The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, May 13, 1987, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    I Vol. 82 No. 154 GSPS 045360 10 pages
College Station, Texas
The Umbrella Brigade
Spectators attending final review on Saturday sported umbrellas of
varying shapes anti sizes to protect themselves from the scorching sun
Photo by Robert W. Rizzo
and.sweltering humidity. Temperatures reached 82 degrees but the
humidity was 51 percent, making the outdoors a bit unbearable.
Faculty Senate elects officers,
OKs plan for transferring credit
By Lee Schexnaider
Stufi Writer
fhe Texas A&M Faculty Senate elected its of
ficers and approved a resolution that would
[change A&M’s treatment of transfer credit at its
| meeting Monday afternoon.
Dr, C. Richard Shurmvay, an agricultural eco-
jnomics professor and Senate secretary, was
[elected as the new speaker, defeating his oppo
nent, Dr. Leonard I). Ponder, 43-34.
Dr. B. Don Russell, an associate professor of
[electrical engineering, was elected deputy
speaker over Dr. John H. Wormuth of the Gol-
[lege of Geosciences by a vote of 50 to 29.
A&M’s Dr. (bu y E. Hart, professor of genetics
[and soil and crop sciences, defeated Dr. Walter
T. Buenger, associate professor of history, for
the position of secretary-treasurer. Hart won by a
[vote of 54 to 20.
Senators elected to the Executive Committee
[include Ponder; Wormuth; Buenger; Dr. Her-
rnan ). Saatkamp, head of the humanities depart-
ment; Peter S. Rose; finance professor and Dr.
William H. Bassichis, associate professor of phys-
The Senate also approved a resolution chang-
[ing the way transfer credit is handled at A&M.
The resolution proposes to put transfer grades
|on the same basis as courses taken at A&M on a
satisfactory-unsastisfactory basis. A grade of C or
higher would be needed in a course for it to
Current University policy holds that students
must have a passing grade in a class to transfer it
from an accredited university and a minimum
grade of C to transfer it from a non-accredited
public college in Texas.
“They are not being vigorous in
their academic standards. . . . This
is bad for A & M’s reputation. ”
— Dr. Peter J. Hugill, academic af
fairs committee chairman
Dr. Peter J. Hugill, chairman of the Academic
Affairs Committee, presented the resolution to
the Senate. Hugill said the aim of the original
resolution sent to Vandiver was to make sure
courses that received a D at other institutions will
not to be accepted as transfer credit.
“President Vandiver returned (the resolution)
to the Senate with the claim that (the policy)
meant unfair treatment,” Hugill said. “We, as
Academic Affairs Committee, looked back at that
and realized that in the catalog it says that if you
take work on a satifactory-unsatisfactory basis at
Texas A&M University, you must get a grade of
C or better to be counted as satisfactory.
“In effect, the D is the same as an F — it counts
as unsatisfactory. So we felt there was consider
able discrepancy between our position and the
president’s position. So we tried to find a com
Hugill said the compromise was to ensure that
transfer work would be credited according,to the
same criteria as courses taken on a satisfactory-
unsatisfactory basis.
Hugill said Tuesday that the main concern of
the bill is with grades from junior colleges.
“Essentially, if you look at the grade point ra
tio, it isn’t very good,” he said. “They are not be
ing vigorous in their academic standards. We are
not happy with those standards. Some classes at
junior colleges have 50 percent A’s. This is bad
for A&M’s reputation.”
Another issue before the Senate was whether
to discontinue the mining engineering and safety
engineering degree programs. Memorandums
from the engineering department cite low enroll
ment as the justification for the programs’ with
Dr. Brann Johnson, associate professor of ge
ology and geophysics, said the mining engi
neering program had been deleted from the
University catalog before any official action was
taken to discontinue it.
Research assistant: A&M may benefit
espite rejection of supercollider site
Commission picks 2 areas
to propose as project sites
By Carolyn Garcia
Senior Stuff Writer
In die Texas race for the super
conducting supercollider, Dallas and
Amarillo crossed the finish line to
gether, while Burleson County —
Texas A&M’s runner — was left at
the stai ting gate.
Rather than a single site, a state
commission decided Tuesday to
choose two sites to offer Gov. Bill
If Clements accepts the proposed
sites, final proposals will be sent to
the U.S. Department of Energy,
which is expected to announce the
§b billion atom smasher’s address in
January 1989.
The Texas National Research
Laboratory Commission chose Dal
las unanimously by a voice vote, but
had to cast ballots to decide between
Austin and Amarillo.
The Burleson Countv site was
eliminated Monday.
In its quest to become a “world
university,” Texas A&M University
was looking to the supercollider pro
ject as a way to add to its already
[bulging research portfolio. John
Millhollon, assistant for research
park development, said that al
though the enormous atom smasher
[won’t be built in A&M’s back yard,
the University still will benefit if the
DOE chooses Texas to house the
p reject.
