The University Record, October 21, 1998


‘To Err Is Human’ tickles funny bone

The latest cartoon from your erstwhile “Off the record” cartoonist, SCHWADron, depicting the robot sitting at a desk in the Dept. of Applied Robotics office under a wall sign, To Err Is Human, tickled my funny bone once again.

Who is this mysterious SCHWADron who has drawn many such zingers over the years? Could his name be Ron Schwad? He does not appear in your masthead. Has he published a “Best of SCHWADron” book?

I have a personal favorite. It depicted a man in an office with a lettered door: Transportation Research Institute. On the wall is a picture of a stone-age man (a “Mr. Flintstone” type) standing beside a stone “wheel.” The picture’s title is: OUR FOUNDER.

We, of course, have UMTRI, the University of Michigan Transportation Institute (originally known as the Highway Safety Research Institute). It was founded by Robert Hess in the 1960s, and in his honor, a 3-D plaque of his face is mounted on the wall of UMTRI’s lobby.

My fantasy: All with Robert Hess’s permission, of course, SCHWADron would alter his original cartoon to change the Stone Age man’s face to the face that is on that plaque. SCHWADron might even present that altered cartoon to Robert Hess, or to UMTRI, perhaps at a ceremony in the lobby where his plaque hangs.


Dan Weintraub, professor emeritus of psychology and research scientist emeritus, UMTRI


Faculty show support of affirmative action


During the past few weeks, more than 400 U-M faculty have signed a statement of support for affirmative action, specifically endorsing our University’s admissions policies as promoting equal access to education, improving the quality of education, and contributing to equality of opportunity. We have established a Web site where other faculty can view the statement and the list of signers to date.

Instructions explain how you can add your name, as well as set up a link to a statement giving further information about the reasons why you should endorse affirmative action. The Web site address is

Frances Aparicio, Romance languages/American culture; Matthew Countryman, history/American culture; Helen Fox, Residential College/English; Don Heller, School of Education; Eric Lormand, philosophy; Ivette Perfecto, School of Natural Resources and Environment; Alan Wald, English/American culture; Tom Weisskopf, Residential College/economics

You can always drop us a line: