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February 06, 2013 - Image 4

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4A - Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


L 4e Michigan wily

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
ostly duplcates
A central grant database for public research should be created
SA Jan. 2013 study published in Nature in found that "an esti-
mated $69 million of possible overlap funds were found" after
surveying more than 630,000 grant and contract summa-
ries since 1985. The Federal government funds most public research
in the United States through several agencies, including the National
Institutes of Health, Veterans Administration, National Science Foun-
dation, Department of Defense and Department of Energy. Most agen-
cies don't permit or encourage research projects funded by more than
one agency. However, this notion is difficult to enforce since research-
ers can concurrently apply to any number of agencies. Since many of
these agencies don't routinely communicate with other organizations
when reviewing grants, it's easy to understand how duplicate funding
occurs. Therefore, a central grant database should be created to mini-
mize financial damage and ensure limited research funding is distrib-
uted responsibly.

Equalfunding for equal integrity
C hoosing a college major was and critical thinking. His statement subjects of their choosing.
one of the hardest decisions raises concerns about equal oppor- Taking away academic opportu-
I've ever made. Like many, I tunities for education, as well as the nities, like McCrory implies, isn't
arrived at Michi- monetary value of different types of the answer. We need to instead edu-
gan with no degrees. cate students at the high-school level
burning interests A 2012 study by Georgetown Uni- about what job opportunities are in
and soon found versity illustrates the governor's demand. This allows individuals to
myself in the point. It claims that "the risk of discover a balanced career path that
non-engineering, unemployment among recent college takes into account their skills and
non-medicine graduates depends on their major ... future earning goals. Furthermore,
academic pur- Unemployment rates are generally streamlining student aid to cut back
gatory. At the TIMOTHY higher in non-technical majors, such on fraud and absurd tuition costs
advice of my aca- TUMOU as the arts (11.1 percent), humanities would save billions. This money
demic advisor, BURROUGHSand liberal arts (9.4 percent), social could then support vocational pro-
I completed my science (8.9 percent) and law and grams and provide incentives for
general require- public policy (8.1 percent)." Addition- students - moving toward the ulti-
ments, hoping something would ally, The Bureau of Labor Statistics mate goal of a balanced workforce
spark my interest. I was constantly states that about 17-million college and reducing the influx of under-
evaluating disciplines, gauging my graduates are underemployed, mean- employed individuals. These are big
interests and, yes, determining prac- ing that they're working in jobs ideas requiring extensive debate,
ticality and future earnings. they're drastically overqualified for and now the stage is set for signifi-
A similar type of evaluation was or working fewer hours than they'd cant education reform.
made by North Carolina Gov. Pat like. The bureau also reports the
McCrory last Tuesday. On a politi- unemployment rate for young people
cal radio program, the Republican with vocational training as signifi- There should be
governor advocated strongly for cantly lower than that of graduates
vocational studies. He explained that with general degrees. no hierarchy for
there's significant demand for skilled McCrory is struggling to justify academic thought.
laborers with six-figure salaries and putting tax dollars toward programs
only more jobs to come. He argued that don't lead to future careers. His
that many courses currently being comments undervalue intellectual
offered at state universities and com- studies and gloss over the countless
munity colleges are not adequately successful gender studies majors. At the end of my sophomore year
preparingstudents for the workforce. Additionally, many educational I became an economics and art his-
At one point he even questioned, subsidies contribute to student aid tory double major. Though an eco-
"What are we teachingthese courses programs, which are critical in nomics degree may seem the more
for, if they are not going to help get a providing equal opportunities to practical choice, many of the art
job?" He immediately retracted this students. Regardless of McCrory's history classes have proved more
statement, however, claiming that flawed commentary, these statistics insightful than any supply-and-
he's not trying to devalue liberal arts demand attention. The goal of edu- demand graph. There's no hier-
education, but simply questioning cation funding should be to provide archy for academic thought, and
the "skills" gained. McCrory further every individual with a fair chance McCrory is wrong to suggest oth-
explained, "if you want to take gen- to succeed academically and in the erwise. I decided on my own career
der studies, that's fine, go to a private workforce. But we aren't effectively path based on my interests, but very
school and take it, but I don't want providing the latter. - much so on my talents and future
to subsidize that if that isn't getting Like leaders from both political employment opportunities as well.
someone a job." parties, I believe that higher-educa- Other students should be allowed
North Carolina college students, tion reform is critical in fixing our that same choice but must under-
the Huffington Post and even con- economy. We need to find ways to stand the realities attached to it.
servatives have attacked these place competitively trained individ-
statements, arguing that McCrory uals in fields where there's demand, - Timothy Burroughs can be
is belittling intellectual thought while also allowing them to study reached at timburr@umich.edu.
Free the banners, free discussion



