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January 17, 1997 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Weather
Tonight: Snow flurries, low
around 30.
Tomorrow: Scatter d flurries
continue, high around 170.

irirni

"Utt

One hundred siC years ofeditoralfreedom

F'riday
January 17, 1997

!Vol.~~~~ -3'i.R 6..'Sl.3.k mrr r rS o 9e"l

I

WSU
By Heather Kamins
Daily Staff Reporter
University Law students di
as well as Wayne State Unive
last summer's Michigan B
according to figures releas
B d of Law Examiners..
nety-seven percent of V
students passed the bar last Ji
more than University of M
who took the same test for th
"Every year there will be s
don't (pass)," Law Schoo
Lehman said yesterday. "Tha
These are difficult exams. I
is a Wayne State vs. Michigan
Wayne State University L
Ja s Robinson said that us
sents who pass the exam i
the two schools.
"Sometimes we have a hig
the University of Michigan,
University of Michigan is

---------------------------------

bar scores top
Robinson said. "This past summer it was sig-
nificantly higher. We are both doing well over
d not fare nearly time."
ersity students on University Law students pointed to different
ar Examination, academic focuses as the reason for the differ-
ed by the State ence between the averages.
"It's generally accepted that the tbp law
Wayne State law schools have lower first-time passage because
July - 9 percent they focus on national issues, while other
ichigan students schools focus on the local jurisdiction," said
e first time. University Law student Patrick Hallagan.
some people who Matthew Sosis, also a University Law stu-
I Dean Jeffrey dent, agreed.
at is unfortunate. "I think it is a different kind of learning,"
don't think that it Sosis said.
n issue.' While some students suggested that the gap
aw School Dean between the two schools' scores results from
ually the ratio of academic structure, several University admin-
s similar between istrators disagreed.
"The focus of every law school extends
;her average than beyond the bar exam," Lehman said. "Most
but usually the years not everyone will pass, but I don't think
slightly higher," that it is because of a structural problem."

'U Law
Robinson also agreed that the results did not
indicate differences in academic focus.
"I would say that the programs at the schools
are similar," Robinson said. "Obviously the
University of Michigan has a great law school,
a great national law school, so their students
always do very well on the bar. Wayne State
University and the University of Michigan
always perform at the top.
"Both schools have tremendous teaching
faculty, and both schools' students have
good credentials," Robinson continued. "No
difference in legal eduction would explain
this."
Vice President for University Relations
Walter Harrison said he does not believe the
test results are indicative of the quality of edu-
cation the schools provide.
"I'm happy that Michigan sets the standard
for which other law schools compare them-
selves to," Harrison said. "I think that compar-
ing bar exam scores as a means for rating law
See BAR, Page 2

Law third-year student David Kahng studies in the Law School library last night. Recent figures show
that fewer University Law grads passed the bar exam on their first try than WSU grads.

MSU officials
nurpised by
OMA ruling
By Heather Kamins
Daily Staff Reporter
University and state officials said yesterday they were sur-
p.d and disappointed by a ruling this week of the
Michigan Court of Appeals, which found that Michigan State
University's selection of current President M. Peter
McPherson was illegal.
"The long-standing public policy of this state to open the
acts of governmental officials to public scrutiny supports the
conclusion that the OMA can be constitutionally applied to
universities," the ruling states.
In May 1993, during MSU's presiden-
tial search, The Lansing State Journal
and The Detroit News filed suit against
Michigan State, claiming that its presi-
dential search committee served as a
public body and therefore was not
allowed to meet in private session.
"I think given the passage of the
(OMA) it is sort of a symbolic victory
for the newspapers," said Michigan State
Prof. Bruce Miller, executive director of
Lehman the 1993 search.
Since the University of Michigan and
Michigan State University were created
he state's constitution, the Legislature can't impose its
decision, said Dawn Phillips, the attorney representing the
Michigan Press Association.
"MSU argued that they were equal to the Legislature, the
Legislature has no power, and the OMA does not apply,"
Phillips said.
The decision of Court of Appeals Judges Janet Neff and E.
Thomas Fitzgerald states that, "Although state universities
have been held to be distinct governmental bodies coequal
with the Legislature, they have not been held constitutional-
ly immune from all regulation by Legislature."
But Miller said allowing searches to be conducted in pri-
* allows universities to examine applicants more candidly.
"The press always thought that all searches should be wide
open, while those who ran the search believed they would
benefit from meeting confidentially," Miller said.
Originally the case had been thrown out of trial court in
Ingham County by Circuit Court Judge James Giddings. The
newspapers appealed this decision.
"In summary, the Court of Appeals upheld (the Giddings
decision) in part, and reversed it in part," said Charles
Barbieri, attorney for the newspapers. Barbieri said the news-
rs were pleased with the portions of the suit that were
For many, Tuesday's ruling brought back memories of
complications the University of Michigan faced in its past
two presidential searches.
In both the 1987 presidential search process that resulted
in the selection of James Duderstadt and the 1996 search that
led to the selection of Lee Bollinger, questions surrounded
the legality of the Board of Regents' closed meetings.
In last year's search, the planned search process was over-
hauled after a lawsuit filed by The Ann Arbor News, the
Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News claimed parts of the
1 were illegal.
See OMA, Page 3

