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September 10, 1992 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-10

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition-University - Thursday, September 10, 1992

Minorities at 'U' increase
Faculty ofcolor serve as role modelsfor students

'U' Pres. Duderstadt's
responsibilities go far
beyond fundraising

by Purvi Shah
Daily Staff Reporter
Students new to the University
will soon become accustomed to
such , campus buzzwords as
"diversity" and "people of color" -
terms which embody the unique
problems minority students and fac-
ulty face on the University campus.
The University maintains pro-
grams designed to increase minority
faculty and student enrollment.
For faculty members, the Target
of Opportunities Program - spon-
sored by the Office of Academic
Affairs - provides assistance for
minority recruitment at all faculty
levels if a position is not currently
Associate Vice President for
Academic Affairs Mary Ann Swain
said that in its four years of exis-
tence, the program has been very
successful in increasing the number
of minority faculty members.
Affirmative Action Officer Susan
Rasmussen said the University has
"been doing an amazing job getting
Black faculty." She added, "In
general, the surveys we have done
on faculty lead us to believe we're
doing extremely well in relation to
our peers."
But Rasmussen indicates that
more effort needs to be made to
place more minorities into the pro-
fessorship pipeline.
Creating an environment repre-
senting minority faculty is necessary,
University officials claimed, in order
to present positive role models for
all students. Swain also added that
minority faculty members not only
serve as role models, but are also
needed to develop department
Swain called the Target of
Opportunities -Program a success.
"To the extent that our faculty repre-
sent a broader range of perspectives,
our educational abilities are enriched
and enhanced," Swain said.
But Rasmussen noted the hiring
o£ minority faculty affects students
miore immediately - especially stu-
dents of color.
"Until you have an adequate
number of role models - both peo-
ple of color and women - it's going
tb be difficult to attract, retain, and
graduate students," she said.
Rasmussen indicated the gradua-
tion rate for minorities at the
University has improved over the
last 10 years and is higher than the

overall graduation rate across the
"It's a respectable number even
though we can do better. We have to
keep working to keep that to parity,"
she added. "It's tremendously hard
to be the first in a field. (Having mi-
nority faculty role models is) the
kind of thing that says this is an en-
vironment that is welcoming ...
where you can succeed."
When there are no minority fac-
ulty members, "the subtle message
that that is sending is that you can
come here, but you don't belong,"
Rasmussen said.
While many minority recruitment
programs have fallen under attack
for possibly attracting unqualified
applicants, Swain argued that the
University has in no way sacrificed
its standards.
"We maintain our same stan-
dards. What this does is enable us to
hire when we would not ordinarily,"
Swain said. "But the faculty are
In addition to concerns about a
lack of minority faculty members,
the University has had a history
chock-full of exploding racial ten-
sions regarding low student minority
In the 1970 Black Action
Movement (BAM), faculty, staff and
students participated in a strike -
"Open it up or shut it down" - de-
signed to expose and counter occur-
rences of racism and the low num-
bers of campus minorities. At the
time, Black students comprised less
than 3 percent of University
The 1970 University administra-
tion promised to achieve a Black en-
rollment of 10 percent. The
University effort failed to raise either
admissions numbers or to halt racist
campus occurrences.
After an initial push in 1976,
Black enrollment peaked at 7.7 per-
cent, but fell to 4.9 percent by 1983.
In 1987, the state of Michigan had a
Black population of 12.9 percent. At
the University, it was 5.3 percent.
On Jan. 27, 1987 a flyer declaring
it was "open (hunting) season" on
Blacks at the University was dis-
tributed throughout Couzens resi-
dence hall. Eight days later racist
and sexist jokes were aired over
campus radio station WJJX, one of
which asked, "Who are the two most
famous Black women in history? ...

Aunt Jemima and motherfucker."
These events spurred the forma-
tion of United Coalition Against
Racism (UCAR), a broad-based col-
lective of students, staff and faculty,
which demanded the University stop
institutionalized racism on campus.
"We are calling for action now,"
said one of the UCAR leaders
Barbara Ransby, who was a graduate
student at that time. "We are going
to indict the University administra-
tion for not responding to past
When the University did respond,
it was in the form of a $1 million
Affinnative Action initiative.
Initiated in 1987, the Michigan
Mandate was designed to increase
the number of minority students,
faculty, and staff as the campus
faced a threat of declining minority
While there is doubt as to
whether the campus' racial climate
has improved since the program's
inception, University administrators
laud the Michigan Mandate as a in-
novation that will prepare students to
perform in the next generation's di-
verse work force.
"(University) President (James)
Duderstadt made (the Michigan
Mandate) a cornerstone of his ad-
ministration," said Shirley Clarkson,
executive director of presidential
communications. "I think the
progress has been dramatic," she
But Clarkson added, "I think ev-
eryone acknowledges we still have a
great distance to go."
Phase one of the Michigan
Mandate focused on attracting more
minorities to the University. The
next phase of the initiative deals
with a more complex and abstract
goal - creating a multicultural
Last year, Duderstadt used the
money from his Presidential
Initiative Fund - a yearly $100,000
fund which Duderstadt can use at his
discretion - to reward groups at-
tempting to facilitate a multicultural
environment through special
Yet, in light of recent campus
tensions regarding such issues as
deputization of University Depart-
ment of Public Safety officers has
brought into question whether these
programs have had an impact on
increasing acceptance and breaking

