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January 16, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-16

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 16, 1996

~be £1b14wn iatI
Maynard Street ~--2MICHAEL ROSENBERG
rbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief

Ann A
rC. ,4

The tough 4fe o an everworked
and unerpal GEO member

Edited and managed by <v ?fJULIE BECKER
students at the JAMES M. NASH
University of Michigan 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.
Untangling hiagher e
State task force suggests improvements
T he future of American public higher sources lobbying against the unfair alloca-
education looks grim: Tuition continues tion. The task force's recommendation, if
to rise, state legislatures consistently allocate implemented, would prevent Engler's ma-
fewer dollars to the schools and professors neuver from being repeated.
are spending more time on research and less In addition, the task force suggested that
time in the classroom. Responding to these the Legislature and universities create a sys-
problems, a state House Republican task temtomake long-termprojections for annual
force presented a list of 10 recommendations allocations. Under the current system, uni-
for improving higher education in Michigan. versities - unaware until nearly the last
Students and University officials heard the minute how much state funding they will
suggestions last Thursday at the Michigan receive - are forced to raise tuition unrea-
Union. sonably. If a projection system were created,
The report makes suggestions in three the universities would be able to plan more
general areas: to retain public universities' accurate long-term budgets and work to lower
autonomy, to equalize state budget alloca- costs in other areas instead of sticking higher
tions for all public schools and to control tuition bills to the students.
costs while improving the value and quality One recommendation raised some con-
oftheschools. The Legislature and the state's cern: the suggestion that universities should
15 public universities should heed these sen- privatize many of their services. Privatization
sible suggestions. defeats the purpose of a public university.
Many of the task force's recommenda- Many ofthe services provided to the students
tions address the most pressing problem in are reasonably priced and maintained by the
higher education: the growing cost of attend- University. Privatization could effectively
ing college. Specifically, the task force en- reduce costs, but the University must main-
courages universities to work with the Legis- tain control over its essential services.
lature to ensure that funding increases are The task force examined problems that
divided equally among the state's institu- have plagued the state's higher education
tions. This fair system would help foster a programs for a long time. And as term limits
cooperative, healthy relationship between all return fewer familiar faces to the Legislature,
the schools. the problems may fester.- lawmakers who
Gov: John Engler's budget last year is an have devoted years of service to combating
example of how unequal funding increases these problems will not be around much
hurt all state schools. Engler allocated a 3- longer. These recommendations, however,
percent increase to every school, plus several will serve as a public reminder to the Legis-
million dollars in additional funds to just lature that improvement is necessary to re-
three institutions. The University was not tain cost-effective, quality education at the
selected to receive the bonus dollars. As a state's public universities. Politicians, the
result, the University's share of the state's universities and the citizens of Michigan
money was less than it would have been if should put most of these suggestions into
every school had received the same funding action. In the end, everyone would benefit:
increase. Furthermore, the University had to Universities would get equal allocations and
waste valuable time, money and other re- education would become more affordable.
Moving maladies
'U' causes staff students to miss MLK events

After four years of hard work, you've
graduated from college. Your high
grades and good references have earned you
a place in a prestigious doctoral program in
your chosen field. To support yourself while
you're earning your degree, you take a part-
time teaching job with the University. Given
your qualifications, about how much would
you expect to earn?
Don't expect much. Here at the Univer-
sity, a doctoral student with the most com-
mon appointment will earn about $10,000 a
year - in a city where it costs at least
$12,000 to $16,000 a year to live.
If you're an undergraduate, chances are
that most of your classes have graduate
student instructors. Your psychology dis-
cussion leader, your physics lab instructor,
your Spanish teacher and your calculus in-
structor are probably all graduate students
- and few of us are paid a living wage.
This is just one of the issues that the
Graduate Employees Organization is con-
fronting in our contract negotiations this
month. Although bargaining began in early
November, the University has so far only
agreed to the proposals that comply with
federal law and to change our title to "Gradu-
ate Student Instructors" (GSIs). GEO's other
proposals - including a small pay raise -
are still on the table. If an agreement is not
reached by the end of the month, the gradu-
ate student instructors could go on strike.
What are these proposals that the Uni-
versity is finding so difficult to accept? Many
are small changes in the contract that clarify
our duties and rights.The contract also asks
that GSIs with less than half-time appoint-

