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February 07, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-07

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OPINION

Page 4
Faculty hiring process exposes

Tuesday, February 7, 1989

The Michigan Daily

recurring Droblems of institutionalized racism:

1

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False

promises

revealed

By Susan Harvey
Today there will be an informational
picket line at the LSA building at noon to
publicize and protest the racist and sexist
faculty hiring process that has most re-
cently been manifested in the University's
refusal to hire a distinguished Black female
faculty member in Sociology and
Women's Studies. The case of this
scholar, who was enthusiastically recom-
mended for hire by two university search
committees, points to the type of tacit,
subtle racism and sexism institutionalized
and buried within the very structure of this
University.
Clearly, even when candidates of color
obtain the credentials deemed necessary to
teach and do research, a core of established
white male scholars still possess extraor-
dinary and unchecked discretionary power
to deem their work "acceptable" or
'unacceptable." They say: "We must up-
hold the standards." What standards?
Whose standards? And what if the candi-
date in question is a social scientist and
many of her critics are chemical engineers,
Susan Harvey is a steering committee
member of the United Coalition Against
Racism.

as is true in this case? Never mind. But
what if individuals trained in the same
field and already tenured by the University
conclude that she is more than qualified for
the position? Never mind. But what if, to
survive the isolation felt as a Black
woman in white male academy, and to
give back something of value to her
community, a minority scholar takes a
leave from academia. Won't her C.V. ap-
pear somewhat different than those of her
white male counterparts? Perhaps, but
never mind. We are told : "We can't find
qualified minority faculty to come here."
But when they finally do, there are yet
more barriers such candidates must sur-
mount, and then they are likely to be ca-
sually dismissed in the end.
Ironically, faculty are hired or rejected,
promoted or ignored, based on a vague set
of so-called standards that purport to be an
objective measure of another set of equally
vague principles the University purports
to hold dear. Moreover, the secrecy around
how decisions are made, why, and by
whom, further encapsulates the biases,
protects those who exercise them, and
makes no one, least of all President Dud-
erstadt, accountable to the larger commu-
nity.

This incident exposed some problems
and contradictions that go to the very core
of what learning, teaching, and scholarship
are all about, and how institutions like
this one serve as a self-perpetuating model
of inequity and intellectual rigidity.
Why doesn't the University openly dis-
close what its standards are, and what spe-
cific criteria lie behind the ambiguous
terms of "excellence" and "quality." Is it

not have time to talk to students for more
than five minutes? Or researchers that
publish volumes concerning communities
they would never spend more then fifteen
minutes in themselves.
Students of color and progressive whites
have complained about the few minority
faculty, and the virtual absence of Black
women faculty. But this case testifies to

'...when candidates of color obtain the credentials deemed
necessary to teach and do research, a core of established white
male scholars still possess extraordinary and unchecked dis-
cretionary power...'

the internal university process of hiring.
But such blind trust has left us with the
lack of diversity we have lived with for
years.
What is Michigan's Mandate, and how
will Duderstadt keep his promise of diver-
sity if he is truly external to the very pro-
cesses that will potentially affect that
change?
After eleven minority groups wrote to
Duderstadt, we were referred to Dean Vest,
who is conveniently out of town, and of
course no one wants to discuss this or any
other case because it is a "personnel mat-
ter." Students have been the force that
have put racism on the University's
agenda, and if we remain silent now, the
Michigan Mandate and Duderstadt's flow-
ery promise will never become a reality.
In his inaugural address, Duderstadt asked
students of color and anti-racist whites on
this campus to continue to challenge him
and his policies to affect substantial insti-
tutional change.
Come to today's picket at 12:00
p.m. in front of the LSA building
and join many other anti-racist
student and faculty groups in
voicing our intolerance of this
latest case of blatant institutional
racism.

the number of books published? A degree
from an Ivy League school? A prominent
mentor, or a consistent output in terms of
publications? Are these facts irrelevant? Of
course not, but they are marginal in the
selection and hiring process at the Univer-
sity. How many of us know professors
with all of these qualifications who are so
self-consumed and distracted that they do

how and why the current abysmal situa-
tion persists. If we allow the process to
remain secret and unchallenged, we are
complicit. The issue is not the confiden-
tiality of candidates. Rather, there is a
greater insult to a candidate in an unfair
rejection than in our efforts to redress that
discriminatory treatment. Secondly, where
does the silence stop? We are told to trust

&be ftbdgan 1aiIy
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No.91 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Rep.

Q uayle or vulture?

