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September 10, 1987 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-10

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

The Michigan Daily, Thursday, September 10, 1987- Page 15

Administrators take care of



The University administration may
seem as confusing as something out of a
Kafka novel to incoming students.
"As a freshman I thought of the
administration as a big and powerful
voice coming from, I don't know where,"
said one LSA senior.
Even the Fleming Building, which
houses administrator's offices, is a
confusing maze of conference rooms and
secretarial cubby holes where ringing
telephones, computer printout machines,
typewriters, and the smell of coffee fill
the air.
BUT through all the confusion sur -
rounding the administration, some order
can be found. The hierarchy of the
executive branch of the administration is
rigidly structured. Current President
Harold Shapiro, who will be leaving in
January to assume the presidency of

Princeton University, has the ultimate
authority over the administration.
Directly beneath him are the six vice
presidents, each of whom hold power over
their respective areas of the
administration: Vice President for
Academic Affairs and Provost, James
Duderstadt, Vice President and Chief
Financial Officer, James Brinkerhoff,
Vice President for Government Relations
and Secretary of the University Richard
Kennedy, Vice President for Research,
Linda Wilson, Vice President for
Development and Communication, Jon
Cosovich, and Vice President for Student
Services, Henry Johnson.
But most students are unaware the
administrative breakdown and still wonder
what goes on in the fortrees-like
administration building
Like the rest of daily life at this
University, however, the executive

structure becomes less confusing with
time and perhaps, to the surprise of some
students and the distress of Kafka, not at
all that unreachable.
SOMEWHERE over the telephone
and typewriter cords one can find large
cozy offices with family pictures,
honorary plaques, and coffee mugs with 'I
love grandpa' proudly displayed on stacks
of official papers and agendas.
So maybe these guys we only hear
about really are people. Shapiro was
unavailable for comment but was
described by Kennedy as "one of the
brightest people" he has ever known. "He
has a brilliant mind and is totally
dedicated to the concept of excellence
which has been one of his most
important contributions. He is a caring
president in terms of students. We will
miss him a lot," Kennedy said.
Of the six vice presidents, only two,

Brinkerhoff and Kennedy, are alumni of
the University. Brinkerhoff did has
undergraduate work at Alma College in
Alma, Michigan where he was the editor
of the student newspaper, and he earned
his MBA at the University in 1948, a
time when rent was $19 per month,
Brinkerhoff said.
Brinkerhoff has been with the
University for 25 years and has two
children who have also graduated with
University degrees. Although Brinkerhoff
said his department is more of a "business
operation" without as many opportunities
for students to offer input, he encourages
student involvement with the adminis -
BRINKERHOFF also offered some
advice for incoming students, "This
University is massive only if you're
looking at it as a vast forest and can't see
it for the trees," he said. "You have to

pick a couple of the trees and grow from
that small base, such as room mates,
class friends, organizations. It is a micro-
environment which will extend across the
years. You don't have to press it." He
will be retiring in June of 1988.
The other University alumnus
Kennedy said, "I have been here at the
University longer than anyone in the
world." He pursued both his undergraduate
and graduate degrees here and two of his
five children have attended the University.
Kennedy began his career as a
University administrator in 1970 under
then-President Robben Fleming. Kennedy
said he has worked directly with
University presidents since.
Kennedy recalls that as a first -year
student at the University, he was "scared
to death." "There were only 70 kids in my
(high school) graduating class and this
was a different world." Kennedy added,
See 'U', Page 16

TAs teach many undergrad
classes, determine grades

(Continued from Page 12)
consist of opinions, both good and
Either way it can be a shock, if
what you're used to from high
school are teachers in polyester who
make you sit in straight rows and
call them by their last names. Here
that's reserved for the lecture halls,
along with being quiet and falling
But when you walk into your
discussion section you'll find that
TAs run things their own way.
They will be hard, easy, bored,
enthusiastic, overworked, underpaid,
smarter than the professors and
sometimes as seemingly ignorant
of a subject as you.
SOME TAs will simply review
the lecture. Others will insult the
professor and teach their own
opinions. They will bake cookies
for the last day of class, bring in
their infants, pass out their home
phone numbers, invite you over for