"It was really a disappointment,”
Millhollon said. "It would have
meant more to A&M if it were 30
miles away rather than 150, but we
will still benefit from it. I am sure the
[University will still support it. It
[would have been better if it were
AUS TIN (AP) — A state commis
sion chose sites outside Dallas and
Amarillo Tuesday to pitch as poten
tial Texas homes for the lucrative
“supercollider” project.
The Texas National Research
Laboratory Commission chose the
site south of Dallas that rings Waxa-
hachie by unanimous voice vote, but
it had to take a ballot vote to decide
between Austin and Amarillo for the
second choice.
“The Dallas proposal and the
Austin proposal are very similar in
my view',” commission chairman
Peter Flawn said. “The Amarillo
proposal, on the other hand, offers a
different kind of site, a West Texas
kind of site, if you will.”
Steve Howerton, chairman of the
Dallas-Fort Worth Superconducting
Super Collider Authority, said,
“We’re ecstatic. The site won on its
technical merits.”
Howerton said many “God-given
things,” such as a major airport and
the area’s amenities, led to commis
sion’s top choice. The proposals are
closer, but I don’t see support drop-
ping because Of the locality.”
Although the proposal for the lo
cal site offered a lucrative incentives
package — $591 million over 20
years — the site was rejected. The
to be shipped to the U.S. Depart
ment of Energy by Aug. 3.
Earlier Tuesday, four of six fi
nalists in statewide competition for
the $6 billion atom-smashing project
made their final bids before the
A debate in the Legislature over
how many sites should be selected
was settled Tuesday morning with a
measure ordering the panel to
choose at least two. The other fi
nalists also agreed to rally behind
those that were selected.
The group proposing the site
near Amarillo told commissioners to
consider choosing “an attractive
smaller city” instead of two big cities.
“In the beginning God created
this site for the SSC,” Amarillo Na
tional Bank President Richard Ware
Amarillo Mayor Glen Parkey said,
“They may have concluded (that) to
submit Austin and Dallas-Fort
Worth would have been a single en
try.” He added that Amarillo was
aided by data it collected on its site’s
geology and estimated costs.
absence of a major airport, the pres
ence of relatively poor geological
conditions and potential problems
with land acquisition contributed to
the commission’s decision to elimi
nate the Burleson County site from
f rom the race.
Wherever the giant facility, which
will be the world’s largest and most
powerful atom smasher, finally is
built, the location will enjoy research
and financial growth, Millhollon
The facility, 52 miles in circum
ference, will cost no less than $4.4
billion to build, will create approxi
mately 2,500 permanent jobs and
w'ill have an annual operating bud
get of $250 million.
Although A&M will not be able to
enjoy having the facility built in Bur
leson County, it will continue striv
ing to be a world-renowned research,
institution, Millhollon said.
“It would have been a big benefit
for A&M — there’s no doubt about
it,” he said. “When you think you’re
good enough and start to feel com
placent, you start to deteriorate.
Some of those universities we’ve
passed up are going to be looking at
us, to see what we’re doing and how
we’re doing it.
“Quality is the key factor. The
project would have been something
that w'ould have contributed to ex
cellence in scholarships and re
search. It would have been a great
boon for the University.”
The Texas A&M University Re
search Park would have experienced
growth had the supercollider been
built in the local area, he said.
“There is a smaller collider just
outside of Chicago and the road
running between Chicago and the
research site has become a major
thoroughfare lined with high-tech
and research businesses,” he said. “I
think we (the research park) would
have gotten some support from it.”
Wednesday, May 13, 1987
Former adviser
accepts blame
for deception
National Security Adviser Robert C.
McFarlane, conceding memory lap
ses and “some tortured language,”
said Tuesday that if anyone is at
fault for misleading Congress about
the Iran-Contra affair, “I am.”
McFarlane, testifying under oath
for the second full day at the House-
Senate hearings, was asked in va
rious ways whether there had been a
cover-up after the outlines of the af
fair became public last Nov. 25.
In one highly personal, dramatic
exchange at the end of the day, Mc
Farlane was asked by Sen. Paul S.
Sarbanes, D-Md., if some of his re
sponses to Congress in past years
about compliance with a ban on U.S.
military aid to the Nicaraguan Con
tra rebels “were overstated.”
“I think that’s true,” McFarlane
“In all of this, who or what were
you trying to shield or protect?” Sar
banes asked.
After a pause, McFarlane said,
“Very likely myself, my reputation,
my own record of performance.”
Sarbanes persisted, “And only
“I believe, Sen. Sarbanes, that
President Reagan’s motives and di
rection to his subordinates through
out this enterprise has always been
in keeping with the law and national
values,” McFarlane said. “I don’t
think he is at fault here, and if any
body is, I am.”
