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October 15, 2003 - Image 4

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 15, 2003

OP/ED

Ulie g

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

LoUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
Editorial Page Editors

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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
(Suck itup
fatso, and stop
taking 100 pills a
day or whatever ...
and employ some
self-discipline in
your life."
- Talk-radio personality Don Imus, on
Rush Limbaugh's announcement
last Friday that he will be taking a
leave of absence to battle a four-year
addiction to prescription pain killers,
as reported by the New York Post.

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SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

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A new breed of presidents
JASON PESICK ONE SMALL VOICE

Mary Sue Cole-
man did not
have an easy
first year as University
president. Not only did
' she face two lawsuits at
the U.S. Supreme Court
challenging the constitu-
tionality of the Universi-
ty's admissions
programs, but she took the reins of an insti-
tution facing acute budget shortfalls, a large
number of senior administrative vacancies
and a men's basketball program under strict
NCAA scrutiny. Even after dealing with all
of these challenges, Coleman has been
unable to improve the lukewarm attitude
that many on campus have toward her.
Students and faculty members continue
to grumble about their president and wax
nostalgic about the University's golden era
under former President Lee Bollinger, while
mourning what might have been had interim
President B. Joseph White moved into the
old white house on South University
Avenue. The campus press has been brutal,
highlighting every perceived mistake on
Coleman's part. The Daily even went so far
as to endorse White for president long after
Coleman had taken over.
I asked Coleman if she knows why she is
not adored on campus, but she declined to
hazard a guess, saying that she just doesn't
know. To be sure, Michigan's two consecu-
tive losses to Iowa on the gridiron have not
helped, but primarily, I believe that the dis-
like can be traced to something much more
pervasive: Coleman is just very different
than the image of a president most people at
the University were expecting.
The University Board of Regents
shocked many in the University community
the spring before last by selecting Coleman
to replace Bollinger. After all, White had

become so popular among the student body
that Students Organizing for Labor and Eco-
nomic Equality liked him even though he
was a business professor.
Following a state Supreme Court ruling
allowing universities to conduct searches
clandestinely, the Regents carried out the
search behind closed doors.
The typical story of Coleman's selection
goes something like this: The regents picked
her because at Iowa she proved to be an able
fundraiser and she is a female scientist,
which would boost the University's billion-
dollar investment in the life sciences. The
regents would also have more power with
Coleman as president because she would be
weaker than Bollinger, a master political
operator. After all, why would they look to
Iowa? Coleman doesn't even have any Ivy
experience.
It became almost en vogue not to like the
new president.
Unlike the confrontational Harvard
president, Lawrence Summers, Coleman is
a small, humble woman with a moderately
noticeable Southern accent. She lacks a
commanding presence, and for some rea-
son looks more like a scientist comfortable
in a lab than a public intellectual used to
traveling the world and sitting on panels
broadcasted on C-SPAN, where the likes
of Bollinger learn the art of removing (for
purposes of gesticulation) and then replac-
ing their reading glasses in an attempt to
look even more scholarly (see Bob
Novak). Coleman does not even try to
speak in a British accent of mysterious ori-
gins (see William F. Buckley Jr.). On top
of this, all those e-mails that Coleman
sends out in an attempt to stay connected
to the student body annoy at least as many
people as they please.
Lee Bollinger fit in well at the Universi-
ty. He was an ambitious and renowned legal

scholar always looking for ways to expand
the University's prestige. Serving as presi-
dent during prosperous times, Bollinger was
able to literally go crazy with his construc-
tion plans (see Arthur Miller Theater).
But where Bollinger had a deep and
abiding dedication to himself and to his
own advancement, Coleman has as strong
of a dedication to public education. During
the interview, she became passionate about
state budget cuts and the importance of
having an educated populous, not only for
the economy, but because she has a Jeffer-
sonian belief in the value of education to
the survival of a functional democracy.
She asked, "What is the cost of abandon-
ing higher education?" and stressed the
importance of renewing society's dedica-
tion to public institutes of higher learning.
Coleman seemed to me genuinely con-
cerned about the same issues most students
are: improving facilities, residence halls,
the arts, tuition, financial aid and the
undergraduate experience. She could prob-
ably improve her report among students,
for example, by amending the Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities to
allow students to have a lawyer represent
them in proceedings. She could try to
teach a course, even though it would have
to be on subject matter that doesn't
become outdated as quickly as her native
biochemistry.
There's no way to know if she'll end up
being a better president than B. Joseph
White would have been, but in time, stu-
dents and faculty will likely adjust their
views of Coleman, realize she's not
Lawrence Summers or Woodrow Wilson
and become accustomed to having a scien-
tist lead the University.

