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January 26, 1999 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-26

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4 - The Michigan Daily -- Tuesday, January 26, 1999

cat lie firtichlutttt tt 1

Riding off into
the sunset -

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the

Editor in Chipf


University of Michigan Editorial Page Editor
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Top dollar
Faculty pay increase keeps 'U' competitive

"It's kind of like 'For God's sake, die already.'"
- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D- Vt.) on expediting the finish
of the presidential impeachment case proceedings
YE.S. T9 VtE $4ATOZ TLRM4o9p,
LET ES T T-----

T oo often, people deserving the most
praise are neglected. The University fac-
ulty are the essential component of an excit-
ing, quality academic atmosphere. Professors
have the opportunity to shape the minds of the
future. Their jobs can be under-appreciated in
many ways - including financially. For the
third consecutive year, the provost's office has
placed an emphasis on maintaining higher
salary increases for faculty than for adminis-
tators and staff. The importance of faculty
pay increases is two-fold - not only does it
encourage excellent teaching, but it keeps the
University competitive with other higher edu-
cation institutions. In particular, highly
-acclaimed private institutions can sometimes
offer higher salaries than the University and
.ften attract outstanding professors who are
drawn to higher salaries.
The 1996-97 fiscal year kicked off the
first of three consecutive years in which the
fhculty's average salary increase exceeded
tjiat of the administration and staff. That
year, the average increase for faculty mem-
bers was 4.4 percent, while administrators
Feceived a 4-percent increase as a whole. In
1997-98 the faculty received a 4.9-percent
increase - the highest ever. Provost Nancy
Cantor said her office has made a conscious
effort to increase faculty pay, building the
budget around that priority.
The past few years demonstrate a positive
Trend that benefits the University in a variety
hf ways. In the past, the University has been
mown to lose top professors to other schools,

many of whom receive have larger funding
bases. It is a fact of life that in academic cir-
cles, quality can often be obtained by the
highest bidder. The University administration
has correctly identified this as a component of
University politics that cannot be ignored if
the campus wishes to gain - and maintain -
a top-notch staff. Pay increases rose an aver-
age of 4.7 percent while the deans, staff and
executive officers received average salary
increases near 3.96 percent. This rate increase
was due to the fact that the majority of execu-
tive officers are new to their position and not
eligible to receive an immediate salary hike.
Proud of the ability to "fairly" and "meri-
toriously" compensate all employees,
Bollinger's support for competitive faculty
salary increases was reflected by his request
that the University Board of Regents hold his
salary increase to no more than three percent
as to reflect the average dean and executive
officer increases.
The efforts of Cantor, the regents and
Bollinger to emphasize faculty salary increas-
es is noble and praiseworthy. One of the chal-
lenges a public university has to face is keep-
ing tuition competitively low while increasing
faculty pay. The University has one of the
highest tuitions of any public institution and a
reputation to go with it.
Distinguished faculty give the University
the outstanding academic reputation it is
known for - but the administration must be
careful not to neglect the financial slack stu-
dents will have to pick up.

Precanous pro iton
Social Security plan must proceed with care

n his State of the Union address, President
Clinton vowed to save Social Security by
pumping in 62 percent of federal budget sur-
pluses for the next 15 years, amounting to
$2.7 trillion. He also promised to invest at
least 25 percent of this money in the stock
Overall, Clinton's proposal seems wise.
As the baby boomer generation begins to
retire, the Social Security system will be
Xforced to pay out more than ever. But its
funds from tax revenue will erode as fewer
workers must support more retirees. Indeed,
:without Clinton's plan, Social Security
;would either fail or its benefits would need
to be cut back. With Clinton's plan, Social
'Security's future is more certain. Moreover,
as stocks have historically offered higher
Oreturns than fixed-income securities such as
~bonds, Clinton is hoping that higher returns
on Social Security's stockpile of cash can
jkeep Social Security afloat whip minimiz-
ing the need for higher taxes in the future.
While the crux of Clinton's proposal is
Bright on the money, critics, including
Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan,
find fault with portions of it. Primarily,
'Greenspan cites a potential conflict of
interest as the government will be investing
-in independent corporations. Not only
might the government favor certain compa-
nies or industries, but America's markets
could potentially lose some of their free-
dom as government involvement in private
industry could potentially disrupt
American capitalism.
The government could become the
largest player in the stock market, creating
the potential for excess government inter-
vention in markets that were designed to be
free. Moreover, such government interven-
tion in certain Southeast Asian countries has
partially led to the Asian financial crisis.
Proponents of Clinton's plan insist that
government investment could be apolitical,
# similar to the set up of the Federal Reserve
system. But as an article in the Jan. 22 issue of

