4C -The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 3, 1996
Influence of board
Regents have final say
on issues from tuition
to the next president
By Jeff Eldridge
Daily Staff Reporter
It is powerful.
Its actions are frequently the source of
And to thousands of University stu-
dents, its members and their responsi-
bilities are largely unknown.
Despite a place in the state constitu-
tion and biannual statewide elections,
the University Board of Regents and its
influential role at the school are a mys-
tery to many students.
"The most important areas of respon-
sibility have to do with oversight of poli-
cies and procedures at the University,"
said Regent Shirley McFee (R-Battle
The regents have the final say in areas
ranging from the presidential search to
Regent Philip Power (D-Ann Arbor)
said the regents do not micromanage
"In general, the job of the regents is to
select the president - who then selects
the executive officers - and then work
with the president in order to determine
policy to govern the workings of the
University and the expenditure of
funds,' Power said.
McFee said tuition rates are an issue
of constant concern.
"Of course our goal is to keep the
tuition as reasonably modest as we can,
particularly keep the increase as modest
as we can,' McFee said.
Currently comprised of four Democ-
rats and four Republicans, the board
tends to be bipartisan on most issues.
"It is sort of a tradition here at Michi-
gan that people leave their partisanship
in the cloakroom," said former Regent
"When the board gets political, it
results in difficulties for the University."
Power said partisan behavior would
cloud important issues.
"The longstanding tradition of the
board is that once people are elected,
their compelling obligation is to act in
the best interest of the University.
"And that means that partisanship
leaves the room when the regents come
into it," Power said.
On rare issues, however, political phi-
losophy subtly comes into play.
Regent Andrea Fischer Newman (R-
Ann Arbor) voted against raising fees
for student housing, citing a need for
greater privatization of services, a tradi-
tionally Republican approach.
Regents Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor)
and Daniel Horning (R-Grand Haven)
both have stated their opposition to the
University's policy of extending health
benefits to same-sex partners, while
Regents Laurence Deitch (D-Bloom-
field Hills) and Rebecca McGowan (D-
Ann Arbor) have vocally defended the
These positions roughly mirror preva-
lent opinions in both political parties.
At times, some regents use their place
on the board as a bully pulpit to speak to
issues of personal concern.
In May, Regent Nellie Varner (D-Ann
Arbor), the board's only black member,
raised the issue of racial tension caused
by the Department of Public Safety's
treatment of John Matlock, director of
the Office of Academic and Multicul-
"I am very concerned and disturbed
by racial incidents," Varner said. "I am
very disturbed by things that have been
brought to my attention about our cam-
While the regents' words and deeds
frequently command local headlines,
much of their work stems from unglam-
orous issues like property transactions
and campus upkeep.
Power estimated he spends 20 hours a
week on board-related activities.
McFee, former mayor of Battle
Creek, said the challenges of being a
regent and running a city are similar.
"The time commitment is considerable
in both," McFee said, adding that each job
requires an ability to hire effective people
and work with different departments.
Power said members are motivated by
their dedication to the University and
their concern for higher education.
"Other than the sometimes dubious
pleasure of attending various University
events, there are virtually no perks asso-
ciated with the job," Power said.
By Jennifer Harvey
Daily Staff Reporter
Professors play large roles in the lives
of students. In all their roles professors
may be critiqued, hated, respected and
adored. But, in every respect, they are
often very influential. Some professors
go beyond the call of duty, offering their
time outside the lecture hall, and enter-
taining and truly stirring intellectual
curiosity in their students.
Professors are evaluated at the end of
each semester by students in their class-
es. The Michigan Student Assembly uses
that information to publish Advice Mag-
azine, a guide to courses and instructors.
"Advice Magazine is a student ser-
vice that enables students to gain some
information about classes and profes-
sors before they are actually enrolled,"
said MSA President Fiona Rose.
Rose said she believes an important
aspect of student government is encour-
aging academic excellence for students.
She said providing information about
professors is a great way to help students
find the best classes.
"The benefits that students reap at the
University are directly proportional to
the effort they put in to getting to know
their professors," Rose said.
"Professors here really do enjoy teach-
ing and they really do enjoy helping stu-
dents foster excellence."
Each year Students Honoring Out-
Teaching (SHOUT) asks
students to single out
great professors by nomi-
nating the best undergrad-
uate professor. The award
recognizing such work is
called the Golden Apple
Award, and has been
given in honor of educa-
tional excellence since
1992. Upon receiving the
award, recipients are invit-
ed to deliver their "ideal
last lecture" to the Univer-
professors, Sidney Fine
and Thomas Collier,
found their niche in the
- Jerry B
serves as the director of the University'
Substance Abuse Research Center.
