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Faculty Quiet at First Meeting

By Peggy S. Chen and Ariel R. Frank, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERSs

Yesterday's Faculty meeting, the first one of the year, had the feel of a sleepy Friday afternoon class.

Although the Faculty Resources Committee was created to channel Faculty input on the management of University finances, the Faculty at the meeting were subdued during the Committee's first report.

"It seemed to be a report so thorough and succinct that it left no room for questions," quipped Mark A. Kishlansky, professor of history and a member of the seven-person committee.

Kishlansky said he found it odd that there was so little debate resulting from the report.

"This has been an issue in front of the Faculty for almost two decades and I was surprised to see that it was accepted without demure," he said.

The 10-page report includes preliminary recommendations for improving the financial accountability of the administration.

Abbe Professor of Economics Dale W. Jorgenson, who is also a member of the committee, said the recommendations were purposely left vague to encourage Faculty input.

But only one Faculty member made comments before the entire Faculty following Kishlansky's and Jorgenson's presentation of the report.

William Paul, Mallinckrodt professor of applied physics, urged his colleagues to concern themselves with the management of University finances, "which ultimately affect the efficacy of our teaching and academic work."

Paul recommended that the Faculty change the Resources Committee from an ad hoc to a standing committee, in order to continually monitor the administration's use of Faculty funds.

He proposed that the administration submit an itemized budget to the entire Faculty for approval in the future.

But other Faculty members said they did not feel that the issue should concern the entire Faculty.

Henri T. Zerner, professor of fine arts, said the administration was created so that the Faculty would not have to deal with the University's financial management.

"Typically it is the economists who do understand these very complex issues," he said. "The University has a very complicated financial set-up, so it's very hard for me to have an opinion."

Peter K. Bol, professor of Chinese history, said he thinks the Faculty members were reticent because they were still absorbing the report.

"They've just receive the report, and I'm sure they're communicating about it," he said. "I have no doubt that the Faculty are concerned about it."

Kishlansky was also optimistic.

"I'm sure a lot of people read it," he said. "There was a lot of discussion of it afterwards in the street."

Still, Kishlansky said the Faculty may have fallen behind on their reading, as their students often do.

"There's the possibility that no one read the damn thing," he said. "I give them the books; if they don't read it that's their problem. It's the same at this level."CrimsonMelissa K. CrockerPresident NEIL L. RUDENSTINE enjoys a moment of quiet before the year's first Faculty meeting yesterday.

He proposed that the administration submit an itemized budget to the entire Faculty for approval in the future.

But other Faculty members said they did not feel that the issue should concern the entire Faculty.

Henri T. Zerner, professor of fine arts, said the administration was created so that the Faculty would not have to deal with the University's financial management.

"Typically it is the economists who do understand these very complex issues," he said. "The University has a very complicated financial set-up, so it's very hard for me to have an opinion."

Peter K. Bol, professor of Chinese history, said he thinks the Faculty members were reticent because they were still absorbing the report.

"They've just receive the report, and I'm sure they're communicating about it," he said. "I have no doubt that the Faculty are concerned about it."

Kishlansky was also optimistic.

"I'm sure a lot of people read it," he said. "There was a lot of discussion of it afterwards in the street."

Still, Kishlansky said the Faculty may have fallen behind on their reading, as their students often do.

"There's the possibility that no one read the damn thing," he said. "I give them the books; if they don't read it that's their problem. It's the same at this level."CrimsonMelissa K. CrockerPresident NEIL L. RUDENSTINE enjoys a moment of quiet before the year's first Faculty meeting yesterday.

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