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January 12, 2010 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-12

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4 - Tuesday, January 12, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

C iid ligan BaI*IV
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109




A university is also a place for the
dreaming of great dreams.'
- Former University President Robben Fleming, from his March 12,1968 inaugural speech,
as recorded in his book, "Tempests into Rainbows."
The legacy of Robben Fleming

Unsigned editorials reflect the officialposition ofthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Picking a provost
New provost should involve students in policymaking
new face will soon be occupying one of the University's
most important positions. As announced in an e-mail
yesterday from University President Mary Sue Cole-
man, University Provost Teresa Sullivan will soon be leaving to
become the president at the University of Virginia. On the heels
of her departure, the University has an opportunity to bring a
new addition to the University's management team. Sullivan's
successor should reflect a commitment to diversity and possess
financial prowess. At the same time, this opening should be used
to right a past shortcoming: the University's failure to meaning-
fully engage students in its policy-making decisions.

With the passing of former University President Rob-
ben Fleming yesterday, we have lost a Michigan leader
of great integrity, distinction and compassion. President
Fleming led the University during tumultuous years
when Ann Arbor was a center of student activism. His
great patience, negotiating skills and genuine sympa-
thy for the concerns of students and faculty helped the
University weather the decade without the destructive
confrontations that struck many other universities. His
calm, reassuring approach to difficult issues, tempered at
times with a disarming sense of humor, served him well
in providing leadership throughout these difficult times.
During this period of protest and disruption, he had a
remarkable ability to build compromise and cooperation
out of confrontation. At a time when University students
and faculty served as the conscience of the nation on
major issues such as the war in Vietnam and racial jus-
tice, President Fleming spoke out courageously on many
of these issues to provide national leadership in support
of the concerns of students and the faculty.
President Fleming once observed: "If you start out as
president by appointing superb people, you are about
three-quarters of the way down the path of success." The
leadership team he assembled at the University included
faculty members like Frank Rhodes and Harold Shapiro,
who would goontobecome two of the most distinguished
university leaders of their era (at Cornell, Princeton and,
of course, Michigan).
During the transitional period following President
Harold Shapiro in 1988, while I was serving as the Uni-
versity's provost, President Fleming returned for a brief
period in an interim leadership role. This provided me
with a remarkable opportunity to observe, work with
and learn from one of the most able presidents in the Uni-
versity's history as he skillfully navigated through the
complexities of university activities, state politics, and
student concerns with wisdom and understanding.

At my own inauguration as University president in
1988, he pulled me aside to caution that a public univer-
sity president should never regard the slings and arrows
launched by others as personal attacks. Rather, most crit-
ics were simply angry at the institution, not the presi-
dent. Buthe also acknowledged thatuniversitypresidents
made a most convenienttarget for taking out frustrations,
which he characterized as "the price of a society in which
we place so high a value on freedom of expression." His
courage was illustrated by a second comment: "A univer-
sity president must develop the capacity to tolerate risk
as a necessary characteristic of the position. If you do not
occasionally face critical moments when you must put
your job on the line in defending or advancingthe institu-
tion, then you are likely not doing your job well."
President Fleming was always a great fan of Michigan
football (after all, he hired Bo Schembechier!), and dur-
ing his later years my wife and I were privileged to take
him to the home football games. It was clear that people
enjoyed seeing President Fleming in attendance at the
game as much as he enjoyed the game itself!
It is ironic that today many members of the Universi-
ty community probably know the name Fleming by the
building that bears his name, a formidable blockhouse
containing the University administration. Yet, in reality,
President Robben Fleming was a Michigan leader who
was deeply engaged and supportive of the students and
faculty of the University during his tenure, reaching out
to listen to and share their concerns and speak out force-
fully and courageously on behalf of the University. He
will be greatly missed, fondly remembered and always
honored for his leadership of the University of Michigan.
James Duderstadt is currently a University
professor of science and engineering and president
emeritus at the University. He served as the
University's president from 1988 to 1996.

Coleman announced yesterday that Sul-
livan will begin serving as the president of
UVA on Aug. 1. Coleman intends to select
a new provost before that time. UVA chose
Sullivan partly because of her success in
managing the University's budget amid
financial turbulence - and with UVA facing
cuts in its own state funding, Sullivan's bud-
getary acumen could be beneficial.
Sullivan's savvy in managing the Univer-
sity's budget was one of her strong points.
Among other actions, Sullivan played a key
role in the Space Utilization Initiative. Last
November, project manager Frances Mueller
estimated that the initiative saved the Uni-
versity $185 million in construction costs by
managing space efficiently and reducing the
need for new construction projects.
Like Sullivan, the new provost should
possess experience in managing a large and
complex budget. More than that, the Uni-
versity's new hire should possess a stronger
commitment to maintaining affordability
for students. As many students face serious
financial burdens from tuition costs, avoid-
ing tuition hikes like last year's 5.6 percent
increase should be a top priority. The Uni-
versity's new hire should do everything
possible to curtail costs, including halting
the University's custom to routinely give
pay raises and hire expensive new faculty at
students' expense.
In making its pick for the position, the
University should also demonstrate a com-