4

Pesick can be reached at
jzpesick@umich.edu.

LOUIE MEIZLISH / IN PRINT
Mary Sue and her fight

U.S.A. uber allies
ARI PAUL I FouGHT THE LAW

Fourteen months into her tenure as presi-
dent of the University, Mary Sue Cole-
man has an agenda.
She spent the first fourteen months finish-
ing up where Lee Bollinger left off- literal-
ly left off- for an Ivy League presidency.
With Bollinger's unceremonious depar-
ture, the two scientists Bollinger signed up to
head the Life Sciences Institute, Scott Emr
and Jack Dixon, decided they didn't want the
job without Bollinger, and two executive offi-
cers - the vice president for development
and chief financial officer - figured they'd
rather be at Lee C.'s Columbia than stay here.
So upon taking over in August 2002,
Coleman had to find replacements for those
positions, as well as the job of provost (vacant
since April 2001), and soon after she had to
fill the LSA and Law School deanships.
And then there was defending the Univer-
sity against the admissions lawsuits - no
small task.
But now the U.S. Supreme Court has
ruled, the undergraduate admissions system
has been modified and Coleman's team has
been assembled.
So, what to do?
During a meeting last Thursday with
Daily editors, Coleman seemed to have a
found an area in which to take the initiative.
"Do we want as a nation to have public
universities as equal as good private universi-
ties?" she said. "I think we do."
"I want to shift the conversation from
people saying, 'What is the cost of going to
university?' and shifting it to, 'What is the
cost of letting this go?'"
Coleman is right in that declining fman-
cial support from the states and the feds has
meant schools have had to cut back on pro-
grams and raise tuition. But tuition raised at
rates higher than increases in inflation, as has
been the practice, will cause enrollment to
drop - and the University will suffer.
Recent projections that the state will have
to cut $700 to $900 million out of the current
2003-4 budget is bad news for the University,
Coleman conceded.
State Rep. Mike Pumford (R-Neway-

ing for universities and
community colleges, .
said that if the state
does not change its tax
system, Michiganders will suffer.
"If we were to balance that budget on a 5-
percent cut" - without raising new state rev-
enues - "we'd have to cut $127 million out
of health, $81 million out of corrections, $81
million out of higher education, $70 million
dollars in revenue sharing, $12 million from
state police, $14 million from community col-
lege," Pumford said (read: fewer indigents
receive health care, prisoners released early,
fewer cops on the beat and fewer troopers on
the road).
"The list just goes on and on," Pumford
said. "There's no fat left to be cut out there."
A deficit of that size guarantees that the
University will see some cuts. That means
students can expect higher tuition, larger class
sizes, more graduate students and adjunct fac-
ulty teaching courses and, oh yeah, some pro-
grams might be cut.
"It's hard for me to imagine with every-
thing we've gone through to think we can
hold everything harmless," if the state cuts
University funding, Coleman said.
As we all know, politicians don't like rais-
ing taxes, and taxes will have to be raised on
at least some people if the state - and maybe
even the feds - are to give more support to
the universities.
So this is an opportunity for Coleman to
"show real leadership," as they say, and she
has vowed to do that. One of her ideas is to
get corporations to lobby lawmakers for more
support of the universities, similar to the way
in which the University solicited amicus
briefs to support its arguments before the
Supreme Court this year.
And it's her job to do that, not to handle
day-to-day management issues, but to look
out for the long-term interests of the Universi-
ty. In other words, this is what the University
Board of Regents hired her to do.
Coleman has some convincing to do. Now
let's see if she can pull it off.

