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Give him chance

August 13, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

I have read the recent attacks in the media regarding Northern Michigan University and its appointment of David Haynes as interim university president.

I am amazed about these opinions, based on flimsy knowledge of President Haynes' qualifications, and the University's immediate need for a smooth leadership transition.

Do these nay-sayers know anything about David Haynes? Do they know about his tireless efforts in Brooklyn, N.Y., putting together an innovative funding plan that enabled the construction of a desperately needed housing complex for senior citizens?

Do they know that he was a driving influence in Grand Rapids to create and fund the Mercy Respite Center, so that medically fragile people could stay temporarily in a safe, trustworthy, and supportive place, allowing their families a rare and badly needed time- off from 24-hour caregiving of their family member?

Do these critics know about David's tireless fundraising that allowed needy children in Grand Rapids to attend an excellent K-8 school (the same school that David's child attended)? Do they know how vigorously and successfully David fought in Lansing for funding for NMU and its programs?

I know about these activities and successes because David and I were married for 34 years, and although our marriage ended, my admiration continues for his intelligence, work ethic, and tenacity.

In my opinion, David's consistent efforts, on behalf of people who need and deserve a warrior on their side, are his finest qualities and accomplishments.

I suggest that the critics who've submitted negative letters might want to base their comments on fact, not rumor, and that they focus their efforts on positive encouragement.

That would be a blessing for the university that has been an incredible asset for this city and region, and to the students whose access to a college education is an enormous boost for their future.

Janet Soderberg Haynes

NMU graduate,

Chief Judge of Probate, retired

Grand Rapids



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