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February 08, 1985 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-08
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(Continued from Page 3)
president was, and moreover, it didn't
appear at all relevant to me."
Three years after he started the "ex-
periment," the Board of Regents tap-
ped Shapiro for the University's top
One of the factors in Shapiro's quick
climb up the administrative ladder was
his intricate knowledge of the Univer-
sity's budget. As a member of the in-
fluential Budget Priorities Committee,
Shapiro got acquainted with the
elaborate politics of which colleges and
units get more money and which suffer
The budget, the biggest single issue
Shapiro faced as a freshman president,
has been a thorn in the side of the
University for about the past 13 years.
And Shapiro has approached the issue
in his usual way: by looking 10 or 20
years into the future.
Shapiro's supporters say his ap-
proach was pragmatic and reasonable,
but critics say some of his views were
The most well-known change Shapiro
initiated was the controversial five-
year plan to refocus the University's
funds from low-priority areas such as
natural resources, art, and education to
high-priority areas such as
The dwindling state appropriations to
the University - adjusted for inflation,
state support has dropped considerably
over the past 13 years - meant to
Shapiro that there was no other way to
maintain the quality of all the existing
programs: "The issue was one of
quality versus scope," he says.
One of the themes of the plan was
"smaller but better " - a slogan which
has been under fire since its inception.
Over the past few years, it has given
rise to the phrase "smaller but bitter"
and scathing editorial cartoons.
But Shapiro defends the slogan. "The
smaller but better thing continues to be
quite misunderstood," he says. He ex-
plained that the idea behind it was not
that the units facing cuts would be bet-
ter, but that the University as a whole
would be better. The approach was
fairly new in comparison with many
other colleges' programs, which tend to
cut units across the board, Shapiro
"I think it took a certain amount of
courage and dedication to proceed in
that way because obviously the path of
least resistance is to cut everything
across the board," he says. "It would
solve your short-term problem, but un-
dermine your long-run capacity for
distinction and quality."
Numerous critics contend that the
administration's approach may have
been palatable in principle, but was
carried out poorly. Mathematics Prof.
Wilfred Kaplan, president of the cam-
pus chapter of the American
Association of University Professors,
says Shapiro and company rushed the
cuts through instead of letting attrition
work alone."
Kaplanacknowledges that the idea
behind smaller but better was all right,
but says that the way it was carried out
was 'unnecessarily harsh.''
"The goal the University had -
reallocating funds - was to some ex-
tent a necessary goal," he says. But the

openness of the reviews and the denun-
ciation of faculty in schools with less
distinction had a "demoralizing effect
on a lot of faculty and a lot of students."
Richard Kennedy, vice president for
government relations, agrees that
Shapiro's approach is almost too pain-
staking. "Decisions aren't made on the
basis of frivolous evidence," he says.
"It's an agonizing process because of
this - maybe even too slow."

boss - the Board of Regents - cer-
tainly seems to want him to stick
around as long as possible. Just last
November, the regents approved a
healthy pay hike for Shapiro, pushing
his salary over the $100,000 mark.
And the regents' reviews of Shapiro
sound like an advertisement for a new
major motion picture: .
"I think Mr. Shapiro has led a
courageous and hard-headed look at the

'You have to deal with today's programs
and do the best you can with what you have
-Harold Shapiro

an economist. A program that Shapiro
helped develop is used to forecast the
state's economy. Kennedy added that
Shapiro's no-nonsense style contributed
to his credibility.
"He has a way of simply selling his
position on an issue that is hard to
argue with. He has developed an
amazing rapport with legislators sim-
ply because of his honest, straightfor-
ward style, Kennedy says. "That isn't
to say he hasn't made mistakes. He's
still human."
Rep. Gary Owen (D-Ypsilanti),
speaker of the state house, also has
nothing but praise for Shapiro. "Halrold
Shapiro has respect in the legislature
on both sides of the aisle," he says. "I
haven't heard anyone who has
criticized the job he's done." The door
seems to be open to him in politics, if
that's what he wants to do.
Robben Fleming used to say that ten
years is probably an upper limit on the
number of years a president could be
effective, but Shapiro isn't ready to
commit himself to anything.
"I doubt any arbitrary number is an
upper limit," he says. "I think, again, it
really depends on the circumstances,
the challenges, the times. I don't have
any rigid view of that.
"Every few years you make an
assessment of whether you're making a
contribution or not - whether you
remain part of the solution or part of
the problem, and to be pretty self-
critical in that respect. When you feel
the institution could use a new person,
it's time for a replacement."
But judging from what the people
who have the power say, that time will
be a long while in coming.
Mattson is a Daily staff writer