government was as unbiased as possible in its
investment decisions by investing in index
funds, there would still be a serious conflict of
interest. For example, the United States could
end up investing in tobacco stocks - the
same industry that Clinton vowed to bring lit-
igation against. Obviously, the plan's over-
seers must be careful to take investment ethics
into account when making decisions.
Another potential oversight inherent in
Clinton's plan is that by nearly all historical
measures, the stock market is presently over-
valued. While conventional wisdom dictates
no one is capable of predicting stock market
prices in the short term, over the long term,
stock prices have always followed companies'
underlying profits. Over time, those profits
largely have been correlated to productivity.
While the economy has shown remarkable
strength with gains in productivity and mini-
mal inflation, bull markets are often charac-
terized by an overabundance of optimism.
The current market, which has been gain-
ing steam for years, has most likely been built
up to unsustainable heights. With the market
so high, it is very likely that either a drop in
prices will occur in the future or future stock
market performance will be substandard.
With this in mind, it might seem foolish to put
so much of the nation's retirement fund in an
investment which carries risks and the poten-
tial for sub-par performance.
Nonetheless, the situation is not as scary
as it might seem. After all, the existing
Social Security principal would not be
affected. Moreover, only a relatively small
portion of future budget surpluses ear-
marked for Social Security would be affect-
ed. Additionally, Social Security is a long-
term investment, which could presumably
weather short-term ups and downs in the
stock market. Finally, the investment in
stocks would occur slowly, over 15 years.
As funds are pumped into the market bit by
bit over a long period of time, the impact of
short-term gyrations is minimized. Overall,
Clinton's proposal is a wise plan for the

Larry Flynt
did public
If Larry Flynt's version
of journalism and political
revenge does not belong in
our newspapers or in our
Capitol, then does the
hypocrisy of Reps. Barr and
Livingston belong in our
Congress? I personally am
glad that Flynt has come
forward with this informa-
tion, and feel that he has
done America a service;
also, I find his public state-
ment on the findings of his
privately funded research to
be far more professional
and dignified than the tax-
payer-funded and hideously
lascivious Starr report.
God bless Larry Flynt.
Daily's sports
coverage is
After having read this
paper a couple of times
since my arrival at the
University last fall, I have
noticed one thing that drives
me up the wall more than
any other thing (and there
are many things) - too
much sports.
Now I am not some shel-
tered, shut-in nerd who
hates running and throwing
things and gets swirlies
every other day and is
called Data by friend and
foe alike. I simply would
like to see less than one-
half of the paper devoted to
sports so that other things
can be reported.
At a university that is sup-
posed to be about diversity and
equality, etc., doesn't it make
sense that all topics should be
treated equally? There must be
something else going on in this
world other than basketball.
For example, why is the
world news section shorter
than a picture book for the
blind? Is there a limit to how
many Associated Press articles
the Daily can print in a given
week? The expansion of the
world news section is my per-
sonal desire, but I am sure
many others would like to see
other sections augmented as
See what you can do, but
please, I beg of the Daily, try
and expand the scope of this
paper so that it will actually be
a paper and not the "U of M
Sports Journal with Other
Stuff in the Front."

