One hundred si xyears of edilonoilfreedom
February 20, 1997
4 8 di . IQ
kegents sought extra advice on
* More than $100K
spent on OMA coun-
seling prior to search
By Katie Wang
Daily Staff Reporter
Five months prior to former University
President James Duderstadt's resignation in
September 1995, the Board of Regents paid
attorneys $136,309.32 for advice about con-
ducting future presidential searches that
would comply with the state's Open
According to billing records obtained yes-
t~ay under the Freedom of Information
Act, the regents hired attorneys from two law
firms as early as April 4, 1995, to answer
questions about OMA.
Regent Shirley McFee (R-Battle Creek)
said the board felt it was necessary to consult
attorneys about OMA because of a state
Supreme Court decision against the
University's conduct in a previous presiden-
"We had decided very early on, if and
when we would need to do another search,
we would do it right," McFee said. "The
regents began very early to start reviewing
the process to see what guidelines we should
"We were not anticipating that we would
have to use them immediately" she added,
referring to Duderstadt's resignation soon
after regents began meeting with the attor-
McFee served as co-chair of the
Presidential Search Committee during the
last presidential search.
The University has already spent $224.
884.51 on legal fees for the last presidential
search, which began in September 1995 and
concluded in November 1996. This figure
does not include attorney expenses for OMA
consultation prior to Duderstadt's resigna-
Vice President for University Relations
Walter Harrison said the regents were con-
cerned about the ambiguity of the court's
1993 ruling, specifically the limitations in
their role in the search.
"The regents wanted advice from outside
counsel about OMA," Harrison said. "They
wondered if there might be other waysto
think about OMA and wanted to bring in out-
side counsel to look at this."
In September 1993, the state Supreme
Court ruled that the Board of Regents had
violated OMA in its selection of Duderstadt.
The Ann Arbor News and the Detroit Free
Press filed suit against the University in May
1988, alleging that the board had violated the
law by meeting in private, secret sub-quorum
groups to interview and evaluate candidates.
To avoid another lawsuit, Harrison said the
board began meeting to discuss a variety of
hypothetical strategies about presidential
searches and the way OMA applied to presi-
"When we made the decision to start doing
some research, it was to see what this act said
and didn't say," McFee said. "There were
some issues we felt were never ruled on by
the Supreme Court."
Harrison said the regents explored the pos-
sibility of seeking a declarative judgment
from the court. This would have requiredithe
court to rule on provisions of OMA even
though there was not a pending case on
which to rule. The regents decided not to pur-
sue a declarative judgment because courts
generally do not like to rule when there isn't
an active case to rule on, Harrison said.
McFee said the board's meetings about
OMA were not related to Duderstadt's resig-
"It was with the expectation that
See FEES, Page 7A
A down payment on 'U'
China's 'last emperor,'
reformer dead at 92
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - Deng Xiaoping,
who died yesterday of complications
from Parkinson's disease and a lung
infection at age 92, led China out of the
chaos and isolation of Communist rule
under Mao Zedong into a new era
marked by rapid economic growth.
Deng maintained the rigid
Communist political system but opened
the world's most populous nation to the
influence of Western capitalism and cul-
ture. A blunt man of action who survived
wars and fierce power struggles by plac-
ing pragmatism over politics, Deng was
regarded by admirers and critics alike as
China's "last emperor" - the last of his
generation of revolutionary leaders to
hold paramount power.
However, his power never equaled
that of Mao, the founder and longtime
ruler of Communist China. Deng's
prestige declined in his later years
because of spreading official corrup-
tion, inequalities entrenched in the
Communist system, and the crackdown
he mandated in June 1989 against stu-
dent-led protesters in Beijing's
In the end, Deng's sweeping initia-
tives, aimed at decentralizing control
over the economy and replacing state
planning with a market-oriented sys-
tem, left the economy only half
reformed. Those who follow him face
the enormous, risky task of completing
In his later years, Deng was the first
among equals of Communist Party
elders who shared power as members of
an octogenarian oligarchy, overseeing
the work of younger leaders. He for-
mally retired from his last government
post in 1990 but continued to influence
important domestic and foreign policy
his prestige and
included close ties
with many of
4 a Communist
while living in
Deng France in the early
1920s, Deng never
relinquished his belief in communist
ideology. But he was always less dog-
matic than Mao. Deng's pragmatism
allowed him essentially to redefine
Marxism to make productivity -
rather than the class struggle champi-
oned by Mao - the key measure of
A famous quotation attributed to
Deng summed up his philosophy: "It
doesn't matter whether a cat is black or
white as long as it catches mice."
