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November 10, 2008 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-10

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 3A

Obama plans to
make immediate
President-elect Barack Obama
plans to use his executive powers to
make animmediate impactwhenhe
takesoffice, perhapsreversingBush
administration policies on stem cell
research and domestic drilling for
oil and natural gas.
John Podesta, Obama's transi-
tion chief, said yesterday Obama is
reviewing President Bush's execu-
tive orders on those issues and
others as he works to undo poli-
cies enacted during eight years of
Republican rule. He said the presi-
dent can use such orders to move
quickly on his own.
"There's a lot that the president
can do using his executive author-
ity without waiting for congressio-
nal action, and I think we'll see the
president do that," Podesta said. "I
think that he feels like he has a real
mandate for change. We need to get
off the course that the Bush admin-
istration has set."
Russian submarine
accident suffocates
20, injures 21
The fire safetysystem on a brand-
new Russian nuclear submarine
accidentally turned on as the sub
wasnbeing tested in the Sea of Japan,
spewing a gas that suffocated 20
people and sent 21others to the hos-
pital, officials said Sunday.
The Russian Navy said the sub-
marine itself was not damaged in
Saturday's accident and returned
to its base on Russia's Pacific coast
under its own power Sunday. The
accident also did not pose any radia-
tion danger, the navy said.
Yet it was Russia's worst naval
accident since torpedo explosions
sank another nuclear-powered sub-
marine, the Kursk, in the Barents
Sea in 2000, killing all 118 seamen
Overcrowding may have been a
significant factor on Saturday.
The submarine being tested had
208 people aboard, including 81
seamen, according to Russian navy
spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo. Yet
Russian news agencies said a sub
of this type normally carries only a
crew of 73.
Bomb attacks in
Iraq kill 8
Bombs killed at leasteight people
Sunday across Iraq and wounded
dozens of others, officials said. Syr-
ia's president blamed the U.S. mili-
tary presence for Iraq's instability
and called on U.S. troops to leave.
In the northern city of Mosul, a
roadside bomb ripped through an
Iraqi army patrol soon after sun-
down, killing three soldiers and
wounding four others, police said.
U.S. and Iraqi troops have been
fighting for months to clear al-Qai-
da in Iraq and about a dozen other

Sunni insurgent groups from Mo-
sul, Iraq's third largest city.
To the south, a bomb attached
to a bike wrapped in a trash bag
exploded outside a cafe in Khalis,
50 miles (80 kilometers) north of
Baghdad, killing at least two people
and wounding 13, including the city
mayor, police said.
Thousands protest
gay marriage ban
As many as 10,000 people took to
the streets in San Diego and similar
numbers marched in Los Angeles
Saturday to protest passage of an
anti-gay marriage ballot initiative,
authorities said.
Demonstrators began march-
ing through central San Diego at
noon, accordingto police Sgt. Diane
Wendell. The event lasted about 90
minutes and was peaceful, with no
The march in the Silver Lake
area of Los Angeles began at Satur-
day evening and lasted about four
hours, said police Sgt. Jake Bushy.
No incidents were reported as dem-
onstrators marched down Sunset
Boulevard carrying signs and way-
ing banners.
The demonstrations were the
largest of several marches that fol-
lowed Tuesday's passage of Propo-
sition 8, a constitutional amend-
ment banning same-sex marriages
and overturning the state Supreme
Court decision that legalized such
unions in May.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Report: AIG near deal on new gov't bailout Students zOOm into

