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December 08, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-12-08

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 8, 1995

Ulie £iI41r &ti
420 Maynard Street MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by a JULIE BECKER
students at the JAMEs M. NASH
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Twisti...ng the truth
Duderstadt misrepresented code facts
M ultiple-choice test: Who is James J. of the accreditation team confirmed that an
Duderstadt? exit interview is used only to review the
a. The University president report - and "normally wouldn't say any-
b. A staunch supporter of a student con- thing ... that isn't said in the report, certainly
duct code not if it's something important."
c. An influential voice to the University Perhaps Duderstadt considered the issue
Board of Regents of a code unimportant?
d. A master of semantic deception There is only one possible explanation for
e. All of the above Duderstadt's conduct: He deliberately twisted
The correct answer, of course, is (e). Ear- the facts. The president refuses to comment,
lier this week, documents revealed that leaving Vice President for Student Affairs
Ouderstadt misled the regents at their No- Maureen A. Hartford and Associate Vice
vember meeting by implying that the Univer- President for University Relations Lisa Baker
sity jeopardized its accreditation if it did not to defend him. In a letter to the Daily, Hart-
adopt a code. Minutes after his remarks, the ford and Baker claim the president never
Code of Student Conduct became official suggested the University's accreditation was
policy. For students, the Code approval was at risk. Their evidence of "risk" is flimsy at
bad enough - but that the president acted best. Moreover, Hartford and Baker's letter
under false pretenses in the process casts - the only comment they will give on the
shame on the entire University leadership. accreditation question - is itself contradic-
At the meeting, Duderstadt claimed the tory. They cite meetings between adminis-
University did not have "the option of elimi- trators and the accreditation team, in which
Mating a code entirely ... because we have the team allegedly said the University was
been cited by North Central Accreditation in . "legally at risk" for lack of a code. Which is
our last accredlitation visit because we did not it? Was theUniversity at risk, or wasn't it? Is
have such a disciplinary policy in place and there a difference between legal risk and risk
that made us an outlier among institutions of of losing accreditation? Does the administra-
higher education." One wonders where he tion know the difference?
got such an impression. The accreditation If Duderstadt did not know the difference
report makes no mention of a disciplinary at the time ofthe report, he certainly had time
statement, nor does it carry any implication to find out. The North Central Accreditation
relating a conduct code to University ac- Agency reviewed the University in February
creditation-- as Duderstadt asserted later in 1990. In the 5 1/2 years since, the issue of
the meeting. The only time the report does accreditation was not raised in any serious
mention a code is under the "advice" section debate over the code. Instead, Duderstadt
-a "purely advisory" portion, according to presented the information as his own "Octo-
pccreditors. That section notes the wisdom of ber surprise" - knowing that by leaving
a code of "ethical practice" for students, such statements until the last minute, Code
faculty and staff. critics would not have time to refute them.
Is it really possible that the University Duderstadt's strategy was clever and ef-
president cannot tell the difference between fective. At least one regent-Andrea Fischer
"ethical" and "disciplinary"? Might he be Newman (R-Ann Arbor) - feels
unable to distinguish between "students"-- Duderstadt's remarks at the meeting may
whom the current code covers exclusively- have swayed the vote. She has a point -
and "students, faculty and staff"? Could he before the meeting many regents were wa-
be incapable of differentiating between "ad- vering over whether to approve the Code.
vice" and "implication for accreditation"? Facing an uncertain situation, Duderstadt did
On the other hand, is it really possible that what is only natural in underhanded politics:
the University is headed by a man who would He abused his power and influence, spin-
deliberately mislead the regents in order to doctoring the facts to achieve his goal.
ramrod a policy through? Even if Duderstadt's remarks did not af-
Unfortunately, it is possible. It is highly feet the vote the president's conduct still was
unlikely that Duderstadt misunderstood the beneath contempt. Students at one of the
acreditation report: The language is clear. It nation's premier institutions-as Duderstadt
also is doubtful that he surmised an accredi- is fond of calling the University - have a
Nation risk from the agency's exit interview, right to expect certain basic traits of their
as he claims to have done. In an interview leader. One is honesty. Apparently, that is the

with The Michigan Daily this week, the chair term Duderstadt misunderstood.
Showdown at EMU
Cooler heads should prevail in race debate

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)pNrNO 94 ~ C'N

'May our nation
continue to be
the beakor of
hope to the
- The.Quayle' 1989
Christmas card.


