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September 05, 1985 - Image 51

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-05

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

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 1985 - Page 811
Regents have final authority on University policy

i

By KERY MURAKAMI
Twice a month they come to sit
around a long, rectangular table in
Wthe Fleming Adminsitration Building
to sit, talk, and sip barrels of coffee.
.In the Regents' Room, on the second
Thursday and Friday of every month,
the eight regents of the University's
governing board leave behind their
usual jobs as corporate executives
and attorneys to give the final okays
to the administration's decisions.
The Board of Regents gives the final

rubber stamp on all proposals.
THE MEMBERS of the board are a
diverse group - ranging from con-
servatives like Deane Baker (R -
Ann Arbor) to Sarah Power (D - Ann
Arbor), the board's most outspoken
women's rights vanguard.
The regents are elected for six-year
terms, and like the U.S. Senate, serve
staggered terms with two regents up
for reelection every two years.
The board is elected by the people of
Michigan - system that has aroused
criticism from many, including Paul
Josephson, president of the Michigan
Student Assembly.
Josephson questions the logic of
voters from across the state to select
the members of the board. The
justification is that people from
across the state come to the Univer-
sity.
JOSEPHSON ALSO criticizes the
lack of student representation on the
board. Attorney General Frank Kelly
has barred students and faculty from
the board, citing a conflict of interest
in determining tuition and faculty
salaries.
Josephson said, however, that most
other universities have some sort of
student representation on their
governing boards - either as a voting
member or as a non-voting member
to give information, much like the
role executive officers serve at the
regents meetings now.
While it is the regents who have the

final stamp of approval on all ad-
ministrative proposals, much of the
decision-making is done by the ad-
ministration before an issue comes to
the board.
INSTEAD of presenting all possible
alternatives to the regents (except in
deciding the University's budget), the
University's executive officers
present the board with one proposal to
approve.
But by the time student proposals
reach the regents' agenda, they are
often watered down by the executive
officers, Josephson said.
FOR EXAMPLE, in pushing for a
new rape crisis center on campus,
$15,000 and an allocation of two staff
members were eliminated before the
regents had an opportunity to see the
plan.
THE REGENTS, however, make
the final decisions on university
policy. Late in the summer, they
review several budget models offered
by the administration to decide the
University's budget - including
tuition increases and faculty salaries.
The regents decide the life and
death of programs and departments,
and they approve all appointments to
the administration, and the granting
of tenure to professors.
The regents tend to be an outspoken
group and are more than just ''yes"~
men and women to the ad-
ministrators. They are not afraid to
reject administrative proposals.

Last year the Doard rejected the
administration's recommendations to
continue to allow PIRGIM (Public In-
terest Research Groups in Michigan)
to remain on the University's Student
Verification Forms. Students used to
be able to contribute $1 per term to the
group by checking a box on their,
SVF's.
THE REGENTS also voice their
opinions on campus happenings. After
several University students disrupted
a recruitment drive by the CIA last
October, several of the regents
vehemently expressed their disap-

proval of tne protesters.
The protest "was an outrageous
violation of rights," said Regent
Robert Neederlander, who was later
defeated in his bid for reelection.
Regent Thomas Roach (D -
Saline), called the disruption "a
violation of free speech," while
Regent Deane Baker (R - Ann Ar-
bor) said that the protest created an
intolerable situation, and he deman-
ded that an apology be made to all
students who had their interviews
cancelled.
The regents' meetings are open to

T __L LL_ L__ " _L_3 LL_ _..._1

the public and a few students usually,
attend.
Students can address the board
during the public comments section at
the end of the Thursday meetings.
Speakers address the board on the hot
issue of that month.
Last year, students spoke about
military research on campus,
divestment of the University's i-,
vestments in - companies that do
business in South Africa, the rape,
crisis center, and the administration's
proposed code of nonacademic con-,
duct.

Il

,

Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) ... is
one of the most outspoken members
of the board, and probably the most
conservative.

James Waters (D-Muskegon) . . . is
usually quiet during the meetings, but
is also an advocate of minority issues.
He pressed for total divestment in
1983. Waters is a Muskegon attorney.

Paul Brown (D-Petosky) ... is
another of the board's quieter mem-
bers. He usually speaks when the
board has legal questions. Brown
graduated from the University's law
school in 1961.

Nellie Varner (D-Detroit) ... haw
been a strong advocate for minoritA
and women's issues. Varner is a part
tner in Strather and Varner Proper'
ties, a Detroit real estate brokerag
firm.

Thomas Roach (D-Saline) ... is a
vocal member of the board, paying
attention to every detail in the ad-
ministrator's reports.

hopes
to raise
[trnnoritty
I etention

Sarah Power (D-Ann Arbor) ... .
served as deputy secretary of state
for human rights and minority affairs
under the Carter administration.
(Continued from Page 3)
American students are slightly lower.
CONVERSELY, OVER 70 percent
of enrolled white students receive
their diplomas within five years.
"It's really important not just to
focus on input in terms of recruit-
ment, but what is actually going on
during the education," said Roderick
Linzie, minority student researcher
for the Michigan Student Assembly.
To combat the problems of isolation
and alienation, Linzie said "there are
people and organizations at this place
who are working to change the
educational experiences."
"NOT ONLY DO we need to bring
students in here in larger numbers,
the quality of life here needs to im-
prove.
"Improving the product rather than

Neal Nielsen (R-Brighton) ...
opposes tuition increases, but his
position on the code has flip flopped
from opposing it during the election
campaign to supporting it since he's
been on the board.
the package is more important," Lin-
zie said. "If you improve the product,
the package will take care of itself,"
he added.
Victor Torres, the Hispanic
representative in Minority Student
Services, said that low minority
enrollment causes are not within the
college system alone. "The problem
isn't just in higher education, but in
the whole educational system," he
said. He traces the problem to dif-
ferences in culture, socio-economic
status, and previous academic per-
formance and quality of education.
IN ORDER TO COMBAT some of
the problems of being a minority
student here, the University provides
special services geared toward
helping minority students succeed.
Minority Student Services is the
only University-sponsored resource

Veronica Smith, (R-Grosse
lie) ... was elected to the board last
November and is less vocal than other
regents, but she asks many questions
to administrators when they make
presentations to the board.
staffed completely with minority per-
sonnel. The office sponsors cultural
programs for Native American,
Hispanic, Asian, and black students.
In addition, MSS offers personal
counseling, advice about academic
and financial assistance, and has
career fairs for minority students.
The Opportunity Program/Com-
prehensive Studies Program, also
sponsored by the University, provides
academic and personal counseling to
all students. CSP also has intensive
courses which meet for more sessions
per week hanLSA courses, and
tutorial services.
In addition to these services, there
are several other campus
organizations specifically for
minority students. Dorm minority
peer advisors and the Michigan
Student Assembly office provide in-
formation about these groups.

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