$150 billion deal
would replace
$123 billion plan
NEW YORK (AP) _ American
International Group Inc. late
Sunday was reportedly near a
deal for a revised bailout package
from the U.S. government that
would make borrowing terms
easier for the troubled insurer.
From Page 1A
Athletic Department offers to pay
travel expenses for APC members
attending Michigan bowl games.
For the 2007 Rose Bowl, the seven
APC members attended the game
as "guests of the Athletic Depart-
ment," the audit said.
Pharmacology Prof. Charles
Smith, who chaired the Senate
Advisory Committee on Universi-
ty Affairs from May 2006 to April
2008, said SACUA's members all
agreed that the audit's findings
"looked bad" when the audit came
"Everybody agreed on SACUA
when were given the audit by the
provost that it appeared as if there
were a conflict having (APC) mem-
bers having their ways paid to the
bowl games," he said.
Despite the audit's findings,
the University has chosen not to
change the practice. University
spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham
said University Provost Teresa
Sullivan "has taken the audit's
findings under advisement," but
doesn't intend to change any poli-
Athletic Department spokes-
man Bruce Madej said the money
used to pay for APC members's
expenses comes from funds the
Athletic Department receives for
appearing in bowl games.
"When you go to your bowl,
you get a budget for the amount
of money you can spend for that
bowl," he said, adding that the bud-
get's amount depends on the bowl
Madej said the practice of pay-
ing for APC members's bowl game
expenses is long-standing.
"I've been here 30 years," he
said, "and it's been ongoing for 30
Kinnear, who also serves as the
executive director of the Samuel
Zell and Robert H. Lurie Insti-
tute for Entrepreneurial Studies,
said he never thought about who
paid for his Rose Bowl trip. He
later insisted that even if the Ath-
letic Department had paid for APC
members'trips to past bowlgames,
the practice never influenced the
committee's decisions in his eyes.
"Everybody on that committee
is a dignified faculty member with
very high integrity," he said. "Such
issues did not influence people on
that committee in any way, shape
or form."
Though the audit was released
in July 2007, no actions have been
taken as aresult ofits findings other
thanaunanimousmotionby SACUA
at its July 30, 2007 meeting saying
the findings should be reviewed.
At the Oct. 27, 2008 meeting of
the Senate Assembly, the University

faculty's governing body, Physics
Prof. Keith Riles renewed talk on
the potential for conflict of inter-
est with the Athletic Department's
Near the meeting's conclusion,
Riles asked University President
Mary Sue Coleman why there had
not been an investigation into the
practice after the audit's release
in 2007, even after SACUA unani-
mously supported a review.
In response, Coleman said
she was unsure on whether any
actions were being taken regard-
ing the audit's findings, but added
that she had no concerns about the
practice. She suggested Riles dis-
cuss the issue with Sullivan, who
oversees all academic issues at the
Riles said in an interview that
he brought up the audit because
there has yet to be any action by
the University administration a
year after its release.
"I thought it was about the right
time to bring it up," he said. "The
practice of funding bowl game vaca-
tions for faculty who are supposed to
give unvarnished advice on athletics
issues - the potential for conflict of
interest issues seems strong."
At the Senate Assembly meet-
ing, Coleman also told Riles that
she thought the practice of athletic
departments paying for faculty
members to attend bowlgames was
prevalent at other universities.
"It is my understanding that
this is a widespread practice across
Division I institutions and within
the Big Ten," she said.
Several other athletic depart-

A proposed $123 billion bail-
out package would be replaced
with a new $150 billion pack-
age, according to the Wall Street
Details of the arrangement
could be announced as early as
Monday, when AIG is scheduled
to report its third-quarter results,
the Journal said. The plan report-
edly would replace an $85 billion
two-year loan with a $60 billion
five-year loan at a lower interest
ments at Big Ten universities use
bowlgame funds to pay some or all
of the expenses for faculty mem-
bers serving on athletic advisory
boards to attend bowl games.
At the University of Iowa, bowl
game proceeds are used to pay the
travel expenses for the chair of the
Presidential Committee on Ath-
letics, an athletics advisory board
that reports to the university pres-
ident, according to Mark Abbott,
an associate athletic director at
the University of Iowa. The chair
of the PCA is always a faculty
member selected by the university
president, according to the com-
mittee's charter.
In 2008, the athletic depart-
ment at the University of Illinois
purchased game tickets to the
Rose Bowl game for two faculty
representatives and the faculty
chair of the Athletic Board, UI's
faculty athletics advisory board,
accordingtoKent Brown, assistant
athletics director at Illinois.
In his book "Beer and Circus:
How Big-Time College Sports Is
Crippling Undergraduate Educa-
tion," Murray Sperber, a professor
at the University of California at
Berkeley, notes that the University
of Wisconsin Athletic Department
paid for faculty members on the
Faculty Board of Control of Inter-
collegiate Athletics to attend the
1999 Rose Bowl game.
Sperber said the practice of
athletic departments paying for
faculty members on athletics advi-
sory boards to attend bowl games
is pervasive.
"It occurs at almost every big-
time athletic (department) that I
know of and thus is not local cor-
ruption but systemic corruption,
and part of the reason why real
reform cannot come to big-time
college sports," he said. "The foxes
are guarding the henhouse."
Several other Big Ten schools
did not respond to requests for
information about bowl game
expense practices for their respec-
tive faculty advisory boards.
An NCAA spokeswoman also
declined to comment on the bowl
game expense practices at Big Ten
At the end of the Oct. 27 Senate
Assembly meeting, Riles presented
a resolution before the assembly to
urging Coleman to stop the bowl
game expenses practice. The Sen-
ate Assembly will vote on the reso-
lution at its Nov. 10 meeting.
As part of his membership on
the APC, Smith attended the 2007
Rose Bowl and the 2008 Capital
One Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
When asked about the Athletic
Department paying for the trips,
Smith said he thought the Univer-
sity administration, not the Athlet-
ic Department, had footed the bill.
"It was my impression that the

