The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  2


The University of Michigan Encyclopedic Survey, Part I, page 269, contains the following statement, "The business administration of the University of Michigan from 1842 to 1900, if we are to judge by the volume of business of which there is a record, was relatively simple when compared with the University of 1940." From 1940 to 1977, the volume of business activity also expanded greatly, due to postwar growth and dollar inflation. In 1940 the chief financial officer was Shirley W. Smith, Vice-President and Secretary, and the business and financial management was centered in an Assistant Secretary, Controller, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, Investment Officer, and Business Manager of Residence Halls. No changes took place in this structure of organization during the next five years, but in 1945, when Shirley Smith retired, the first of a series of changes in organization took place.

With the appointment of Robert P. Briggs as Vice-President for Business and Finance in 1945, Herbert G. Watkins was appointed Secretary and Assistant Vice-President, separating the secretarial duties from the vice-presidency but leaving certain other duties as the responsibility of the assistant vice-president. During the next several years, reflecting the very rapid growth of the University during the post-World War II years, substantial changes were made in the organization, responsibilities, and staff involved in the business and financial offices and activities of the University.

Prior to 1945 the personnel management of office personnel was centered in a Committee on Office Personnel. Early in 1945 the University established the Office of Nonacademic Personnel with responsibility for personnel management functions for all personnel, except faculty, research, and academic administrative staff. Alfred B. Ueker was appointed the first Personnel Officer of the University in the same year, and he held this post until 1959 when he followed Walter Roth as Superintendent of Plant. At that time Charles Allmand was appointed Personnel Officer, to be succeeded in 1966 by Russell Reister, who has held the position since that date.

In 1945 the Office of Plant Superintendent was created, Page  3with responsibility for plant operations, plant extension, and general stores. Walter M. Roth was appointed Plant Superintendent, Lynn Fry was appointed Supervising Architect for plant extension, and O. E. Roszel was placed in charge of General Stores.

On July 1, 1945, R. Gordon Griffith was appointed Investment Officer, and during the same year the organizational concept of Auxiliary Enterprises was recognized. Several operating units, some involved with academic departments, were established as self-sustaining units, with the expectation that revenues from operations would cover expenses of the units. These included the following:

  • Printing Department - Edward E. Lofberg
  • Binding Department - George E. Craven
  • Laundry Department - Donald A. Callnin
  • Instrument Shop - Orlan W. Boston
  • Blueprint Shop - Henry W. Miller
  • Chemistry Stores - Robert J. Carney
Later, in 1948-49, two additional units were established as self-sustaining operations, a central Food Service Department under the direction of H. A. Helle, and later Herbert P. Wagner and Lawrence T. Hayes, and a Photographic Service under Fred Anderegg.

During 1946-47 the Federal Government deeded the Willow Run Airport to the University which provided space for the establishment of the Willow Run Laboratories as an engineering and aeronautical research center under the direction of Professor Emerson Conlin. At the same time the airport proper was leased to the Airlines National Terminal Service Company for operation as an airline terminal. (Details of this transaction are contained in the Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review, Vol. 55, No. 16, pp. 119-27, Winter 1949.) Relationships with the airlines were handled first by Colonel Arthur Prine and later by Floyd Wakefield, until the airlines moved to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in 1966. At that time, John P. Weidenbach was appointed Manager of Willow Run Airport, to supervise the airport as a facility for general aviation activities.

In 1947-48 three more changes were accomplished while Robert Briggs was Vice-President. On July 1, 1947, Wilbur Page  4K. Pierpont, Assistant Professor of Accounting, was appointed Controller; in September 1947, Edmund A. Cummiskey, a practicing lawyer in Detroit, was appointed Attorney, the first appointment of a full-time lawyer to the University administrative staff; and in 1948 Byron J. Green, a practicing Certified Public Accountant, was appointed Assistant Controller with specific responsibility for accounting systems and auditing.

In early 1951 Robert P. Briggs resigned as Vice-President for Business and Finance, and on February 1, 1951, Wilbur K. Pierpont was appointed Vice-President for Business and Finance and Professor of Accounting; later in March of 1966, the title of the office was changed to Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. During the 1950s the continued rapid expansion of the University, measured by student enrollment, growth in research activities, total expenditures, plant expansion, number of personnel, or other data led to a continuing series of organizational and staff changes to respond to these new and larger responsibilities of the business and financial staff.

