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One hundred four years of editorial freedom
March 31, 1995
senate OKs closed university presidential searches
By Ronnie Glassberg
Daily Staff Reporter
Public universities would be able to shut
the doors on presidential searches under two
bills passed yesterday by the state Senate.
Senators rejected a proposal from the Senate
Governance Operations Committee to keep
marches closed until three finalists were picked.
Instead, they approved, 18=13, a plan by
Minority Floor Leader John Cherry. It would
require only the final candidate's name to be
made public. But the school's governing board
could not vote to hire that person for 30 days
after the name was made public.
State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-South
Lyon), who represents Ann Arbor, voted
against both bills.
"The public has the right to review the
leader of an institution to which they provide
funds," Smith said. "I think it's arguable that
those candidates who have great confidence
with their abilities will not fear the public
scrutiny and the repercussions from their cur-
The two-bill package would exempt such
searches from the state's open meetings and
freedom of information laws under four con-
The search committee is made up of at
least one faculty member, one student, one
alum, one university administrator, one mem-
ber of the school's governing board and one
person from the general public.
0 The number of governing board mem-
bers on the search committee is not a quorum
of the board.
N Once a final candidate is chosen, the
board's final vote cannot be made for 30 days.
The deliberations and final decision
must be made during an open meeting.
In the past, university boards have avoided
the open meetings law by appointing subcom-
mittees to pick a president. But a Sept. 28.
1993 decision by the Michigan Supreme Court
said that practice violates the law.
The decision came in a lawsuit filed by The
Ann Arbor News and the Detroit Free Press
against the University's Board of Regents in the
1988 search that culminated in the selection of
James J. Duderstadt as president.
In its ruling, the high court said that if a
university board gives even one member the
power to pick a president, that person's work
must be open to the public.
State Sen. John Schwarz (R-Battle Creek),
chair of the Higher Education Appropria-
tions Committee, sponsored the changes.
"I don't think it's possible for any university
in Michigan, as a result of Booth vs. University
qf Michigan, to have a meaningful search,"
Schwarz said in an earlier interview. "I think the
candidate pool would be significantly smaller
and significantly less qualified."
Vice President for University Relations
Walter Harrison expressed concerns over the
changes made by Cherry's proposal.
"I'm very hesitant to have as a part of the
Open Meetings Act the state telling the Board
of Regents how to organize its searches,"
See CLOSED, Page 2
Mitchell will stand
tria n A2 rape case
Members of the Michigan hockey team console each other
'M ier go ti
iiow they mus
By Tom Seeley advance past the sem
Daily Hockey Writer their last three "final f
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - It was a But while the
battle between two of college hockey's yesterday's game wa
heavyweights that didn't want to end. past, the contest its
Itwas the nation'stop offense pitted other.
iainst the nation's top defense. Michigan jumpe
It was the last game of the year for 2-0 lead behind g
the Michigan hockey team. Hilton and Matt H
Yesterday, in the second-longest score again until Mi
game in the history of college hockey, goal of the year kno
Maine outlasted the Wolverines 4-3 at three with just o
to advance to the finals of the NCAA remaining in the gar
Tournament. The puck would
Dan Shermerhorn's goal 28 sec- again until Shermr
onds into the third overtime period sent handed shot slid u
the Black Bears to their second final in goalie Marty Turco
ree years and sent Michigan packing. 37 seconds later.
The Wolverines have now failed to The game-winnin
State rep. propC
y Zachary M. Raimi Profit said he m
ally Staff Reporter amendment, when
The battle over state higher edu- on the overall budge
cation appropriations generated more cause it is more fair
sparks this week when Rep. Kirk Profit the University's tuit
(D-Ypsilanti Township) announced "We want to trea
his plan to propose an amendment as the jewel that it is,
that would increase the University's offer the University
appropriation by 6 percent. zero to 3 percent mc
Gov. John Engler had proposed a not recognize, in a .
3 percent increase in his budget for all that the University o
*e state's 15 public universities, plus for the state and the
extra increases for Grand Valley State try."
University, Michigan State Univer- Profit also propo
sity and Western Michigan Univer- increase for Eastern
Marijuana advocates to p
13v Michella Lee Thnsonfnn Inli;- Ppt
r after yesterday's 4-3 triple-overtime loss to Maine.
By Frank C. Lee
Daily Staff Reporter
DNA testimony was the motivating factor that con-
vinced a judge yesterday to order accused Ann Arbor
serial rapist Ervin Dewain Mitchell Jr. to stand trial for
one count of first-degree murder and four counts of first-
degree criminal sexual conduct.
At yesterday morning's preliminary examination, 15th
District Court Judge Ann Mattson found there was probable
cause for Mitchell,33,to be bound overfor trial, after hearing
closing arguments from the prosecution and the defense
regarding the admissibility and accuracy of DNA test results
linking Mitchell to four of the assaults.
