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January 31, 1989 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-31

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Ninety-nine years of editorialfreedom
Vol. IC, No. 86 Ann Arbor, Michigan - Tuesday, January 31, 1989 Copyright 1989, The Michigan Daily
Doctoral students
scrutinize Deans

Associated Press
One whole propeller aseembly of the crushed Sunday night Canadian C-130 aircraft. The crash which killed
eight Canadian special forces soldiers occured Sunday night.
'Six klled in air disaster

In response to last week's rejection of a
Black professor for tenure by the LSA Execu-
tive Committee, three Economics doctoral stu-
dents have disclosed published articles that call
into question the competence of LSA Dean Pe-
ter Steiner, and LSA Associate Dean John
Both Cross and Steiner are high-ranking
members of the Executive Committee.
Despite the unanimous recommendation of
two search committees, the candidate was de-
termined unqualified by members of the com-
mittee to fill a joint senior position in the
sociology department and the Program in
Women's Studies.
Although Steiner and Cross do not vote in
Executive Committee decisions, they are in-
volved in policy decisions and the formation of
criteria used to evaluate candidates.
According to a Jan. 23 memorandum from
Cross to the Program in Women's Studies and
the Sociology Department, the candidate was
rejected, in part, because of what the Executive
Committee considered a recent decrease in the
candidate's research in her area of study.
Both Steiner and Cross declined to comment
on the nature of the committee decision.
Since this decision, questions have been
raised - about both the criteria for judging the
candidate, and most recently, the competence of
two committee members, Steiner and Cross.
"The University has this standard that they
apply to women and minorities seeking posi-
tions here," said one unnamed doctoral student.
"Yet when we look at the scholarship of those
who have excelled according to these standards,
we find that their work is sloppy and often con-
sists of absurdities and esoteric trivia."
He continued, "These same people then stand
in judgement of women and minority job
applicants who tend to study concrete, less ab-
stract social issues such as racism, sexism, and
The doctoral students requested anonymity
because of a "climate of fear that is part of
graduate training in economics." They said they
feared reprisals -if it were known that they had
publicly discussed some of the problems within
the University's Economic Department and the
discipline as a whole.
Citing a Jan. 1987 article from the Southern

Economic Journal (SEJ), one student said that
Steiner's academic career in economics is ques-
tionable in terms of competence and originality.
According to the article, "The Problem of
Unnecessary Originality in Economics," Steiner
regarded himself and is still widely regarded in
the field as the first serious developer of the
"peak load principle," a significant theory in the
field of economics. In 1957, he claimed origi-
nality for "proof and for the implications of the
solution" to a central part of this economic the-
"...When we look at the
scholarship of those who have
excelled according to these
standards, we find that their work
is sloppy and often consists of
absurdities and esoteric trivia."
- a Rackham doctoral student
But the article reveals that Steiner's supposed
"originality" for this theory - one he is most
recognized for - is in serious question. The '87
SEJ article documents the discovery of a 1929
dissertation that, according to the SEJ,
"presented a formal and complete analysis" of
the very theory Steiner was to later claim origi.
nality for.
Steiner has declined comment regarding the
One other economics doctoral student has
disclosed another article that calls into question
the nature of Cross's academic work in eco-
nomics, and he suggests that a considerable de-
ficiency in research has characterized Cross's
career in the field.
According to the unnamed source, Cross has
presented a mathematical model of learning be-
havior based on the notion of "cardinal utility."
Much of Cross's published research in the '70s
dealt with this model, claims the source.
See Deans, Page 2

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) -
Canada pulled out of joint cold-weather
military exercises yesterday, the morn-
ing after eight soldiers were killed in the
crash of a C-130 transport plane trying
to land in icy fog at 50 degrees below
The four-engine Hercules was carry-
ing a crew of eight and 10 paratroopers
from Edmonton, Alberta, to participate
in Brim Frost '89 when it crashed Sun-
day night at the end of the runway at
Fort Wainwright, said U.S. Army Maj.
Sherrel Mock.
Six victims were dead on arrival at
the Army hospital and two others died
later. In addition, three men were in se-
rious condition, one was listed as stable
and six others were being held for ob-
servation at the base's Bartlett Army

