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August 03, 1994 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-08-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Wednesday, August 3, 1994 -T'he Michigan Daily - 3
reland tilesappeal;

It's a bird, it's a blimp?
Local residents gaze in awe as the Goodyear Blimp ascends into the heavens from the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport.
1RSlooks into 'U' bookkeeping

By Michelle Lee Thompson
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
Once againtheAnnArborcommu-
nity has become the focal point of a
national debate on child custody.
Ayearago,nationalattentionturned
to the city for the Baby Jessica trial.
Today the spotlight is on Maranda.
Steven Smith, who was recently
awarded custody of his daughter, said
he didn't want his situation to be as
publicized as the DeBoers'.
"My life and especially my
daughter's are going to be affected by
this (media attention). Society in gen-
eral is just jumping on a bandwagon
they don't know anything about. It's
just such a personal thing," Smith said.
Smith spoke tothemediathis week,
despite protests over the amount of
coverage of his story."I'm totally ex-
cited (about the prospect of getting cus-
tody of Maranda).I'meestatic--this is
what I've been dealing with for years."
JenniferIreland,motherofthechild,
and Julie Field, Ireland's attorney from
the University Women and the Law
clinic, vow that the case is far from
over. Field filed an appeal of Cashen's
decision on Monday.
Their appeal includes a request for
an extension of the 15-day stay offered
by Judge Raymond R. Cashen, which
officially began last Thursday.
"Our hope is that the Court of Ap-
peals will grant a block of transfer of
Maranda during the appeal," said Toni
Shears of the Law School.
When Cashen made his decision
three weeks ago, he disregarded the
adviceoftworespectedchild advocacy
agenciesthatrecommendedthe 3-year-
old stay with her mother.
The agencies, both of which judges

rely on heavily to form opinions in
custody cases, are Macomb County
Friend of the Court and
PsychodiagnosticandFamilyServices.
The agencies performed their stud-
ies last September, midway through
the 16-month period from the time
Smith filed for custody of his daughter
to the court date three weeks ago.
Smith's attorney, Sharon Lee-
Edwards, said her client was falling
victim to unreasonably long waits for
court dates. Cashen was the second
judge on the case.
Smith was arraigned on a violence
charge against Ireland last week, but
still denies the allegations.
Smith, who mows lawns at Free-
dom Hill County Park part time and
was a student at Macomb Community
College, said he gave food, diapers,
clothing and toys to Maranda, but "no
cash was exchanged because I didn't
know where it would go."
He is still being held in contempt of
court for not paying certain medical
and child support.
After giving birth to Maranda, 16-
year-old Ireland got a job at a pre-
school, and took Maranda with her to
work. She didnot work during fallterm
while she was enrolled in classes, be-
causeshesaidshedidnot want Maranda
in day care any more than necessary.
Despite the numerous attacks on
Judge Cashen from women's groups
and local Ireland supporters, he stated
clearly that he does not see this as a
women's rights case.
"The parents come into a court of
law as equals ... they come intoit on an
equal playing field," Cashen said be-
fore the reading of his opinion naming
Smith as the custodial parent.

The IRS is currently
auditing many
schools, including
the University
By Frank C. Lee
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
The word "audit" is enough to send
hill down anyone's spine. But indi-
viduals aren't the only ones who fear
the Internal Revenue Service.
Institutions across the nation, in-
cluding the University, are having their
books scrutinized for financial impro-
prieties.
"About two years ago, the Internal
Revenue Service announced that they
ould audit 20 colleges to try to get a
ter handle on what these colleges
do,"said University spokesperson Lisa
Baker. "The list has been expanded.
This has been going on for at least two
years and Iexpect it will goon for some
time to come."
Research institutions like the Uni-
versity have started to repay the federal
government millions of dollars in inap-
propriate or questionable billings rather
n disputing them to avoid publicity
d cuts in funding.
The University sent a $380,512
check to the government to cover costs
the school deemed inappropriate in-
cluding the cost to send administrators
to see the University's football team
play in the Rose Bowl in 1989.
The inspector general of the De-
partment of Health and Human Ser-
ces, Richard Kusserow, has con-
cted auditsattheUniversity ofPenn-
sylvania, Emory University and Yale
University, among others.
"It is a random list," Baker said. "I
ould presume that they try to pick a

variety of schools. Each would serve a
different mission or focus."
"Individual agencies within the fed-
eral government can audit really any-
time they want to," said Carl Smith,
director.of University audits.
Paul Biddle, an auditor for the Of-
fice of Naval Research, uncovered
nearly $200 million in questionable
billings at Stanford University made
during the '80s for research overhead.
It thrust into the national spotlight the
misuse of federal research funds and
The University sent a
$380,512 check to the
government to cover
costs the school deemed
inappropriate including
a trip to the Rose Bowl
for administrators.
imaginative bookkeeping practices by
colleges.
Among the uses of taxpayer dollars
intended for scientific research,
Stanford billed Uncle Sam for faculty
discounts on sporting events and a por-
tion of the costs of flowers, bedsheets,
tableclothesandantiquesforthen-Presi-
dent Donald Kennedy, who later re-
signed under a cloud of public scrutiny
following investigations by a House
subcommittee.
There are basically two types of
research costs. Direct costs are more
accountable and include researchers'
salaries, lab supplies and other equip-
ment. Indirect costs, which are harder

to validate, include university-wide
expenses like utilities and building
maintenance, libraries, roads and ad-
ministrative fees.
Each university charges the gov-
ernment a different rate for overhead
based on its profile, which includes the
school's energy and wage costs, and
the size and age of its facilities. Rates
are determined by periodic negotia-
tions with the department of Defense,
Energy or Health and Human Services.
"How we do it, we include certain
things other universities feel that is
direct costs, we include them on indi-
rect costs or vice versa," Smith said.
"The biggest difference is the way uni-
versities are organized. ... It doesn't
say what's right or wrong."
Thegovernmentwillhelp payover-
head costs, even indirect ones, if they
relatetoresearch. Stanford'sovercharg-
ing of taxpayers not only illustrates
how readily one can take advantage of
the system, but also how the elaborate
billings of indirect costs deplete"funds
that could be earmarked for direct re-
search costs.
Rates of indirectcosts are typically
lower at public institutions but that is
due partly because there are more state
tax dollars helping with the overhead
expenses, Smith said.
"It's not an area that lends itself
well to generalization," Smith said.
"The government changes with the
times and in some cases retroactively
makes changes."
Since 1945, the nation's partner-
ship with universities in research, in-
stead of with private companies as is
done in Europe, has produced good
results. American scientists have won
the majority of Nobel Prizes for their
research.

YovII D VOF bIieo whot 2 did to our maserpioca

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