Fred Lazarus did great things for the city, greatly increasing the size and footprint of MICA, a development which directly led to the development of Station North as an arts district. But when he prepared to retire at the end of this past school year, MICA went overboard, fetishizing Lazarus’ bowtie and his name (“Fred” fests and days and prizes abounded). We compared the effort to Stalinist era Soviet propaganda. We weren’t, it should be said, comparing Lazarus to Stalin, but the university strayed dangerously close to encouraging a cult of personality whose very purpose is to obliterate rational thought that is the raison de’etre of a university. And the graduating students were entirely overshadowed by the giant that Fred became. He seems like a pretty modest guy, so we can only imagine that the glowing bowties and the expensive postage stamps embarrassed him, so he is probably as glad as us that MICA has gone back to arts education.