In general, though, McFarlane
parried close questioning, such as
that conducted for most of the day
by John Nields, counsel for the
House committee.
In other developments:
• At the White House, Reagan
was asked about his possible involve
ment in seeking foreign financial
support for the Contras while a con
gressional ban on U.S. military aid
was in effect. “I’ve said that I’m not
going to answer any questions on
those things until this (investigation)
is over” the president told reporters
during a picture-taking session with
Republican congressional leaders.
“If I were going to answer any ques
tions, I’d say, ‘No.’ ”
• Later in the day, Reagan, re
ceiving a medal for his efforts on be
half of democracy in Latin America,
declared, “We must remember that
in Nicaragua the freedom fighters’
fight is our fight.” He commented
before being presented the Gold In-
signe of the Pan American Society,
made up of executives from compa
nies that do business in Latin Amer
• McFarlane, a former Marine
officer, defended his former Na
tional Security Council aide, Marine
Lt. Col. Oliver North, after being
asked why he did not rein North in.
“I’m af raid that in the past two days,
that Ollie is really getting a bum
rap,” he said.
• The hearings opened Tuesday
with news that one mysterious aspect
of the tangled affair might have
“I believe . . . that Presi
dent Reagan’s motives . . .
have always been in keep
ing with the law and na
tional values. / don’t think
he is at fault here, and if
anybody is, I am. ’’
— Robert C. McFarlane,
former national security
been solved. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye,
D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate
committee, announced that investi
gators had accounted for a missing
$10 million that the Sultan of Brunei
donated to the Nicaraguan rebels at
the request of the Reagan adminis
The money was deposited into the
wrong Swiss bank account, Inouye
said, apparently by mistake, and the
bank involved has filed criminal
charges seeking the return of the
money. He declined to name the
person who received the money.
After that, Nields began his cross-
examination of McFarlane, whose
testimony is considered important
because of his almost daily contact
with Reagan from October 1983
through December 1985 while Mc
Farlane was the president’s national
security adviser. McFarlane worked
closely with North and with Rear
Adm. John Poindexter, who suc
ceeded McFarlane in his White
House post.
McFarlane, under questioning
from Nields, denied that he, Poin
dexter and North have adjusted
their stories to say they were un
aware that Israel was shipping U.S.-
made missiles to Iran in November
1985 as part of a plan to gain the re
lease of U.S. hostages.
A chronology that all three con
tributed to, prepared for use by
White House officials last Novem
ber, said the shipment contained oil
drilling parts rather than weapons.
Records: Texas prisons
among worst violators
of wastewater laws
DALLAS (AP) — The Texas
prison system is one of the state’s
worst violators of laws against
polluting public water, state and
federal records show.
At many of the 27 prisons op
erated by the Texas Department
of Corrections, discharges of mil
lions of gallons of raw or poorly
treated water have spilled from
sewage treatment plants, livestock
feedlots and other facilities into
rivers, records show.
The streams receiving the
wastes include portions of the
Trinity and Brazos rivers that are
used as drinking supplies down
stream from the prisons.
In some cases, the Dallas
Morning News reported Tues
day, the water was discharged
even though the department had
no state or federal permits to
dump it. Also, discharges have
contained levels of pollutants far
exceeding limits specified in per
“(The TDC’s) primary job is in
carcerating the criminals who
have done the rest of us bad,”
said Myron Knudson, director of
the water division of the Environ
mental Protection Agency’s of fice
in Dallas. “And they’ve let a lot of
things slip in wastewater treat
Faced with budgetary con
straints and a teeming convict
population, TDC officials say
they are trying to improve sew
age-treatment deficiencies.
Robert E. Petty, assistant direc
tor for prison construction said,
“We’ve had problems. I’m not
going to tell you that everything
operates 100 percent correctly.”
Yet despite years of docu
mented pollution violations at
state prisons, only recently have
regulators taken steps to force the
department into compliance with
state and federal laws.
An enforcement report pre
pared in March by the water com
mission staff listed chronic viola- ,
tions, some dating back years, at a
half-dozen prison units.
About 150,000 gallons of wast
ewater daily have spilled into a
branch of the Trinity River from
the meat-packing plant at the
Coffield Unit in Anderson
County for at least the past year,
EPA and water commission re
cords show.
At the Beto II unit in Ander
son County, a levee broke on a
holding jxmd in July 1983, caus
ing 200,000 gallons of sewage to
pour into the Trinity, endanger
ing fish, according to records.
The water commission report
said the TDC could be fined up to
$176,000 for the violations, but
the staff recommends the fine be
waived because it would impose a
financial hardship on the agency.
The enforcement report also
recommends the department be
ordered to make improvements
at sewage treatment plants
throughout the prison system so
that they will be in compliance
with state standards.