Boyd said she loves to teach Wo 's
Studies 220 and courses about femiin
"What I love about teaching these
courses is my interaction with students,
especially their e-mail," Boyd said.
Boyd, who has taught at the Universi-
ty since 1987, said she enjoys "getting to
know a whole new group of students
each semester with interesting ideas and
A professor doesn't have to be a
Golden Apple winner to be recogd
as 'one of the great ones.'
Political science Prof. Nancy Burns is
a student favorite. "I enjoy helping stu-
dent take an idea and implement it an
helping them put their own voice in thei
work," she said.
Burns, who teaches classes focusin
on gender and urban political issues,
said aiding students with theoretical
work is also compelling for her. "It's
great when students take half-fold
ideas and turn them into papers they're
really proud of" she said.
LSA senior Tilney Marsh said Eng-
lish Prof. Daniel Fader, a long-time
member of the University faculty, is a
favorite professor of many students. In
addition to teaching, Fader helped set up
a medium for students to their evaluate
professors at the end of each term and
helped found the English
"I've always adnd
Prof. Fader's charismatic
ting presence in the class-
room. He's very dramat-
iiuenrs ic, but not in a showy,
ve a Marsh said. "His words
and voice convey such
authority as can onl
come from a sincere
dedicated, very con&x
and thoughtful pers
lackstone often praise mechanica
Sprofessorengineering Prof. Rid
Farouki, who teache
mechanical design an
methods. Farouki has taught at the Uni
versity for two years, but has alread
acquired a 'cool guy' reputation.
"I enjoy having the opportunity t
work with young people and partic t
in their education," Farouki said. "It give.
me an opportunity to learn myself."
Farouki said teaching engineering i.
satisfying, but also challenging. "On
has to learn the principles of science an
how to apply them in a real-world con
text," he said.
Music Prof. Jerry Blackstone holds th
respect of a lot of students. At the Uni
versity for eight years, Blackstone n
ducts the University Choir, the Cha e
Choir and the Men's Glee Club. He als
teaches courses in conducting. ,
"I love interacting with students wh
have a great desire to be terrific,
Blackstone said he enjoys the chal
lenges of teaching music. "I like makin
a terrific group out of 100 individual
and trying to make that venture inspiring
challenging and interesting,"'he said.
Professors often take on addia
academic and service responsibie
Many sit on review boards and advise
thesis research. Others serve as acade
mic advisers, helping students plat
which courses to take.
Some professors try to contribu
more to the University by joining th
Senate Advisory Committee on Univer
sity Affairs (SACUA), a division of th<
73-member Senate Assembly. ;
Electrical engineering Prof. liR
Lomax, a SACUA member, said mem
bers are always working in an advisor
role. He said they do "the leg work" o
the Senate Assembly, choosing people fo
committees and bringing issues to th
attention of the body.
Lomax said SACUA can often influ
ence positive change for students, eve
though its members do not have an
executive administrative powers.
University's history department.
Fine, a Golden Apple winner, has
been a favorite since he. began teaching
at the University in 1948. His specialty
is 20th century history.
"I really love all aspects of my job.
That's why I keep doing it," Fine said. "I
love the lecture, the classroom, the
research and the contact with students."
Fine said students should expect to
find a plethora of excellent teachers in
the history department, and should
expect a fair amount of coursework with
Collier, who specializes in the history
of war and American society, has taught
at the University since 1981. He too was
honored with the Golden Apple Award.
He said besides his passion for the sub-
ject matter, he loves teaching at the Uni-
versity because of its community.
"The students here are so good.
They're bright, well informed and well
prepared," Collier said. "I enjoy working
with a good bunch of people"
In addition to tackling his own
research and instructional responsibili-
ties, Collier serves as an academic
adviser for LSA students.
Chemistry Prof. Brian Coppola, who
won the 1995 Golden Apple Award, says
he really enjoys his work. "I really like
trying to understand learning, and learn-
ing through chemistry," Coppola said.
Among other courses, Coppola teach-
es Chemistry 210, an introduction to
organic chemistry. "It's often the very
first course students take on their very
first day at the University," he said. "I
always hope to make a positive impact
teaching on that first day."
Coppola said he hopes his courses
make students "learn about themselves
and their ability to learn."
This spring, Nursing Prof. Carol
Boyd was the first woman and the first
non-LSA professor to receive the Gold-
en Apple. In addition to teaching, Boyd
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