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March 27, 1987 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-03-27

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David Adamany
is working
to overcome old
Wayne State stereotypes


Special to The Jewish News

Adamany is trying to set a
new pace for WSU.

21 1; Friday, March 27, 1987


fter some difficult times,
things are- beginning to
look up at Wayne State
University. Among the
better things happening at
the urban university, according to
President David Adamany, is a,
new strengthening of Wayne's ties
with Detroit's Jewish community.
The 50-year-old Adamany, who
took over at Wayne in 1982 during
one of Detroit's dreariest economic
periods, says the growing suppqrt is
not something which happened
entirely on its own, but something
that was actively sought.
"I came here as president of
Wayne State as a non-Detroiter,"
says Adamany, who grew up in
Green Bay, Wisconsin, earned
political science and law degrees at
Harvard, and came to Wayne from
the University of Maryland, where
he was academic vice president.
"But one needed only to look at the
history of Wayne State to see the
remarkable record of philanthropy
by the Jewish community.
"Now, an obvious question for
a new president to ask is what is
the present condition of relation-
ships as those. And that's what I
He found out, he says, that
some of the relationships had deter-
iorated. According to Adamany,
some of the reasons why began al-
most 20 years ago.
"In the era of student activism
at Wayne — in the late '60s and
early '70s — the student newspaper

here was overtly anti-Semitic in a
deeply offensive way. It's been
made clear to me that that made a
deep impact on members of the
Jewish community. I find that, in
the Jewish community, that still
can be felt today.
The student newspaper is not
controlled by the university, and
all of the court cases conclude that
you do not censor or control what
the newspaper will publish — and I
happen to agree with that. But,
nevertheless, serious damage was
done, some of it probably irrepara-
ble, I'm afraid."
Adamany says that he has
made special efforts to work closely
with the Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion since coming to Wayne, in an
attempt to communicate clearly the
university's goals, and to carefully
hear out the opinions of those in
the Jewish community.
"Today," he says, "many of the

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