The Regents of the University of Michigan congratulate and commend their loyal friend and trusted adviser Walter Harrison, vice president for university relations and secretary of the university, as he leaves the University on May 31, 1998, to become president of the University of Hartford.
Vice President Harrison came to the University of Michigan as executive director of university relations in 1989, was named vice president in 1993, and was appointed secretary of the university in January 1998. With his quick intelligence, ready smile, and keen insight, he has provided a calm, clear voice during times of spirited debate. Whether handling controversies surrounding athletics, indirect cost recovery, or affirmative action, Vice President Harrison has been a responsive and steady presence, always available to support and provide counsel to Regents, executive officers, and the broader University community.
Under Vice President Harrison's leadership, the University's media relations efforts were successfully restructured, and the once faltering fortunes of Michigan Radio have been reversed to the point where in the past year it experienced the largest percentage increase in audience and fund-raising of any public radio station in the country. As a member of the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics, Vice President Harrison provided strong leadership as chair of the NCAA Athletics Certification Steering Committee. He also has been an inspiring and popular teacher of undergraduate students, conveying his passion for American literature and culture with eloquence and good humor.
The Regents now salute Walter Harrison for his numerous contributions to the University community as an executive officer, faculty member, and friend. The Regents also express their appreciation to Dianne Harrison for her equally dedicated years of service and leadership and extend warmest best wishes to Walt and Dianne as they embark on their exciting new adventure at the University of Hartford.
Regents Proceedings, May Meeting, 1998, page 333