ments receive prorated health care cover-
age. As the contract now stands, instructors
with fellowships who teach one discussion
section must purchase their own health in-
surance - a large expense on a small bud-
get. Under the proposal, they would pay half
of the monthly premium - a reasonable
half-charge for a half-appointment.
Another change concerns the University's
$80 per term registration fee. GSIs receive
tuition waivers, but unlike fellowship stu-
dents, we are still required to pay the regis-
tration fee. We are also required to register
any semester we teach, a convenient catch-
22. Registering for two terms wipes out
$160 a year off incomes that are already less
than expenses.
And then there's the issue of a living
wage. Under the current contract, average
take-home pay for a GSI is $883 a month.
The Office of Financial Aid estimates that it
costs about $943 a month to live in Ann
Arbor - and that's partially based on num-
bers from 1983. A 1994 cost survey found
that the average graduate student without
dependents spent $1,322 a month; the 25th
percentile for expenditures was $1,075.
Assuming 6-percent inflation over the past
two years, this is $256 more than the take-
home pay for most GSIs, even though this
represents a GSI with expenses less than 75
percent of the survey respondents. Ironi-
cally, a graduate student on a fellowship -
someone who can concentrate solely on
classes and research - often makes more
than his colleagues who are working as
teachers. The GEO pay raise proposal does
not ask for much: For the first year of the

contract, we are requesting a raise of $121 a
month, bringing our take-home pay up to
$1,000 a month.
"So what?" you may ask. Law students
and Medical School students don't make
any money at all, and often have to take out
hefty loans to finance their educations. True
enough, but there are some big differences
in their situations. First, lawyers and doctors
are apt to make large salaries upon gradua-
tion; in contrast, recent doctoral students
usually get much lower salaries as
postdoctorates or assistant professors-and
that's if they can find a job in their field at all
Getting a doctoral also takes much longel
than a professional degree - 10 years is the
national average. Most important, doctoral
students who teach are not only taking classes
and doing research toward degrees: We are
workers and teachers who keep the Univer-
sity running.
Think of the wide-ranging effect a strike
would have. At Yale recently, the adminis-
tration refused to recognize the graduate
students' union; as a result, instructors ar
withholding grades and many undergradu-
ates still have not received their grades from
last semester's classes. If a strike occurred
here at the University, papers would not be
graded, many discussion sections and labs
would not meet and some classes taught
solely by graduate students would not meet
at all. It is a powerful image, and it shows
just how much benefit the University re-
ceives from graduate teaching - and how
much more we should be compensated.
- Jean Twenge can be reached oveq
e-mail atjeant@umnich.edu




'if we do it the
way we did it
before, we'll all
be in jail.'
- Regent Andrea Fischer
Newman (R-Ann Arbor),
referring to the current
presidential search





IL q



.9 - - - 0 .. - - I

There's no reason not to balance budget*

Yesterday was a day of reverence for and
celebration of a man who dedicated his
life to promoting peace and understanding..
Classes were cancelled at the University to
give students an opportunity to participate in
Martin Luther King Day activities. Many
corporations gave employees the day off in
observance. Mailboxes across America re-
mained empty as the U.S. Postal Service
observed the national holiday.
Yet University faculty and staff reported
to work as usual. They had no choice. The
administration required attendance - the
same administration that preached the im-
portance of properly observing this day. The
administrative hypocrisy is a familiar tune
that strikes sour notes with students, faculty
and staff alike.
In an attempt to excuse the injustice, a
University spokesperson claimed the Uni-
versity would simply "fall apart" if faculty
and staff did not report to work. While some
staff are essential for running parts of the
University, the majority of staff should not
have been required to work. With no sched-
uled classes and the ability to conduct very
little business outside the University, what
duties required the attention ofa full staff? In
a supposed attempt at generosity, staff mem-
bers were told that they could take "an hour
or two," with permission, to attend an MLK

Day seminar or special program. If anything,
the departments should have asked staff to
attend the MLK programs in lieu of reporting
to the office.
In addition to the staff, a great many
students fell victim to the University's poor
planning. All student organizations housed
in the fourth floor of the Michigan Union
must vacate their offices, by Jan. 17. The
University provided trucks and moving as-
sistance to members of these organizations
only yesterday and Saturday. Students who
could not complete this task Saturday were
left with no other option but to finish moving
on the holiday. Therefore, a vast number of
student organization members spent the day
hauling office furniture, instead of attending
the MLK Day programs. The students missed
an invaluable educational opportunity.
The University set a poor example with
these actions. Its hypocrisy demonstrated
disrespect for the occasion. Furthermore, ex-
cluding such a significant part of the Univer-
sity community from the planned educa-
tional programs was a tremendous waste of
resources. The programs could have enriched
every member of the University community,
and thus the University as a whole. The
administration cheated not only a significant
segment of the student and staff community
- the administration also cheated itself.