ace and crime - combustible singly
nd explosive together - have com-
bined in an ugly showdown at Eastern Michi-
gan University. Angry over a white campus
officer's alleged mistreatment of a black stu-
dent, African American students at the school
are demanding the firing of the officer, the
creation a student advisory board to monitor
police behavior, and the hiring ofblack coun-
selors. The latter two conditions are inher-
ntly reasonable, would be better addressed
away from the supercharged climate at EMU
that outsiders have aggravated.
EMU junior Aaron Johnson was involved
in a Nov. 6 scuffle with Officer Kenneth
Hardesty after participating in a fight.
Johnson's supporters say he was trying to
break up the fight; police say he was already
involved in the fight when Hardesty tried to
break it up. Johnson hit Hardesty when the
officer sprayed him with pepper gas.

circling the court and refusing to leave. They
declared a "time out" for police brutality,
despite a lack of hard evidence implicating
EMU police in a pattern of abuse. Demand-
ing Hardesty's firing politicizes a disciplin-
ary process that is best handled by university
officials. Hardesty may deserve to lose his
job - but if he is fired, the decision should
rest on evidence that he abused his power,
not a series of demonstrations and threats.
Protesters have linked the alleged police
brutality to the creation of a student advisory
board and, less explicably, to the hiring of a
black counselor. While minorities are
underrepresented among EMU counselors,
the lack of diversity in the counseling staff
had nothing to do with police treatment of
Aaron Johnson. Black EMU students have
reason to protest, but tacking this demand to
charges of police brutality and racism ob-
scures the issues. If protesters cleaned their

President did
not mislead
regents in
Code meeting
To the Daily:
The story in the Daily entitled
"President may have misled U'
regents" (12/6/95) is itself very
A review of President
Duderstadt's comments at the
November regents' meeting indi-
cates that he never suggested that
our accreditation was at "great
risk" because we didn't have a
code, as the Daily seems to sug-
gest. Instead, he said the follow-
"The University, I do not be-
lieve, has the option of eliminat-
ing a code entirely both because
of federal and state rules and also
with respect to our own accredi-
tation because we have been cited
by North Central Accreditation
in our last accreditation visit be-
cause we did not have such a
disciplinary policy in place and
that made us an outlier among
institutions of higher education."
Later, in response to the sug-
gestion that we havesa sunset
policy, he said, "I guess what I
worry about is the implication for
our accreditation by having a sun-
cst in which the defailt is the

port, during meetings with ad-
ministrators the team expressed
surprise at the absence of a code
of conduct, suggesting that the
University was legally at risk for
lack of one. They also felt that
Michigan was abdicating an im-
portant moral responsibility to its
students and the entire commu-
Accreditation teams often cite
concerns in their oral exit inter-
views which may not appear in
their written report.
President Duderstadt did not
mislead anyone in his remarks,
and his citation of the accredita-
tion report and interviews was
appropriate to the discussion
about the code.
Maureen Hartford
Vice president
for student affairs
Lisa Baker
Associate vice president
for University relations
punish the
wrong people
To the Daily:
I am a resident of West Quad
and I am writing to tellvon hout

to approve of this bold, innova-
tive decision, but after further in-
spection I greet this decision with
open arms! Yes! Of course! It
makes perfect sense to punish
those pesky students that steal the
computers they pay to use. Obvi-
ously, a West Quad resident de-
cided that 24-hour accessto com-
puters was not enough, and stole
a computer for his own private
A South Quad resident, not to
be outdone by a West Quad resi-
dent, executed the exact same
diabolical scheme in his own
dorm. These two thefts, ofcourse,
are unrelated, as no member of
the outside community would be
intelligent enough to take advan-
tage of an emptyresidencehall
and lax security to steal a valu-
able computer.
If anything, Mims-Hickmon
and Wright should be scrambling
to replace the stolen equipment
and arrange for tighter security at
their sites, as I believe it is their
job to do. As a resident who pays
for the use of the ResComp com-
puting site, I see it as the respon-
sibility of the coordinators to
cover a theft that was obviously a
result of their incompetence and
lack of security.
How do we know that the theft
was a result of a lack of security?
Well, in their letter to the resi-
dents here in West Quad, the co-
ordinators state thatthecomnuter

stricted computing site hours. I
am unable to complete this letter;
Chris Barry
LSA sophomore
speaker a
poor choice
To the Daily:
It seems the University has
bungled yet again in their com-
mencement speaker choice. One
of the speakers for the December
graduation, Neil Shine, is presi-
dent and publisher of the betroit
Free Press, a paper whose em-
ployees are on strike for, mong
other things, unfair labor prac-
tices. Plus, just this year the Uni-
versity cut journalism. How
Eric Rickin
LSA senior
Thanks for
legal services
To the Daily:
The staff of Student Legal
Services would like to express
...r .:nnpr kn.*at ethe

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