president's office was paying for
the trips," Smith said. "The invita-
tion did notcome from the Athletic
Department. The most recent invi-
tation came from (vice president
and secretary of the University)
Sally Churchill. So I don't really
know who pays for the trip."
Kinnear also said his Rose Bowl
invitation came from the Office of
the President.
Smith said if he had known that
there was a potential conflict of
interest in going to the two bowl
games, he simply would not have
attended. But he said the APC's
members were never influenced
by the bowl game perks.
"That trip to the bowl game had
no influence at all on the decision
making process of the (APC),"
he said. "I was impressed by the
clean, clear, transparent way in
which they conducted their busi-
Not all faculty members who
served on the committee saw
the bowl game perks as potential
Social Work Prof. Larry Root,
who served on the APC during the
2006-2007 academic year, said he
viewed the free bowl game trips as
merely an added benefit for serv-
ing on the committee.
"The fact is, if you're on this
committee, there's this perk asso-
ciated with it, and that's kind of
neat," he said. "And it's always
been that."

The government also report-
edly would inject $40 billion into
AIG in exchange for preferred
AIG representatives were not
immediately available for com-
The government had ear-
marked $85 billion in September
for AIG's rescue. Another $37.8
billion was made available in
School of Education Prof. Percy
Bates, who has served on the APC
and is the main faculty represen-
tative to the Athletic Department,
said the committee only reviews
a few student-athletes each year.
That, he said, undercuts the argu-
ment that the Athletic Department
paying APC members' bowl game
expenses presents a potential con-
flict of interest.
"If we were responsible for all
85 (scholarship) football players
and determining their eligibility, I
would say,'I don't know about this,'
" he said. "I just don't see, as long
as I've watched people do it, how
critical it becomes at this juncture
that we ought to change this proce-
dure because of this issue."
Exact records on how many
student-athletes go before the
committee and the past decisions
made by the APC are difficult to
obtain because, as Bates explained,
the APC does not keep minutes at
its meetings. The committee can-
not release its decisions including
the names of individual student-
athletes because it would violate
student privacy laws.
A review of the minutes for the
larger ABIA from January 2006
to January 2008, during which
time the advisory board met 17
times, shows that the APC on five
separate occasions reported to the
board specifically concerning stu-
The minutes for each of these
five meetings show that no stu-
dent-athletes that went before the
APC were prohibited from prac-
ticing or competing in games.
The Athletic Department's
practice has drawn criticism from
outside the University.
Western Carolina University
Prof. Kadence Otto, the acting
president of The Drake Group, a
national college sports watchdog
organization, said the bowl game
perks practice is "highly unethi-
cal" and "a clear conflict of inter-
"From an ethical perspective,
should that money be going to
pay for a faculty member who is
supposed to be a neutral member
on this committee?" Otto asked,
referring specifically to the Athlet-
ic Department's bowl game funds.
"Certainly there could be some-
thing going on; namely, they're
feeling pressured or obligated to
keep these athletes eligible."
Otto, who teaches in WCU's
Business Administration and Law
and Sport Management depart-
ment, also said she disagreed with
the Athletic Department's and
University administration's jus-
tification of the practice by citing
precedent and saying that other
colleges and universities do it.
"So it's based on tradition - so

