President's Report to the Board of Regents
October 1, 2013
Eastern Michigan is the fastest growing public university in the state of Michigan for new freshmen over the last three years.
Our fall 2013 freshman class of 2,872 surpasses Eastern's previous all-time record of 2,854, set in 1999, and represents an increase of 43 percent or 864 students over the last three years.
For the second consecutive year, Eastern is also welcoming its largest ever overall class of new undergraduates, with a total of 5,210 new students. This total includes first-time freshmen, transfer students, students pursuing a second degree and other types of new undergraduate students – and surpasses last year's record class of new undergraduates of 5,076 students.
Our dramatic growth in enrollment, in which we are bucking state and national trends in declining freshman enrollment, demonstrates Eastern's continued commitment to keeping costs down while increasing financial aid, hiring new faculty and investing wisely in key academic and student facilities.
As part of our overall strategy, today we are recommending for Board of Regents approval a 2014-2015 financial aid budget of $43.8 million, representing an 11 percent increase over this year's budget of $39.2 million and a 100 percent increase from seven years ago.
In addition to record numbers, this year's incoming freshman class is better prepared academically. The average GPA of incoming freshmen is 3.24, up from 3.18 in 2012, and 3.11 in 2011. Average ACT scores are also climbing. This year's freshman class has an average ACT score of 22, up from 21.4 last year and 21.1 in 2011.
The University's Honors College program, which accepts students entering with at least a 25 ACT score and 3.5 high school GPA, has nearly doubled in freshman enrollment since 2011. The University has admitted its largest honors freshman class ever, and has about 1,200 students in the overall honors program. We are excited to introduce our new group of Presidential Scholars in just a few minutes.
Increased enrollment also means more students living on campus. This fall, Eastern Michigan is housing more than 3,900 on-campus students, up from 3,240 in 2010 and representing the most students living on-campus since 2003.
Not only are more students enrolling at Eastern, more are graduating as well. A record number of 2,376 students graduated last spring, an increase of more than 27 percent since 2007.
Eastern students come from 79 Michigan counties, all 50 states and 71 different countries.
As we grow, we remain focused on our primary mission, which is to offer students an outstanding, connected academic experience that prepares them for today's competitive job market.
The University's strategic planning process is moving to completion. Forums will be conducted to provide opportunities for campus input. The Mission, Vision, Values were adopted in June by the Board of Regents. Work is currently underway on four strategic themes: Student Engagement and Success, High Performing Academic Programs and Quality Research, Institutional Effectiveness, and Service and Engagement. Goals, objectives, initiatives and measurements in each area are being developed.
I am pleased to introduce our new Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Heather Lyke. Heather began here in late July and hit the ground running from day one. She is committed to the success of our student-athletes in the classroom and on the field, and engagement with the campus and greater community.
Also, please welcome our new Women's Softball Coach Melissa Gentile.
We are engaged in national searches for a Vice President of University Human Resources and also an Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Eastern is committed to a high level of service for employees and students.
The Student Government Gateway Scholarship was established earlier this year to provide undocumented students who are Michigan residents with an opportunity to bridge the cost difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Donors can contribute to the fund through the EMU Foundation. It is available to undocumented students who provide proof of Michigan residency for the last two years; complete the admissions process through the Office of Admissions; maintain satisfactory academic progress; enroll in a minimum of 30 credit hours per academic year; and demonstrate financial need.
Many other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this Report, which is available on the University's website. Thank you, Chair Parker.
- EMU senior Megan Lepkowski recently won the silver medal at the Nation's Cup in Logrono, Spain with her Theater on Ice team. Shortly after, Lepkowski and her team won the gold medal at the U.S. Figure Skating national Theatre on Ice Competition.
- Eastern Michigan University's student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management earned a Superior Merit Award from the national organization. The chapter was also awarded an Outstanding Student Chapter Award and designated as one of the top 10 chapters in the country.
- Eastern Michigan University was rated number one in the state of Michigan for its ROTC programs for future service members according to The College Database, a provider of educational information for students and parents across the country. The database ranked Eastern Michigan first based on affordability and its ROTC programs for Army, Navy and Air Force.
- Eastern Michigan University was named one of the "Best in the Midwest" for the 11th consecutive year by The Princeton Review. EMU was cited for its excellent academic programs. Only 155 of 530 Midwest colleges receive the "best" designation.
- SASHÉ, LLC (Sisters Achieving Success, Harmony & Empowerment) announced that Eastern is one of the companies selected for the "Great Companies for Women" awards.
- Eastern Michigan University received honorable mention in the 2013 Construction & Design Award category for the Science Complex HVAC Engineered System Design at the Engineering Society of Detroit's annual dinner.
- Eastern's Division of Communications won two awards from the Detroit Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). EMU was recognized with Merit Awards for its "Study on the Slopes" and "I AM TRUEMU" marketing campaigns.
- David Duggar, director of Early College Alliance, was honored with the David A. Skiven Leadership Award by the Engineering Society of Detroit. He was chosen for his service and contributions to both the engineering society and the STEM Symposium.
- Gary Koppleman, an EMU alumnus, has been honored by Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association with the 2013 Shell Science Teaching Award for the positive impact he has had on his students, school and community through exemplary classroom science teaching.
Gifts & Grants:
- General Motors granted Project Lead the Way programs in Michigan, including a $300,000 three-year renewable commitment for EMU. The grant will go toward STEM education in Michigan.
- More than $40,000 was raised during the Dr. John A. Weeks Scholarship Golf Outing held on Sept. 11 at Eagle Crest Golf Course. The annual event, hosted by the EMU Construction Management Alumni Chapter, supports the scholarship that enables outstanding students to receive a first-class construction management education at Eastern.
