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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – As bipartisanship continues to be one of the driving forces behind getting key legislation pushed through and passed, P.A. Mack set a precedent in the late 1970s when he served under both Democratic and Republican administrations at a time when credit unions were coming into their own. The former NCUA vice chairman was instrumental in helping Congress establish the central liquidity fund and opening the door for credit unions to expand their fields of membership, a feat that continues to make far reaching strides, Mack said. “We had an inkling of how the issues then would impact credit unions more than 20 years later,” Mack recalled. “But it wasn’t an overnight process to get the influence we needed to compete.” Today, the Chicago native remains active in higher education endeavors, working closely with his alma mater, Indiana University. Mack earned an M.B.A. in management and finance there and a B.S. degree in agriculture at Purdue University. You can catch the Hoosier aficionado at most of IU’s football, basketball and soccer games when he’s not bicycling, golfing or attending cultural events. Mack, 72, currently serves as a board member of the Indiana Commission of Higher of Education, a position appointed by Gov. Frank O’Bannon and a post he previously held in 1991. The IU alum also served as a trustee from 1991 to 1998, of which he chaired the university-wide Joint Commission on Learning. This initiative focused on the role of teaching and research in promoting student achievement and on ways to support continuous faculty and program development. He is a co-creator of the Teaching Excellence Recognition Awards, which provides funding for exemplary IU faculty, and has served on the dean’s advisory council of the IU Kelley School of Business. For his unyielding commitment to education, an award that recognizes exemplary contributions to university teaching was named in his honor — The P.A. Mack Award for Distinguished Service to Teaching. The honor is presented annually by the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), a program that recognizes outstanding teaching at the eight IU campuses and provides a forum for exchange of ideas about teaching and learning there. “P.A. Mack has made the promotion and support of teaching his mission and the focus of his public service,” said Professor Eileen Bender, FACET’s founder. “He is not only a worthy recipient of this award, but he has set the standard for future winners.” His wife Marian of 43 years, who passed away in December 2001, also shared Mack’s zeal. “As a former teacher, Marian had a deep interest in education, and as a public servant, I was interested in recognizing and advancing excellence in teaching and research about it,” Mack recalled. So, he and others considered it a “natural progression” to have a permanent addition – the Marian & P.A. Mack Endowment for Scholarship and Teaching Excellence – to continue the pursuit. When the new endowment was announced at a faculty gathering last summer, Susan Moffett, a professor of fine arts and David Malik, a professor of chemistry at IU, both “leapt to their feet” to pledge $1,000 each. They were instantly followed by others who pledged from $500 to $1,000. By the end of the meeting, over $20,000 in additional funds were pledged. Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh has been instrumental in helping to fund the endowment, Mack said. Mack served as Bayh’s administrative assistant and chief of staff from 1971 to 1979. At Marian’s memorial service, Bayh and a host of friends and colleagues attested to her love of teaching and her passion for learning, a passion Mack shared with her since they met in 1956. Mack will be attending the Indiana University Foundation’s meeting in Naples, Fla. on Feb. 8 to witness the charter enactment for the endowment. He’s been described as “multi-faceted” by many who know him and it’s a description that the father of two, grandfather of five chuckles at. “It’s a choice,” Mack laughed. “I choose to be active.” Indeed, shortly after earning his M.B.A., Mack worked as a mill manager for the Quaker Oats Company before serving in executive roles at several Illinois banks. He even found the time between those career changes to don a cowboy role and wrangle horses in Colorado for a year. Prior to his NCUA appointment, Mack also owned and managed Mack Farms in Delavan, Ill. When he moved to the D.C. area, he hired a manager to oversee the corn and soybean farm, which has been in the family for generations. His wife also has farmland in Iowa. The Indiana Credit Union board member still stays in tune with the movement. He looks forward to attending CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference mostly to see his good friend Ed Callahan receive the Herb Wegner Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s also planning to attend an upcoming credit union education conference. Nearly 25 years ago, Congress expanded NCUA’s board makeup from one to three and Mack became vice chairman, appointed by Pres. Jimmy Carter. In 1984, he was re-appointed by Pres. Ronald Reagan serving for two years before accepting “an opportunity he couldn’t pass up” as president of the American Association of Retired Persons. Before leaving credit union land, Mack recalls despite the high inflation of the 1980s, credit unions were faring better than most financial entities in spite of what he calls an “over-regulated” environment. “Regulation covered the industry waterfront,” Mack recalled. “We went through an active period of deregulation.” Indeed, credit unions are reaping the benefits of a cleaner regulative playing field thanks to Mack and others, said John McKenize, president of the Indiana Credit Union League. “That was a crucial time for the entire movement and the vision that the (NCUA) board provided set the pace,” McKenzie said. “P.A. has the unique ability to communicate the credit union differences to Congress because of his genuine belief in them and his wealth of experience. He continues to be one our leaders in getting the message out.” His eight-year term as vice chairman at NCUA saw the agency strongly advocating capitalization of the fledgling insurance fund and navigating the growing issue of select employee groups. As today, opponents cried foul over credit unions wanting to have more access. He also recalls how vocal credit union lobbying groups were then. “There were very strong grassroots groups that had just as much pull as (groups representing) medical doctors and anti-abortion groups,” Mack said. He currently serves as chairman on Indiana University Employees Credit Union’s (IUECU) board, an alliance that brings his wealth of industry experience and higher education ties full circle. “As an NCUA Board member, he was integrally involved in some of the changes that continue to benefit not only our credit union but credit unions across the country,” said Nan Morrow, IUECU’s vice president of marketing. “With the university as our sponsor, we have the interests of their employees, students and the university community as a primary concern. P.A. adds his knowledge of, involvement and commitment to credit unions, to complement the IU Credit Union Board of Directors.” Outside of the university community, Mack also serves on the board of directors of Clarian Health – a network that includes Indiana University Hospital – and on the board of directors of the IU Foundation. At 72 years young, he has an office on IU’s campus and is invigorated by the enthusiasm of young people, professors and the quest for teaching excellence. “It’s a big, public university known for their research, but many students have gone on to successful careers because of the professors here,” Mack. “It may sound clich, but it’s like a second home.” -

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