the letter by Tom Sohn on
Thursday, Jan. 21 ("Fraternity
should not be blamed for
death"). Yes, Courtney Cantor
chose to drink and she is
responsible for that. But in
doing so she did not expect
someone to lace her drink with
a date-rape drug. They are in
trouble first for violating the
charter of their fraternity as
that of an alcohol-free organi-
zation and second they broke a
number of laws. Those are
What's even more sick is
perhaps one or more of these
10 are responsible for the sub-
stance that most likely led to
her death. These substances
have different effects on differ-
ent people that would cause
someone to have no idea what
they were doing, including
falling out of a window. Thus
this action would indeed be
It is very disturbing that
anyone would would even
think about yet alone do
something so inhumane,
morally and legally wrong
to another person.
I would hope anyone
knowing of anyone who did
such a thing would do the
right thing and turn that per-
son in. Otherwise in this case
they are nothing short of
being an accomplice to mur-
There is no need for any-
one to feel sorry for these
"poor" fraternity boys. They
are also responsible for
their actions and deserve
any consequences that come
as a result of those actions.
It is appalling that Sohn
would try to defend such
actionstand even more
appalling that the Daily
would even print such a let-
cove rage
raises issues
I am not sure what sur-
prised me more about the Jan.
21 edition of the Daily - the
fact that three news items on
one page were devoted to the
alcohol-related issues brought
up by the death of Courtney
Cantor or the obvious lack of
thought put into these items.
First there was the editorial
"Overreaction," in which the
Ann Arbor Police Department
is assailed for their outrageous
scapegoating of the Phi Delta
Theta fraternity. Apparently, a
majority of the Daily's editorial
board feels that because viola-
tors of the host law are usually
let off with a relatively small
ticket, this should always be
the case - even when a death
is involved.
I hate to point this out, but
I do not think it is that unusual
for a law enforcement agency

"Fear and Loathing in the
Streets of Ann Arbor."
Eldridge makes the point that
one should not be too con-
cerned with the recent alcohol-
related tragedies at U.S. uni-
versities because of the vastly
different natures of the institu-
tions atwhich they occurred.
The unconsidered flip side of
the coin, of course, is that this
is exactly what should cause
one worry. The fact that alco-
hol related deaths have
occurred at universities rang-
ing from what are stereotypical
party schools to our own
"Quaker colony" of Ann Arbor
would seem to point more to a
larger problem than to a series
of unrelated tragedies.
Finally, there was Tom
Sohn's letter, "Fraternity
should not be blamed for
death." While Sohn's analogy
might dazzle the minds of
those of us who have not slept
much lately, it is far from a
parallel argument. If you, as an
adult, give your car to a 15-
year-old -just as if you pro-
vide a gun to someone who
wants to commit suicide -
you are liable for what ensues.
A 15-year-old is not supposed
to have access to a car, and an
18-year-old is not supposed to
have access to alcohol.
I am not claiming that
the host law, as it is written, is
ideal. But if one is willing to
provide alcohol to someone
who is legally defined as a
minor, one should also be pre-
pared to face the consequences
of that action.
Reviews are
meant to be
This is in response to
Jeff Ringenberg's Jan. 25
letter condemning the
Daily's film reviews ("Film
reviews do not help stu-
dents"). He complainstthat
the reviews discuss issues
that he does not care about
in films, and that he often
likes movies that the Daily
Unfortunately for
Ringenberg, it is not the job
of a film reviewer to write
about whataRingenberg's
opinion of a film would be.
A film reviewer must
rely on his or her own opin-
ions. If that means that the
review discusses some more
sophisticated topics than
Ringenberg can handle, then
Ringenberg does not have to
read the reviews.
There is nothing wrong
with being a typical movie-
goer who has not taken film
classes, but there is also
nothing wrong with those
who have chosen to become
more educated about this