- The second Greg O'Dell Golf Outing was held Sept. 20 at Eagle Crest Golf Club. Preliminary numbers indicate $30,000 was raised toward the three-year goal of $100,000 to endow the O'Dell Scholarship Fund for Criminal Justice Students. The first recipient of this scholarship attended and spoke during the program.
- Hitomi Oketani of World Languages has received two awards to advance learning, teaching and speaking of the Japanese language in southeastern Michigan. The Michigan Japanese Bilingual Education Foundation awarded her a $12,900 grant while the Japanese-American School of Southeast Michigan awarded her a $9,776 grant.
- Digital Inclusion, a computer refurbishment, technical training program and social enterprise operated by Eastern Michigan University, won a $15,000 prize in the inaugural Social Entrepreneurship Challenge launched by Michigan Corps.
- English Professor Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Andrew-Vaughan, an English teacher at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, recently won a $12,000 National Writing Project award from the U.S. Department of Education. The new seven-month project will allow a three-part, online learning experience to introduce teachers to Fleischer and Andrew-Vaughan's 2009 book, Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone: Helping Students Navigate Unfamiliar Genres.
- The Eastern Michigan University basketball teams will head "Back to Bowen" for three games this upcoming season. The men's basketball team will host Concordia University on Nov. 12 and Robert Morris University on Nov. 14. An alumni game will also be held on Nov. 14. The women's basketball team will host Butler University on Nov. 13.
- The first annual EMU Professional Development Business Conference was held at the College of Business on Thursday, Sept. 19. Paul W. Smith of WJR Radio was on hand, broadcasting live. More than 1,800 students attended the event and more than 40 alumni were at the event to present workshops. A networking event in the evening was held for more than 400 current graduate students and alumni.
- Homecoming Week, Sept. 16-22, was a great success. Events included the annual "donut drop" across campus on Monday; the CMTA Department's celebration of its 50th birthday celebration on Tuesday; "green and white day," the T-shirt exchange and the campus picnic on Wednesday; a TruEMU Block Party and pep rally on Thursday; a Homecoming cook-off event by Dining Services on Friday; the Golden Years Brunch at University House and many tailgates prior to the game on Saturday; and, Oozeball on Sunday.
- EMU hosted an international soccer tournament on Sept. 14 at the Indoor Practice Facility to promote friendship among eight nations (Germany, Iraq, Spain, Syria, Turkey, UK, USA and Yemen). The annual all day event, co-organized by the Consular Corps of Michigan, EMU Athletics and EMU World Languages, is one of many international events at EMU that highlight the 40 nations of the Consular Corps who sponsor EMU student internships.
- The Eastern campus community commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a Dream" speech on Wednesday, Aug. 28.
- Eastern hosted the National Junior Olympic Games' track and field events, July 27 – Aug. 3 at Rynearson Stadium. More than 12,000 youth participated in the world's largest track and field event of its kind.
- Detroit Tigers fans from EMU hit a homerun by raising $2,600 for SOS Community Services. More than 500 supporters turned out for TRUEMU Day at Comerica Park on July 10.
- The new physician assistant program at EMU was recently awarded its provisional accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Eastern's 24-month program is scheduled to start in May 2014.
- Extensive renovations at Best Residence Hall highlighted another active summer of construction at EMU. The $2.28 million Best Hall project included an array of renovations aimed at improving students' living and learning experiences.
- Women's Cross Country: the women's cross country team received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for exceptional work in the classroom as part of the NCAA's Academic Performance Program.
- Men's Golf: Jordan Young, the assistant men's golf coach, has been named the 2013 recipient of the PGA Player Development award for his drive to coach and teach.
- Women's Golf: Alyssa Kwon, Corey Crossan, Meredith Fairbairn and Karyn Lee Ping were among 644 women golfers in Divisions I, II, and III who were nominated to the All-American Scholar Team by the WGCA.
- Gymnastics: 12 EMU gymnasts were named to the Academic All-American team by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches. The athletes are: Brittany Cassar, Shawna Ciaramella, Camille Cicchini, Kimberly Ebeyer, Amanda Fuller, Khadijah Hudson, Kristina Kurkmilis, Alexandra Lekson, Erica Mahan, Paulina Miller, Nikki Paterson and Anna Willette.
- Soccer: the soccer team recognized Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day during their match against Indiana. At halftime, the team presented a plaque and flowers to the Kaim family. Cheryl Kaim, mother of current player Allison and former player Julie Kaim, passed away in 2011 fighting ovarian cancer. Cheryl was not only a mother to her girls, but to the entire EMU soccer team. The Eagles honored her and the rest of those affected by ovarian cancer by raising more than $5,000 for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
- Swimming & Diving: both the men's and women's swim and dive teams at EMU were given the Team Scholar All-American Award. Three athletes, Andrew Henry, Briana Emig and Danielle Hulvey, have been named to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America's NCAA Division I Scholar All-American Teams.
- Swimming & Diving (Women's): Kelly Hendricks earned the Diving Career Improvement Award in the 2012-13 issue of Profiles in Excellence, released by CollegeSwimmingAwards.com.
- Track & Field (Women's): Alysha Newman took fifth place in pole vaulting in the Jeux de la Francophonie games in France with Team Canada. Heather Hamilton took third place in the same competition. Newman took the title for pole vaulting at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in August.
- Tennis: Ankita Bhatia, Nino Mebuke and Klara Supejova have been named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Scholar Athlete list for the 2012-13 season.
- Volleyball: the volleyball team received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for exceptional work in the classroom as part of the NCAA's Academic Performance Program.