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December 01, 1989 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-12-01
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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w VIq

V W"

President James Duderstadt

Some

call

it positive,
direction
from the
top. Others
label it
ere

rhetoric:
The
Michigan

W 7
erate diverse views and strive to un-
derstand people with different back-
grounds.
It's a wonderful, grandiose docu-
ment, but it doesn't claim to be a
"bureaucratic directive."
The mandate calls itself an
"organic and evolving framework for
organizational change that would at-~
tract and reflect the active participa-
tion of faculty, students, and staff at
all levels of the University."
T he mandate doesn't have itsc
own budget. LSA Dean
Edie Goldenberg said,t
"Some money has been allocated;I
some money we allocate ourselves;I
some money goes to the depart-
ments."<
However, the mandate doesn't
necessarily give more money to de-i
partments for such initiatives. Fac-
ulty or administrators who plan new
programs must receive funds through
their own departments, and their re-
quests will be handled on a case-by-i
case basis, said Associate Vice Pres-i
ident for Academic Affairs Mary Ann
Swain.I
Money is also available for fac-1
ulty hiring through the mandate's
"target of opportunity" plan. Under
this plan, deans search for qualified
minority faculty members and find
room for them in their departments.
In the past, for example, thei
English Department chair wouldI
search for a Shakespearean literature
expert to fill a necessary opening.i
Under the new plan, the chair wouldI
look for good people and squeeze
them in wherever possible. So ifI
minority Shakespearean literature
experts are hard to find, the English
Department can still benefit from a:
qualified minority professor.1
The administration says "there's
this pot of money," Goldenberg said,i
"and when you have a candidate, you
come to us."
It is in this area, administrators
say, that the mandate has achieved
its greatest success. For example,
Swain announced earlier this year
that the University hired 45 new mi-
nority faculty. Last year, she said,
the University hired 32.
By those numbers, taken from a
survey of the 17 deans, the Univer-
sity has done a formidable job of re-
cruiting minority faculty.
Those numbers can't be put in
perspective, though, because Swain
said figures before 1988 aren't avail-
able.
Other minority faculty figures are
available. In the central administra-
tion, though, there is some dispute
over what constitutes a faculty
member. The University's Affirma-
tive Action Office and Personnel
Department, which publish numbers
of faculty every year, follows "the
feds' definition," Swain said.
By that definition, in contrast,
the University retained just 10 fac-
ulty members from 1987 to 1988 -
a one-year jump of 4.2 percent. This
year's statistics have not yet been re-
leased.
But Swain said the "University
operates very differently" than the
U.S. government definitions would

allow. The University's Board of
Regents definitions, she said, are
more inclusive than theirs."
In other words, the federal classi-
fications don't count clinical profes-
sors, part-time lecturers, and hired.
faculty still awaiting tenure. Swain
said personnel would not count fac-
ulty who go on leave for a year, but.
the deans still consider them active
faculty members.
aSwain's figures would not in-.
clude hired faculty who later left the
University - but that only includes
three minority faculty this year and
four in 1988, said Director of
University Relations Walt Harrison.
As a result, the personnel figures
are much lower than the administra-
tion's. From 1984 to 1987, accord-
ing to those figures, the number of
tenured and tenure-track minority
faculty went from 228 to 237, an in-
crease of just 4 percent.
So it all depends on who's count-
ing. The Affirmative Action Office
is accountable to the federal govern-
ment, but University officials say
the government definitions are mis-
leading because they don't include
significant faculty hires.
But whether the figures have
gone up in giant leaps or
small steps, the University
is making marked progress. Student
minority enrollment has also gone
up. In the last five years, 358 more
minority students decided to enroll
here, a 9 percent increase.
Overall, the University's student
body grew 5.8 percent during the
same time period.
While these numbers indicate
significant improvement, many say
the progress isn't enough.
Blacks currently constitute 6.5
percent of all University students, up
from 5.1 percent in 1984, but that
figure is still shy of the 1969 Black
Action Movement's 10 percent
Black enrollment goal.
Said SACUA's Ness, "This re-
mains very much a 'pale male' insti-
tution that's trying to change."
Still, "anybody who denies we've
made progress has got

their head in the
sand," Duderstadt
said. "There are
universities ac-
ross the country
who would give
their eyeteeth to
do what the Uni-
versity has done. "
But for such a
decentralized Uni-
versity, it's im-
possible to de-
termine what
caused the pro-
gress. The man-
date seems to
have had no prac-
tical effect, espe-
cially in student
recruitment areas.
The Business
School has seen
skyrocketing fig-
ures: Minority
student enroll-
ment has more
than doubled from
1986 to 1989,
from 164 to 352.
The number of
minority LSA DeanE
business faculty has leapt from 93 in
1984 to 104 last year.
All of those increases haven't
taken place under the mandate. They
were the result of heavy school re-
cruitment during the past 10 years.
Business School Dean Gilbert
Whitaker praised the mandate, but
didn't give it credit for the school's
success. The school, he said, has
been working on dozens of different
recruitment programs, including
high school and college undergradu-
ate outreach programs and national
college consortiums which raise
money and recruit students.
Such efforts aren't easy, espe-
cially when the results may not be
seen for several years. Each school
has its own dilemmas.
Music School Senior Admissions
Counselor Laura Strozeski said the
college is "instrument-based." In
other words, you can't have a dozen

