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July 24, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-24

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N EwAS Wednesday, July 24, 1996 - The Michigan Daily - 9
puderstadt remains busy, heads new education projects

By Jennifer Harvey
Daily Managing News Editor
"I am not retiring," former University
President James Duderstadt said yester-
day in an interview with The Michigan
Daily.
However, Duderstadt, who ended his
oht-year term as University president
ne 30, said he is much more relaxed
these days, having returned to his for-
mer position as a professor of nuclear
engineering.
"I've only been out of the Fleming
prison for three weeks," he said. "I need
to learn to be a civilian again."
"The pace isn't slowing down any,"
he said.
Duderstadt said he is working on two
major projects, the Millenium Institute
d the Virtual University project. He
0 d he is working to get the projects
started, recently completing a trip to
Washington, D.C. to discuss future
options for both projects.

Duderstadt was asked to head the
Virtual University project by Michigan
Gov. John Engler. The Virtual University
will offer online instruction in the field
of automotive engineering to anyone in
Michigan.
Duderstadt said
he expects the first
virtual courses to
be accessible in
January 1997. He
said he expects the
courses will be
higher-level com-
puter engineering
and engineering
business manage- Duderstadt
ment courses,
although the scope
of courses could easily expand.
Duderstadt said the price of the virtu-
al courses will not exceed public uni-
versity prices, and might stay closer to
community college prices. "It depends

on the market size," Duderstadt said. "There's a lot of interest in it," he said.
Duderstadt said the project has Duderstadt said he will be teaching
received some small start-up funding courses in the fall, but he doesn't know
from the state, what those
but will eventu- courses will be.
ally be self- "I want to
funding. I am not a has" teach an exper-
T h e be n irs e n ta l
M i I l e n i u m een presid ent" course'" he
Institute is - James Duderstadt said. "I've got
another project some crazy
occupying Former University President ideas."
Duderstadt's "I want to

time. "We'll be
exploring futures for universities, alter-
natives to the classroom," he said. "It's
really a research laboratory to stimulate
thinking about the future of higher edu-
cation."
Duderstadt said a seminar series will
begin in September, focusing on issues
involving the future of universities. He
also said he is looking for extensive stu-
dent involvement in the project.

MSA members spend day lobbying
Capitol Hill for federal student loan funding

try to do some
other things than teach rocket science or
whatever I used to do," Duderstadt said.
Duderstadt said he would like to
teach a "University 101" course, detail-
ing how to take advantage of the oppor-
tunities offered by attending a major
university. "I have ideas that are suffi-
ciently radical; they might scare the
University," he said.
Duderstadt said he has had several
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"political probes" since he left office.
"But I told them all 'no way', he said.
"I'm gonna stay far away from politics."
Duderstadt said the best thing about
not being president is the absence of
"minute-by-minute pressures."
"Now I have time to focus;" he said.
Duderstadt said he will continue to
stay busy and expand his ideas about
the future of higher education.
"I'm not a has-been president, he
said. "I'm a done-that president."
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Students voice sup-
port for aid appropria-
tions
By Jodi S. Cohen
Daily Staff Reporter
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Edna Yang
bows first-hand the importance of the
'deral Direct Student Loan Program
-75 percent of her tuition is funded by
the government loans.
The LSA junior now wants the
United States Congress to know the
impact the lending program has had on
higher education.
Yang, along with nine other
University students, took her story to
Capitol Hill on Monday, trying to put
student face on a program under
attack. Yang is among 12,000
University students who currently
receive the loans.
Both MSA and non-MSA students
met with all 18 Michigan legislative
offices (16 representatives and two sen-
ators). Yang focused on Richard
Chrysler (R-Brighton), who has spoken
against the program.
"He needs to get the student per-
spective. That was something I could
lk about," Yang said about her
meeting with the office's legislative
assistant.
"It is important to show that students
know and care about what is going on,"
Yang said. The University was one of
the first participants when the DSLP
began in 1993. This year, 1,700 educa-
tional institutions will be involved in
the program.
Tom Butts, associate vice president
r University relations, who spends
about four days a week lobbying in
Washington, said students can have an
impact on Congress.
"It gives students a chance to let
them know how the programs are

working," Butts said. "They can do a
far better job than those of us who
analyze numbers."
While MSA President Fiona Rose
traveled to Washington for the first
annual "MSA Student Lobby Day,"
many students involved in the lobbying
effort already work in the city for the
summer.
MSA Vice President Probir Mehta
spends many hours on Capitol Hill
each week as a Congressional intern.
But Monday he walked through the
building as a "lobbyist," trying to
counter intense lobbying efforts by
banking and finance industries, two
groups against the DSLP Before the
DSLP was developed, lending pro-
grams were controlled by federally
insured private loans through banks
and loan agencies.
Yang said the DSLP makes the finan-
cial aid process easier for students.
"Your loan can't be sold. It is always
with he federal government. And as
soon as you get out of college, they
match your payment plan with your
income"Yang said.
Mehta said students also used the
opportunity to discuss appropriation
figures and develop relationships with
the legislators.
"They never hear our viewpoint,"
Mehta said. "We had people tell them
what happens when you cut appropria-
tions."
Although the loan program seems
secure for the next school year, the
bipartisan support for the DSLP is fad-
ing, Butts said. The loan industry con-
tinues to pressure Congress to kill the
program.
"The students don't have money to
hire a high price lobbying firm,"
Butts said. "All they can do is tell
their story."
And that's exactly what they did.
Mehta said.
The students split into three

groups and developed "talking
points" and packets of information
for each office.
"We were really professional about
this. We were as effective as any lobby,"
Mehta said.
MSA representatives said they hope
Monday's meeting is only the beginning
of on-going lobbying efforts to fight for
direct loans and increased funding.
"If we keep up the relationship" said
MSA Rep. Kane Morgan, "they're
more likely to keep us in mind."

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