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January 06, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 6, 1995

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'Higher education is not like a factory. You can't
rearrange machinery and get a 10-percent increase
in productivity.'
-University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Gilbert
R. Whitaker Jr., on MSU's pledge not to raise tuition beyond the rate of inflation

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan

Jessie Halladay
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
Flint Wainess

Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
The new provost
U' should open search process to public eye

.rN /

/ ,





W ith Provost Gilbert R. WhitakerJr. plan-
ning to step down this summer, the
University again must wrestle with the ques-
tion of conducting a search for an administra-
tion official. Choosing a provost should not be
taken lightly, as the University's second-rank-
ing executive leaves a profound impact on the
campus academic climate.
For this reason, the University should re-
verse its pattern of conducting job searches out
pf the public eye, ensuring a voice for students,
staff and other members of the University
community in the process of finding a new
However, the University appears poised to
continue its long-standing-and wrongheaded
. policy of hiding personnel searches from
the public. President James J. Duderstadt said
the entire search process for Whitaker's suc-
cessor would remain confidential -up to the
rubber-stamping of a finalist by the Board of
Duderstadt's statements backtrack from an
encouraging trend that saw the University con-
duct its search for a new housing director in
public. Students and staff were invited to offer
input into the search for a new housing director
torough a series of public interviews - ses-
sions that, although sparsely attended, gave
the public its rightful voice.
Duderstadt now appears determined to shut
the public out of the provost search, arguing
that it would undermine the integrity of the

search. He claims that deans of colleges who
wish to be considered for the job may hesitate
to run if their names are released, and that
sitting deans who bid for the provost's job
may lose credibility in the eyes of their staff if
their names are made public.
Yet past experience with job searches has
demonstrated that the need to attract a diverse
pool of candidates does not warrant the
University's secrecy. Candidates did not shun
the housing director search knowing that they
would be subjected to public scrutiny. Simi-
larly, would-be provosts must realize that the
job entails frequent criticism from the staff
and public. The provost must make unpopular
decisions. If applicants cannot withstand the
public spotlight in interviews and otherphases
of the job search, they have no business seek-
ing the position.
While closed searches are perfectly legal
-except in the case of presidential job hunts
- conducting such processes in private di-
minishes the public's oversight role in public
institutions. Ultimately this erodes public con-
fidence in their governmental institutions -
and justifiably so.
The provost'sjob is one of great power and
responsibility. The provost shapes the
University's academic life to a great degree.
He or she should be selected not in a closed-
door search, but through a process that in-
volves all members of the University commu-




* ~

Don't blame the Republicans

Wanted: a vision
Democrats must find new appeal for voters

W ith one day of the 104th e
credit must be extended where Con
itis due. Ending proxy voting, Second of a s
allowing for more honest budgeting, stream-
lining committees and eliminating the con-
gressional exemption for a number of federal
laws are all long overdue reforms. Speaker of
the House Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) de-
serves praise for ushering these rule changes
forthrightly and immediately through the new
4But lest observers be fooled, these are mostly
nonpartisan issues. The Democratic majority
it the House passed much of the exact same
legislation in the 103rd Congress, only to see it
filibustered at the hands of Senate Republi-
cans. Hypocrisy, it seems, has become a win-
ning political strategy. The Democrats exer-
gised some hypocrisy of their own on the first
(y of the new Congress, vociferously object-
ihg to the closed rule the Republican leader-
pip invoked on their first vote as the majority.
Yet what Democrats didn't object to was the
40 years of closed rules their own leadership
iiposed on the Congress - closed rules that
enbittered the opposition and led to the fierce
infighting that soured the nation's mood to-
ward elected officials.
Not that the Democratic resistance to closed
tiles was at all surprising - the majority and
minority will always engage this sort of jock-
eying for legislative position. But in the bigger
pcture, it clearly demonstrates that Democrats
op Capitol Hill still don't get it: the country
wants leadership, not partisan bickering. Fo-
cusing on the closed rule was in many ways a
imask, covering what could increasingly be
( scribed as an intellectual vacuum on the side
of congressional Democrats.
As Gingrich pointed out in his first address


