The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 4, 1994 - 3
Voters will elect two members to the University's governing body
By LISA DINES AND RONNIE GLASSBERG
Daily Staff Reporters
Beyond the four profiled candidates, four other small-party
candidates are also in the race for the two open seats on the
University's Board of Regents.
However, the regents are traditionally elected from the dominant
parties during the general election.
The other candidates include:
0 Gary Bradley
Regent Paul Brown, the Democratic incumbent from Mackinac Island, said
the challenge before the Board of Regents is to prepare the University for the 21st
Brown said the regents have accomplished a lot during the 24 years that he
as served on the board. "There has been a large growth in minority enrollment
rom 2,500 when I came
here to 7,500 now," he said.
He added the number of # Born April 23, 1934,
minorities and women on the Washington, D.C,
faculty has also grown, but University of
cautioned: "I don'tthinkthat Michigan, bachelor's
work is done." degree in political
Brown said the Univer- science, 1958; law
sity has increased its private degree, 1961.
-endowments and invested in O Political experience:
frastructure. "There has University regent
been a lot of construction since 1971.
and remodeling in the last 20 "Professional: Brown
to 30 years." Chief executive of ferry boat line
Thechallengeforthenext since 1991, practiced law for 30
century, Brown said, is find- years.
ing new ways to keep tuition Family: Married, four children.
costs down. He favors ef-
forts for raising endowments and private donations.
"We're looking at our relationship with Lansing to see if there is anything we
*n do to improve appropriations," he said.
He added that the University needs to cut costs and asked, "How should the
University be organized for the next century from an administrative perspective?"
The board has also faced many policy decisions during Brown's tenure.
Brown headed the committee that chose President James J. Duderstadt and
illegally met in closed meetings. He voted to approve the addition of sexual
orientation to the University's policy on non-discrimination and the development
of the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities - the University's
code of non-academic conduct. "Some things are controversial, but the board
has to face them and make the decision," he said.
Brown said the code is necessary because the University cannot leave
osecution solely to the court system. He said the University cannot rely on
the courts because cases are often dismissed on technicalities and procedures.
"We have no control over the prosecuting," he said. "We can't just rely on
the normal legal system. Trial can take forever."
Another policy decision facing the board is the Michigan Student Assembly's
push for a non-voting student regent.
Brown said he is not opposed to the idea of a student regent, but he worries
that it may not be practical. "It's a lot of work and a lot of time."
"I think you will find arguments will develop over who should be the
person talking to the regents. There are a lot of factions on campus," he said.
* Beside fiscal and policy-setting responsibilities, Brown said the board
should not interfere in the day-to-day operations of the University.
When the University adminis-
tration wanted to add sexual
orientation to its non-dis-
criminatory clause, it needed the Board
of Regents' approval.
And to enact policies such as the
Statement of Student Rights and Re-
sponsibilities -- the code of non-aca-
demic conduct - the administration
also needed approval of the regents.
The seven-member Board of Re-
gents controls policy and financial de-
cisions at the University, while the
administration follows the policy and
runs the day-to-day operations. In ad-
dition, the regents are charged with
electing the University president.
"They are in one sense, technically,
the University. They are the governors
of the University. They are responsible
for policy and oversight," said Univer-
sity President James J. Duderstadt.
Tuesday, Michigan voters will elect
two members to the board. Incumbent
Democrats Paul Brown of Mackinac
Island and James Waters of Muskegon,
who have each served on the board
for 24 years, will face six challengers
for the two open seats.
Despite the Democrats' long ten-
ure on the board, the Republicans may
have an edge: Gov. John Engler's lead
may push in Republican candidates
across the state.
"If you have a Republican year or a
Democratic year, it will be harder for
the opposite (party candidate)," said
history Prof. Nicholas Steneck. "The
election of regents has become more
political over time."