NEW YORK -
t's obvious to a lot of
New Yorkers that the
Giuliani days of clean
streets and police gunning
down unarmed black men
are coming to an end
under the uninspiring and
often aggravating leader-
ship of Mayor Mike
Bloomberg.
However, the legacy of "Benito" Giuliani
remains in New York. It is a legacy that,
sadly, is currently sitting in the White
House, ensconced in the American middle
class and is possibly the biggest threat to the
struggle to establish a democratic political
structure.
The legacy of which I speak is a political
philosophy that is deeply embedded in
American cultural and political life but is not
often recognized. It is the legacy of a form
of authoritarian right-wing government
called National Socialism, commonly
referred to as Nazism.
Unfortunately, what is not discussed in
many of our history books is that many of
our influential political institutions, like Giu-
liani's Manhattan Institute, the Bush dynasty
and American industrialism are riddled with
connections to the Nazi ideology and the
Germany hate party itself.
Giuliani drew many of his beliefs from
the Manhattan Institute, which was founded
by future CIA Director William Casey and
was inspired by European fascist ideology
and eugenics. Giuliani's targeting of minori-
ty communities and his disregard for police
brutality imposed upon black men show that

this institute's Nazi leanings carried over
into his policymaking.
And we are seeing the influence today.
We have already lived through John
Ashcroft's Kristallnacht, where thousands of
Arab and Muslim men have been detained
and even deported - denied the American
right of due process - not because of proba-
ble cause, but due to their ethnic and reli-
gious affiliations, all under the pretense of
"fighting terrorism" after Sept. 11. As we
saw in the critically acclaimed CBS mini-
series on the rise of Hitler this summer, the
Nazi regime justified curbing civil liberties
in the early days of the Third Reich by say-
ing the new laws were to protect national
security and fight terrorism after the burning
of the Reichstag.
Also in the series, Hitler was cited as
stating that any opposition to his tyrannical
measures would be taken as a rejection of
patriotism and disloyalty to the republic.
Sound familiar?
It's also well known that America's most
hailed industrialist, Henry Ford, was a flag-
waving fan of Nazi thought. But a more pen-
etrating insight into Ford's legacy yields
even greater concern to the freedom seeker.
Fordian capitalism fused with America's
Protestant work ethic has created a culture
that forces us to put our work before every-
thing else, and we are taught that nothing but
a devotion to hard labor and seeking its
rewards is what separates the happy from the
miserable, the winners from the losers. It
sounds almost too much like the proverb,
"Work shall make you free," which was
inscribed on the gates of the Nazi death
camp Auschwitz.

It's not a coincidence that this edict hap-
pened to be branded onto a compound
designed for the purpose of slaughtering
whole nations. The ideology that is so
endemic in America to caste away our
desires, passions and aspects that make us
individuals provides for a society that in a
cultural and spiritual sense is a machine
that systematically robs life from most
Americans.
We also see overt Nazi outrages through-
out modern American history. When Martin
Luther King sought to desegregate housing
in Chicago by staging a march through a
white section called Gage Park, the locals
rebelled Southern style with excessive vio-
lence and signs with swastikas and "White
Power." This is proof that even in the so-
called "free North" a challenge to the white
hegemony proved that many white Ameri-
cans still harbored Nazi tendencies.
We'd all like to think that America
fought as Hitler's enemy in World War II
as the good-guy. But under that war there
were too many hidden exchanges between
the German murderous thugs and the Amer-
ican elite that has left a scare on the face of
what is ostensibly the world's greatest
democracy.
Maybe I'm being a little oversensitive
about the whole thing. Maybe I get on this
kick because I vote to the Left. Maybe I fear
our country's dark political roots because I
have family who survived the Holocaust. Or
maybe I'm just an American who loves his
liberty.

0

4

Paul can be reached at
aspaul@umich.edu.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Adams' column grounded
in hypocrisy, reflects a
lack of maturity

obviously right?
With regards to the T-shirts: They are
not designed to "create the appearance of a
united pro-Israel group on campus," rather,

confrontational? Absolutely, and thank
God. Confrontations, we find, ultimately
bring us to the very truth Adams so fer-
vently tries to avoid.
You as~k what is ulnderneath theshirts.

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