104th fought to end segregation, and
1res the New Dealers brought a
! S country teetering on the edge
ies of disaster to salvation. The
past, however, can only win so many elec-
tions. The Democrats must advance an inclu-
sive vision of the future that couples intellec-
tual honesty and a swallowing of bitter politi-
cal pills with a defense of working and young
From its outset, the Clinton administration
has thrown bone after bone to big business.
After the 1993 budget deal, and especially
after the failure of health care reform, the
administration turned to a new tactic: trying to
out-Republican the Republicans. The presi-
dent tried to preempt the Republicans on
crime by passing the crime bill; more recently,
he has put forth a middle-class tax cut more
friendly to working families than the Repub-
lican tax cut. But at every turn, the administra-
tion has failed to build trust among the Ameri-
can electorate, advocating feel-good solutions
that ignore tough choices on entitlements and
fail to provide real savings for the middle class
Clinton proposes to represent.
Perhaps a winning strategy for the future
would be to embrace Labor Secretary Robert
Reich's strategy of attacking "corporate wel-
fare." Perhaps the administration should adopt
a strategy that looks to the future, joining
courageous people like Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-
Nebraska) in recommending ways to save the
future of entitlements. While the exact course
Democrats should take can be debated, what
is clear is that they should not simply accept
the GOP agenda and try to one-up it. Instead,
they need to present real alternatives - alter-
natives that will not allow orphanages, do not
take away benefits from the disabled and the
indigent and do not make it harderfor working

Deny Hill his
To the Daily:
For those of you who wish
to categorize me, I am against
the death penalty, against kill-
ing doctors who provide abor-
tion services and, except in un-
usual circumstances, against
Let's start with that last one.
I am against the "my body, my
choice" mentality. A develop-
ing organism with a full human
genetic code is probably hu-
man. To my knowledge, all of
the cells of my body, with the
exception of my gametes, have
the same chromosome struc-
ture. There might be unusual
cases in which an abortion is
necessary. To tell the truth, I
haven't made up my mind on
that one. Though I do not have
the statistics to prove it, I have
the feeling that the vast major-
ity of abortions are probably
forms of retroactive birth con-
trol for sexually irresponsible
partners. I do not deny the dif-
ficulties that accompany an
unplanned pregnancy. It is a
time when love and support,
not condemnation and aban-
donment, are especially called
In spite of my views on abor-
tion, the gunning down of health
professionals deeply saddens
me. I empathize with the goal
of protecting the unborn, but a
holy war is definitely not the
way to go about it. Jesus taught
compassion and peace, not mili-
tarism. These religious fanatics
are misguided and corrupt the
essence of the pro-life move-
ment. Anyone with strong con-
victions and a firearm is dan-
I am also against the death
penalty. I believe it is cruel and
unusual punishment, and there
are also economic and deter-
rent issues to consider. How-
ever, in Paul Hill's case, there
is an even more compelling rea-
son to grant astay of execution.
Killing Hill is giving him ex-
actly what he wants: martyr-
Paul Hill killed, convinced
that he was doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, a frightening
number of people agree with
him. I am sure that if Paul Hill
was released, he would kill
again. But if Hill is executed,
even more lives will bejeopar-
dized. Hill did not kill just to
halt the abortions performed in
one clinic. Hill committed mur-
der for the same reason that he
thinks the Messiah went to
Jerusalem: in orderto die. Hill's

To the Daily:
I am sick and tired of hear-
ing and reading about how Re-
publicans are responsible for
every single problem that ei-
ther exists in America today,
has existed in the past or will
exist 50 years in the future.
Arwulf Arwulf of WCBN
FM stated in his letter to the
Daily: "And now, with Repub-
licans seizing poweronce again,
we can lookforward to a lot
more of (hate). Hate makes
America great. And what goes
around comes around." ("Rac-
ist e-mail from Buckley," 12/9/
94) Could we possibly be a
little more close-minded here.
While we're at it, let's blame
the Republicans for the extinc-
tion of dinosaurs. Get real.
In Economics 201, we have
learned about the fallacy of ergo
propter hoc. Just because two
things exist, does not mean one
is responsible for causing the
other. Likewise, just because
there are Republicans and hate
present in America today, does
not mean that the Republicans
are responsible for all hate in
Some people may cite the
recent College Republican fly-
ers to argue that statement. Fine.
I'm a Republican and, frankly,
I find the flyers to be ignorant

and I know many other Repub-
licans who would agree with
me. The members of that orga-
nization do not, by any means,
represent an accurate cross sec-
tion of Republicans in America
Many have also claimed
that Republicans are respon-
sible for the health care situa-
tion in America today. Not
likely. Consider these facts
before you criticize: 1) Demo-
crats have been in control of
Congress for the past 40 years
and only realized that a prob-
lem existed two years ago. 2)
None of the health care plans
that were presented, including
the Clinton Health Reform Bill
and Newt Gingrich's "Contract
With America," are able to
cover the increasing cost of
Medicare and Medicaid. Imple-
menting either plan would have
quickly become a budget night-
mare for America.
I could comment for hours
usingexamples similarto these.
All that I ask, is that people
think about statements before
they make sweeping judgments
of people. After all, we're sup-
posed to be doing what's best
for America, not squandering
time trashing the opposing po-
litical party.
James Winshcel
LSA first-year student

