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October 21, 1987 - Image 69

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-21

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Windy City's
Sunshine Boys
When it came to filling
teaching positions,
Michael Alexandroff,
president of Chicago's Colum-
bia College, decided that
many of his semiretired friends
were better put on staff than
out to pasture. And so, in the
late '70s, Alexandroff began
inviting some pals who were
veterans in broadcast and
Old-boy network: Columbia's
Ed Morris, Nat Lehrman
and John Tarini

print journalism to join the fac-
ulty at the small liberal-arts
school and teach the career
skills they had learned. They
accepted, and the students
are glad.
The list of Columbia's so-
called Retirement Club reads
like a Who's Who of the Windy
City communications world:
Edward Morris, former gener-
al manager of WSNS-TV; Nat
Lehrman, former president of
Playboy's publishing division;
Eric Lund, former assistant
managing editor of the Chicago
Daily News; John Tarini, for-
mer executive vice president of
Lee King and Partners Adver-
tising, to name a few. "We real-
ly lean out to these kinds of

teachers," says Constance
Zonka, Columbia's public-re-
lations director. "It's our unof-
ficial program for recruiting
what we think are the best
teachers around."
Students agree. "These peo-
ple are invaluable," says
Ginger Schneider, a student
of TV department head Morris.
"There's only one way to real-
ly learn a business like televi-
sion and that's to work with
professionals." But what these
faculty have to offer most goes
beyond the classroom. Says
Jackie Grant, a student in the
film department: "What you
trade off with a strictly aca-
demic professor, you get back
with contacts."

STEVE LEONARD

to explain." His goal now: a
starting doubles position. "He's
an inspiration," says coach
Grant Longley. "For someone
his age, he's got the legs of a
40-year-old."
DAVID BARBOZA in Salem
An Enquiring
Prof. at Tulane
he next time you're
waiting in the supermar-
ket checkout line and flip-
ping through the headless-
alien-baby headlines in the
National Enquirer, you may
well come across social-psy-
chology professor Fred
Koenig-the paper's favorite
academic expert. "I work with
the writer on psycho-babble,"
says Koenig, claiming he just
applies psychological theories
to daily life. "There is nothing
I've said in the Enquirer I
wouldn't use in a classroom."
Koenig, tenured at Tulane,
has ,worked for the paper for 10
years, ever since an Enquirer
writer he met asked him to ex-
plain the boom in house
plants. (Koenig said that people
like living things, and plants
are easier to care for than pets.)
Since then Koenig has helped
out at $100 a pop on stories such

as "Ten Things You Should
Never Let Your Boss Hear You
Say" (including "I have a
hangover" and "You are over-
weight"). Koenig handles
more than a dozen other media
requests each month. On
"Good Morning America" last
December, he argued that the
commercialization of Christ-
mas made people happy,
while Pulitzer Prize-winning
columnist Jimmy Breslin la-
mented the holiday glitz. "I was
Tiny Tim," Koenig recalls.
"He was Scrooge." Do fellow
professors object to his pop-
culture exercise? "Not as much
as you might imagine. Most
want to know how they can get
in on it."
CHRISTOPHER BROWN
in New Orleans
Wisconsin s
Edible Ed
You can't always have it
your way in the Burger
King restaurant at the
University of Wisconsin in
Stout. For one thing, the place
is open for only 90 minutes, four
days a week; for another, it
doesn't serve Whoppers. That's
not due to local rebellious-
ness, but rather because this

Burger King is an instruction-
al laboratory, designed to teach
students the technology and
management skills of the fast-
food business.
The lab, set up in the home-
economics department in 1983
with a Burger King grant,
looks like a regular link in the
chain, complete with familiar
logo and menu (its version of
the Whopper is called a Stout).
And who better to run the ex-
periment than an assistant
professor whose name is-
would we lie to you?-James
Buergermeister. "We felt the
students could benefit from
seeing how the system is set
up," says the Buergermeister.

The restaurant is also a re-
search lab where students ex-
periment with delectables for
possible marketing by the
school. For a year Buerger-
meister and his classes have
been striving to make a better
turkey sandwich. The fillet has
to be broiled in a certain way
to make it palatable for the
fast-food connoisseur, he says.
Students have already come
up with one innovation-a
burger-making robot. But sum-
mer jobs are safe, for now.
Says Buergermeister: "It's not
ready to replace the typical
15-year-old."
JENNIFER KOBERSTEIN in Stout

MARTY SPRINGER-UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, STOUT
On the fast-food track: Instructor Scott Anderson at Stout

NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS 35

OCTOBER 1987

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