May 14, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: University Administration: Saginaw News: MSU, state will miss McPherson

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Special Report: MSU President and Peru RPCV Peter McPherson: May 14, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: University Administration: Saginaw News: MSU, state will miss McPherson

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 4:48 pm: Edit Post

MSU, state will miss McPherson

MSU, state will miss McPherson

MSU, state will miss McPherson

MSU, state will miss McPherson

Friday, May 14, 2004

Michigan State University loses one of its great leaders Jan. 1, when banker-turned-academic M. Peter McPherson steps down after 11 years as president.

The surprise announcement came months after McPherson's return from a leave in Iraq, where he served as a top financial adviser to U.S. reconstruction efforts.

The Iraq experience partly played into the 64-year-old president's decision to move on. Loyal Spartans might weep that McPherson was another casualty of the Iraq war. The Big Ten university and Michigan will miss his practical and steady leadership in East Lansing.

His vision served Michigan and the university well as he expanded MSU's world profile. During his tenure, the school's international undergraduate study program became the nation's largest. That's no surprise. McPherson's resume starts with his service as a Peace Corps volunteer in South America, continues with the Agency for International Development, focusing on the U.S. response to famine in Africa, and culminates with his recent service in Iraq. Where next?

McPherson also gets credit as the only president of a major university to keep tuition at the rate of inflation -- no small accomplishment -- for spearheading a $1 billion capital fund-raising campaign and for bringing a private law school to the 45,000-student campus. Still in the pipeline are the university's bid for a prestigious rare isotope accelerator, a potential research coup and economic boon to Michigan, and the expansion of the university's College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids.

There's also the stuff people remember. A reflection of his clout was his ability to lure Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, as commencement speaker last week, and serving as host to a nationally televised presidential debate in 1999. McPherson and MSU benefited from the attention of a national basketball championship in 2000, but he just as surely avoided the sinking shoals of Big Ten athletics. Some board members weren't happy with the sacking of head football coach Bobby Williams two years ago. But the coaching kerfuffle came nowhere near the clash between the administration and trustees over football coach/athletic director George Perles a decade earlier. That power struggle eventually led to the resignation of John DiBiaggio, McPherson's predecessor.

McPherson was a surprise choice at MSU because he didn't come from the academic world. It didn't take him long to establish his credentials or to win over the green and white -- maybe even a few maize and blue admirers. He brought the university vibrant into a new century. McPherson will leave MSU with a stellar list of accomplishments that will benefit the university -- and all of Michigan -- for generations.

© 2004 Saginaw News. Used with permission

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Saginaw News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Peru; University Administration



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.