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October 23, 2003 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-23

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October 23, 2003
©2003 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 35

One-hundred-thirteen years ofeditorialfreedom

Skies will be
partly cloudy
for the dura- HI: 8
tion of thea
winds from
the north- Tomorrow,
west. 54140


hands over
Ed. Dept.
By Sara Eber
Daily Staff Reporter
Educators and legislator have greet-
ed Gov. Jennifer Granhom's executive
order regarding the Michigan Educa-
tion Assessment Program earlier this
week with praise and skepticism.
Granholm's decision to transfer
authority over the MEAP back to the
Department of Education effectively
cancelled a move by former Republi-
can Gov. John Engler, who switched
the test to the Department of Treasury
during his term. Before that, the
Department of Education had con-
trolled the MEAP since the 1970s.
"Educating our kids is the highest
priority, and placing responsibility for
MEAP with the Department of Educa-
tion is in line with that goal,"
Granholn said in a written statement.
Executive Order 2003-20,
announced Monday, will take effect
Dec. 21 unless rejected by the Legisla-
ture and also utilizes the Department of
Information and Technology to admin-
ister the test. Granholm said she hopes
that by facilitating the tests within the
state government, delays in scoring -
such as the ones that occurred this year
- will be avoided in the future.
Rep. Doug Hart (R-Rockford) said
the move "makes absolute sense." Hart
is a member of the House Education
and Higher Education committees.
"You have an organization that's
used to working with schools and is
already dealing with schools in the
state on a variety of levels and issues,"
he said.
Hart added that the switch will not
adversely impact the operation of the
Michigan Merit Award.
The Michigan Merit Award was
instituted in 2000 and gives Michigan
students a $2,500 scholarship if they
receive scores of one or two on the
MEAP test. Despite the Department
of Education's renewed power over the
test itself, the Merit Award Board,
which deals with the scholarship and
its qualifications, will remain within
the Department of Treasury.
Education senior Jenny Farber said
she hopes the switch will improve the
collaboration between curriculum and
the MEAP test.
"This is a positive change and it
might help make the MEAP a better
tool for assessment than the MEAP
that is already in place," she said.
Education Prof. Dirck Roosevelt
said that the change "is long overdue;'
and that it highlights a very political
issue in the state.
"It would seem to me that the gover-
nor is casting at least a tentative vote in
favor of education as a professional
field," he said. "People who dedicate
their lives to teaching and children
should be given the responsibility with
their assessment."
Yet another challenge to the MEAP
test, however, is the governor's
announcement that she will consider
replacing MEAP with the American
See MEAP, Page 7A

Public universities
see tuition spike

. Largest rise in 25 years
comes after state budget
deficits increase nationwide
By Carmen Johnson
Daily Staff Reporter
This year, students at public univer-
sities experienced the largest increase
in tuition since 1976, according to a
recent annual survey by the College
Smaller state budgets nationwide
and cutbacks in institutional funding
- which causes universities to
increasingly rely on tuition and fees as
revenue sources - help account for
the 14 percent increase in tuition since
last year, the study states.
But compared to the national aver-
age, University students faced a less
severe tuition increase of 6.5 percent
this fall after cuts in administrative
positions helped soften the blow. The
increase is the lowest hike among uni-
versities in the state of Michigan.
The study found that costs at com-
munity colleges also rose 14 percent
while those of private universities rose
by 6 percent.

College Board President Gaston
Caperton said universities' importance
to economic recovery is undeniable.
"All of us need to focus on the
mounting and troubling hardships of
financing an education," Caperton said
in a written statement.
Thirty years ago, the state con-
tributed about 70 percent of the cost of
education for in-state residents, yet this
past year the state contributed only an
estimated 30 percent, University Presi-
dent Mary Sue Coleman said.
"This study released on college
costs illustrates the difficult situation
most public universities have confront-
ed with dramatic reductions in state
support," Coleman said.
Michigan's weakened economy this
year translated into a state appropria-
tion rate of 10 percent for the Universi-
ty. And after Michigan officials
announced last week that the state
deficit is projected at just under $900
million, the situation could worsen.
But students end up paying signifi-
cantly less than the published tuition
rates, according to the study.
Student grants and loans surpassed a
record $105 billion this year - an
increase of 12 percent after adjusting

for inflation. Almost 60 percent of
undergraduates receive some form of
financial aid, mostly through loans, to
help pay for college.
In the past eight years, the Universi-
ty's tuition increases have averaged
about 5 percent every year. The Uni-
versity has also increased financial aid
more than tuition increases every year.
David Ward, president of the Ameri-
can Council on Education, said the
See TUITION, Page 7A

McDonald's has recently added healthier Items to Its menus, but the new Items
may not stay for long If fast food trends for taste prevail.
Healthy menu items
conribte o profit
rise for McDonald's

'U' defense attorney recounts
high court battle, future goals
By Ryan Vicko
Daily Staff Reporter