I

Blasts shock
Atlanta clinic

The Washington Post
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -A pair of
explosions shook a suburban Atlanta
abortion clinic yesterday, knocking out
its windows, littering the parking lot
with debris and sending panicked work-
ers from nearby office buildings
screaming into the frigid morning air.
At least seven people sustained
minor injuries and were being treated at
local hospitals.
The first blast, at 9:30 a.m., was trig-
gered by an incendiary device that had
been placed either inside the Atlanta
North Side Family Planning Services or
on its window sill, officials said. The
clinic, located on the first floor of the
three-story Sandy Springs Professional
Building, was just opening for business
when a deafening roar was heard.
"I just hit the floor," said Latima
Blue, a medical assistant. She and the
four other clinic employees on dtty at
the time got out unharmed,
Forty-five minutes later, a second,
more-powerful bomb went off inside or
next to a dumpster at the northwest cor-
ner of the building's parking lot.
"My ears felt like they were going to
pop out," said Melissa Johnson, who
had walked over from her house to see
what was going on. "My hands were
shaking. Not from fear. From the vibra-
tion."
No one was hurt by the initial explo-
sion. But the second one knocked down
several law-enforcement agents and
firefighters who were collecting evi-
dence at the scene, as well as a televi-
sion cameraman.
A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms agent suffered whiplash
and other neck injuries, said Paul
Harris, a physician who treated him
at North Side Hospital. A firefighter
was in stable condition with abra-

AP PHOTO
Robert and Christine Stadler comfort
each other yesterday outside the
Atlanta Northside Family Planning
Services after a bomb exploded there.
sions and cuts.
The attack came six days before the
24th anniversary of the Supreme Court
ruling legalizing abortion. Ironically,
the Feminist Majority, National
Abortion Federation and Planned
Parenthood were holding a news con-
ference in Washington to report a slight
decline in violence against abortion
providers when they received word of
the bombings.
"We were horrified and outraged
by news of this tragedy, but hardly
surprised, since our press conference
was called to bring attention to the
persistent violence being targeted at
abortion clinics nationwide," said
Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority
president.
See BOMB, Page 2

JOSH BIGGS/Daly
Heads up
Two snowmen sit on top of the statue on the corner of Catherine and Glen streets. With the
recent amount of snowfall, snowmen have become a common sight around campus.

I '1 _____________

Gov. signs
Gv FOTA bil
By Katie Wang
Daily Staff Reporter
A comprehensive bill intended to
improve public access to documents
under the Freedom of Information Act
could actually have the opposite effect.
Michigan House Bill 4849, which
amended the state's Freedom of
Information Act, contains a provision
that completely denies public access to
letters of reference or recommendation
about candidates for presidents of pub-
lic universities.
Prior to Gov. John Engler signing the
bill Wednesday, requests for these let-
ters could be denied on the basis of pro-
tecting the privacy of the person writing
the recommendation.
But even if the request was fulfilled,
the letters were often heavily edited,
said Lewis Morrissey, the University's
chief FOIA officer. Under the new leg-
islation, these letters may be withheld

Amendments to FOIA Regulations

Requests for letters of recommendation and references about candidates for
presidents of public universities may be denied without explanation.
Each public body is required to appoint a FOIA coordinator to receive and
respond to all requests.
FOIA requests must be made in writing and may be made via e-mail or fax
machines.
Internal administrative appeals to FOIA denials are allowed prior to going to
court.

Campaign for a
Unified
Community of
Justice

career," Morrissey said.
Morrissey said all requests for refer-
ences and recommendations during the
recent University presidential search
were denied.
Dawn Phillips, an attorney for the
Michigan Press Association, which rep-
resents many of the state's newspapers,
criticized this provision of the bill.
"I believe it is an unreasonable restric-
tion to the public's right of access to a
person who is paid a salary of upwards
to $150,000;" Phillips said. "An appli-
cant for this kind of position should not
be shielded from public access."
The latest provision to FOIA further

searches, said Vice President for
University Relations Walter Harrison.
"We can now avoid long, drawn-out
court cases which have plagued many
state searches," Harrison said. "The
University should be concerned about
learning, not legalities."
Phillips said she feared the relaxed
provisions may have a domino effect on
other municipalities, which may now
demand the same privileges.
"What we'll have next is the city say-
ing, 'We want to choose our police
chief this way,"' she said. "Why is it
that a public university with this type of
situation should have secrecy? What is

Prof. asks for
$1OK insuit
By Heather Kamins
Daily Staff Reporter
A former University professor is asking for more than
$10,000 in a lawsuit that alleges that he was mistreated after
speaking out against a "racist" atmosphere at the School of
Medicine.
Former pharmacology Prof. Thomas Landefeld outlined
seven retaliatory actions the University took against him in
the suit.
"The claims in this lawsuit are outrageous and unfounded,"
said Associate Vice President for University Relations Lisa
Baker. "We are confident that once the facts of the case
become known, each of the individuals named in this frivolous
lawsuit will be completely exonerated."
The University Board of Regents, former dean of the
School of Medicine Giles Bole, and former pharmacology
department Chair Raymond Counsell were all named in
Landefeld's suit.
Landefeld alleged in the suit that he because he fought
racism he was denied normal salary increases and some
tenure rights, which lowered his standing among faculty
members.

I Classes will not be held Monday, Jan. 20.

I.

II

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