Such duplication of federal funding is unpro-
ductive. Federal money should instead be used
to support new projects, and better commu-
nication between federal agencies should be
implemented to facilitate this goal. Currently,
no agencies have systems in place to regularly
check if the grants they fund are also being
funded by another. Given the enormity of
research grants submitted each year for fed-
eral funding, it makes financial sense to create
a central grant database that would allow each
organization to check and thus avoid duplicate
funding. Agencies need to dedicate resources to
determine overlaps and strengthen communi-
cation with each other. Compared to the size of
the grants, the cost of checking for overlaps is a
small, cost-effective investment.
Though the study concedes that duplicate
funding constitutes less than 0.1 percent of
total federal funds dispensed since 1985, the
$69 million represents a significant amount
of taxpayer money that has been used inef-
fectively. From the public's perspective, dupli-
cate funding also wastes researcher's time
and drains productivity, both of which can't
be regained. A significant grant from a federal
agency like the Department of Defense could

sustain a research group for several years.
Researchers receiving duplicate funding may
be using twice as much time to explore a lim-
ited area of inquiry.
Each agency has its own definition of what
constitutes an overlap. For example, although
the DoD may certify that a project's fund-
ing is distinct from a similar project funded
by the NIH, the NIH may request that the
researchers make these projects more dis-
similar in order to receive funding. Multiple
standards amongst agencies convolute the
grant application process.
As federal research funding continues to
tighten to dangerous levels, it's imperative that
federal agencies work together to allocate fund-
ing in a fair, efficient manner. Though research-
ers could be at fault for pursuing duplicate
funding, agencies must also make the effort to
discourage and prevent duplication. By creat-
ing a central database, harmonizing criteria for
what constitutes duplicate funding and dedicat-
ing more energy to scrutinize funding overlap,
agencies will be able to constructively change
the funding system. Failure to do so unfairly
and unproductively drains taxpayer money and
deters scientific progress.


Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald,
Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata, Adrienne Roberts, Sarah Skaluba,
Michael Spaeth, Luchen Wang, Derek Wolfe
Breaking the ban

Anthropologically speaking, humans have
a natural tendency to form groups and grow
an "us vs. them" mentality. We not only like
to feel a kinship with other people similar
to us but we also tend to exclude those who
aren't. This principle is at the core of many
cultural issues. As our nation matures, how-
ever, it's apparent that we are beginning to
move from our natural human tendency to
the ethically correct position of acceptance.
This is evident from the repeal of the armed
force's Don't Ask, Don't Tell legislation and
especially pertinent in the Boy Scouts' recent
consideration of allowing gay men to be a part
of their organization.
The true evil of this anthropological phe-
nomenon is illustrated when people are
deniedbasic rights simply because they aren't
in the "right" group - i.e. the majority. The
civil rights movement in the 1960s has taught
us that blacks and other minority groups are
no different than white people in terms of
intelligence, ability or anything besides skin
color. America has since recognized African
Americans as equal citizens. Looking back, it
was ridiculous to discriminate.
Since its inception, the Boy Scouts, a national
organization that receives federal funding, has
banned gays from being members explain-
ing, "The Boy Scouts of America believes that
homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the
obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to
be morally straight and clean in thought, word,
and deed." This week, however, the National
Executive Board is holding a three-day meet-
ing to decide if this ban is still applicable, or if
it should be left up to local chapters to decide
whether or not to ban gay members.
Unfortunately, the Boy Scouts have already
harmed countless gay adolescents with their
exclusion. Will Oliver, for instance, has been
involved in the Boy Scouts since he was six
years old and has earned the organization's
highest award of Eagle Scout. Oliver says,