Deng cautioned against the "wor-
See DENG, Page 2A
By Heather Kamins
Daily Staff Reporter
University experts say that yesterday's
death of former Chinese Communist
Party Chair Deng Xiaoping will create
new possibilities for the Chinese gov-
ernment during the next year.
"The succession of Deng began
occuring several years ago. He has not
had impact on the government for the
past two years:' said political science
Prof. Kenneth Lieberthal, a national
expert on China. "It is not an issue of
impact immediately. It is a situation
that will come about in the near future.'
LSA senior Leia Chen said Deng's
death will not have a drastic effect on
China because it was expected.
"I think a lot of China expected it,"
Chen said. "I don't think it will cause a
lot of chaos. It was announced in China
last night, and thestockmarket hasn't
See CHINA, Page 2A
UMAT1 M N UMMER/Dily
ngineering senior !on Ho competes in a Lego bridge-building contest as part of National Engineers Week. The competition
as held in the EECS building yesterday.
Future engin011eers buld
bridges on NorthCampS
aily Staff Reporter
Like little children with a toy chest,
Engineering students dug into buckets
of Legos yesterday in North Campus's
Electrical Engineering and Computer
As part of National Engineers Week,
the students were determined to con-
struct bridges with the Legos - bridges
that wouldn't break under pressure.
A two-person team - Engineering
seniors Brahm Windeler and Seung-
Won Hwang - placed first in the con-
test. Their bridge, built in 4 minutes,
spanned 16 inches and withstood 29
pounds before breaking.
"It was fun" said Engineering sopho-
more Chip Janson, who spontaneously
joined the contest after passing by.
Amber Thweatt, a member of
Students for the Exploration and
Development of Space, the group that
organized the event,
became concerned when
several of the initial
bridges would not break
when weight was applied.
"I completely underes-
timated the ability of
when I brought my one pound weight,'
said Thweatt, an Engineering senior.
A formula comprised of a bridge's
length, the total applied weight and the
time required to build the bridge deter-.
mined the bridge's rating.
After Engineering sophomore
Mike Kirby, the first person to build
a bridge, finished his 10-inch-long
bridge, it would not break.
Coordinators then decided the mini-
mum length of each bridge would
have to be 15 inches in order for the
weight to have more of an effect.
"The engineers were smarter than
we thought," Thweatt said.
Yesterday's contest was one of sev-
eral organized at the University in
recognition of National Engineers
Week. An egg drop competition will
be held in the EECS atrium today at
National Engineers Week - found-
ed in 1951 by the National Society of
Professional Engineers - is celebrat-
ing its first year at the University.
M BENEFITE High Court splits
o clBy Jeff Endefton
Daily Staff Reporter
It used to be that with a smile and a few
cents, anyone could get a cup of coffee in
Not any more.
These days, a handful of change doesn't
cut it in many local popular coffee houses,
due to various factors that increase the
price of a cup ofjava.
Students say they are fed up with the
rising prices cropping up around town.
"I think prices are a bit too high," said
Josh Tuttle, a Music senior. "I should be
able to get coffee for under a dollar."
One of the main factors in the rise of cof-
fee prices is a recent strike among coffee-
workers in Colombia and Latin America.
This has caused a drop in the amount of
rnfFaa lhannc rnmno ,,,to Am , n ,
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - In an atmos-
phere of increasingly violent abortion
protests, the Supreme Court yesterday
condemned the pushing, shoving and
'in your face' tactics of demonstrators,
ruling that women seeking abortions
can be shielded from protesters as they
enter a clinic's doors.
The court, in a split decision, said
demonstrators can be kept away from
past restraints on abortion demonstra-
tors, and by the demonstrators them-
selves, who view their ability to protest
as their last, best hope for curtailing
Figuring out how to regulate clinic
protests has emerged as a concern of
lawmakers and local judges nation-
wide in the face of demonstrations that
have often become raucous, and occa-
sionally even deadly. Buildings across
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