Besides the four major-party can-
didates, there are also four indepen-
dent candidates running. These in-
clude two Libertarians, one Natural
Law candidate and a Workers World
candidate. But, at least in recent
memory, no regent has come from out-
side the two major parties.
As a member of the board, regents
are not paid, but do receive some ben-
efits. Each regent receives University
parking stickers, stationery, telephone
credit cards for long-distance calls to
the University, four football tickets,
four basketball tickets and four com-
plimentary tickets to any University
athletic event they request. In addi-
tion, regents travelling to bowl games
are members of the official party.
Regents travelling from out of town
to attend meetings are reimbursed for
the cost of accomodations in Ann Ar-
The board was established in 1837
as a part of the state constitutional
provisions that set up the University.
From the University's founding in 1817
Regent Shirley McFee (R-Battle Creek) addresses University President James J. Duderstadt at the last Board of
Regents meeting, with Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) at her side.
until 1837, trustees governed the Uni- governed without a president until
versity. the faculty reached 10 members.
"The unusual constitutional au- "The regents essentially estab-
tonomy is vested in the regents.... If lished the University as it exists to-
you read the history of the University, day. They bought the land, they hired
you will find the regents have had a the faculty, they set up the initial
great influence. It's that trustee role, organization," Steneck said.
that stewardship, that's key," Before adding a president,
Duderstadt said. "That turmoil struck the Univer-
requires people who +ITY (sity in 1850. The re-
love the Univer- gents fired the entire
sity and are will- faculty.
ing to devotesig- "That was
nificant time the contro-
and effort to versy over fra-
work on its be- temitiesandse-
half." y cret societies.
In 1850, a Some were op-
Michigan con- posed and some
stitutional con- were not,"
vention sepa- Ic *Steneck said.
rated the board "Theregentsgotfed
from the state Legisla- upandtheybroughtina
ture and gave the regents president to run it."
full jurisdiction over all Uni- In 1852, the regents se-
versity affairs. The convention also lected Henry P. Tappan as the first
called for the popular election of the University president. "For the first few
regents. years, the faculty elected a chief officer
Initially, voters elected all the re- among them. Initially, the regents ran it
gents at the same time. Now, voters as far as budget and administration,"
elect the regents under a staggered sys- Steneck said.
tem for lengthy eight-year terms. Even with the addition of a presi-
"The longer the term, the more con- dent, the regents initially kept a close
tinuity you give to those positions. It's eye on the University through a com-
designed to give more consistency," mittee system, which would oversee
Steneck said. the different areas of the University.
When it was first established, the "They were much more intimately
board was larger than the University's involved in the running of the Univer-
two-member faculty. The regents also sity," Steneck said.
As the University grew, this was
no longer possible. "They authorized
$5, $10 expenditures in the begin-
ning," he said. "I think in general
everyone agreed that it was not prac-
tical for the regents to be closely asso-
ciated with all the decision making."
While its role has changed, the
regents continue to oversee the Uni-
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Ar-
bor) said he thinks the role of the re-
gents has diminished in some ways.
"There are restrictions placed on
the board's activity in selecting lead-
ership," Baker said. "Here I speak
about the presidential search."
Baker sat on the board that chose
Duderstadt in a series of closed-ses-
sion meetings. The Michigan Supreme
Court has since ruled that the regents
violated the state Open Meetings Act
during the search.
Baker said that while the board has
always faced certain tensions with the
president and between political parties,
overall there is a healthy amount of
conflict. "You rarely see a partisan
argument in our discussions."
Regent Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann
Arbor) said oversight is the board's
"It has policymaking and fidu-
ciary responsibilities," she said. "The
Board of Regents sets the policy and
the administration implements it. We
are not, however, managers. And re-
gents need to remind themselves of
In September, Republican regent candidate Andrea Fischer got caught in
what she claims was a politically motivated move to keep her off the board.