Professors 1281
Asian 63
Black 33
Hispanic 10
Native American 1
Associate Profs. 612
Asian 37
Black 30
Hispanic 7
Native American 1
Assistant Profs. 796
Asian 69
Black 44
Hispanic 18
Native American 1
Instructors 57
Asian 1
Black 6
Hispanic 0
Native American 0
down barriers.
Rasmussen emphasized the Uni-
versity is the first chance many
students have to interact in an envi-
ronment which is dominated by
more than one specific ethnic group.
"We live in a country that's very
segregated," she said. "Often times
college is the first time where Black
and white students are thrown to-
gether and are expected to get along
with each other."
Rasmussen commented accep-
tance of diversity and multicultural-
ism is important not only to increase
social stability but also because the
future job market will represent dif-
ferent cultures.
"Students need to be part of a di-
verse work force," she said. "There
are different cultural values. It's not
right or wrong. It's just different."
Rasmussen added, "We have a
ways to go as a society. We're still
struggling with whose rules are go-
ing to rule."
As hesitancy over the efficacy of
the Michigan Mandate builds,
University officials maintain campus
climate has improved.

by Melissa Peerless
Daily NSE Editor
University President James
Duderstadt's job entails much more
than fundraising and deciding the
day-to-day business of the
Duderstadt has presided over the
University since 1988. His term has
seen the University shaken by both
major and minor events.
Soon after he assumed office,
Duderstadt implemented the
Michigan Mandate - a University-
wide commitment to increase re-
cruitment, enrollment and retention
of minority students. The Mandate
also contains programs aimed at
making minority students feel com-
fortable on campus.
The president's office has spon-
sored contests to involve all mem-
bers of the University community in
activities to further the goals of the
"The key to the success of the
Michigan Mandate is involving
people, not just a few people at the
top or scattered groups, but every-
'We are experiencing
the birth pangs of a
new kind of
community that will
characterize our world
in the days ahead.'
one," Duderstadt said. "We have to
get people involved in the program,
to bring in the intellectual commu-
nity on these key social issues."
Duderstadt added that a multicul-
tural campus will help prepare all
students to better live their lives after
"We are experiencing the birth
pangs of a new kind of community
that will characterize our world in
the days ahead," he said. "College
campuses are almost unique. It's the
first time in their lives that students
come together and try to learn, work
and live in a diverse environment."
In June 1990, the University
Board of Regents voted to deputize
the University's police force. The
move met much student protest.
"I think the overwhelming major-
ity of the campus is in favor of
deputization. A small, very loud mi-
nority is not in favor," Duderstadt
said. "Most people have been rela-
tively happy with the way deputiza-
tion has been going. It is making a
On January 16, 1991, the United
States bombed Iraq and the genera-
tion that was never supposed to see a
war sat glued to televisions watching
the Gulf War unfold.
Campus activists urged
Duderstadt to take an official
University stance against the war.
"It is inappropriate for a public
university to take a stance (against
the Gulf War)," he said. "The

University should encourage debate
but the University as an entity could
not take a stand nor should the
Currently, the University is fac-
ing a budget dilemma. The state of
Michigan's ailing economy is pre-
venting the legislature from giving
the University sufficient funding to
continue normal operations.
Last year, the University's budget
was cut in the middle of the fiscal
year, and University officials are
predicting a flat budget for the up-
coming year.
"There is no new money,
Duderstadt said. "We are looking at
the same amount of money we got
last year, which will feel like a loss
with the rate of inflation."
In addition, the University is
expecting to receive less federal
DuHder stad
funding for research. Last year, the
government clamped down on
universities for misuse of the funds.
"The situation in Washington,
D.C. is also made difficult, in part
caused by the new budget process
where domestic spending has been
capped, and due to the Stanford
hearings (on the misuse of research
funds)," Duderstadt said
The University will likely have to
account for these funding deficien-
cies by raising student tuition. The
amount of the increase has not yet
been determined.
These tuition increases come as
administrators have been criticized
for de-emphasizing the role of un-
dergraduate education at the
Faculty and students have said
the University places too much im-
portance on research and the
University Medical Center.
Duderstadt de fended the
University's philosophy.
"Many people throughout the
country and the state have very high
expectations of the University of
Michigan," Duderstadt said. "In try-
ing to be a multifaceted University,
sometimes some things have to



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