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September 04, 1986 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-04

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a0

Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1986 -

'U'hospital
gets off to
a healthy
start

By ELLEN FIEDELHOLTZ
In a time when competition for
hospital patients is high, the Univer-
sity's new 586 bed hospital is
flourishing.
After four years of planning, the
University Hospital and the A. Alfred
Taubman Health Care Center was of-
ficially dedicated in June. The
hospital cost $365 million to build and
is the most expensive hospital in the
state's history..
According to John Forsyth, the
hospital's executive director, the
hospital is operating at a level that of-
ficials hadn't anticipated until the
1990s, including a 90 percent occupan-
cy rate for hospital beds.

"In this day and age, most hospitals
are only 50 to 60 percent full," said
associate hospital administrator
Larry Warren, "A 90 percent oc-
cupancy rate is virtually unheard of."
Replaced Old Main
The new hospital replaced the Old
Main hospital which opened in 1925.
That antiquated facility lacked such
modern basics as air conditioning.
"People no longer have to deal with
an out-of-date antiquated facility,"
said Dave Fredo, the hospital's public
relations coordinator. "The new
hospital has a state of the art setting,
fine facilities and a fine reputation.
The new facility gives patients a
number of unique opportunities."

The new hospital was designed with
meticulous attention to the needs of
patients and visitors. Windows in
patients' rooms, for example, have
been carefully placed so that patients
lying in bed can easily see out.
The hospital's design also incor-
porates open public spaces with high
technology, such as a heliport.
Because the hospital draws in
patients from Michigan, Ohio, and
northeastern Indiana, Warren views
the hospital as more than a "state
resource."
"This high-tech institution provides
services not available in your average
community hospital," Warren said.
Most hospital patients here are

referred from other hospitals or
physicians.
Problems
"As expected, though, the hospital's
first few months have not been
flawless. As with anything new there
are a few problems," Warren said.
The high occupancy rate makes it
difficult to find bed-space for new
patients, he said, particularly when
other patients take longer to recover
than expected. The staff is currently
working to iron out these problems.
The hospital has also faced a shor-
tage in parking, which officials have
partly alleviated by providing ad-
ditional spaces of Fuller Field, and
shuttle buses to transport staff to
work.

Administrators are optimistic
Nonetheless, administrators are op-
timistic, and the hospital plans to
develop several "programs of ex-
cellence" in the future, particularly in
the fields of cancer geriatrics, and
organ transplants.
Optimism was enhanced this sum-
mer when medical experts gave the
University's medical center high
rankings compared to other similar
facilities nationwide.
A survey conducted by Georgia
pysician Herbert Dietrich, and
published in his book "The Best of
Medicine," ranked the University
Hospital among 25 top hospitals that
provide specialized treatment.

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1

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"'
1

TAs may face
English testing

,,
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Getting the bureaucratic
runaround?

Swamped?

Behind the eight ball?

-l"

0 Q
We'llhelp you cut that red tape!

r-/
Just dial 76-GRIPE

Tired of not
getting action?
MSA is here
for you!
76-GRIPE

By MARY CHRIS JAKLEVIC
The state's public universities
would be required to test foreign-born
teaching assistants for competency in
English before allowing them to teach,
under a bill expected to pass the State;
Senate this fall.
Sen. Joe Conroy (D-Flint) said his.
bill is a response to students' com-
plaints that many foreign teaching
assistants do not speak English well'
enough to teach classes.
Conroy's bill would require all
public universities in Michigan to en-
sure that all classroom instructors,
including professors, can effectively
communicate with students. As
proposed, it gives no specific stan-
dard for language competency and
leaves implementation of the testing
completely up to each university.
Conroy said foreign TAs often ham-
per a student's ability to learn. "We
have some indication of people who
were 'A' students in high school who
can't pass some of these elementary
courses in college."
University dependent on TAs
The University has been heavily
dependent on TAs since the 1960s
when enrollment soared and the
facultypstudent ratio suffered as a
result. Last fall there were about
graduate teachingassistants at the
University, mostly concentrated in
engineering, science, and math cour-
ses. Just over one quarter of these are
foreign-born.
Only the College of Literature, Science
and the Arts, and some
engineering college departments
require teaching assistants to be
tested in oral communication skills by
the University's English Language
Institute. ELI has a four-part
examination which requires potential

TAs to demonstrate that they can deal
with various types of classroom
situations, including responding to
questions from students.
"We're further ahead than most
universities in the country, in terms
of testing," said ELI Director John
Swales.
University opposes bill
When the bill was introduced in
May, some University administrators
raised objections to it.
University Vice President for
Academic Affairs and Provost James
Duderstadt speculated the bill could
threaten the University's indepen-
dence, provided in the state con-
stitution, by- undermining the
autonomy of the institution to deter-
mine its own faculty."
Duderstadt said the bill also neglec-
ts the issue of education funding, sin-
ce universities would not have to rely
on foreign-TAs if they could afford to
hire more professors. "It's
questionable from a practical stan-
dpoint . . . If (the state senators)
want quality, they're going to have to
pay for it," he said.
Administrators also said the bill
would not address what many con-
sider the root of the problem - the
cultural differences between foreign
faculty and University un-
dergraduates.
College od Engineering Dean
Charles Vest said most foreign teac-
hing assistants are deemed qualified
as instructors because they have ear-
ned high scores on the Test of English
as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), but
they are sometimes not prepared to
teach in American classrooms.
"Many TAs get here and are sur-
prised by the informality of our
classes," Vest said.

I
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