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September 08, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-08

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Pgge 4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988


University names Duderstadt president:


Vol. IC-No. 1

Unsigned editorials represent fhe majority views of the Daily's
Editorial Board. Cartoons and signed editorials do not
necessarily reflect the Daily's opinion.
Vote to save student rights:
S Regent Baker's
greatest hits
DURING HIS 16 YEARS AS a regent at the University, Deane Baker
-has forwarded an agenda to act on his racist and homophobic attitudes
and to consolidate University control over students, regardless of
whether such control violates student rights. Student groups such as the
Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) and the Lesbian and Gay Rights
Organizing Committee (LaGROC) have requested his resignation, but
Baker has refused to step down. This November, the Michigan elec-
torate will have a chance to remove Baker from the position of power
he has so consistently misused.
A glance at the "highlights" of his career will indicate that no one
concerned with the good of the University will vote for his re-election:
*Baker's contempt for homosexuals on campus is well-documented.
During a March 1984 regents meeting, Baker said, "Young people of
this state, when they enroll at the University, ought not be forced, for
example, to have a professed homosexual as a roommate, or a homo-
sexual examining physician, or, for the children of married students, a
homosexual camp counselor..."
*When LaGROC demanded that the words "sexual orientation" be
added to the University's non-discrimination policy at the January 1988
-"regents meeting, Baker again failed to address the vital issue of protect-
ing the rights of a minority group on campus. Instead, he burst into a
rampage about Mason Hall "being used as a meeting place for members
of the homosexual community to perform sexual acts in the men's toi-
let rooms," and called for an investigation of his warped allegations.
*Baker has not refrained from.making comments which reflect racist
attitudes. Referring to the University's Black enrollment goals, Baker
said at the April 1987 regents meeting that "Ten percent is not a work-
able percentage, and 12 percent is less workable... The further we go
with the logic of hiring minorities, eventually there will be inequali-
tics." Baker therefore opposes minority recruitment on the grounds that
it would lower the quality of the University.
*Baker has also opposed the establishment of an Office of Affir-
mative Action; the appointment of an associate vice-president of
academic affairs to deal with minority problems; the creation of the
Minority Research Corporation, an independent institution to monitor
minority problems; and divestment from South Africa. In April 1979
he claimed that anyone who would oppose the University's investment
in South Africa must be Marxist or socialist.
*Baker's disregard for student rights is demonstrated by his strong
proponcnce for imposing a code of student non-academic conduct. A
code such as Baker has recommended would threaten students' right to
freedom of expression and leave the regents with the power to arbitrarily
censor any student opinions with which they disagree.
*Baker is a long-time advocate of exerting administration control
over MSA's budget. In February 1979, Baker attempted to end MSA's
funding of the Spartacus Youth League on the grounds that "MSA has
adopted an attitude hazardous to the student body by allocating funds to
pro-communist, anti-capitalist, anti-American groups." Baker and the
other regents are presently threatening to withhold MSA funding en-
*Baker's latest crusade to suppress student's rights has been to press
for a new policy on student protest under which students who engage in
protests that "exceed the normal bounds of acceptable University
behavior" would be prosecuted and arrested. Of course, Baker leaves it
up to himself and the administration to define what sort of behavior is
considered acceptable - an effective way of restricting the expression of
ideas on campus to those they find acceptable.
Regent Deane Baker is an embarrassment and a disgrace to the Uni-
versity. He must not be re-elected to a position of power from which he
can subject the University community to his bigotry. In November, the
students and the voters of the state of Michigan should send him a
message that he is unqualified to represent them.

THIS TERM MARKS THE beginning of James
Duderstadt's reign over the University, and the
students are worse off for it. Chosen by the re-
gents under a veil of secrecy, Duderstadt brings to
the office a history of military research, mis-
placed priorities, and gross ignorance of minority
and women's issues.
In 1982, Duderstadt, as dean of the College of
Engineering, was investigating laser beams for
an Air Force space weapons project. Duderstadt
professed ignorance of military applicability of
his work, claiming, "There's no particular
weapons system that I'm aware of." But the Air
Force itself boasted about the kinds of space laser
research the dean was conducting. Observers in
the Engineering department argued fiercely that
Duderstadt's work violated University guidelines
governing weapons research on campus.
In response to student and faculty calls to end
military research on campus, Duderstadt said that
contributing to the "national defense" should be a
"major goal" of the University. He has yet to
justify publicly his decision to advance his own
research career by developing technologies of
Products of military research are most often
used by fascist regimes in the Third World which
commit atrocities against their own people. A
University president blind to the connection be-
tween research and the advancement of specific
political systems does not have the skills neces-
sary to lead this university. A president who un-
derstands these connections and welcomes mili-
tary-sponsored research is an even more frighten-
ing prospect.
Duderstadt was chosen by the regents as the