however, that he would like to "have the
opportunity to be myself." Many people, gay
and straight alike, struggle with finding their
sexuality in adolescence. An awkward phase
is common in all sexual orientations, but is
especially painful for those who feel they
cannot be accepted for their true selves. The
added pressure of being rejected by friends
and national organizations openly harms
the gay youth and promotes an "us vs. them"
mentality in other teens.
Those who wish to keep the ban claim
they don't want their little boys being sexu-
ally harassed by openly gay male scout leaders.
This is an absurd and illogical fear. Perversion
should not be linked to homosexuality. There's
a small percentage of the population - men and
women included - who are sexually attracted
to pre-pubescent children. This group of "per-
verted" people is completely separate from the
many men and women who identify as LGBTQ.
The fear of a gay scout leader "coming-on" to
your little boy is like.fearing a heterosexual
male teacher will "come on" to your six-year-
old daughter. It'sutterly ridiculous. The federal
government should not be funding a program
that condones such false ideas.
Gay people are exactly the same as straight
people. Just because they have a different
sexual orientation than the majority doesn't
mean they're different in any other aspect of
life. People shouldn't be persecuted for some-
thing they cannot change. Like the treatment
of blacks before the Civil Rights Movement,
LGBTQ Americans have been put in a box
and cast aside in the easy-to-fall-into "us vs.
them" mentality.
They've been excluded and persecuted. We
need to continue breaking the natural, anthro-
pological tendency of humans and accept
everyone in our society. Lifting the Boy Scout
ban would be the first step towards this goal.
Maura Levine is an LSA sophomore.

Tuesday morning, The Michigan
Daily reported that former Michi-
gan men's basketball players and
"Fab Five" members Jalen Rose and
Jimmy Ring, participating in the
Student Athletic Advisory Com-
mittee's charity fundraising event
"Mock Rock," expressed their hopes
that the decade-long rift between
their former teammate Chris Web-
ber and University administrators
might be healed. Both men called on
Webber to approach the University
and on the University to be open to
a discussion regarding both the leg-
acy of that era and the disposition of
the Final Four banners - currently
stored in the University's Bentley
Historical Library - earned by the
team in 1992 and 1993. I write as a
faculty member to endorse their call
and urge University administrators
to conduct a free, public discussion
of the issues involved.
Last year during a fireside chat,
University President Mary Sue
Coleman reiterated her opposi-
tion to restoring the banners (Cole-
man remains opposed to raising 'Fab
Five' banners in 2013, 4/11/12). She
had ordered the banners removed
on Nov. 7, 2002 as part of a series
of sanctions the University had
imposed on itself in the wake of an
on-going legal investigation against
Ed Martin.
Mr. Martin had admitted to run-
ning an illegal gambling ring and
funneling funds from the operation
in the form of loans to several Uni-
versity of Michigan basketball play-
ers, among them Chris Webber, a
member of the 1992 and 1993 Final
Four teams. An ensuing NCAA rul-
ing instituted additional sanctions,
including a 10-year dissociation of
the University from the four play-
ers indicted in connection with the
Martin investigation and the teams
they represented. This ban will end
in May 2013, offering the University
an opportunity to reassess its posi-
tion on, among other things, the fate
of the banners.
In a partof her comments notpub-
lished by the Daily, but provided by
the article's author, President Cole-
man stated, "We should think care-
fully about what this would mean."
She added what she may have intend-
ed simply as a rhetorical question:
"How would you justify putting the
banners back up?"
I would like to take President Cole-
man's statement and question as an
invitation to initiate a campus-wide
dialogue on the meaning of the ban-
ners and restoring them to the raf-
ters of Crisler Center. I agree that we
"should think carefully about what
this would mean," and I would like to