Mitchell remained silent while his lawyer, Washtenaw
County Assistant Public Defender David Lankford, en-
tered a not guilty plea on all counts. The judge's decision
concludes three full days of testimony from more than 20
witnesses, including statements from the three rape vic-
tims and their families, law enforcement officials and
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 4, and the trial
is tentatively scheduled for July 10. Washtenaw County
Circuit Court Judge Donald Shelton will preside over the
trial for the rapes and murder. If convicted. Mitchell could
receive several life sentences.
Shelton will also hear another trial on Monday for a Dec.
24 assault and attemptedrobbery allegedly involving Mitchell.
In his closing arguments, Lankford moved for a dis-
missal, arguing that the DNA evidence is not as accurate
as the prosecution would have the court believe, nor is it
well established within the legal community.
Mitchell's attorney attempted to discredit the DNA
experts' testimony by criticizing the sample size of the
general population used to determine the estimated prob-
ability of a match.
The lab compared certain genetic markers and the
frequency with which they would appear in any given
population of three different ethnic groups,- Caucasian,
Black and Hispanic. Based on the frequencies, scientists
can estimate the odds that DNA evidence came from a
person other than the suspect.
"DNA is, clearly, extremely complicated scientific
information," Lankford said. "Regardless of how good
faith they believe these estimates might be, these are, in
fact, estimates. There is no real way of ascertaining
whether or not those estimates are accurate."
nifinals in each of
end result of
as similar to years
elf was like none
d out to an early
oals from Kevin
err but failed to
ke Knuble's 38th
tted the game up
ver five minutes
not find the net
45 minutes and
ng play came sec-
onds after a faceoff to Turco's right.
Shermerhorn won the draw from
Michigan's Mike Legg and sent the
puck back to teammate Reg Cardinal.
Shermerhorn then got behind Legg to
the bottom of the faceoff circle where
Cardinal was able to pass him the puck.
From there, the Shermerhon skated in
front of Turco and faked a forehand
shot before sliding the backhander past
the Wolverine netminder.
Ironically, the game-winning play
Maine used to finish Michigan's sea-
son came out of the Wolverines' own
"It was getting to be a marathon
out there," Maine coach Shawn Walsh
said. "Heartbreak hill was there for
See HOCKEY, Page 11
KRISTEN A. SCHAEFER/Dally
Ervin Dewain Mitchell Jr. sits with his attorney In court
yesterday as a judge orders him to stand trial.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie coun-
tered Lankford's argument by reminding the judge that the
estimates were based on "extremely conservative" statis-
tical methodology that would tend to exonerate rather than'
incriminate a suspect. He also dismissed the fact that none
of the victims could identify Mitchell.
"What Mr. Mitchell is asking for is to be rewarded for the
fact that he has so severely damaged his victims that they
cannot identify him," Mackie said. "His best plans to beat
witnesses to conceal his identityin case the witnesses should
live, have failed him, because he left the best possible
evidence at the scenes of crimes. He left the blueprint that
matches Ervin Mitchell and nobody else on Earth."
On Wednesday, scientists from the Michigan State
Police Crime Lab testified that DNA evidence recovered
from all four rape victims matched Mitchell's DNA pro-
file. Blood and hair samples from Mitchell containing his
DNA were fragmented into sections or probes by the lab
See TRIAL, Page 7
uses 6% hike in
will propose the
the House votes
et next week, be-
T and might keep
it (the University)
," Profit said. "To
y of Michigan a
rease clearly does
fair way, the role
f Michigan plays
rest of the coun-
used a 6 percent
n Michigan Uni-
Walter Harrison, vice president
for University relations, said he was
pleased with Profit's proposal. "We
think it's a great idea," he said. "The
University has suffered from five
years of sub-inflationary increases."
Engler's press secretary, John
Truscott, said the governor is "stick-
ing with (his) proposal" for now but
said "we'll wait and see what is pre-
sented to us." He said Engler has not
Profit's amendment also was in-
fluenced by the fallout from Rep.
Morris Hood's (D-Detroit) amend-
See STATE, Page 2
NEW YORK (AP)- For the first
time, a federal judge declared uncon-
stitutional the Clinton
administration's "don't ask, don't tell"
policy on gays in the military, barring
the Pentagon yesterday from discharg-
ing six homosexuals.
U.S. District Judge Eugene
Nickerson said the policy is "noth-
ing short of Orwellian" because it
equates sexual orientation with mis-
"To presume from a person's sta-
tus that he or she will commit undesir-
able acts is an extreme measure," he
wrote. "Hitler taught the world what
could happen when the government
began to target people not for what
they had done but because of their
Lawyers for the plaintiffs wel-
-comed the ruling but cautioned that it
annlie only to the six nennl in the
romote cause tomorrow
n"Thij Tivrz.,' csrc n hastalon a similar rolein I iLS1 .