By Laurie Fenlason
Office of Federal Relations
Presidents, chancellors and their designees from each of Michigans 15 public universities traveled to Washington, D.C., Feb. 23 to meet with members of Michigans Congressional delegation.
The meeting was the first installment in what Western Michigan University President Diether Haenicke, chair of the Michigan Presidents Council, hopes will be a continuing dialogue between the campus leaders and their representatives in Congress.
Several of the states universities maintain an active presence in Washington, noted Glenn R. Stevens, executive director of the Council. But, until now, weve never brought together the leadership of our public universities to collectively focus attention on problems and issues of concern to us all and to our congressional representatives.
In introducing Rep. William Ford, Haenicke noted the Councils commitment to working with Congress and the Clinton administration on such issues as the improvement of elementary and secondary education, particularly in math and science; teacher training; community development and extension programs; and the development of technology in the classroom. Ford, D-Taylor, is chair of the House Education and Labor Committee and Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.
Other members of Congress attending the meeting included Sen. Donald Riegle, D-Flint; and Reps. Jim Barcia, D-Bay City; Dave Camp, R-Midland; Peter Hoekstra, R-Holland; Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills; and Bart Stupak, D-Menominee.
The working luncheon was preceded by a business meeting of the Council hosted by the Universitys Washington office.