Another key focus of Shapiro's reign
is the $160 million capital campaign, a
drive to raise funds to refuel the
University's scarce library, laboratory,
and computing resources. About half of
the goal had been reached. To head the
campaign, Shapiro lured Jon Cosovich,
vice president for university develop-
ment and communication away from
Stanford University at a salary that
was initially higher than Shapiro's.
B UT FOR ALL his talk about the Un-
versity's future, Shapiro is quite
reluctant to speculate about his own
plans. He says he will probably go back
to the economics department, but that
could be five or 25 years from now. His

quality of our units," says Regent
Sarah Power (D-Ann Arbor).
"We would be delighted to maintain
his presidency," says Regent Deane
Baker (R-Ann Arbor).
Regent Roach says that the ad-
ministration has "come through a dif-
ficult period as well as anybody could
have expected ... I hope that (Shapiro)
is around for a good long while."
And Shapiro received equally rave
reviews from the legislature.
Kennedy has watched Shapiro's
image swell in the state legislature, an
image that Kennedy say can only help
the University acquire more resources.
The key to Shapiro's success in Lan-
%in. Kennedv sav. is hic oredihility a

From Time Immemorial
By Joan Peters
Harper and Row, 601 pages, $24.95
By Amy Goldstein
J oan Peters has effectively shatter-
ed many misconceptions about the
Middle East situation. The myths that
have devleoped in the forty years since
the development of the state of Israel,
as well as the past two thousand years
since the formation of the Jewish
religion, her book, From Time Im-
memorial, obliterates.
Peters begins with an explanation of
the growth of the book, relaying her
seven year search for information. She
does not tell, however, that she began
the project to write about the Arab
refugees in the Middle East from a pro-
Arab stand point. She ended up writing
about the mistreatment of the Jews
both by their neighbors and by history.
Historical misconceptions include the
thought that the Jews lived better under
Arab rule than under some European
rule. She destroys this idea by citing
example after example, in country an-
ter country in the Arab world of how
Jews lived under cruel, oppressive cir-
cumstances. Children were torn
away from their mothers, Peters
quotes (S.D.) Goitein,... Persecution
was constant and extreme-stoning
Jews was an 'age-old' custom, ac-
cording to 'an old doctor of Muslim
law,' was still common tradition at
the time of the 1948 exodus. . . At
times, Peters only uses the blanket
term "persecution" and lets the
readers' imagination create the horrors
on the basis of what they have already
The most horrifying feature of this
book is that it is not a fictional story, but

a book communicating cold, hard facts
about the situations in the area. These
stories are not created in any one
imagination, but events that have ac-
tually happened within the course of
human history. It would not be sur-
prising to many readers if parts of the
book were authored by horror writer
Stephen King. Unfortunately, this is not
the case.
Peters quotes both Arab and Jewish
sources, with the most startling
statements not being accusations by the
Israelis, but by Arab leaders them-
selves. She quotes the Muslim holy
book, the Koran, and Arab school
children's text books, all of which say
that the Jews are evil, perverse, and
corrupt, and that they are meant to die.
Israel was born to die, Peters
quotes from one Jordanian high school
text, Prove it.
Peters' research is impeccable. She
has thoroughly researched her work,
and has left no stone unturned. She
documents everything, including her
references from biblical times. Thus,
she has over one hundred pages of foot-
notes, and fifty pages of bibliography.
From Time Immemorial also in-
vestigates the question of Hitler's
"Final Solution" and the way various
countries, including the United States
and Britain, contributed to the
massacre of over six million Jews. The
book explores the British attitudes
toward the Jews and Arabs in pre-
Israel Palestine, and the Hitler-Mufti
connection. In this way, From Time
Immemorial changes the way one looks
at the major world powers, in their
relationship to World War II, to each
other, and to the Jews. The whole
question of human rights and ethics, a
huge international debate today, is
given new scope and meaning.
Response to Ms. Peters' book has
been great. The Near East Report
devoted an unprecedented four issues
to the book, stating, "the book should be
in the library of anyone concerned
about the rights and wrongs in the
Arab-Israel conflict." Both the L.A.
Times and the Washington Post gave
the book highly favorable reviews and
strong endorsements. Overseas, in the
Middle East itself, there have been
problems with semantics, but the book
is getting read. In Israel, it is "popular
in certain circles," according to Gabby
Levy, of the Israeli Consulate; these
circles include the academic and policy
making ones. Menachem Begin has
read the book and stated in an Israeli
newspaper, "This book is excellent."

Peters' book: a historical study of a current conflic

From Time Immemorial is quickly
becoming the main reference work and
focal point of many discussions on the
Middle East, and the publishers are
having a hard time keeping the book on
the shelves in many bookstores. Peters'
easily-read writing style, and com-
pelling material surely add to this

East Repor
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Commencement: Shapiro addresses graduates.

4 Weekend/Friday, February 8, 1985 WekndFrda


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