mitment to diversity. While administrators
have expressed a desire to maintain diver-
sity among faculty members and the student
body, the representation of diverse groups in
its leadership ranks doesn't reflect the Uni-
versity's supposed commitment. The Uni-
versity should aim to improve representation
of minority groups at all levels - and that
means choosing a provost who will increase
the administration's diversity.
And the new provost should put the
school's diverse student body to good use.
Sullivan's successor should show a com-
mitment to involving students in decisions
that affect them. In the past, Sullivan pur-
ported to include students in decision-
making by creating student committees
like the Student Budget Advisory Commit-
tee, which was started in 2008. But these
closed-door committees seemed more like
an effort to pacify students than to actu-
ally gain their insight on policies -that
affect them. The provost Coleman chooses
should be willing to take earnest action
to hear students' ideas, and put them into
Sullivan's replacement should possess a
balanced set of qualifications that reflects
the University's needs. And what the Uni-
versity - and the student body - needs is
a provost who increases the diversity of
University administration and possesses
financial and managerial experience to
improve conditions for students.

My top five maize pains

Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, William Butler, Nicholas Clift, Michelle DeWitt,
Brian Flaherty, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee, Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff, Asa Smith,
Brittany Smith, Radhika Upadhyaya, Laura Veith
Grinches who stole health care

love the University of Michigan.
I thank God everyday that I had
the opportunity and the incred-
ibly good fortune
to spend four years
of my life here.
Like many of my
peers, my ticket to
this school is paid
by loving, gener-I
ous, hard-working
parents. And I try
not to forget that -
fortune as I eat my CHRIS
daily bowl of Cap'n KOSLOWSKI
Crunch with the
shiniest of silver
spoons. But some-
times - as good as I have it - the
small stuff gets under my skin. I have
little reason to complain, but there are
certain things about this place that
drive me up a wall. In fact, they are
so irritating that I thought I'd share
five of them with the hope that maybe
a few of you can laugh at our mutual
1. The Diagsnow-removal carts
I like a cleared path on my way to
class, but I don't like it when these
Satanic sweepers brush a blizzard of
snow in my face when I already feel
like I'm trekking across Siberia. I
understand that constant plowing of
the Diag would necessitate even more
inconvenient repair work, but perhaps
that would be a small price to pay to
end the plague of irreversible psycho-
logical damage caused by face-to-face
encounters with these snow-flinging
monsters on narrow sidewalks.
2. The Museum ofArt addition
I often hear complaints about the
big, red-orange Orion sculpture, but I
love it because it draws my attention
away from much worse eyesore: the
new art museum addition. The new

addition sports the most perplexingly
awkward architecture on campus.
Wedged in between the classical col-
umns and ornate stonework of Angell
Hall and the original art museum, the
boring, out of place UMMA looks like
something my four-year-old cousin
could have built with a cardboard box.
But on the bright side, the fiber-ugly
LSA Building now looks like a master-
piece in comparison.
3. Washtenaw between South U. and
If you ever feel like needlessly risk-
ing your life, find a friend and two
SUVs and drive side-by-side down this
narrow, obstacle-ridden thoroughfare.
Even in my little sedan, I feel like I'm
being forced into playing chicken with
opposing traffic. Between the over-
flow parking from the First Presby-
terian Church that blocks the entire
southbound right lane on Sundays and
drunken Greek system freshman wan-
dering in search of "The Rock," this
stretch of Washtenaw becomes the
most infuriating street in Ann Arbor.
And I didn't even mention, the perpet-
ually manned speed trap between Hill
and South U.
4.Spicy ChickenPasta is too delicious
I don't remember much from my
freshman year in Couzens Residence
Hall, but I do remember Spicy Chicken
Pasta. More delicious than manna,
more scrumptious than ambrosia
and even better than your grandma's
famous apple pie, Spicy Chicken Pasta
puts all other entrees in all other din-
ing options in Ann Arbor to shame.
Why is this bad? Because when I'm
eating a steak at the Chop House, I
don't want to be thinking about why
I'm not eating Spicy Chicken Pasta
instead. I've taken a bite of heaven and
now everything else tastes like soggy
kitchen sponge. Oh, and those who

think Chicken Broccoli Bake is supe-
rior are fools.
Couzens's Spicy
Chicken Pasta is
just too good.