Mandate

die Golden berg
saxophonists in an ensemble. Some-
times the school must recruit a harp-
player to fill a spot, and minority
harp-players can be hard to come by.
The mandate, Strozeski said,
helps the school's recruiting because
it "makes you target efforts and be
held accountable for them."
Whitaker and others say
the mandate fills a
much-needed gap on
campus: a statement of purpose by
the administration. Past University
presidents - like Harold Shapiro,
who spent most of his time trying
to dig the University out of a severe
budget crunch - haven't made such
a clear statement that minority is-
sues are a top priority.
Student activists have been wait-
ing for that kind of statement for
years. In 1969, the first BAM strike
nearly shut down the University.
Thousands of student, faculty, and
staff strikers boycotted classes and
dorm meals in a unified demand for
higher Black enrollment and more
supportive services for minorities.
After a 16-hour negotiating ses-
sion, University administrators
pledged their support for the strikers'
cause. By 1973, they planned, the
University will have provided
enough funds for 10 percent Black
enrollment.
But many of those goals got lost.
For the next 10 years, Black enroll-
ment actually went down, and only
in this decade has the University be-
gun climbing out of the hole.
But merely bringing minority
students to campus isn't enough.
During the last two years, the Uni-
versity has attempted to solve cam-
pus problems with racial tension.
Two years ago, a DJ for campus
radio station WJJX broadcast anti-
Black jokes over the air. Soon after
that, some Black women meeting in
a Couzens Hall lounge were shocked

The Effects of the Mandate
minority representation at the 'U'
ROf

to
dec
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Tir
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sity
Ho
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tion
and
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prc
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on
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M;
clu
sit
ba
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im
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ers

By Steve
Kno per
uderstadt calls the Michigan
Mandate his personal
"commitment to diversity."
LSA senior Delro Harris, chair of
the Michigan Student Assembly's,
Minority Affairs Commission, calls
it a "commitment to vagueness."
They're both right.
The mandate doesn't really do
anything. It doesn't allocate money
outright for recruitment or retention
of minority students or faculty. It
doesn't set any specific goals, and it
doesn't establish numerical quotas.
As a result, it is impossible to
assess "with any clarity" the impact

of the year-and-a-half-old mandate,
said Law School Dean Lee
Bollinger, one of the 17 deans at the
University responsible for recruiting
minority faculty and students.
At the Law School, the com-
mitment toward recruiting, retaining,
and improving the climate for mi-
norities is "as strong as it's ever
been," Bollinger said. "It's consis-
tent with the Michigan Mandate but
not caused by it."
The highly-publicized mandate
broadly diagrams the University's fu-
ture. It states, for anyone willing to
listen, the central administration's
vision of what the University should
be.
"Institutions change from the
grassroots up rather than from the
top down," Duderstadt said. "I've
challenged groups to work with me
to refine this vision."

The catch-word in this vision, of
course, is "diversity." Duderstadt
says faculty, staff, students, and ad-
ministrators should be more diverse.
In fact, he uses the word "diversity"
55 times in the latest 35-page revi-
sion of the mandate document.
Diversity can mean any number
of things. For English Department
chair Robert Weisbuch, it can mean
broadening the curriculum so stu-
dents read works from women and
minority athors, in addition to
more traditional authors like Shake-
speare and Faulkner.
"I don't think anyone woke up
one morning and said, 'The president
says I have to teach this stuff so I
better teach it,"' Weisbuch said.
iversity can't be measured,
many say - but initiatives
can.

Harris, for one, believes the ad-
ministration ought to outline a list
of objectives and appoint commit-
tees to carry them out. The mandate,
he said, "is only as good as whoever
wants to listen to it. There are many
people around campus who don't
care.
The mandate doesn't address
many specific areas, Harris said. The
Center for Afro-American Studies,
the absence of a Native American
studies program, and a lack of mi-
nority administrators all need im-
provement, he said, but Duderstadt's
document doesn't proclaim support
for any of them.
Sociology Prof. Gayl Ness, chair
of the faculty's Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs,
said, "The Michigan Mandate lays
out broad goals and says, 'You fig-
ure out how to get there."'

What happens, though, if a dean
or department chair's definition of
"diversity" differs from Duderstadt's?
What if some unit head decides mi-
nority recruitment just isn't impor-
tant?
"You aren't going to be put in
jail," said Assistant to the President
Shirley Clarkson, "but you won't
get a positive evaluation."
Since Duderstadt took office in
September, 1987, he has delivered
dozens of speeches touting the man-
date's ideas. In the 21st century, he
says, minorities will make up a ma-
jority of the U.S. population. The
University ought to reflect those
numbers.
But that's not all. Students, fac-
ulty, and staff members must recog-
nize that such an environment will
be new to many people on campus.
As a result, we must all work to tol-

.. WVV

-I

5000 0
4000 .
S tdent3
ooo -
2000
1000
Fa 1 ty1989Aflue,
o not aabl
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
The faculty figures are based on personnel and
Affirmative Action Office statistics. These only include
part-time and full-time tenured and tenure-track
members.

CA
l

Page 6 Weekend/December 1,1989

Page I

6

Weekend/December 1, 1989

Weekend/December 1,1989

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