In early 1951 the Regents authorized the creation of a Service Enterprises Group for management purposes under the direction of Frances C. Shiel. During the 1950s this Group included the operations of residence halls, food service, laundry, printing, binding, instrument shops, photographic services, rental properties, Inglis House, and parking operations. Inglis House, the residence in Ann Arbor of Mr. and Mrs. James Inglis, was a gift to the University from Mr. and Mrs. Inglis in 1951 and was established soon thereafter as a guest house for distinguished visitors to the University. Rental properties were recognized as a unit in 1952 to provide an organized management of the many houses, farms, and other rental properties owned by the University; and the parking operations unit was established in 1955 when the University started a parking-permit plan for the first parking structure, completed in 1957, and the many parking lots around the University.

In the middle of 1951, Gilbert L. Lee was promoted from Chief Accountant, Engineering Research Institute, to the Controller's position. In succeeding years, from 1951 through 1966, the Controller's Office was assigned responsibility Page  5for the following operating units: the Internal Audit unit, established in late 1951, the Accounting Office, Insurance, Property Control, Tabulating Service, Cashier, Budget Procedures, Transportation, Parking, Radrick Farms, and other units.

Also in 1951 the Purchasing Department was recognized as a major University-wide function and Walter Bulbick was appointed as Director of Purchasing. Mr. Bulbick was a staff member of the University for forty-five years and was succeeded by Eugene O. Ingram in 1966.

The Internal Audit unit was first headed by Byron Green and later by Harold Bell. After 1966 the name of the unit was changed to University Audits. It is charged with coordinating responsibility for outside auditors — federal, state, and professional — in addition to performing the Internal Audit function. A. B. Hicks headed the unit after 1966.

The Accounting Office was headed by Raymond Garlough, Florence Ehnis, Frederick E. Oliver, and Howard Cottrell until 1966. After that date, the unit was headed by Thomas Mason, James England, and William Krumm.

The Payroll Office, a department of the Accounting Office until 1966 when it was assigned directly to the Controller, was headed by Edna Miller, Caroline Maier, Harlan Mulder, Jack Dalrymple, and Mel Amo.

The Insurance Office was first headed by William G. Miller, who was later succeeded by William F. Ryan.

The Property Control Office was first headed by Floyd Wakefield and later by Lynn Dancer.

The Tabulating Service department was headed in 1951 by Kurt Benjamin, and later by Bruce W. Arden, Kenneth R. Manning, and Thomas Thompson. The department name was changed to the Systems and Data Processing department after it was assigned to the Internal Audit and Management Services unit, and was headed by Harry Q. Wasson and Donald N. Butera. After 1966 the Unit's name was changed to the Data Systems Center, and it was headed by Lyle A. Baack and Page  6Charles Wallace.

The Cashier's Office was headed by Gordon B. Jory, Robert R. Roush, Richard P. Koester, Glenn A. Breitner, Thomas F. Hagarty, Joseph R. Welch, and William Turner.

In 1953 A. B. Hicks was appointed as Business Manager of the Engineering Research Institute and in 1956 was promoted to Assistant Controller and Business Manager of the Engineering Research Institute.

In 1956 Frederick E. Oliver was promoted to Assistant Controller and Chief Accountant.

Harlan J. Mulder, as Assistant Controller from 1957 to 1966, became responsible for budget procedures, transportation, parking, Radrick Farms, and several other units. After 1966 his title was Assistant to the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.

By 1955 the developments in the North Campus area and the Medical Center, the extensive capital outlay programs, and the extension of the campus in the Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County area led to the appointment of John G. McKevitt to the newly-created post of Assistant to the Vice-President for Business and Finance, with particular responsibilities for campus planning, liaison with the state and local governmental units on building programs, utility and highway developments, and relationships with the City of Ann Arbor. In 1965 William Sturgis became assistant to John McKevitt and, when John McKevitt resigned to accept an appointment at Temple University in 1969, the campus planning function was assigned to the new Office of the Vice-President for State Relations and Planning. At that time William Sturgis became Assistant to the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.