Even with the passage of the regents' conflict-of-interest policy, which will
force her law firm to give up University accounts if she wins, Fischer will not give
g . She said the board should avoid political partisanship and vote based on the
Mest interests of the Univer-
"I think you have to do
what is best not only for the
students but the public based
on the responsibility that
you've been given."
Fischer said she feels it is
important for the board to
listen to the public's con-
*rns. "I think it is real im-
portant not only to be acces-
sible but also be willing to
state your views publicly."
The board should only
close meetings when the is-
sues discussed are exempt
under the law, she said. Now
#Born July 16, 1958,
'Bachelor's degree in
history, University ofr
Paddock and Stone Fischer
Political experience: trustee, Oakland
University, 1991 to present.
Family: Engaged, one child.
Daniel Homing, a Republican candidate for regent from Grand Rapids, said he
opposes teacher tenure in all levels of education - including the University.
"Good teachers don't need it and bad teachers don't deserve it. It creates
an atmosphere that makes everybody marginal," Horning said.
Horning said presidential searches should to be closed to the public despite
a court ruling that the re-
gents conducted the 1988
search for President James NBorn Aug. 26, 1959,a
J. Duderstadt illegally. Grand Rapids.
"There's no way you can Bachelor of general
tell me that during a presi- sciences degree,4
dential search with open University of
meetings, you'll get the best Michigan, 1952.
possible candidates. They Political experience:
ought to be private, made first run.Y
up of the Board of Regents, O'Professional: Partner
a faculty representative and in district agency of
a student representative," he Northwestern Mutual Horning
said. "By having that meet- in Grand Haven,
ing open, I think it really 1982-present; manager of Michigan
reduces the quantity and football team, 1979-82.
quality of the applicants." Family: Married, two children.
As a regent, Horning
said he would try to keep the costs at the University down. "If I'm elected, I'll
examine every aspect of the budget. It's important to make sure you're not
duplicating services," he said.
But he added, "I think tuition's high nationwide, but tuition's also an
investment. We have to make it the highest investment that a student can buy."
While state appropriations have not kept up with inflation, Horning said the
University needs to look at other sources of funding. "Private giving is essential
to continue the programs that U-M has established," he said.
In policy areas, Horning said he sees a need for the Statement of Student
For the past 24 years, James Waters, a Democratic incumbent from
Muskegon, has served on the Board of Regents. This year he is seeking another
As a regent, Waters supported a conduct code for the University, such as the
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. "You can't always rely on the
criminal system. A person
could be found not guilty
based on a technicality." |Born March 15,
He said the regents may 1940, Hickman, Ark.
consider amendments to the Bachelor's degree in
code directly if the office of economics, Western
Student Affairs cannot Michigan University,
gather a quorum of the stu- law degree,
dent panel. "If it's some- University of
thing really urgent, we Michigan 1970.
might act on it." 'Political experience:
But the regents must con- University regent,
sider other concerns as well. 1971- present. Waters
"We actually represent the 'Professional: Senior
citizensof the state,"Waters director in the Waters, Cook, Oslund
said."Students come andgo." and Waught Law Firm.
One issuethattheMichi- Family: Married, one child.
gan Student Assembly has
brought to the forefront is
having a student serve on the board in at least a non-voting capacity.
"I wouldn't really have an objection with letting students have a voice on
issues important to the students." Waters said this input should be limited to
areas of direct concern for students - such as tuition and the Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities.
In considering the University's long-term interests, however, Waters said the
regents also represent the students and faculty. "It depends what's best for the
University. If the students are correct on an issue, that's the way we would vote."
a trustee at Oakland University, Fischer said her record shows her commitment
to openness. "I've opened every meeting at Oakland University including
.mmittee meetings," she said.
Fischer said this openness should not end during presidential searches - as
the University regents illegally did during the search for President James J.
Along with this openness, Fischer said she favors an activist board. "The
board is the only body that can change the bylaws," she said.
But Fischer said she does not agree with the board's recent decisions on bylaw