LAST FRIDAY, Vice-President Dan
Quayle visited El Salvador. While
there he delivered this message to the
rulers of that country: future U.S. aid
will be conditional on an end to death
squad killings.
Quayle's trip and the reasons for it
have several implications. Speaking to
government officials was acknowl-
edgement of the fact that the Salvado-
ran government has some control over
the death squads. This is interesting
given that our government has always
held that the death squads are rightist
extremists not connected with the gov-
ernment. The Bush administration is
now tacitly admitting what many peo-
ple already know: that the members of
the death squads are members of the
government security forces.
Another implication is that the U.S.
~ is concerned about human rights in El
Salvador. The U.S. has sponsored an
indiscriminate air war against civilian
supporters of the FMLN. The death
squads share intelligence with the Cen-
tral Intelligence Agency and work
closely with the U.S. embassy in
choosing targets. These facts make it
hard to believe that suddenly the U.S.
government cares about the lives of the
Salvadoran people.
Quayle claims that the U.S. will ac-
tually follow through on its threat to
cut off aid to the Salvadoran govern-
ment if death squad killings continue to
increase. The U.S. government has in-
vested three billion dollars in El Sal-
vador. Though by defense spending
standards this is nothing, also at stake
is the U.S.'s new "walking tall" im-
age. Ideologues who pledge to roll
back "communism" in Nicaragua and
see El Salvador as the next test case
will not give up so easily on a close
ally.
The Bush administration is worried
about El Salvador's strategic position
in Central America. The civil war in
that country has reached critical pro-
portions.The FMLN, the guerrilla
coalition fighting the U.S. backed gov-
emment, has increased its popular sup-

U.S. aid to El Salvador. This consen-.
sus was built around the image of
moderation and democracy put forth by
Jos6 Napoleon Duarte, the chosen can-
didate of the U.S. embassy in the 1984
presidential elections. Duarte and his
party, the Christian Democrats, were to
be the "moderate" alternative between
the guerrillas and their political allies
and the far right. Duarte has never been
a moderate, but his image helped win
U.S. aid.
Now the Christian Democratic Party
is in disarray, having failed to keep any
of the promises that were made in the
1984 election campaign and having
corruptly used U.S aid for personal
gain. The party of the far right,
ARENA, is now likely to "win" the
presidential elections in March, indi-
cating that the U.S. embassy is losing
control of the Salvadoran political
scene. The shift of power from the
U.S. backed Christian Democratic
Party to the far right has already oc-
curred and can be seen in increased
death squad activity.
Death squad killings are likely to
keep increasing. ARENA is the party
of the death squads. It is led by
Roberto D'Aubuisson, long recognized
as the center of the death squad net-
work in El Salvador and author of the
murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero
in 1980.
As the FMLN continues to gain
power, the government will continue to
kill civilian supporters of the guerrillas
because it is unable to strike directly at
the guerrilla army.
Given the United States' relationship
with El Salvador, the Quayle trip
should be recognized for what it really
is: a ploy to maintain Congressional
support for aid to the Salvadoran gov-
ernment.
U.S. policy is not going to change
no matter how many people are killed
by the death squads.
Then Vice-President Bush made a
similar trip with a similar message in
1981. What followed were the three
most intense years of death sauad ac-

By Zachary Kittrie
Anybody, including Bruce Belcher, is
entitled to an opinion ("Kittrie Should
Apologize,"Daily, 1/26/88). It is de-
plorable, however, that the Daily permit-
ted unsubstantiated accusations and con-
clusions, by one who is not an MSA
officer, to take the lead over a wide range
of more substantial issues they should be
dealing with at this time: the possible
cutting of the MSA budget, tuition in-
creases, the proposal of a Black student
lounge by the Black Student Union, the
student-led movement for a Korean lan-
guage course, and the need for a greater
student role in the shaping of University
policies.
Bruce Belcher masquerades as some one
else's agent in writing his biased report on
my activities. But, the MSA rules are
clear: no investigation of any officer can
be undertaken without the approval of the
assembly. Yet , Bruce Belcher seeks to
circumvent these democratic procedures.
Not dwelling on due process and fair
procedures, let me go to the heart of the
Belcher accusations - what are the facts?
During my two and one-half years at the
University I have: sought to contribute as
much as possible to the quality of student
life on campus, to the advancement of
student interests, to the improvement of
student government, and to a more effec-
tive working relationshipsbetween the ad-
ministration, faculty and students.
As chair of the External Relations
Committee I have been committed to in-
creasing financial aid, improving Univer-
sity priorities like recruitment and reten-
tion, and lowering tuition and fees. As a
student on the University's Budget Priori-
ties Committee, I have been committed to
pressuring the University to watch its