Community Hospital, Mock said Mon-
"We don't know if the cold weather
had anything to do with it, "Mock said.
"Teams are out there right now, going
through the wreckage.
"The investigation is still in its early
stages. They're wondering if it was the
weather or something mechanical."
A 450-person Canadian paratroop
force was to support the U.S. Army's
1st Brigade, 6th Infantry Division
(Light), in a major land battle that was
the centerpiece of the Brim Frost ground
exercises near Fairbanks.
But after the crash, Canadian officials
canceled their forces' participation and
recalled their remaining aircraft and sol-
diers, Mock said.
"They canceled because of the equip-

ment they lost (in the crash)," Mock
added. "The aircraft was bringing in
equipment ranging from snow machines
to cold weather gear."
Military planners call Brim Frost
"the premier cold weather training exer-
cise in the free world." But temperatures
plunging to more than 60 below zero
during the past two weeks have been too
much of a test.
The bitter cold has caused metal and
rubber fatigue in trucks and aircraft,
stalling equipment and generally slow-
ing maneuvers, Mock said.
"But we've been able to land air-
craft," he said.
"Another Canadian C-130 had landed
an hour earlier, the third aircraft in the
flight was diverted to the Fairbanks air-
port because the runway was blocked."

Detroit JOA opponents
to continue legal battle


Opponents of the joint operating
agreement between The Detroit
News and the Detroit Free Press are
refusing to capitulate after their three
year struggle.
The executive committee of The
Michigan Citizens for an Indepen-
dent Press, led by State Senator John
Kelly, met Sunday night and decided
to ask a 13 member federal appeals
court to rehear the U.S. Appeal
Court's decision approving the JOA
last Friday.
The JOA exempts both newspa-
pers from anti-trust laws if the
attorney general determines that one
of the two is "a failing paper."
Committee attorneys William
Schultz and David Vladeck held a
news conference yesterday announc-
ing the decision to appeal.
Representatives from the com-
mittee said the JOA violates the
First Amendment and "puts newspa-
pers in 26 other cities in jeopardy."
This 500 member coalition of
advertisers and newspaper readers had
also filed the first federal court ap-
peal to counter former attorney gen-
eral Edwin Meese's approval for the
newspapers' partial exemption from

antitrust laws.
The committee faced a delicate
situation due to the newspapers' de-
cision to begin the merger on Feb.
2. Committee members said they
must move cautiously and quickly
before implementation begins -
"Then it will be impossible to stop
it (the JOA)," said Kelly.
The committee had the option to
seek a rehearing at the federal appeals
court or go directly to the Supreme
"If we went straight to the
Supreme Court, Rhenquist would
just uphold Thurgood and
Meese...other courts just make more
sense," said Kelly.
By going instead to the appellate
court, the committee leaves its op-
tions open. If a federal appeals court
again upholds a joint operating
agreement between the two papers,
the committee will still be able to
take it to the Supreme Court.
Pressed for time, the committee
wants the U.S. Court of Appeals to
block the partial merge until all
thirteen judges can rehear the appeal,
Schultz and Vladeck said.
The newspapers still plan to pro-
ceed with the merge on Feb. 6 un-

less another stay is issued by the
court, said Free Press Publisher
David Lawrence.
"Every issue has been heard...,"
he said. "Fair is fair, and we need to
The motion for a new stay will
be filed by Wednesday, Schultz said.
If the JOA goes through, the
newspapers will combine advertis-
ing, circulation, production and other
business operations, but the papers
will retain separate news and edito-
rial departments.
Joint Operating Agreements were
established with the intention of
preserving editorial voice and
competition for newspapers in dan-
ger of financial failure.
Knight Ridder Inc., owner of the
Free Press, has threatened to close
the Free Press if the JOA is not up-
Knight Ridder claims to lose
about $12.7 million a year on the
Free Press. The JOA will allow the
two papers to split all profits and
losses evenly after five years.
The newspapers have already an-
nounced their intent to raise their
newsstand and advertising prices if
the agreement should go into effect.


Fine Feathered Friend

e Reagan may testify
at North trial

Ben wetherbee, age 3, and his mother take notice of this rose-crested cockatoo in an Ann
Arbor pet supply on Packard.
Students want alcohol-




North's Iran-Contra trial will begin
today with President Bush free of a
subpoena seeking his testimony but
with former President Reagan still
"subject to call," the judge in the
case said yesterday.

"made no showing that President
Bush has any specific information
relevant and material to the charges
of the indictment which makes it
necessary or appropriate to require
his appearance."
The judge said the diary subpoena

LSA sophomore Deborah Berne
requested a roommate who did not
drink when she applied for housing
last year. She was placed with a
compatible roommate but, it was

question on the housing application
for students who wish to live in al-
cohol-free rooms.
A similar question on cigarette
smoking presently appears on the

bill to the state legislature.
The bill requests 44 private col-
leges and 15 state universities in
Michigan to add a question to hous-
ing applications that would allow
students to be matched with room-

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