in mind that officials cannot claim to be
impartial trustees building the University's
reputation for their students' sake because
their own self-interest is transparent. Instead,
they must argue that it is the students who
validate and legitimize the University quest for
prestige by making the decision to attend the
This argument, however, is not as rational or
logical as it appears. How can students be more
capable of deciding whether the University's
prestigious faculty do indeed provide superior
educational experiences after attending the
University? Yet, oddly enough, as to students
already here, University faculty and ad-
ministrators have consistently maintained
that these students are incompetent to make
curricular or faculty personnel decisions.
Students are rigorously excluded from any real
power in the academic policies of the Univer-
sity based on alleged immaturity, inexperien-
ce, transience, and incompetence.
ON EXAMINATION, the argument that
students validate or legitimize the University's
competition for high prestige does not stand up.
Students by and large are willing to make
sacrifices in order to have a prestigious faculty
and to be able to attend a University with a
national reputation. They do seem willing to
accept higher tuitions and overcrowded classes
in order to receive a degree, if not an education
from a first Class university. But the difference
between faculty and students is that students
recognize a need to balance high prestige with
a real education - faculty who actually teach,
smaller classes, more personal attention, and
affordable tuition. The faculty, on the other
hand, have no motive for balancing the quest
for prestige with student educational needs.
In the tremendously competitive struggle for
top ranked faculty and prestige, the rule is to
charge as much tuition as the traffic will bear
and to increase class size and reduce senior
faculty teaching loads until the undergraduate
wheels squeek (i.e., until legislators threaten to
cut off state funds based on complaints from
parents and students).
SINCE STUDENTS by their mere presence
do not legitimize the undergraduate policies of
the University - and the faculty, officials and
regents because of their conflict of interest
cannot - we have a policy of impoverishing
undergraduate education that exists simply
because it is the easiest way to run a univer-
sity, and it gives the greatest rewards to those
at the top of the institution.
No doubt many students would willingly
trade their educational needs for status and
prestige. If such students were in the majority,
however, there would be no reason for keeping
students powerless. It is my belief that the best
and brightest students would not trade the
family cow of education - an education to last
power in t
policies of t
rom any real
them a lifetime - for the magic of beans and
prestige and reputation unless the system first
lured them in on the promise of a good
education and then slowly cheated then, so'
that by the time they woke up and realized the
trade was unfair, they were already
An institution which simultaneously says
that students validate its policies but are in-
competent, is obviously wrong somewhere.
And an institution that runs without the trust
and consent of its best and brightest students -
the ones who want a real education not a
prestigious degree - is not an educational
system at all. It is selling prestige and entry
tickets to good jobs to willing dupes who don't
understand that next year they'll be replaced
by a newer and cheaper crop of graduates from
places with still higher prestige.
Undergraduates alone have their best in-
terests at heart, and they deserve a substantive
voice in University policy-making to protect
themselves from the mindless competition for
Honigman is an attorney in Sterling Heights.
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
., ,/,d a vy '' t
L. i ,k. i
Vol. XCV, No. 20
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Putting up a smoke screen
i _ d
H, IT'S an election year again.
As always, those incumbent U.S.
senators and representatives want to
do some nice things before the session
guns out so the voters will appreciate
them. To make voters happy, members
of Congress can pass legislation which
offends no one, pleases a few, and
sounds good overall, though it may ac-
~complish nothing. This is the case with
the new warning labels required on
cigarette packages that Congress
It is nearly impossible to oppose a
measure designed to improve
awareness of what the Surgeon
General has called the No. 1 preven-
table cause of death in this country.
Furthermore, it is estimated that more
than 350,000 deaths each year are
linked to cigarette smoking. Officials
also say billions of dollars are spent
each year, much of it federal funds, to
treat people with sicknesses caused by
smoking. This is no small concern. But
how many people will really change
their smoking habits because of the
new rotating labels that note cigarettes
are connected with lung cancer, heart
disease, emphysema, and com-
plications in pregnancy?