Lefends
waste and consider cost-cutting. These is-
sues to me extend across the demarcation
of race and ethnicity.
This past Fall Term, I helped to direct
an effort to register over 6,700 students to
vote, the most successful voter
registration drive in Ann Arbor since
1972. All students deserve an opportunity
to register to vote.
Last year, as president of the East
Quadrangle Representative Assembly, I
strove to bring stability to that residence
hall government. My commitment to
hard-working student government actually
dates back to high school where I served as
president of the Amnesty International
chapter, and student government president
for 1 1/2 terms. I helped to institute a se-
ries of speakers in connection with Black
History Month and Martin Luther King's
Birthday.

record
was heard, and at times I was indeed
overzealous in carrying out
responsibilities that I perceived to be
required of me as a representative of the
Michigan student community at large.
Did I seek or try to undermine MSA
members as Belcher claims? No. Most, if
not all, of those people have been carrying
out their duties responsibly. A woman or
man who discharges his or her
responsibility in good conscience is not
usually threatened by honest questioning
or disagreements. Nearly all of the MSA
members are my friends and colleagues.
When I disagree, I should have the right,
indeed the duty, to speak my mind.
Finally, let me ask who Bruce Belcher
is. What are his credentials (racial, ethnic,
gender or otherwise) to accuse me of big-
otry? I have not thus far worn my creden-
tials on my sleeve, because I abhor racial,

'If I am guilty of anything it is of an overabundance of will-
ingness to work for student causes.'

In all my activities I have made a- sin-
cere effort to work with the student leader-
ship, its committees and personnel - of
whatever race, gender, nationality or
political persuasion they might be.
I have served just once with Bruce
Belcher on any assignment, task or com-
mittee. None of his alleged accusations are
based on first hand experience.
If I am guilty of anything it is of an
overabundance of willingness to work for
student causes. Indeed, I plead guilty to the
following: I have taken the student gov-
ernment business very seriously (often to
the detriment of my academic work); I
have often volunteered to do MSA work
even when not ordered to do so; when
other MSA representatives were absent or
could not attend I set out to fill the void
- to make certain that the student voice

ethnic and other stereotypes, and because I
believe every person should be judged as
an individual.
Unfortunately, Bruce Belcher, you tried
to fire your assassin's gun at the wrong
person: for I too am a minority- the son
of a Hispanic immigrant mother. Yet, I
am afraid that this won't worry Bruce
Belcher too much. After all, facts are not
his strong suit.
But if facts are of concern to him - he@4
is the one who owes an apology to me.
He owes an apology because my com-
mitments and programs on this campus
have never wavered: seeking to further the
common good of all students, rather than
to permit internal squabbles and pettiness
to reduce the ability of a richly diverse
student body to play a strong, constructive
and unified role on this campus.

Zachary Kittrie is an LSA junior and the
Chair of the External Relations Commit-
tee of the Michigan Student Assembly.

L e tte s..o the..d..o ... . . . ............. :::...::::: :::: "::: "."::?.:<:.":.::?:":". .': ::}. y :....

Greeks are
not evil
To the Daily:
.I would like to respond to
the recent attack on the Greek
system, fraternities in specific,
by the editorial staff of the
Michigan Daily in the January
25 article "Fraternity Rush:
Don't buy the hype." I am a
member of the Greek system,
an alumnus of Alpha Epsilon
Pi at the University of
Virginia, and am personally
offended by the article.

that one be a student in gc
standing at that fraternit3
university, it was not ur
recently that sororities beg
forming and "men of colt
were admitted into fraternities
The majority of Greeks li
in their chapter house. Becat
of this aspect of Greek life,
is imperative that all memb
be able to live with o
another. This is why the ru
system was instituted. It %
important for the fraternity a
sorority members to adr
persons who would be able
live and interact with I
existing members; it was a

everyone who rushes, thus,
ends up with a bid to become a
member; likewise not every
house gets the people who they
give bids to.
The Daily seems to believe
that the Greek system is an
evil institution. This is far
from the truth. What the Daily
fails to recognize are the many
good points of the Greek
system. To mention a few,
there is community service. I
know that the Greek system at
the University of Virginia is a
major force in community
service. The Big Brothers-Big
Sisters program is composed

chapter. And, believe it or not,
one learns responsibility. The
Daily quotes the statistic that
95 percent of the people in
Congress are Greek alumni. I
don't know the numbers
offhand but a large number of "
successful businesspersons are
also Greek. I would say that is
a big plus for the Greek
system.
Perhaps the Greek system
here at Michigan has its
problems, but, I dare say, so
does any system of any kind
anywhere. that still does not
make the Greek system
inherently bad. I think that the 0

ua

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