The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  5

Realignment of Student Affairs

Richard Cutler, professor of Psychology at the University, assumed the Vice Presidency of Student Affairs on December 1, 1964. Popular with both faculty and students, Professor Cutler served as a member, and subsequently as chairman of the Student Relations Committee of the Faculty Senate. Reporting to Vice President Cutler in 1964 were many of the same offices that reported to Jim Lewis. In the 1965-66 academic year, the Bureau of School Services was assigned to the Dean of State Wide Education. Shortly after assuming the Vice Presidency, Cutler created the Office of Student-Community Relations to administer off-campus housing, student vehicle registration, and student-community concerns. The offices of the Dean of Women and Dean of Men were eliminated.

In January of 1965, President Harlan Hatcher appointed a commission to consider various issues relating to the housing of students. Representatives of the community as well as members of the faculty, staff, and the student body took an active part in the discussions, deliberations and decisions of The President's Commission on Off-Campus Housing. The two primary recommendations of the commission were a call for the development of a University Philosophy for student housing and the creation of a single division of housing. The newly created Housing Division was assigned responsibility for student services in housing as well as housing business affairs, including food service, housekeeping, maintenance and fiscal affairs for both resident halls and family housing.

Under subpoena from the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1966, Vice President Cutler, on bahalf of the University, released to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee the names of the 65 student members of the campus chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Only after the names were released, did Cutler inform the students of the action of the University. Page  6During the summer of 1966, Cutler was under fire by students for attempting to promulgate University rules to ban sit-in demonstrations on campus. In December of that year, student government, as a protest, severed all formal relations with Student Affairs.

In November of 1967, Vice President Cutler was roundly criticized by activist students for attempting to discipline three members of SDS who demonstrated against a Navy Admiral appearing on campus. At the same time, he was actively pursuing the elimination of closing hours for underclass women living in the residence halls.

In March of the following year, Cutler was responsible for elimination of the University regulation prohibiting regarding possession and use on campus of motor vehicles by undergraduate students. In April of 1968, minority students under the banner of the Black Action Movement (BAM) took possession of the Literature, Science and Arts Building, demanding an increase in minority enrollment as well as additional support services for minority students. Negotiations with the leaders of BAM were conducted by newly inaugurated University President, Robben Fleming.

By May of 1968, Cutler was embroiled in a controversy regarding implementation of portions of a report on the Role of the Students in Decision Making. As the controversy heated up, Cutler tendered his resignation as Vice President of Student Affairs, accepting a position in the President's office as a Special Assistant to the President.

Major realignment of responsibilities in the Office of Student Affairs occurred during the Cutler Vice Presidency. In addition to adjusting to the transfer of responsibility for the Admissions Office and the Office of Registration and Records, Cutler played an active role in the development of the Student-Community Relations Office, the creation of the Housing Division, and the realignment of the student organizations functions. His attempt to Page  7professionalize the Student Affairs Office ran afoul of the student activism that dominated the campus. As the chief student affairs officer, he was the lightning rod that absorbed the conflict taking place on the campus.