By Tomislav Ladika
Daily Staff Reporter
Thanks in part to the introduc-
tion of new Premium Salads in
light of growing concerns over
obesity in the United States,
McDonald's announced yesterday
that its profits increased 13 per-
cent for the third quarter.
Analysts said the nature of fast
food will challenge any trend
toward offering healthier food, but
students said they are more wor-
ried about their diets and appreci-
ate the variety Premium Salads
After struggling for much of last
year, McDonald's boosted sales for
the second straight quarter. Yester-
day's report comes on the heels of
an announcement made earlier this
month that sales increased by 11
percent in September.
The fast food giant's increased
sales and income were due to cus-
tomers' positive responses to the
innovations made to the McDon-
ald's menu, Chief Executive Offi-
cer Jim Cantalupo said in a written
"Our emphasis on improving the
taste of our food, the introduction
of Premium Salads and McGrid-

dies, continued demand for the
Dollar Menu's outstanding value,
and other initiatives are generating
almost one million new customer
visits each day," Cantalupo said.
"This performance indicates that
our revitalization plan is begin-
ning to yield results."
The company reported that
earnings rose from 38 to 43 cents
per share, and McDonald's stock
increased 16 cents, from $23.74 to
$23.90 per share.
While McDonald's increased
sales regarding the introduction of
Premium Salads may indicate that
Americans are responding to
recent reports of an obesity epi-
demic, Public Health Prof. Peter
Mancuso said interest groups have
blamed fast food chains for such
health problems.
"There is a lot of political pres-
sure on the fast food industry to
make changes to their menus to at
least make lip service to the prob-
lem of obesity," Mancuso said.
Burger King has also responded
to criticism by announcing it
would offer three low-fat chicken
sandwiches to its menu, and
Wendy's has begun to offer
reduced-fat milk and fruit at some
See FAST FOOD, Page 7A

In an event where women of strong character spoke about
their experiences, Maureen Mahoney - lawyer for the Uni-
versity's admissions policy defense team - talked about the
tough questions she faced in the U.S. Supreme Court and
reflected on what must be done now that the rulings have been
handed down.
The University recruited Mahoney for her broad experience
with the Supreme Court. Serving as a clerk for Chief Justice
William Rehnquist when he was an associate justice in 1979
- only a year after the court ruled in the Regents of the Uni-
versity of California v. Bakke - Mahoney argued 11 cases
before the Supreme Court, 10 of which she won.
But she was seen as an unlikely person to take up the case
on the University's side. Mahoney is a well-known Republican
who was appointed U.S. deputy solicitor general during the
first Bush administration, and she also argued on behalf of the
House of Representatives in the Supreme Court while Newt
Gingrich was speaker of the House.
In response to this perceived bias, Mahoney said, "I'm a
Republican, and there's a common misconception that all
Republicans oppose affirmative action ... I care deeply about
this case."
General Counsel Marvin Krislov said Mahoney held her
own throughout the case. "Simply stated, Maureen can think
on her feet and persuade with her oratory" among the best
lawyers of our generation, Krislov said.
Mahoney talked about the large burden placed on her as a
member of the University's defense team. She had to review
many of the amicus briefs - which totaled more than 250-
that were filed in support of the University. In addition, she
wrote much of the 50-page brief on behalf of the University in
the Grutter v. Bollinger case.
She said she got a feel for what arguments were likely to
carry weight by debating the issue with her husband, who is
also a lawyer. Mahoney said that both she and her husband are
skeptical of racial preferences but agree that in the case of
higher education, the need for diversity justifies it.
See MAHONEY, Page 7A

Maureen Mahoney, lead council for the University's
admissions policy defense team, speaks at the Power Center
about her career, childhood and the lawsuits.

Burning Bush

Singer/songwriter Elliott Smith dead
at 34, Calif. officials suspect suicide

By Scott Serilla
Daily Arts Editor
Another rock great has passed on
unnecessarily before his time.
Elliott Smith died Tuesday afternoon at a
Los Angeles area hospital after apparently
taking his own life. Known for his superbly
crafted indie pop and bleak heartbreaking
lyrics, the bittersweet singer/songwriter was
34 years old. The Associate Press reported
that Smith was found with a self-inflicted
stab wound to the chest at his Los Angeles
County residence by his live-in girlfriend.
An unfortunate tragedy that senselessly
echoes other early rock'n'roll losses,
Smith's death came as a shock to his devot-
ed fans, many of whom have taken solace in
the artist's confessional depictions of his
own struggles with love, depression and
Admittedly morose through his career,
Smith often wrote about suicidal issues

duction qualities.
These themes will quite possibly over-
whelm listeners now, only building the
regrettable romantic myth of another artist
dying young.
Still, for many it will be better to
remember the beauty of his songs rather
than dwell on their tenuous foreshadowing
of his death.
Smith's five solo
albums mined similar
sonic territory as his
heroes, Memphis power-
pop outfit Big Star and
English folker Nick
Drake, himself a rock
causality. Unfortunately,
Smith's records were just
as chronically under-rec-
ognized as the artists he
adored during their life- Smith
Born Steven Paul Smith in Nebraska

released a series of LPs in the early '90s.
Meanwhile, Smith put out two solo
albums of softer, more introspective song-
Despite critical raves for his independ-
ent solo releases, including his '97 epic
Either/Or, he remained largely ignored by
mainstream audiences.
Smith's largest breakthrough came via
"Miss Misery," his surprise hit from the
"Good Will Hunting" soundtrack.
The song was nominated for an Oscar
for Best Original Song in 1997.
Despite a loss to Celine Dion, Smith
gained enough fame to make the jump
from legendary indie rock label Kill Rock
Stars to a major label deal with Dream-
works Records.
His next two albums, XO and Figure 8,
struck out in a decidedly Beatle-esque
direction, adding a sophisticated sheen to
Smith's trademark sound, while subtract-
ing none of the intense emotionalism.


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