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May 20, 2002 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-05-20

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 6, 2002

Continued from Page 1.
University community may feel one way about an
issue, it is the voice of the state of Michigan that
ultimately determines the regents' position.
"The idea of the elected board is that the
regents represent the state of Michigan and it is
the people of the state of Michigan that are the
owners of the University," Deitch said. "Our job
is to act in the public interest"
Deitch added that while the regents hold the final
decision on the University's admissions policies,
they evaluate the opinions of other members of the
University community. "Precedent would indicate
that we would listen very carefully to the advice of
the president and the deans of the University and
faculty as well; he said.
But there are numerous viewpoints on what is
best for the state of Michigan with regards to
diversity in higher education.
Currently, five of the eight members of the
board are democrats and three are republicans.
But within the next several years, two of the dem-
ocratic seats will be up for reelection.
A potential shift in partisan power could result
in a shift in University policy with regards to race
in admissions since conservatives have tradition-
ally held views against affirmative action.
While the current board is in full support of the
University's policies, individual sentiments have
come out during the past few months that show

not all regents are in full support of the Universi-
ty's admissions policies.
Anti-affirmative action sentiments first came
to the surface in March when Regent Daniel
Horning (R-Grand Haven) expressed frustration
with the University's policies in a letter to Regent
Kathy White (D-Ann Arbor) obtained by the
Michigan Daily.
"As a republican regent, I have had the
painstaking task of articulating our defense of
affirmative action lawsuit and the millions of
dollars we are spending on its behalf. I have
openly defended the importance of a diverse
student body, yet privately I have held to my
chest that I don't think our admissions poli-
cies will withstand this legal challenge and I
certainly don't feel they are based on merit,"
Horning said.
If others with similar sentiments were elected
to the board, what is best for the state of Michi-
gan with regards to what admissions policies are
employed by its colleges may change.
But the amount of money that has already been
spent by the University as a result of the lawsuits
may suggest the regents' dedication to defending
the current admissions policies.
As of April 3, "the University (had) spent a
total of $8.4 million to date on outside legal
counsel and direct internal expenses such as
travel and research in defending the two affir-
mative action lawsuits," University spokes-
woman Julie Peterson said.

Continued from Page 1.
Two months ago, Governor John Engler
agreed to not to cut higher education funding
from the previous year's amount as long as
state universities did not raise tuition more than
8.5 percent. At the same time, he issued cuts in
almost every department of state government
except K-12 education.
State Sen. John Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), chair
of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on
Higher Education, said while it is still unknown
whether funding will be cut, the general funds area
- where higher education gets its money from -
has lost revenue due to high unemployment and a
smaller stream of income tax revenue.
"Higher education is a 100 percent general fund
budget, which means it doesn't get a lot of protec-
tion," Schwarz said.
Chesney said the process of making cuts is
shared between the legislative and executive
branches of state government. Any executive
order cuts made by the governor must be
approved by the House and Senate appropriations
subcommittees. Chesney added that "both sides
of the aisle and the governor are committed to
resolving this situation."
Both Schwarz and Chesney noted numerous
ways to balance the budget. Among them were
cutting program funding, postponing tax cuts for
a year or raising the cigarette tax.

State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem
Twp.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee
, said that the states has "cut the fat." She said sus- 4
pending the income tax and single business tax
was the only solution left for balancing the budget.
"The time has come for responsible leaders to
sit down, take stock of where we are financially
in Michigan and make the tough decisions that
will benefit the citizens in our state," Smith said
in a written statement. "That discussion must
include suspending the scheduled tax reductions."
According to a Senate Fiscal Agency report,
pausing the tax cuts would bring in approxi-
mately $700 million more in revenue over the
next two years.
Interim Provost Paul Courant said he is
aware of the possibility of a decrease in fund-
ing and said that it would be "troubling." But
he said he prefers to wait until the state takes
appropriate measures before he starts thinking
of possible funding decreases or tuition
increases. The University Board of Regents
plan to approve 2002-2003 tuition rates and the
budget at their July meeting.
"There's no payoff to planning on something
when you don't know what you're planning for,"
Courant said. "We'll know more in a couple
weeks and we'll have time to deal with whatever
the circumstances are then."
Schwarz is a Republican candidate for gover-
nor. Smith is the running mate of US. Rep.David
Bonior (D-Mt. Clemens).


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Continued from Page 1
The regents also approved the pro-
motion of history Prof. Terrence
McDonald to interim LSA dean.
The presidential search was brought
up during time set aside for public
commentary by Law student David
Boyle, who asked the regents and
search committee members to consider
hiring a woman or minority president.
Boyle said because of the lawsuit now
headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, he
believes it is time for a woman or minor-
ity to head the University.
"We are under strict scrutiny by the
public, by the newspapers and by the

court. They are going to be looking for
discrepancies," he said. "There are
other things that have to be done to
make the University look consistent."
But Regent Olivia Maynard (D-
Goodrich) said the search is not
focused on the physical attributes of a
candidate but rather the qualifications
they hold.
"I think it'd be a wonderful idea
because I think there are a lot of
women who are good leaders in higher
education and they would bring great
skills;' Maynard said. "(But) I would-
n't make the decision based on gender.
I would make the decision based on
the qualities of the individual and the
skills they'd bring to the University."

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