New Year's Eve:
an American
After-twenty years of spending
New Year's Eve in the eastern
United States, I rang in 1995 last
week in San Diego. They celebrate
the holiday pretty much the same
way over there, except they do it
three hours later, because of the
exchange rate.
Pretty much around the coun-
try, in fact, New Year's Eve is
celebrated in the same way. First
you sit down and make your New
year's resolutions ("No more vom-
iting on the cat this year") and then
you go out and do the traditional
New Year's activities (vomiting
on the cat).
People walk around the streets
at all hours of the night with one
goal in mind: hooting. In every
corner of the country, people hoot.
"Whoooooooo-hoooooooo! !"they
hoot. It's like a construction
worker's convention.
Along with all that fun hooting
- let's face it, we all enjoy a good
hoot once in a while - comes the
wealth of useless party favors on
New Year's Eve. Silly hats. Con-
fetti. Walk around with these things
for the first 364 days of the year,
and people will ship you right to an
insane asylum (which, take my
word for it, is not fun). But on New
Year's nothing is too dumb to bring
to a party. Everything is accept-
One big reason why everything
is acceptable is that most people
are too drunk to know the differ-
ence. After you have had a few
beers, even Rush Limbaugh looks
OK. He still sounds like a complete
idiot, but he looks OK.
Much is made of "getting offon
the right foot," and "starting off on
the right track" and "getting off on
the right track," in the new year.
The inherent problem is that the
new year is generally started off
with a hangover. So as soon as you
wake up to start the new year,
you're in trouble.
But the drinking is not the part
of the holiday that is played up in
the media. No, the media take a
more traditional approach to the
For example, the media often
make mention of "Auld Lang
Syne." This only appears in the
print media, largely because no-
body knows how to pronounce it.
In fact, most people don't even
know what this phrase means
(loosely translated from the Scotch,
it means "Ohhhh, what a head-
Television takes more of a "hu-
man-interest approach," also
known as the "wimp approach."
Forexample, one ofTV's tradi-
tions surrounding New Year's Day

is the celebrated "first baby of the
new year." Local television sta-
tions joyfully do features on babies
born just after the stroke of mid-
night. The baby's parents proudly
talk to the reporters about their
proud accomplishment of having
the first proud baby of the new.
"We're very proud," says one
"Extremely proud," says the
other, extremely proudly.
Proud? Of what? Is giving birth
on Jan.1 any more impressive than
giving birth on any other day of the
year? Except for the fact that on
Jan. 1 women give birth with a
hangover, there's no real differ-
ence. Yet the parents somehow
feel they should beprouderon New
Year's Day.
It's like a husband turned to a
wife some day in late March and



Review does not support hate

To the Daily:
In a recent letter ("Racist e-
mail from Buckley," 12/9/94),
Arwulf Arwulf accuses the
Michigan Review of espous-
ing racist views and links the
publication to a nationwide
movement of hate. These irre-
sponsibleclaims are unsubstan-
tiated, untrue, and have no ba-
sis in reality.
The Michigan Review
champions the principles of lib-
erty and individualism. The
paper views collectivism -
any form of group "rights" or
group identity - as being det-
rimental to a free society, for it
will lead to economic ineffi-
ciency as well as a general lack
of respect for the individual
and individual rights. Racism
is simply one form of collec-
tivism, and we at the Review
reject it.
The Serpent's Tooth sec-
tion of the Review is one of the
most popular in the paper. It
presents a humorous, satirical,
and, as its name implies, sharp

criticism of the hypocrisy and
stupidity that is present on both
the left and the right. It does not
advocate or condone racist
views, and I challenge Arwulf
to prove otherwise.
Furthermore, the Michigan
Review is an independent, stu-
dent-run publication. It is not
affiliated in any way with Wil-
liam F. Buckley, Jr. or National
Review Magazine.
We at the Michigan Review
are proud of our articulate and
intellectual defense of classical
liberal philosophy and policy.
It is unfortunate, especially in
this university setting, that some
on both the left and the right
choose instead to engage in
name-calling and demagogu-
ery. If Arwulf opposes the prin-
ciples of individualism and lib-
erty, he would be better to cri-
tique these principles rather than
defame their messenger.
James A. Roberts
LSA junior
Managing Editor,
The Michigan Review


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