of the
next president of the University through a cland-
estine search that flies in the face of open dem-
ocratic process. In May, the regents were sued by
the Ann Arbor News and other papers for their
violation of the Open Meeting Act and the
Freedom of Information Act by refusing to hand
over information about the search. Denied an
emergency injunction, the newspapers will
continue their lawsuit in the circuit courts during
the upcoming year.
In order to escape public accountability, the
regents interviewed candidates in groups of four,
one less than the legal quorum. Students and fac-
ulty had no way of knowing who was under con-
sideration and how many candidates were passed
up in favor of Duderstadt. Significantly, the stu-
dent advisory committee did not endorse Duder-
stadt and ranked him as the lowest of 16 finalists.
During his career, Duderstadt has never in-
dicated he places students high on his list of
priorities for anything. As dean, he claimed to
advocate improving the breadth of engineering
students' education, but instead cut the Hu-
manities Department from the school.
From January to March 1987, Duderstadt filled
in as interim president when Harold Shapiro took
a sabbatical. During these months, United Co-
alition Against Racism members presented de-
mands to Duderstadt to combat racism. Duder-
stadt and the administration alleged that racist
incidents which occurred on campus were insig-
nificant and unrelated; all Duderstadt had to say to
the protesters was that racist incidents are "not
Also during his stint as interim president,
graduate students occupied Duderstadt's office and

appealed to him to ameliorate the financial straits
created by the tuition waiver tax. He did nothing.
Many graduate students - particularly women
and minorities - are now transferring to un-
iversities willing to provide them with a liveable
During his tenure as provost, students received
tuition increases of more than 20 percent. Du-
derstadt failed in his primary responsibility td
lobby the State of Michigan for more public
His only big achievement was the launching of
the Undergraduate Initiative Fund for improving
student life. One million dollars later, the
program has produced few tangible results. Racial
unrest, overcrowded dormitories, the increasing
impoverishment of graduate students, the erosion
of quality teaching, an administration hostile to
student input - all these problems have wors-
As both dean and provost, Duderstadt's record
of hiring women and minority faculty is
abysmal. The Engineering Department remains
pitifully dominated by white males even though
Duderstadt had plenty of opportunities to change
its profile. Duderstadt's lack of concern for mi-
norities on this campus was reflected in his long
delay in choosing a key executive spot for
minority affairs; while he was interim president.
he took more than a month to form a search
James Duderstadt is merely the latest man-
ifestation of the flaws inherent in the Univer-
sity's structure. It will be hard for students to
keep their already tenuous position on campus
with such an authoritarian figurehead.

University policies adversely affect TAs:
Graduate students overtaXed

science departments, graduate stu-
dents, particularly women and mi-
norities, are dropping out, transfer-
ring or moonlighting. These actions
of distress are directly attributable to
two policies which have eroded qua-
lity undergraduate teaching and
which are racist and sexist in their
effect: the LSA ten-term teaching
limit and the tuition waiver tax.
A graduate student teaching
assistant (TA) in the Spanish de-
partment last fall sold stereo equip-
ment by day in order to make meager
ends meet. He was so exhausted he
regularly dismissed his evening class
early. A biology TA last winter term
had a friend to serve as substitute
teacher for a week because she was
visiting another state university
where she was thinking of transfer-
ring. An English TA who moon-
lights at a proofreading agency in
order to pay her bills now regularly
requires a month or more to grade
and return a set of student papers.
These are not isolated incidents
but documented examples of the dire
straits into which graduate students