alife at the
Daily 1995-1999
Having worked at The Michigan
Daily for 3 1/2 years, I've come to
recognize identifiable column genres.
The most dependable breed is the
farewell column.
I promised myself
that I would write
one, but promises
were made to be bro-
ken. Besides, I'd
rather chew off my
hands than write one
more word about
Bill Clinton.
This is my 137th
piece in the Daily -
about 120 from a JEFF
reporting career, the ELDRIDGE
rest since September. ' It;11s g
As news editor, I 518-'x° S
edited at least 500
articles more.
So indulge me. I've earned it. It's been
a long and winding road, as The Beatles
Instead of waxing philosophical
about the cruel mistress or offering
earnest praise, listed below are the 10
most memorable moments from my
time as reporter and editor, mixed with
some personal remarks from a reformed
college-newspaper diehard:
1. The presidential search of '95-'96.
From the outside it probably looked
drier than toast. But covering the search
that led to hiring Lee Bollinger felt like
participating in a strange academic soap
opera, complete with colorful charac-
ters, sudden surprises and lots of detec-
tive work on the phones.
Lee was the odds-on favorite from
day one, but the meeting when the
regents announced their choice certain-
ly didn't lack drama. The rest of my
Daily career paled in comparison to
those 11I months.;
2. The murder of Tamara Williams. A
reporter called my house at 8:30 in the
morning with rough details about a
killing on campus. As news editor on
duty, I spent the rest of the day helping
to organize a Daily blitzkreig over the
University. It was a miserable, exciting,
frantic day.
3. Affirmative action lawsuits. Several
days later, I was also on duty when news
broke that LSA was getting sued over its
admissions policies. Psyches still blister-
ing from the Williams killing, everyone
came together with characteristic grace.
Obviously, no one knows how the law-@
suits will play out. But I never thought
University admissions policies would be
so provocative, or so divisive.
4. The Unabomber slept here. While I
pecked out a feature article, an editor
announced that the Unabomber had
been captured and that he got his PhD.
from the University.
The following six hours were a blur.
Watching "Nightline," I hugged myself
with pleasure at seeing Cokie Roberts
ask a University math professor the
same questions I posed to him moments
5. Party at Bollinger'! For a second,
chaos loomed. A mob of drunk, hyper stu-
dents crammed the president's front lawn
after Michigan trounced Penn State. Riot
and disaster? No - one of the great
moments of a college career.
Bollinger said he loved us, then invited
everyonehinside hisahouse. We toured,
hugged, high-fived and whooped. As a
group of us left, someone unknowingly
shouted, "Where's the Daily when you
need it?" We cheered and raised our
hands. The episode was indescribably
6. The Dailys are stolen. Damn.
Misguided activists stole half the

paper's pressrun in April of '96. My
article on the theft fanned the flames -
literally. Two days later, protesters
burned copies of it on the Maynard
Street sidewalk.
7. Michigan beats Ohio State.
Michigan defeats its arch-enemy. The
team gets a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Students rush the field. Cops beat them.
Someone falls out of a tree on South
University. A reporter bangs his head on
a ceiling, cuts it open, then goes to the
hospital. The campus becomes a zoo.
8. Meeting the rich and famous. So a
college newspaper isn't exactly "Vanity
Fair' and I'm not exactlybCharlie Rose
but hanging out in Robert Shapiro's
hotel suite in Detroit while he talks
about boxing, introduces you to his
family, offers you wine and explains the
social implications of the O.J. saga is
still pretty cool.
9. Fisher fouls out. A tortured, chaot-
ic story that never seemed to end - an
Energizer Bunny towing SUVs, shad-
owy scheming and accusations of cor-
rupt basketball boosters. The episode
was a muddled mess that kept going and
going and going. May it rest in peace.
10. Eating the cricket. A girl in the
RC acquired minor fame because she.
liked to cook insects. I wrote a feature
story about her. She fried some bugs

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