RPCV Serves in Iraq (cont. from p. 9)

in financial matters before his arrival at MSU make him a logical pick.

"Given that he has a whole career before he came to MSU in international financial maters, he seems like a fine choice," Ballard said. "I imagine that his expertise in debt restructuring is going to be important. There already have been press reports into whether and to what extent Iraq's foreign debt will need restructuring.

"Obviously, it's a very big challenge, because this is a country that's broken."

McPherson is deeply experienced in government service and banking.

He was special assistant to President Ford from 1975-77 and worked closely with then-White House chiefs of staff Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney. Rumsfeld is now Defense secretary and Cheney is vice president.

McPherson served as deputy secretary of the Treasury Department from 1987-89, focusing on trade and international issues. And as administrator for the Agency of International Development from 1981-87, he spent much of his time overseeing U.S. aid to Africa during the country's food crisis.

He was a top-ranking executive at the Bank of America for four years before coming to MSU.

MSU's financial crisis

McPherson's departure comes at a difficult time for MSU and may leave his deputies to make some tough decisions in the coming months. Gov. Jennifer Granholm had proposed cutting university budgets by 6.5 percent for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. That's on top of 3.5 percent cuts since December.

MSU already has said it will make staff and program cuts, including the elimination of the Agricultural Engineering Department. By summer the school will have to decide how much tuition rates will go up, amid predictions it will be in the double-digits.

Many of the 44,000 students at MSU were shocked -- but proud -- to learn of McPherson's new assignment.

"I think that's really cool," said Thomas Bellsky, a math senior from Frankenmuth. "I know McPherson served in the Peace Corps in Peru and he has been a pretty good president. His first five years he helped keep tuition within inflation, though that's kind of out of his hands now."

Bush calls again

This isn't the first time the Bush administration has called on McPherson, a man who likes to chew on unlit cigars.

He serves as the secretary of the Energy Advisory Board, the highest external advisory board in the U.S. Department of Energy, and serves on its Task Force on the Future of Science Programs.

Last August, President Bush invited McPherson to an all-day economic forum he staged at Baylor University. The only other Michigan person participating was J.T. Battenberg, president of Troy-based Delphi Corp.

Last May, Bush appointed McPherson to the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development for a term expiring in 2005.

You can reach Charlie Cain at (517) 371-3660 or ccain@ detnews.com.

Copyright © 2003 
The Detroit News.

Retrieved from http://www.detnews.com/2003/schools/0304/18/a01-140900.htm and http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/2629/2013206.html on 4/30/03.

To commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps, returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) will celebrate Peace Corps Week on March 1 through March 7, 2004.

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