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September 05, 1980 - Image 155

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-05

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 5, 1980-Page 5-B

MSU's Mackey

defends

.controversy as 'diversion'

EAST LANSING (UPI) - The controversy surrounding his
first year at Michigan State University has been a "diver-
sion" but not a major problem, MSU President Cecil Mackey
said Wednesday.
In an interview with UPI, Mackey also vehemently denied
he has retaliated against the school's independent-minded
alumni association.
"I don't think anyone who functions in that style would
deserve to hold an office like this," he said. "It would be
totally inconsistent with every tenet of my personal and
professional philosophy."
THE LANKY ALABAMA native took over the reins in East
Lansing last year and immediately found himself enveloped
in controversy because of his strongleadership style.
Mackey's debut year included the departures of both the
football coach and athletic director, criticism over the $85,000
spent to remodel his official residence, and the well-
publicized feud with alumni in which the organization's head
refused Mackey's order to resign.
But the MSU president said the controversy has not been a
problem for him. "I don't think it's a problem - it's always a
diversion when things like this happen," said the blue-eyed
administrator.
MACKEY AGREED the publicity over the feud with alum-
ni has harmed MSU's reputation. But he noted contributions
to MSU have not dropped.
The president is currently under orders from legislators to
clear up the squabble. He said plans were in the works to
smooth things over, but would not reveal his method.

When Mackey was hired, he apparently fit the bill of the
school's board of trustees, which wanted a strong leader in
the top job.
THE PRESIDENT'S calm, determined style is in direct
contrast with the friendly, outgoing, Edgar Hasden, the auto
dealer who filled in during the two years following the depar-
ture of Clifton Wharton, now president of the New York state
university system.
Wharton-a member of one of the nation's most prestigious
black families-was often at odds with trustees because of
his intellectual outlook.
But personality will not play a big role in the way he runs
MSU, the president said.
"I THINK it's a mistake for a person to assume it's
desirable to put a strong personal imprint on an institution,"
he said.
His feeling apparently extends to his oak-paneled office,
which has only -a paper-cluttered desk, a sofa, and several
chairs. The walls are clear of the usual diplomas, photos, and
awards which mark a typical executive suite.
Like most executives, however, Mackey has distinct goals
for the next few years-all of which depend on the shape of
Michigan's economy and the priority given higher education
funding.
He said he wants to improve the quality of MSU's faculty,
perhaps luring leaders in various fields to spend a year or
two there. Mackey also said a new arena to replace creaking
Jenison Fieldhouse would be "desirable" and added he would
also like to cut tuition.

Mackey
. problem not major

rjl 1

4

" City study shows fewer
residents per apartment

v 1Y

(Continued from Page 2)
divorce rate and decreasing birth rate
as possible reasons for this decrease.
Bohl said he felt the increase in the
percentage of one-person households
reflected a fallacy about housing prices
in Ann Arbor. "People are always com-
*plining that the housing prices are too
expensive, but people must be able to
afford it, since there are so many one-
person households."
Bohl also said that this increase was
responsible for the tight housing
situation among the student com-

munity.
Preliminary survey results indicate
that fewer Ann Arborites are renting
their homes than before. The Housing
Survey's figure of 52.2 per cent of
residents who rent homes compares
with the 1970 census figure of 54.8 per
cent. Both figures are higher than the
1577 national average of 51 per cent.
This story was reprinted from the
summer edition of The Daily.

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