In July 1958 Herbert G. Watkins retired as Secretary and Vice-President, after thirty-two years of service to the University. He was replaced by Erich A. Walter as Secretary and Assistant to the President, thus terminating the direct relationship of the Secretary to the Office of the Vice-President for Business and Finance.

Page  7During the years 1956-58 the Flint and Dearborn campuses were started, and business managers were appointed for both of these units, Howard Cottrell for Flint and Robert Beecher for Dearborn. At Flint Robert Roush replaced Howard Cottrell in 1959 and at Dearborn Donald Klaasen replaced Robert Beecher in 1966, to be followed by Richard Schwartz in 1974.

In 1959 the Office of Staff Benefits was established to coordinate the administration of all staff benefit programs, and Howard Cottrell was appointed the first Manager of the Office. He was succeeded by Russell W. Reister in 1961, who was succeeded in 1966 by Donald L. Thiel.

By 1961 the growth in the legal affairs of the University required an additional attorney, particularly for labor and personnel relations, and William P. Lemmer was added to the Attorney's Office as a lawyer specializing in labor affairs. Edmund Cummiskey, the University Attorney since 1947, retired in 1970 to be replaced by Roderick Daane, a practicing lawyer from Detroit, as the University General Counsel. In 1971 the great growth of litigation over student rights, the relationships of individuals to the University, and contractual rights led to the appointment of John Ketelhut to the University legal staff. The growth of hospital and medical legal problems led to the appointment of Carol Stadler in 1972 as a lawyer specializing in health-related legal affairs.

During the tenures in office of Shirley Smith as Vice-President and Secretary and of Robert Briggs as Vice-President in charge of Business and Finance, and for the first ten years of the tenure of Wilbur K. Pierpont, the Executive Secretary for the Office was Ethel Hastings. Upon her death in 1961, after forty-four years of service to the University, Mrs. Hastings was replaced by Helen Meier for a five-year period. In 1966 Dorothy Bell was named as Executive Secretary and held this position until December 31, 1976.

The continuing and enlarging needs for financial and operating analyses of University operations caused the creation in 1961 of the Office of Financial Analysis, with Frederick E. Oliver appointed as first director of the Office. Frederick Oliver continued as Director of this Office until retirement at the end of 1977. He was succeeded Page  8by Sam Plice as Director.

In 1962 James F. Brinkerhoff was employed as the Director of Plant Extension to plan, coordinate, and direct programs for the enlargement, modernization, and rehabilitation of the physical facilities of the University. During the early 1960s a number of other changes took place:

A Gift Receiving Office was established, to provide for the orderly receipt of all gifts to the University, and Donald Thiel was named as the first Manager. Later, when Donald Thiel was named Director of the Staff Benefits Office, Kenneth Copp became Manager of Gift Receiving, succeeded by Sidney Giles, Carol Bradley, and Lucille Doke.

The North Campus Commons was opened in 1965 under the management of Robert West, who was followed by Thomas Beller as Manager in 1969, and in 1971 by Wilma Steketee, who was also Manager of the Michigan League.

The Radrick Farms Golf Course was opened in 1966 under the management of Richard A. McLaughlin. The golf course was constructed on the farm area donated to the University by Regent Frederick Matthaei and provides golf facilities for University faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors.

In 1964 Harold Bell was named as Director of the Office of Management Services, to supervise the Internal Audit department, the Data Processing Department, and relationships with all outside auditors and professional accountants. After Harold Bell resigned to become Comptroller of the University of Chicago in 1966, A. B. Hicks was appointed Director of University Audits, and Donald N. Butera was appointed Director of the Data Processing Department.

In 1966, after fifteen years as University Controller and three months as Vice-President for Business Affairs, Gilbert L. Lee resigned to become Vice-President for Business and Finance at the University of Chicago. Howard Cottrell was appointed Controller to succeed Mr. Lee, and Thomas Mason was appointed Chief Accountant to succeed Howard Cottrell. Samuel J. Plice was appointed as Assistant Controller in 1967 and Joseph Diana was also appointed as Assistant Page  9Controller in 1969.