In the early morning of Christmas Eve, the
United States Senate passed its version of the
health care reform bill. Despite being tout-
ed as the Senate's early Christmas gift to the
American people, progressives like me stand
incredibly disappointed and frustrated with
the watered-down bill. While I recognize that
there is an inherent struggle between idealism
and reality in any political battle, this bill fails
in any sort of substantive and comprehensive
reform. So here is my basic progressive primer
on the Senate's health care bill, including what
to hate and who to blame.
While many debate the actual number of.
people it would affect, progressives should
make no mistake - the public option is vital.
While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
(D-Cali.) and the House Democrats were able
to secure a public option in their version of the
bill, Senate Democrats were not. The public
option provision would create a government
alternative health care plan to private insur-
ance companies, allowing the government to
negotiate payments with doctors and hospitals.
The health care system cannot be fixed if
Congress allows it to stay in the private sector
alone. In order to make health care actually
affordable, a public option is necessary to break
the monopoly insurance companies have, force
competition and finally make insurance com-
panies responsible to the people. Some con-
tend that private companies cannot compete
with public institutions. This is simply not
true - they coexist and compete in multiple
sectors. The Post Office must compete against
FedEx and public schools exist with private
ones. Many other countries have private-pub-
lic health systems as well, including France,
which was ranked first for its health care sys-
tem by the World Health Organization.
Though it hasn't received the amount
of attention the public option has, there is
another key element to health care reform:
the anti-trust exemption for health insurance
companies. The McCarran-Ferguson Act of.
1945 allows for health insurance companies to
receive exemptions from the federal anti-trust
laws that apply to most businesses. This allows
for the insurance companies to collaborate and
essentially set prices at any rate they see fit.
Because of this exemption, insurance compa-
nies indulge in practices like bid rigging and
market allocation, all of which reduce com-
petition and increase prices for the consumer.


While the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson
Act may seem like a simple no-brainer, it was
evidently overlooked by the Senate, which was
not able to fit it into the bill.
We can thank the Republican Party for not
allowing the public option or the repeal of the
anti-trust exemption in the Senate health care
bill. Not a single member of the Grand Oppo-
sition Party supported the Senate bill and few
made genuine attempts at reform. It is quite
clear that the Republican Party stands firmly
against the general welfare of the American
people's health care. While standing in stub-
born opposition to almost every idea proposed
by Democratic Party leadership, they must
have lacked the time to be able to propose any
ideas of their own. Despite American health
care being ranked 37th by the World Health
Organization, Republicans held ignorantly
that America "had the best health care in the
world." I cannot stress enough how at fault this
party is. The only people it truly represents
are corporate insurance companies, insurance
lobbyists and the radical fringe right that now
controls the party.
But the Grinches who really stole health
care reform were Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-
Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). While stand-
ing as the last holdouts for their votes on health
care reform, these two senators were effec-
tively able to hold health care hostage and ruin
Christmas in Grinch-like fashion. Lieberman
said that he wouldn't support a public option or
an expansion of Medicare - despite support-
ing the idea previously - and even threatened
to filibuster with the Senate Republicans. Ben
Nelson expressed similar concerns but got
even more bang for his buck with his "Corn-
husker Kickback," a deal that gives the entire
state of Nebraska a permanent exemption from
its share of Medicaid taxes.
The public option and the repeal of the McCar-
ran-Ferguson Act are necessary for real health
care reform in America. These provisions were
not able to make it into the bill because of Joe
Lieberman, Ben Nelson and the entirety of the
Republican Party. As the conference committee
approaches, progressives need to remain strong
in their convictions. While lawmaking is a pro-
fession of compromise, diluting a bill until it isn't
strong enough to make the changes necessary is a
mark of bad government.
Will Butler is an LSA freshman.

5. The Haven Hall Bazaar
So, I've made it through the beggars
by the Engineering Arch, the flyer dis-
tributors, protestors and preachers in
the Diag, and I walk into Haven Hall
and somebody shoves free cookies in
my face. I blame my freshman fifteen,
my sophomore twenty and so forth on
these peddlers of all things fatty. Do I
want a SO-cent donut? No. Can I resist
when I walk in and seea four-foot pile
of Krispy Kreme boxes just waiting for
me? No! Plus, the tables restrict traffic
flow. I'm trying to get to the stairwell,
but I'm stuck in the bottleneck, and
the Dance Marathon folks just opened
a new package of brownies. Damn you
and your tasty treats!
Luckily, the list of stuff I love is
much, much longer. From snowball
fights in the Law Quad to Double
Stacks in the Michigan Union Wen-
dy's, it's great to be a Michigan Wol-
verine. So after the Diag preacher
guy pins you to the glass wall of the
art museum and a brush cart merci-
lessly flings snow in your face, smile,
spin the Cube, order one up at Blimpy
Burger, and remember how fortunate
you are. No silver spoons required.
- Chris Koslowski can be
reached at cskoslow@umich.edu.



... wav-er.--...-_ .,_.--.-
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