parties, or just have the parties in
If there's any generalization you
can make about TAs, it's that they
know what thdy're talking about.
But any student in section 004 who
gets an "A" when his friend in
section 004 gets a "C" will dispute
that fact as well. Perhaps the only
thing TAs have in common, then,
are the questions new students tend
to ask about them:
"Where does these guys get off
teaching me?" - well, first of all,
they've done a lot more research,
reading, and studying on the subject
than you have. And last spring, the
TA's union the GEO passed a
proposal that all LSA departments
will have a TA training program
before the fall of 1988.
This summer also marks the
first time that foreign LSA TAs
were required to take a three-week
intensive English course through

the Center for Research, Learning
and Teaching.
"CAN he really make or ruin
the class for me?" - Actually,
yes. While lectures and readings
introduce the material, TAs run the
discussions and largely determine
how much and how well you learn.
A lazy TA can leave you unpre-
pared for the final, while a great one
will enlighten you far beyond the
course material. Two tips: Try to
switch sections if you foresee
problems, and watch for end-of-the-
term review sessions in which the
"better" TAs open up their class-
rooms to all students.
If nothing else, TAs - who live
in the grey and harried area between
undergraduates and professors - are
romantic reminders of lifestyle in
which people do cherish learning
for learning's sake. After all, we
know they don't do it for the

Go Blue Daily Photo.
A University alumnus leads a cheer at a crowded Michigan football game. Envied or even hated by fans in the
rest of the Big Ten, Michigan fans are probably loud and obnoxious. But they should be; they've got a lot to be
loud and obnoxious about.

The RC offers altern

Editor's note: Associate Liter -
ature Science and Arts Dean Jack
--Walker, recent Residential College
graduate Ed Feil, and RC senior
David Burton all contributed to this
Students in RC classes such as
"Alternate Paradigms to Modern
Social and Natural Sciences" read
such books as Gregory Bateson's
Steps to an Ecology of Mind. In it
he describes a metalogue - a
conversation the point of which is
made not only in the dialogue but
also in the structure of the conver -
sation. This is a metalogue about
the RC:
Interviewer: So the RC seems
really weird. Nobody gets grades
and people come to class in tie-dyed
bathrobes. Why does everybody
think it's so great? All you get is
evaluations. How do you know
how well you're doing when you
get a "significant development" on
your report card? Will this get you
into grad school?
RC senior Dave: I see this


nature of the RC as an asset rather
than a determent. The way the
college works promotes learning.
It's like a moving train; you get on
and you get off and you end up
understand what you mean, but
that's not the question I asked.
Dave: That's the point. I told
you what I thought was important
not what you wanted to hear. You
see the RC promotes learning on
your own and formulating your
own questions. We march to our
own drummer.
Interviewer: But do you really
learn anything? I know the RC is
only about six or seven percent of
the LSA student body, and you all
win these writing awards and
circumnavigator scholarships. How
do you do it if you don't have any
Ed: The nature of the RC
attracts talented and creative people
to begin with. This combined with
faculty members who are willing to
devote a great deal of time to

gate way
students in developing analytical
thinking fosters an atmosphere of
personal achievement. You struggle
against yourself, not others, to
achieve academic excellence.
DAVE: If we ever want 500-
student lectures in a big auditorium
with a lot of competition, we can
get it in LSA.
Interviewer: You mean you don't
have 500 people in RC classes?
Ed: No. There are usually
about 15 to 20 people in a class,
and no class has more than 70
people in it, and some of the
seminars only have five or six
Interviewer: So you all just sit
around with TAs - not that they
aren't good teachers - and get your
education from them?
D A V E: No, most all of the
classes are taught by full or

to learn . _

associate professors. They're really
accessible, and you can see them in
their offices all the time. There's
even a picnic in the fall and dinners
each month where you can get
together and talk with them
Interviewer: But where do they
find the time to do this. My LSA
professors are running off to write
books all the time.
Ed: RC professors don't have
to publish or perish. They just have
to be good teachers.
Interviewer: But doesn't that go
against everything that the Uni-
versity holds sacred like having the
most renowned faculty in the
country and all?
Ed: Well that's a reality and
there's a lot of pressure from LSA
See LSA, Page 16

X _ .E. r .......

Daily Photo
The first class to graduate from the Residential College posed for a class
portrait in 1971.


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