The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 68, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, May 16, 1980 Page: 1 of 12
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zfd; Prof criticizes Chem Building safety standards
by Anita Gonzalez
Confusion of the responsibilities
of the Rice University Faculty
Safety Committee, coupled with a
lame-duck university business
manager and limited funds have
caused a delay in completely
securing the safety of the
Chemistry Building. According to
Chemistry Professor Barrie
Sosinsky, the chemistry building's
rennovation has not made the
building a safe place to work.
Sosinsky, whose research
involves the synthesis of new and
sometimes explosive organo-
metallic compounds, points to the
lack of "vital" safety equipment
and leaky fume hoods as examples
of the hazards that currently exists.
Sosinsky told the Thresher that
he first complained about the lack
of safety equipment last
September to the University Safety
Officer, Bob Berger. (Berger
resigned last February to accopt a
higher paying job in industry and
has yet to be replaced.) As a
response to Sosinsky's complaint,
Berger wrote a letter with
Chemistry Laboratory Director
George Busby to the Chemistry
faculty stating their intention to
construct "first aid stations" in
different areas of the building.
These stations would hold
emergency materials including
oxygen masks, fire blankets,
rubber gloves, and cytalume stick-
By April, however, only the
construction of the the cabinets for
the first aid stations had been
completed. None of the safety
equipment had been purchased
and the fume hoods continued to
leak. At President Norman
Hackerman's suggestion, Sosinsky
wrote a letter to the president April
7 requesting that the equipment be
quickly supplied and that the
hoods be fixed. The letter was
subsequently forwarded to
University Business Manager
Russel Pitman. Pitman, though, is
retiring June 30, and thus turned
the matter over to Vice President
Since Akers will not officially
assume his position as Vice
President for Administration until
July 1, he refused to deal with
Sosinsky's request and instead
asked the Faculty Safety
Committee to handle the problem.
He added that "[the committee]
will be meeting before July 1" to
discuss the issue. Assistant to the
President, Carl McDowell
telephoned Sosinsky saying he
may be asked to testify before the
But said Faculty Safety
Committee Chairman James Sims,
"I was given a copy [of Sosinsky's
letter] simply for comments, not
for action. I presume that Mr.
Pitman will deal with the problem.
I don't know of any pressing
see Sosinsky, page 6
Volume 68, number 1
Friday, May 16, 1980
•Rice students vote big for Bush.
The precinct 361 totals, p. 5.
•Two commentaries on Iran: Poli
Sci's Richard Stoll, p. 4, and
David Dow, p. 2.
•Earl Cooper moves to Frisco. The
NFL draft story, pgs. 8 and 10.
Holt holds records, Montgomery graduates
by Richard Dees
Proctor E.C. Holt will hold the
transcripts of former Rice
Program Council President Chris
Montgomery until Montgomery
writes a second letter of apology to
Holt and the Student Association
Senate. Montgomery was,
however, allowed to graduate.
Montgomery was charged by
the SA with attempting to defraud
Films, Inc. of their rental for the
movie 70' by telling them he had
previewed but not shown the
Council seeks probe
by Bruce Davies
The Honor Council will ask the
University Council to investigate
the effectiveness of the Honor
system. The Honor Council passed
Graduate Student Representative
Thom Potempa's motion to ask
the Council for an investigation at
their open meeting April 27.
Potempa, speaking from a
prepared text, outlined the
problems he saw in the Council,
and in the Honor System.
Potempa cited a recent self-paced
computer course offered by the
Mathematical Sciences de-
partment as "a clear example of
total disrespect for the Honor
Claiming that "it is quite clear to
both the graders and the
instructors that cheating is
involved in the writing of codes,"
(i.e. programs), and that "it is quite
evident that people are
remembering test questions and
passing them on to others,"
Potempa asserted that those in
charge of the course would no
longer approach the Council with
these problems because they have
become "disillusioned" with the
"The basic question is how does
the student body protect its right to
work under equal conditions
which I feel do not exist? And I
don't feel that the Honor Council
is the organization to do so. Out of
practically every case in which
'innocent' pleas were received, I
lost countless hours of sleep just
trying to think about what
happened and trying to think
what good could come out of it. I
think the Council does not have
any legal training or anything and I
think there's been several things
that are just wrong."
see Potempa, page 7
movie because the company had
failed to send the Cinemascope
lens necessary to properly screen
The SA voted unanimously
April 21 to prosecute Montgomery
through the University Court.
Montgomery, however, chose to
have his case heard by Proctor
Holt instead. (Students may
choose to have their cases heard by
either the Court or the Proctor.)
Montgomery pleaded guilty to
attempting to defraud Films, Inc.
and Holt punished him by issuing
an official reprimand and by
ordering him to write a letter of
apology to the SA. Montgomery's
first letter, however, did not satisfy
"To say I was not pleased would
see Montgomery, page 7
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Montgomery (left), his letter, and Holt
Faculty gets 11.7 percent raise
The ^faculty will receive an
average salary increase of 11.7
percent next year, President
Norman Hackerman announced
last week. m
The increase is 3.7 percent more
than the eight percent average
increase Hackerman announced
earlier this year and 0.7 percent
more than the controversial
Over 800 students received degrees May 10, including these members of Hanszen and Jones.
See story, page 5. —TW Cook
"eleven percent solution" proposed
by Ian Duck's Faculty Council
"It has nothing to do with Dr.
Duck's committee," Hackerman
said. "We get as much money as we
can on the income statement, then
use it all, primarily for salaries. It
has nothing to do with people
fussing at us. It has to do with the
availability of money."
"We get an estimate in
November and I ask them to re-
estimate in March. You know
more six months later,"
Hackerman explained. "[This
year] the income has been going
up, interest has gone'up, money
returns have gone up." Thus, more
money is now available than was
projected last November.
"The fact of the matter is that
they get every penny we can find,"
Hackerman also stressed that
the increases are based solely on
merit. But, he said, "that 11.7
percent on the average is going to
be higher than anybody around
Duck said he thought the
increase was "a very positive
But, he added, he did not feel his
committee affected Hackerman's
see Salaries, page 6
Eleven receive tenure
A total of 27 faculty members
received promotions, including
eleven that received tenure,
President Norman Hackerman
announced April 2 5. The
promotions become effective
Tenure and promotion decisions
are made by the tenured members
of the University Council with the
approval of the Board of Trustees
upon recommendation of the
departments, the deans, and the
Of the promotions, almost one-
third are women, four of whom
received tenure. There are only
about fifty women in a faculty of
approximately four hundred.
German Associate Protessor,
Susan Clark, who received tenure,
said she thought an unusually large
number of women received tenure
"particularly when you compare it
to last year." Two women received
tenure last year and another three
"I would like to think that the
DOL [Department of Labor] and
the EEOC [Equal employment
Opportunity Commission] probes
have caused members of the
•University Council to think about
the fact that there are very few
women tenured, " she said.
Both the DOL and the EEOC
are currently investigating sex
see Eight women, page 5
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Dees, Richard. The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 68, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, May 16, 1980, newspaper, May 16, 1980; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth245441/m1/1/: accessed November 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rice University Woodson Research Center.