Following the resignation of Gilbert Lee, and with the continued growth of activities, in 1967 the Office of Business Operations was established and James F. Brinkerhoff was named Director. Responsibilities of this Office included Purchasing, Personnel, Plant Operations, Plant Extension, and Willow Run Airport. At that time John Weidenbach replaced James Brinkerhoff as Director of Plant Extension and Robert Pangburn became Manager of Willow Run Airport.

Frances Shiel, who had been Manager of Service Enterprises since 1951, retired in 1969, after forty-two years of service to the University. With this retirement, many of the service units, Food Service, Laundry, Photographic Services, Binding, and Printing were assigned to Eugene Ingram for responsibility, and the Purchasing Department became the Purchasing and Stores Department. Other units - Parking Operations, Inglis House, Radrick Farms Golf Course, and Martha Cook Dormitory were assigned to Harlan Mulder, the Assistant to the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. Rental Properties became part of University Housing, reporting to the Vice-President for Student Affairs, and the North Campus Commons was assigned to the Office of Business Operations.

In 1969-70, with the advent of more formalized management information systems on the campus, Cloy J. Walter was appointed as Director of Administrative Systems, encompassing the Data Processing Center and the implementation of computer-based management information systems.

During the year, Howard Cottrell resigned as Controller and Chandler Matthews was appointed as Controller.

In the summer months of 1970, a Department of Safety was established, bringing together security affairs, fire protection, the Key Office and aspects of environmental health and safety, and Fredrick E. Davids, former Director, Michigan Department of State Police, accepted the Directorship of the Department in October 1970.

In the fall of 1970, the title of the Director of Business Operations was changed to Associate Vice-President Page  10and Director of Business Operations, to recognize the added responsibilities of the Office. At the same time Donald F. Wendel was appointed Director of Plant Operations.

The continuous changes made necessary by the great growth of the University during the decades of the 1950s and the 1960s came to an end in the early part of the 1970s. Gordon Griffith, after serving the University for thirty-four years, twenty-six of them as the Investment Officer, retired in 1971, and George Elgass was appointed as Investment Officer. Later, in 1977, George Elgass left the position to be followed by Norman Herbert. In 1971, James Brinkerhoff resigned his position as Associate Vice-President to become Vice-President at the University of Minnesota, and John Weidenbach, later named as Director of Physical Properties, assumed responsibility for the units previously reporting to the Associate Vice-President, except for Personnel and Purchasing which reported to the Vice-President. In 1973 Paul Spradlin was appointed as Director of Plant Extension. In 1970 Thomas Mason was promoted to Assistant Controller, and in 1974 was appointed Director of Hospital Business Affairs. James England succeeded him as Chief Accountant in 1970 and William B. Krumm became Chief Accountant in 1971. In 1974 Jack T. Dalrymple was promoted to Assistant to the Controller and Mel Amo succeeded him as Manager of Payrolls. Cloy Walter resigned as Director of Administrative Systems and in 1973 Frederick E. Oliver was appointed as Director of Financial Analysis and Administrative Systems. In 1973 Samuel J. Plice was appointed Director of Administrative Systems Planning and in 1976, Director of Administrative Systems.

Throughout the middle 1970s the organization of the Office of the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer was quite stable and, as contrasted to the organization of the Office in the 1940s, consisted of the listed responsibilities under the following individuals on December 31, 1976:

  • Administrative Data Systems - Samuel Plice
  • Assistant to the Vice-President - Harlan Mulder
  • Assistant to the Vice-President - William Sturgis
  • Controller of Fiscal Operations - Chandler Matthews
  • Financial Analysis - Frederick Oliver
  • University Audits - A. B. Hicks
  • Page  11Investments - George Elgass
  • Personnel - Russell Reister
  • Plant Operations and Extension - John Weidenbach
  • Purchasing and Stores - Eugene Ingram

On December 31, 1976, Wilbur K. Pierpont concluded twenty-five years as Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer to return to teaching in the Graduate School of Business Administration. James F. Brinkerhoff returned from the University of Minnesota to assume the responsibilities of the Office on that date.