Realistically, the new labels will not
make a bit of difference. The tobacco
industry really did have a good point:
the public is universally aware of the
present dangers smoking causes to
health. Cigarette packages already
read: "The Surgeon General Has
Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is
Dangerous to Your Health."
Education efforts are worthy. But
there are many health organizations
whose sole function is to educate the
public on this very issue. The new
regulations should have little real im-
pact on preventing smoking in this
society because most smokers don't
care to examine warning labels or
don't care enough about their health.
Most smokers probably won't even,
notice the difference.
There are a million ways to live a
healthier life. It's not exactly up to
Congress to show the people the many
ways. Passing legislation to clean up
the natural environment would have
been a great deal more effective.
Citizens often have no idea that toxic
wastes or pesticides are infiltrating
their water or food and so are virtually
powerless to do anything about it.
Congress shouldn't spend valuable
time slapping smokers on the wrists.
Smokers have to decide on their own to
care more for themselves and the non-
smokers around them.
k - 1
BIRDS OF PREY, INDIgENOUS TO THE U.5, FLYIN9 SOUTH FOR THE WINTER.
The nee rocac nonce 77g
The price of knowledge
By Andrew Hartman
Throughout their college
careers,university students are
expected to do well. They have
pressure from relatives, grad-
schools, peers, and future em-
ployers to achieve high grades.
With all of this pressure, some
students seek an easy way out, a
way to ace tests without working,
a system that is usually simple
and safe. They cheat. Cheating
can be as subtle as looking at a
neighbor's test or as blatant as
writing notes in a bluebook or
copying a friend's term paper.
For many students the tem-;
ptation is very great. Since very
few ever get caught, there is low
risk with potentially high payoffs.
It is easy to figure out why
students cheat, the "how" varies
in many innovative ways, the
"when" is during tests and term
papers, but the main question is
what to do about it and how to
stop this unethical and poten-
tially dangerous practice.
before cheating on an exam.
Secondly, the faculty must par-
ticipate more actively in the
prevention of cheating. They
should stay in the room during
tests and call their TAs to help
with the job. Bluebooks should be
checked for pre-test answers, the
pupils should be seated far apart,
and special attention should be
given when grading papers. Cer-
tainly professors do not want to
be policemen, but if they are con-
cerned about the results of their
tests they have to try and deter
Lastly, it is up to students to
help stop cheating. The people
who are really hurt by cheaters
are those who do not cheat. The
cheaters raise curves and risk
the morality of the entire class. I
do not advocate finking on fellow
classmates but students should
be careful about allowing others
to cheat off of them and must
realize that cheaters are hurting
their grades. The students who do
cheat ought to know that they are
hurting their friends and
In addition to the above points,
the College of Literature, Scien-
ce, and the Arts should adopt a
system similar to that of the
College of Engineering, where
students must swear they will not
cheat before entering the Univer-
sity and must reaffirm this oath
before every test and paper.
Cheating cannot be stopped com-
pletely, but if the administration,
the faculty, and the students
cooperate the magnitude of this-
unethical and potentially
dangerous act can be diminished.
Hartman is a senior, in
LS&A and president of the
-N THEPAST several years a liberal
arts education has been deem-
hasized and parents have been known
to give their children more than a gen-
tle shove toward the high tech fields.
Instead of buying the kids an en-
cyclopedia, parents might go for a per-
sonal computer or a word processor.
But at least one eminent individual has
the courage to stand up for the liberal
on the "loan".
Michener wrote of his donation:
"That's one thousand to one, just about
the financial value of a good liberal ar-
ts education... Of course, the spiritual
value is a lot higher.
It is clear that Michener understands
the value of a solid education. Only
two out of 100 students in his high
school went on to college. And, though
Letters and columns represent the opinions of
the individual author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes or beliefs of the Daily.
by Berke Breathed