The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.

Administrative Structure

President Fleming began his official term on January 1, 1968, but under an agreement with the Regents, he was actually in residence during a substantial portion of the preceding term. He was therefore ready to implement some Page  20changes in the administrative structure almost immediately in 1968. Marvin Niehuss had held the post of Executive Vice-President, but under a policy which required the relinquishment of major administrative posts at age 65, resumed his status as Professor of Law as of July 1, 1968, and the Executive Vice-Presidency was abolished. In January of that year a new Vice-Presidency was created — Vice-President for State Relations and Planning. Relations between the University and the state offices, both gubernatorial and legislative, had become considerably more involved than in earlier days, and Fleming wanted to be sure that the University could respond to informational demands, and that University interests were properly represented in Lansing. Arthur M. Ross was appointed to the new position, effective July 1, 1968, and served until his death. He was succeeded in August, 1970, by Fidele Fauri, then dean of the School of Social Work, and upon Fauri's retirement, Richard L. Kennedy was named as his successor.

There were other personnel changes among the executive officers. In October, 1969, the name of the Vice President for University Relations was changed to Vice President for University Relations and Development. It was more than a name change, for it fixed the responsibility for assuring continued development programs and for maintaining the momentum in private giving which had been achieved through the $55 M Campaign. Michael Radock held the position throughout Fleming's term.

The Vice President for Research was A. Geoffrey Norman, who had been named when the position was separated from the deanship of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Upon Norman's retirement in 1972, Charles Overberger, a distinguished chemist, was named as successor.

The management of the physical plant, the endowment funds, the accounting services, non-academic personnel, and a wide range of other services, is centered in the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Wilbur K. Pierpont, who had held the position throughout the Hatcher administration, served during most of the Fleming years. He resigned, to return to the School of Business Administration and was succeeded in January, 1977, by James Brinkerhoff.

There were numerous changes in the vice-presidency concerned with student affairs. Richard L. Cutler was Page  21Vice President for Student Affairs when Fleming arrived, having been named to the post in 1964. He resigned in 1968, and Barbara Newell was appointed Acting Vice President in August of that year. The name was changed to Vice President for Student Services when Robert L. Knauss was appointed to the position in September, 1970. He was succeeded, effective June 1, 1972, by Henry Johnson.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, Allan F. Smith, a former dean of the Law School, served from his appointment in 1965 until he resigned in 1974 to return to law teaching. He was succeeded by Frank H. L. Rhodes, then dean of the College of Literature, Science and The Arts. During the next two years a restructuring of the office took place, as two associate vice presidents were named to share the managerial responsibilities. R. A. English was named Associate Vice President in September, 1974, and Carolyn Davis moved from the deanship of the School of Nursing to be Associate Vice President in 1975. Rhodes left the University to become President of Cornell University in 1977, and Harold T. Shapiro was named his successor in August, 1977.

When William Haber retired as Dean of the College of Literature, Science and The Arts in 1968, Fleming took advantage of his continued availability by naming him "Adviser to the Executive Officers" — a specially created title.

Aside from the above personnel changes, Fleming was also responsible for a change in policy with reference to the appointment of deans in the several schools and colleges. Prior to his arrival, it was customary to appoint deans for indeterminate terms — in effect to serve at the pleasure of the President. In fact, practice was that many deans continued in their administrative posts until mandatory retirement age of 70 years. With respect to new decanal appointments, Fleming established a policy which called for a specific term appointment, usually five years, with the expectation that the relationship would be reviewed prior to the end of the period. The Vice President for Academic Affairs conducts the review, with the counsel of the faculty of the affected School or College, to determine whether the administrative assignment should be continued. The appointee is also entitled to terminate his administrative role and resume any academic post to which he had been named. The Regents were unwilling to establish any maximum duration, so that reappointment for additional terms is both permitted and Page  22anticipated, but the system now provides a mechanism for accomplishing change when appropriate.

In the academic structure, aside from the creation of numerous special units, two new schools were created during the Fleming period. Library Science was moved from departmental status to that of independent school in 1969. And, in 1979, a division in the College of Architecture and Design produced the School of Art as an independent unit.

The structure of the research enterprise at the University underwent some changes. It was a "growth" affair during the Fleming administration, but parts of it produced controversy. Fleming's responses were numerous, and reflected both his interest in assuring communication within the community, and his concern with equality of treatment of personnel. He created a Research Advisory Council to provide a forum for developing balanced policies. He approved the creation of a Humanities Advisor in the Office of Research to assure input from non-scientific sources when such matters as research in the area of recombinant DNA arose on campus. He approved a new position as Associate Vice President for Research, again in an effort to assure that there was administrative time available to provide adequate access to that office by interested persons.

A development of lasting import was the creation of the primary research ladder for research personnel. Scientists whose sole efforts were devoted to research, and who did not hold professorial appointments with the resultant opportunity for tenure, had not previously had any clear-cut job titles for varying levels of competence and responsibility. Classifications for research personnel were developed which gave recognition and continuity to career researchers.