what?" Otto said. "Because every-
one else does it, that means it's OK
if we do it?"
Ohio University Assistant Prof.
David Ridpath, former president of
The Drake Group, coached wres-
tling at Division I Ohio University
in Athens and later served as assis-
tant athletic director at Marshall
University, also aDivision I school,
in Huntington, W.Va.
Ridpath, who led The Drake
Group for three years, said that
while he believed the University's
practice presents a conflict of inter-
est, he said the broader idea of giv-
ing faculty members exposure to
the workings of their university's
athletic department - which could
include an occasional trip to a
sporting event - canbe beneficial.
Ridpath said that, ideally, a fac-
ulty member's academic depart-
ment could pay for the trip rather
than the athletic department.
However, he conceded that
practices like the University's will
continue to take place at colleges
and universities across the country
no matter what. The key, he said,
is ensuring that faculty members
make it as clear as possible that
they aren't being influenced by
athletic department-funded perks.
"It's good to have that faculty
involvement, but we as faculty
members have to guard zealously
in the area of faculty integrity,"
he said. "The bottom line is per-
ception, and it is something that
you have to watch. And as fac-
ulty, we have to guard against
this, as perception many times is

world record books

Group sets record by
flying unmanned fuel
cell plane for 10 hours
Daily StaffReporter
In late October, a University of
Michigan student group zoomed
into the world record book for
launching the longest flight by a
fuel cell-powered airplane.
the airplane in a field in Milan, Mich.,
for 10 hours, 15 minutes and four sec-
onds, whizzing past the old record of a
little over nine hours held by a Califor-
nia-based engineering company.
The group, composed mostly of
aerospace engineering undergradu-
ates, had been working on the plane,
named Endurance, for six months.
These small planes, called
unmanned aerial vehicles, are often
used by the military, which sends
them to collect data in places unfit for
human access. UAVs can be used for
mapping territories, testing chemi-
cals, exploring the environment or
delivering medical supplies.
The fuel cells used were manu-
factured by Adaptive Materials
Inc., an Ann Arbor-based company
that approached SolarBubbles about
working on the project. Nick Schoe-
ps, a University alum and fuel cell
engineer for the company, said
SolarBubbles was a good way to test
out some of the company's prod-
"We have some other military
contracts we're testing it with, but
we thought this would be a great
opportunity to collaborate with the
University and bring some students
into the mix and see what we can
accomplish," he said.
SolarBubbles chair Nick Rooney,
a College of Engineering senior,
said the group agreed to help with
the project because he wanted to
help break ground in the alterna-
tive energy field.
"It's important because it shows
that there are alternative forms of
energy out there that can be used
for powering these types of vehi-
cles," he said.
The plane, which was controlled

by radio waves, zoomed off the
ground like a commercial plane.
At 1L7 pounds with an eight-foot
wingspan, the plane averaged a lit-
tle less than 99 miles per hour dur-
ing its flight.
Fuel cells take a fuel - in this
case, propane - and convert it into
energy. Because of their small size,
UAVs, which usually run on bat-
teries, can only carry enough bat-
tery power to last between one and
two hours, but fuel cells can last
between 10 and 12 hours.
Rooneysaid fuelcells areonlygood
for smaller objects like UAVs and
robots because large machines, like
commercial planes, are run by more
efficient interior combustion engines.
Schoeps said UAVs are the ideal
testing ground for fuel cells because
after the flight, engineers have a
clear idea on how well the fuel cells
"It's a very unforgiving environ-
ment," he said. "If you don't have
enough power, the plane falls out of
the air - there's no question to how
it's performing."
Not counting the fuel cells that
AMI developed, the plane cost
around $2,500 to build. The Uni-
versity of Michigan Engineering
Council, the Michigan Student
Assembly, the Aerospace Engi-
neering department and the Wil-
son Student Team Project Center
in the College of Engineering all
funded the project.
Rooney said the group's ultimate
goal is to build a UAV that can be
powered for 24 hours on fuel cells,
a project scheduled for completion
in the spring. He said the fuel cells
could have, powered their world
record run for about five more
hours, but because daylight was
ending they had to bring the plane
In order for the plane to fly at
night, the group needs to devel-
op a night-power system, which
includes a way of having the plane
constantly visible and able to navi-
gate in the dark.
"It's hard to tell where the-UAV
is, figuring out what the orienta-
tion is, which ways it's flying, how
it's turning - since you can't see
anything, it's really hard to look at,"
Rooney said.

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