By Avi Ebenstein
The balanced budget debate
is absurd. I find it ridiculous that
there is even discussion about
whether our country should start
being fiscally responsible in ei-
ther seven or 10 years. Why hasn't
our country been running under a
balanced budget since 1776?
Though I realize it is a practical
impossibility. I believe the gov-
ernment should balance the bud-
get tomorrow. When individuals
or businesses operate under an
unbalanced budget for more than
E~benstein is an LSA first-yeatr
student and Daily sports iriter.

30 years, there is a repercussion
- it is widely known as bank-
ruptcy. The reason our country is
in this economic turmoil is that
bankruptcy does not exist for the
greatest superpower on Earth. The
$4 trillion debt does exist.
I believe that ourcountry could
easily operate under a fiscally re-
sponsible system if only the
government's philosophy were
different. When legislation is pro-
posed, the question should not be,
"Is this bill going to help people?":
the question should be, "Do we
have enough money?" Individu-
als and companies must face this
question every day of their shop-

ping lives. This question balances
a checkbook single-handedly. I
believe student loans, Social Se-
curity and welfare are all impor-
tant programs. But, "Are they
helping people?" is a question
that may make for good politics,
but it does not bring us any closer
to a balanced budget.
When I read the newspaper
about the trimming of programs
by the "heartless" Republicans, I
do consider the plight of the less
fortunate. But, I also consider re-
ality. When a bum approaches
me, I wish I could offer to pay for
his college tuition. Yet, I realize
that I am in debt while my parents

are paying my college tuition. So,
I make the practical decision, and
keep on walking to class. Simi-
larly, government must make the
practical but heartless decision.
Enough passing the buck: Stu-
dents must accept cuts in student
loans, the elderly must deal with
reduced Social Security, 4
single mothers will have to come
to terms with smaller welfare
checks. This is not heartless, this
is reality. If we don't face this
reality, the situation will only
worsen. It is not selfish to balance
a budget by cutting entitlements,
but it is selfish if our generation
passes this debt to our children.


Daily article
about gospel
To the Daily:
Thank you for your insights
into gospel music and its devel-
opment ("Gospel artists achieve
harmony through spirituals,
hymns," 1/10/96). This is one mu-
sical genre dear to many hearts
(including mine) which is due
such recognition in The Michi-
gan Daily Arts section. Your ar-
ticle was like a breath of fresh air,
referring readers to artists who
sing and speak about what is truly
important in life among articles
which blur the truth.
Thank you, and may God bless
you and grant you wisdom in jour-
Jonathan Fellows
LSA junior

up the NFL draft with good pros-
pects and a healthy body is a
terribly risky and often career-
shattering move (i.e. Tony Boles,
Tripp Welbourne, Tyrone
Wheatley). I'd like to give you
several thank yous, Touchdown
Tim, for not following that mis-
guided trend:
Thank you, Tonchdown Tim.
for departing offensive coordina-
tor Fred Jackson's all too predict-
ablejunior-high level playcalling
(i.e. run up the gut, run up the gut,
throw a bomb). Defenses next
season (like Texas A&M's in the
Alamo Bowl) would have the
opportunity to lock on and try to
annihilate you.
Thank you, Touchdown Tim,
for preventing the creation of su-
perhuman expectations for you
next year, that even with a stellar
senior season, may have made
your achievements appear me-
diocre. (I'd have thanked Tyrone
"Sweet" Wheatley for this too
i .r i t #'

Michigan backs returning despite
their high NFL stock only to have
their bodies, careers and lives
mangled. (Anybody who doubts
the significance of such an injury
ought to talk with Tony Boles.)
With thisdecision, you've spared
us the agony of having to close
our eyes every time you carried
the ball. Ofcourse, we'll cringe if
you get hurt in the NFL. At least
there, however, you'll be getting
paid for your rehabilitation!
Thank you, Touchdown Tim,
fortruly heroic performances here
at the University. Senior season
or not, you are honored as one of
the all-time greats at Michigan.
Martin Saad
Third-year Law student
M LK lectures
go unheard
To the Daily:

speaker was Vernon Jarrett, a
scholar-in-residence at the
DuSable Museum of African
American History. He was joined
on stage by Joe Stroud of the
Detroit Free Press and Carmen
Harlan from WDIV, Channel 4
I came just to see Carn1
Harlan, but was highly impres
with Dr. Jarrett. He referenced
Supreme Court decisions, black
history, contemporary urban
difficulities and more, with elo-
Mrs. Harlan provided insight
in to some of behind-the-scene
decisions and goings-on of a gi-
ant media organization.
Stroud had the unenviable t
of trying to explain the unco-
scious framework of institutional
All the speakers were excel-
lent, and the crowd could not help
but learn something. The only
problem was that the auditoriuni

University President James J. Duderstadt
Office of the President
2068 Fleming Administration Building
iidl@umic h Aedu


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