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July 28, 1979 - Image 15

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-28

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, July 28, 1979--Page 15
Smith's goal: An excellent 'U

(Continued from Page 13)
University in 1946. He concluded that a
president can have an enormous in-
fluence on the University, but that the
influences might not be immediately
felt.
"It's indirect," Smith said. "As head
of the institution, people look to you for
leadership. The president is responsible
for what happens at the University"
Smith added there were very few things
for which he was directly responsible.
SMITH WON'T give himself credit
for what has happened with such issues
as the new University Hospital plans, or
other projects and issues he has dealt
with in his short administration.
"I don't look at it like that," Smith
says. "They're not my successes or
failures, but institutional successes or
failures.'
He said he has been pleased, though,
in being able to share in some of the
"excitement" at the University since
he has been in office. "I enjoyed
following the student Union," Smith
said, referring to the January Regents
meeting when the Regents decided to
allow the Michigan Union to be
renovated, and turned control of it to
the Office of Student Services. "I was
really excited about that," Smith said.
HE ALSO DISCUSSED the disrup-
tions at the March and April Regents'
meetings when students and others
protested against the University's
holdings in companies which do
business in South Africa.
"What happened then is something I
Alene Smith
combines
tradition and
progress
(Continued from Page 13)
campus events, of which many young
people may never have heard. She
remembers when old Haven Hall,
which stood next to Angell Hall, burned
down. She remembers When North
Campus didn't exist.
Smith also has seen a "population ex-
plosion" at the University. "The
student body was smaller, the faculty
was smaller, when we first came," she
recalls with a smile. "The law school
faculty was between 20 and 25. Now, of
course, it has doubled."
Smith says she and her husband have
no definite plans for the fall term,
although "Allan has a firm commit-
ment to be back in the classroom in
January (for Winter Term, 1980)."
OVERALL, Smith seems to be
satisfied. She says she enjoyed her
family and her community work. But
she is well aware that her life is hardly
the norm for most people. "I suppose
because of Allan's job, I've had a more
interesting life than others," she ad-
mits.
But for all that she appears to have
traditional values, Smith keeps an open
mind. "A woman president is not a far-
out idea," she asserts. "I'm sure there
are women candidates (for the Univer-
sity presidency). When Allan was Law
School Dean, I thought I had a full-time
job (as the wife of a dean). Now deans'
wives have jobs."
Still, she says she has no regrets that
she did not have a career. "I did work
the first years we were married and I
went back to work (in the 1950s) in the
Office of Religious Affairs as a
secretary. But I wouldn't change my
life." -

won't forget for a long time-maybe'
never," Smith said. He said the
"memorable event" took a lot of "ner-
vous energy."
The issue of divestment is something
Smith will likely be forced to deal with
during his final months as interim
University president. Protestors have
said they will continue to take their
issue to the Regents until the matter is
resolved.
"I BELIEVE the Regents will adopta

policy which will be a reasonable one,
which they won't have to review every
month. But, as you can see, there is ob-
viously more than one point of view
among the Regents now," Smith said.
He shows a strong pride in the
University when he speaks of it, and
maintains that it should remain a
neutral institution. One of his favorite
subjects is the issue of academic
freedom, something he says the new
University president must take

stronger and stronger measures to
maintain.
"A president has to be able to under-
stand the purpose and nature of a
University like this one. Our job is to
serve, and the extent we can serve,
depends on maintaining academic
freedom," Smith said.
Seven months as president have rein-
forced Smith's belief that the Univer-
sity is "probably the best, if not the
best" in the nation.

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