have fallen at the University. Most
graduate students hold research or
teaching assistantships which pro-
vide a small stipend and a tuition
waiver. Until this year, a waiver up
to $5,250 was tax exempt. But the
tax clause that had excluded tuition
waivers as taxable income was not
restored by Congress in 1988.
Eight of the Big Ten universities
responded to the change in with-
holding requirements by raising sal-
aries to cover the tax, or granting
state residency to out-of-state stu-
dents, or reclassifying tuition waiv-
ers as scholarships. Only Ohio State
and this university have taken no
concrete steps to alleviate the sit-
uation and ensure their graduate em-
ployces a decent living wage.
Last March, graduate students
were served up with bills for with-
holding taxes which, for many, ex-
ceeded their monthly paychecks. The
University callously offered to create
a loan program at the University
Credit Union whereby students
without the capital resources to pay
the bill had the privilege of falling
into debt in order to pay taxes.
More than 1,000 students refused
to pay their bills when the Graduate
Employee Organization (GEO) and
groups representing research assis-
tants called for a mass boycott.
Hundreds of students occupied the
Fleming Administration Building,
appealed directly to then Provost
Duderstadt for relief and were reas-
sured of the administrations "aware-
ness" and "concern."
But as per usual, nothing was
done. GEO members who met with
the administration over the summer
report no change in the official
"tough-luck" shrug of sympathy.
The University's special tax attorney
failed to file his report in July and is
still, after many months of research,
investigating the situation.

GEO members rally on the Diag to demand the University
take action to relieve the burden of new taxes on tuition
waivers. Graduate student Stefan Kock collects tuition tax
bills for presentation to then-VP James Duderstadt.

14:06o Don't let this bylaw
be a bygone any longer

Such explanations are unlikely to
move the hearts of returning graduate
students. If tuition waivers continue
to be taxable income and if the Uni-
versity continues to do nothing, they
are almost certain to face a sub-
stantial net loss in pay. In such a
case, GEO would be justified in de-
ciding the administration needs a
graphic reminder of how the TA
strike of a decade ago closed the
University down.
The exceedingly slow grinding
mills of the University's legal in-
vestigation stand in sharp contrast to
the feverish pace graduate students in
LSA are forced to labor under. LSA
Dean Peter Steiner prohibits indi-
vidual departments from offering
more than ten semesters of teaching
support to students who need more
time to complete their degrees.
Such a prohibition has no other
effect than to stress out already
bankrupt doctoral students and dis-

lesbian and gay male activists have
been fighting for the right to be
protected under the University's anti-
discrimination bylaw, 14.06. This
ongoing campaign deserves support
by everyone in the University com-
munity who upholds freedom of
choice and equal protection under the
Last January, the Lesbian and
Gay Rights Organizing Committee
(LaGROC) proposed to include sex-
ual orientation in 14.06, the bylaw
which states the University will not
discriminate on the basis of color,
creed, or sex. LaGROC brought their
request to the regents for consider-
ation. At their January meeting,
however, the regents initially refused
to even introduce the motion for
discussion; when they finally started
to talk about the issue, Regent
Deane Baker interrupted to launch a
rampage against the gay and lesbian

sity seems to have no moral prob-
lems at all with challenging state
laws and asserting its autonomy.
Although bound by law to divest,
the University retains token invest-
ments in order to force the state into
Because 14.06 also applies to
third parties the University does
business with, Regent Thomas
Roach has expressed anxiety that the
University might find itself legally
forbidden to work with the United
States military if sexual orientation
were included in 14.06. The military
openly discriminates against gays,
and is a huge source of income for
the University. However, the Univ-
ersity's investments in South Africa
show that the administration is more
than willing to work with discrim-
inating third parties outside the law.
Campus ROTC, which already dis-
criminates against handicapped and
other students, is in no jeopardy of
disappearing due to changes in
1 A A4,

eran status.
The above arguments stand pri-
marily as homophobic excuses de-
signed to deny gays and lesbians
their rightful protection under the
law. Over 13 percent of students on
campus are gay or lesbian, con-
stituting the largest minority group
on campus, and the University must
take the appropriate steps to insure
they will not be discriminated

courage the pursuit of creative, an-
bitious research projects.
Many disciplines require disseE-
tations that cannot be adequate4'
completed in five years. Dissert-
tions in field biology, for example,
require an average of 6.5 years to
complete. And yet, field biologists,
medieval linguists and mathemati-
cians are allotted the same five yeah
of support to complete their r-
The ten term limit discriminates
against women. The clock does not
stop for childbirth, childcare or any
other family problems.
Both the tuition tax and ten term
policy are racist and sexist in their
effect. As a group, women and mi-
norities are economically disadvan-
taged and therefore affected more
severely by an extra tax burden of up
to $900 a term. Women graduate
students tend to be concentrated in
the humanities and social sciences
which offer smaller teaching frac-
tions than do the natural science de-
partments. Yet in spite of their low-
er income, women must pay the
same outrageous tuition tax.
As a group, women and minori-
ties enter the University with more
academic deficiencies and must take
heavier course loads. They are more
dependent on their TA salaries as a
source of support. Yet they are cut
off after ten terms regardless of their
Both of these policies work.

If,: C
I F, r

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