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June 11, 1981 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1981-06-11

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11

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, June 11, 1981-Page 11
STUDENTS FILE SUIT OVER DIT CLOSING
Administrators facing legal battle
(Continued from Pagel1) "Program of Study Contract" was not a But it is a passage in the president's in population that DIT had always ser-
no longer any diplomatic represen- guarantee of a degree, but merely an report, attributing low enrollment to ved. The school was no longer con-
tation in the United States, and without outline of requisite courses needed to the school's inner city location which venient to many factory and' office
government support, families cannot graduate, and valid only insofar as the has triggered the charge of racism. In workers which had been the backbone
send money out of the country. school was still operating. But since past years, DIT was predominantly of its constituency. Many individuals
Last year, Iranian students registered only 550 students are enrolled on the white, but after the 1967 race riots and simply would not stay (or return) after
for maximum course loads and DIT DIT campus, whereas in 1977 there - the consequent white flight to the dark."
graduated a tremendous number. The were 14,000, there ark fewer than the suburbs,- Detroit and the DIT student
Khomeini government discouraged number required to keep the school body became predominantly black. rTHERE ARE many instances of
students from studying outside Iran, so running and it is impossible to offer a The report stated, "It was also during racism p the report. Now that the
there was no continuing supply of first class program. this period that the demographics of the school is predominantly black, essen-
studenta. tal hyaesyn hr s' h
"The school should not be based on Citing a passage in the President's Detroit area began to impact the student quality needed to skeep the
Iranian students," said Anthony Bun- report, the students intend to show that college. As business and industry scoden,"uiye dd
Iranian students," said-Anthony Bn- the decision to close the school was moved to the suburbs, so did the close- school open, Rivers said.

dy, head of student government, who
need 18 credits to graduate before DIT
closes. "They should have done more to
recruit new students. Our recruiting ef-
forts haven't been up to the standards
they should be."
ANOTHER DETERMINING factor
cited by administrators in DIT's drop in
enrollment has been increasing com-
petition from many surrounding com-
munity colleges which offer similar
programs for smaller tuitions.
The students' suit charges DIT with a
conflict of interest - specifically, that
two presidents of Lansing and Oakland
community colleges, presiding on the
DIT Board, recruited students to their
colleges away from DIT.
"It appears to students that the
decision to keep the school open presen-
ted a conflict of interests since mem-
bers on the board are vying with the
school for the same students," said
Ralph Richardson, the students'
lawyer.
But Ellis insists that the presidents
have not influenced or taken away from
DIT's student pool and explains their
presence on the Board was a strategy to
recruit new students on the junior level
to DIT.
"ETHICS ARE very important. It is a
negative thing to recruit students when
the quality of the program is threatened
by financial crises," Richardson said.
"Schools recruit under the assumption
that the students can finish a degree. A
college has a greater obligation to their
clientele than a retail store."
The school is being charged with
reneging on that obligation,
specifically, a breach of contract the
students signed when they entered DIT.
ACCORDING TO Ellis, the

based, not on number, but on a sup-
posed decline in the quality of DIT
students.
"THEY DON'T think it's worth
keeping it open," said Bundy.
The school's inner city location is a
determining factor in steadily declining
enrollments. A charter allows DIT to
relocate but the student body - com-
posed almost entirely of blacks and
foreigners - think that any desire to
move to a different area on the school's
part may be racially motivated, accor-
ding to their lawyer.
PRESIDENT ELLIS calls the rumor
of a move a "red herring" and firmly
denies it. "There are absolutely no such
plans," he said.
Corrections,
In the story, "Prof's sign causes
dispute," (Daily, June 10), the Daily in-
correctly referred to Vice President for
Academic Affairs Bill Frye as LSA
dean.
In the story, "Open hearing debates
fate of geography," (Daily, June 9), the
Daily incorrectly quoted mathematics
Prof. George Piranian. Prof. Piranian
said at the hearing: "I have often heard
conjecture that the final decision on
geography (department) had been
reached in 1980 and that, regardless of
anything the faculty might say, the
administration will carry it through. If
the conjecture is correct, the ad-
ministration has little respect for the
faculty, and it can expect the faculty to
return the compliment."
The Daily regrets the errors.

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