get the ball rolling by offering some
justifications for putting the banners
back up and, at least as importantly,
an argument for opening the discus-
sion to the broader Michigan com-
At the most basic level, the
banners symbolize the accom-
plishments of the 1992 and 1993
Michigan men's basketball teams.
I believe it does a disservice to the
efforts of all the members of those
teams to reduce the banners' sig-
nificance to the poor choices of one
member of those two squads, partic-
ularly since there's no evidence that
those choices garnered any com-
petitive advantage to the Michigan
teams, or were in any way respon-
sible for their success. As symbols of
athletic success, the banners belong
in the rafters of the Crisler Ceniter.
Of course, the meaning of the
banners goes beyond this. They also
symbolize the Fab Five, a group of
highly recruited freshmen who were
starters for Michigan throughout
most of the two seasons in question.
The Fab Five are widely regarded as
more than simply very talented and
effective basketball players. They
ushered in a cultural transforma-
tion of college basketball, the impact
of which has spread in every direc-
tion. It would not be too much to say
that players today at every level owe
something to the Fab Five.,
But this impact goes beyond the
well-known baggy shorts and black.
socks. It goes beyond their self-
expressiveness and exuberance on
the court. It goes beyond sports cir-
cles entirely. The Fab Five were part
of a movement that unashamedly
brought urban, African-American
culture to the center of American
athletic culture. They sparked then,
and continue to prompt today,
urgently needed discussions of race
and racism in American society. As
symbols of cultural innovation and
a courageous stand for diversity, the
Fab Five and the banners associated
with them represent the best that
Michigan can be.
To many, I know, the banners rep-
resent a scandal in which the ideal of
amateur athletics and the repttation
of the University were sullied. For
some, this may be sufficient reason
to keep them out of sight.
For me, on the contrary, it's an
additional reason to put them back
up. As a reminder of this scandal,
and of the larger, still unresolved
issues of the place of money in col-
lege athletics and of the place of ath-
letics in higher education, restoring
the banners shows that Michigan
is unafraid of a candid discussion
of these issues, including frankly

confronting its own participation in
the multi-million-dollar business.
To imagine that hiding the banners
away in the Bentley somehow signi-
fies that Michigan is immune to the
influence of big business in college
athletics seems to me at best naive.
But more importantly, it does a dis-
service to all in the University com-
munity who wish to examine these
issues forthrightly and to learn from
the examination.
Lastly, the banners represent
our past - a complex past both
inspiring and troubling. In having
such a past, the University is no
different from any of us, the indi-
viduals comprising it. We may feel
the impulse to turn our backs on
aspects of our past that trouble us.
But an important part of the pro-
cess of maturing with integrity, as
individuals, as a community and
as a society, involves opening our-
selves to that past. Restoring the
banners sets an example for mem-
bers of the Michigan community
and, indeed, for other universities
and social institutions in general,
that the best way to move forward
is by fearlessly incorporating an
understanding of that past into
the present as we orient ourselves
toward the future.
Thus, I currently believe the Uni-
versity should restore the banners
to Crisler. I feel even more strongly
that any decision on the fate of the
banners should be preceded by a
public discussion in the University
Whatever else it may stand for, the
University certainly must stand for
the free exchange of ideas on mat-
ters of importance to its students,
faculty, staff, alumni and administra-
tors. This is what I try to exemplify
for and encourage in my students.
The banners offer our community
an important opportunity to discuss
publicly, and educate one another on
such issues as the ethics of amateur
athletics in the University, race and
racism and how we relate to trouble-
some aspects of our shared history.
Perhaps the result of such a discus-
sion will be that the University com-
munity decides to keep the banners
where they are. But a free and public
discussion of the banners, I believe,
is the only fitting way forthe Univer-
sity to honor its core values and thus
move forward with integrity
I respectfully call on President
Coleman, Athletic Director Dave
Brandon and all interested members
of the Michigan family to undertake
such a discussion.
Yago Colds is an associate professor
in the Comparitive Literature.


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