Page 6-Friday, August 3, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Harden says goodbye to MSU
EAST LANSING (UPI) - Michigan
State University is back in the
academic, athletic, and social
spotlight, but President Edgar Harden,
leaving office today, accepts only part
of the credit for MSU's revival.
"I was just the catalyst," the 71-year-
old Harden said modestly.
WITH NEARLY 50 years in education
behind him, Harden was the MSU
trustees' choice to serve as the school's
interim chief during the search for a
Mackey taking the reins
successor to Clifton Wharton, who left
Michigan's largest university 20 mon-
ths ago to head the State University of
Unlike the reserved,.proper Wharton,
Harden is gregarious, down to earth
Tomorrow, former Texas Tech
President Cecil Mackey, a man with a
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reputation as a tough administrator,
takes over the reins of the 46,000 student
university. Harden is relieved to see
an end to the long hours and respon-
sibility of heading the massiy school.
IF HE WERE 10 years younger, Har-
den's admirers claim, his leadership
and immense popularity with students
and faculty would have made him the
perfect choice to permanently head the
But Harden, a dapper dresser who
looks younger than his 71 years, said a
few more years as MSU president
would have tarnished those glowing
reviews - at least a little.
The president of a Lansing car
dealership for 12 years, Harden views
the MSU trustees from the standpoint of
a businessman. Their role, he said, is to
suggest policy and be sensitive to their
BUT THE implementation of their
actions should be left up to university
administrators, he said.
"They make a serious mistake when
they try to combine policy with ad-
ministration," Harden said. "The
president is employed to implement
Last year, under student pressure,
the trustees ordered the university to
unload investments with firms doing
business in South Africa. While the dec-
ision, unique among U.S. universities,
was hailed by many, it stirred what
Harden terms "negative emotions" in
many of the school's alumni.
DESPITE THE trustees action on
South African divestment, Harden said
higher education should not make
social change its primary goal.
Colleges and universities must "narrow
their mission," he said.
"Let us teach people how to think for
themselves and then let them deal with
the issues," the Iowa native said.
Harden came to Michigan in 1945, as
principal of a Battle Creek high school
and later was president of Northern
Michigan University at Marquette.
DURING HIS CAREER as an
educator, Harden has seen both student
activism and apathy. He commends
today's students as "the best group of
young people I've ever seen" because
they work within the system instead of
The current trend toward career-
oriented education, especially for
'women, pleases Harden, but he warned
that the pendulum must not swing too
far in that direction.
Although he said higher education
must clarify its purpose, Harden took
issue with those who complain that
college students are not as well
educated as they once were.
"WE HAVE TO decide if we're going
to educate all the children of all the
people," he said. "If we are, we're not
going to have as high of standards as if
we tool only the elitist group."
Harden says he believes in taking
Widespread education with slightly
lower standards, he said, if preferable
to limiting knowledge to the upper
Anavid sports fan, Harden's 20-
month tenure law saw MSU claim Big
Ten titles in football, basketball, and
baseball, as well as the 1979 NCAA
basketball crown - achievements he is
visibly proud of.
A former high school coach and
MSU's representative on the Big Ten
Conference Council at one time, Harden
said collegiate sports are "the cement
that holds the whole university family
IT DOESN'T RAIN
ON THIS PARADE
FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP)-Military
life continued as usual at Fort Knox,
while the Baltimore District of the Cor-
ps of Engineers "slip lined" 13 miles of
plastic pipe to restore the crumbling
Polyethylene piple was inserted, or
slipped, through broken and root-
infested clay and concrete sewer lines,
passing under homes with a mimimum
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STEVE ht BOB
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RICHARD , A -WILLIAMS
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