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Flint Editorial Praises Work Of Dr. Ruthven Here

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Otnniom Of Othen^ n ]%1<br><br>Flint Editorial Praises Work Of Dr. Ruthven Here<br><br>(The Flint Journal, Oct. 21, 1942)<br><br>Some 13 years ago certain • conditions at the University of Michigan made advisable a hcange in administration and Dr. Alexander G. Ruthven was summoned to the presidency.<br><br>A capable executive and educator with broad and sympathetic understanding, he proceeded quietly and perhaps too modestly because he is the sort who thinks primarily of the well-being of the institution- and not of personal i glory. He approached the many problems with common sense and in a spirit of fairness. There developed an administration which supplemented a rich tradition with new heights of distinction. The schools and colleges of the university advanced in performance and prestige and notable gifts were attracted which greatly expanded facilities, physically and otherwise.<br><br>After 13 years It is easy to forget the situation he inherited and many of his accomplishments. It is characteristic of human nature soon to take for granted acquisitions which once were but ardent hopes. Not so easily lost, however, are the resentments inevitable in such a record, the sulkiness of individuals or groups who formerly had been close to one throne or another and the 'bitterness of tlrose'-whose ambitions have not materialized. At least some of these elements are found on every campus, eagerly awaiting opportunity for expression. More politically minded regents possibly got so close to some of these murmurs as to mistake them for uproars which may explain the outburst against Dr. Ruthven in recent days.<br><br>* * *<br><br>As usually happens, a pretext is seized and here it was the war record of the university and the alleged attitude of its president with particular emphasis on his address to the freshmen at the opening of the present school year. Adhering to the pattern, portions of this speech were separated from the words that accompanied them to put across the desired impression— that Dr. Ruthven is not sufficiently promoting the war effort. His was a forthright attack on the confusion in- ! evitably in the minds of young men starting college in these days. He brought into the open some of the unpleasant things they have heard and possibly believed for only , thus could he deal with them effectively. He displayed the frankness which the American people have been demanding of their public officials and said nothing which has not been told in high and unquestionably patriotic places.<br><br>* * *<br><br>with politics, selfishness, and waste,” but there was omitted, “Despite all of these disheartening conditions, however, I urge you with all sincerity to look to your own responsibilities for service to your fellow men, for this is the only way democracy can be I preserved. It will do no good to com- ! plain. What is lost must be regained. | What is in danger must be protected. I What is worth-while must be acquired, j Freedom is not to be had for the | asking. . . . We must, of course, be ready to fight and, if need be, die for it, but only an intelligent and truly informed citizenry is capable of j owning and using freedom and thus ! of maintaining a democracy worthy of j the name.”<br><br>I I<br><br>And this is called pacificism!<br><br>* * *<br><br>Likewise disturbing in its implica- | tion was the first action of the committee of regents which was named to participate in the direction of the i university’s war effort. This group, I which includes the regent who has t been most vocal in the attacks on Dr. ! Ruthven, has asked for a complete statement of the university’s participation in the war effort. It is hardly thinkable that this mess w'as stirred up, smearing the good name of the university and of its president, without first having obtained such a statement.<br><br>There is reason to believe some members of the board had not intended a public airing of unsubstantiated accusations until all the facts were obtained. The readiness otherwise,' elsewhere in the board, is properly rewarded with this consequent disclosure that full information had not been procured.<br><br>Maybe there can be more war activity than was included in the list which came out of Ann Arbor Monday but it was sufficiently impressive for the public to appreciate why Superintendent of Public Instruction Eugene B. Elliott recently praised the Michigan war record as outstanding among the I nation’s universities.<br><br>He was quoted as saying “Yours will be the major sacrifices” but the remainder of the sentence was omitted, “but you are preparing to make them ” The critics also quoted, “You will detect, if you have not already done so, that the war effort is tainted