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September 06, 1979 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

611 Church Street
Ann Arbor, Mi. 996-2747
exceptional
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Page 8A-Thursday, September 6, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Smith reviews interim.

J'

By JULIE ENGEBRECHT
Allan Smith wants to make sure
everyone knows he thinks the presiden-
cy at the University is "the _ best
educational job in the United States."
The 67-year-old Smith has served as
interim president since Robben
Fleming resigned his post last January.
He cited "the excellence of the faculty,
quality of the students, and excellent
facilities," as primary evidence for his
claim that he, or anyone, would be ex-

ceptionally fortunate to be president of
this University.
"YOU MAY not believe this," Smith
said, relaxing in his Administration
Building office in early July, "but the
job hasn't changed me tod much."
Smith said acting as a spokesperson
for the University is one of the more
significant duties of the president. He
added the constant public attention was
not radically different from other jobs
he has held at the University, including
dean of the Law- School and vice-

president for academic affairs. The
veteran administrator came to the
University in 1946.
He said he feels comfortable as either
an administrator or a laW professor,
but he added that "it'll be nice to get
back" to his teaching duties in January,
1980.
A PRESIDENT can have an enor-
mous influence on a university, accordi
ing to Smith, but the consequences are
probably not directly felt.
"It's indirect," Smith said, speaking

of a president'
sity. "As head
look to you
president is ;e
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The interir
primary conce
been securing
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Smith has bee
with the state
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presidency
s impact on the Univer- University has been accused of
of the institution people politicizing the issue in order to get ap-
for leadership. The proval for the $254 million renovation
sponsible for what hap- project, and Smith says those charges
versity." make him angry with those who say the
m president said his institution does not need a new hospital.;
ern during his term has "THEY JUST don't understand the
a certificate of need from educational purposes of the University;
new University hospital. I think," he said. "They need to take
n the school's negotiator another look at the place. The hospital
in a battle between the is crucial to us.
ining council and the Smith said he has been pleased to be
of Public Health. The able to share in some of the "ex-
citement" at the University since he
has been in office.
"I ENJOYED following the student
Union," Smith said, referring to the
Regents' January decision to allow the
Michigan Union to be renovated. The
also turn control of it over to the Office
of Student Services. "I was really ex-
cited about that," he said.
He also spoke of the protests at the
March and April Regents meetings,
during which more than 200 demon-
strators demanded that the University
withdraw its holdings in companies
which do business in South Africa.
"What happened then is something I
won't forget for a long time - maybe
never," Smith said. He added that the
"memorable event" used a lot of his
"nervous energy."
The issue of divestment is something
Smith will likely be forced to deal with
in his final months as the University's
chief executive. Protesters have said
they will continue to take their issue to
the Regents until the matter is
resolved.
"I BELIEVE the Regents will adopt a
policy which will be a reasonable one;
which they won't have to review every
r month," he said.
His pride in the University is most
evident when he speaks .of the in-
stitution retaining its neutralty in
society. One of his favorite subjects is
the issue of academic freedom,
Daily Photo something he says the new University
mer vice-president for president must take stronger and
idency. stronger measures to maintain.

To celebrate
the contribution
of women in film,
Cinema IIis sponsoring a
film festival this fall. We feature
weekly films & guest speakers.
Check out our fall schedule.
rIQIDINIG U?
H ALF T(IE SKY

INTERIM UNIVERSITY President Allan Smith reflects on his eight months in office. The for
academic affairs will return to teaching law in January when Harold Shapiro takes over the presi

Fleming recalls years of student activism

Tribute To Women In Film

Guess speakersi

include Claudia Weil, Molly Haskell
and Chick Strand.

By SARA ANSPACH
Except for an occasional meeting
with college interns, Robben Fleming
doesn't see many students anymore.
But from his office in Washington, D.C.
where he now leads the Corporation for
Public Broadcasting, the former

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University president said he looks upon
the eleven years when encounters with
students were daily occurrences as the
"greatest experience" of his life.
The years from 1967 to 1978 weren't
easy years for a university president.
Fleming came to Ann Arbor from the
University of Wisconsin at Madison in,
the peak of student turmoil on campus.
"In those years the president spent a lot
of his waking hours on the problem of
student turmoil," Fleming said.
"I ALWAYS believed that you did not
solve problems by using troops or tear
gas," he said. Although he admitted
that police were sometimes necessary
in curbing violent students, Fleming
said he strongly believes in "finding
solutions without force."
Fleming and his administration came
under much fire during their first

years. Criticism came from around the
nation for what many called Fleming's
lenient attitudes toward student
protests. Students, too, often were
frustrated because the president didn't
always give way to their demands.
"OUR POSITION wasn't always very
popular," Fleming remembered. "But
we stuck to it, and by and large came
out of it. without the long, term
animosities and hatreds some schools,
like KentState, had."
In subsequent years, turmoil died
down and financial problems emerged
to keep the president's waking hours
occupied. Trying to combat the "ever-
rising" student tuition and keep faculty
salaries on a competitive level in an era
of inflation were Fleming's goals before
his resignation'last January.
Life wasn't all grim as president, and

Fleming recalls the. many accom-
plishments of his administration. He
said he is pleased the University main-
tained its high academic standing
during his presidency, and speaks with

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Fleming
pride of his efforts to open the Univer-
sity to minorities. Both the Flint cam-
pus and the Dearborn campuses
became four-year institutions under
Fleming, and on Central Campus,
recreation facilities were expanded.
FLEMING IS especially proud the
University is a place for free exchange
of ideas. "There is, and was, and I think
always will be, freedom on campus to
hear controversial views," he said.
The former president said, reflecting
upon his eleven years as chief executive
of the University, "Yeah, it's a great
job."

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