President's Report to the Board of Regents

June 21, 2016

Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Board of Regents:

The last several months have provided a series of important actions that will positively impact this wonderful institution and its students, faculty and staff for decades to come.

After seven years as Eastern’s top capital outlay priority, the Michigan Legislature approved our request to completely overhaul and renovate Strong Hall. Eastern expects to receive nearly $30 million in state funding for the $39.5 million project, with Eastern responsible for $9.9 million. Under the state’s capital outlay provisions, the state provides funding for 75 percent of approved projects, with the university responsible for the remaining 25 percent.

State approval of the Strong Hall project marks a monumental moment in Eastern’s history and represents a significant step forward in the University’s deep and continued commitment to educating students in STEM disciplines.  The renovation of Strong Hall will complete the Science Complex project.

A second accomplishment is the 10-year agreement with Chartwells that will transform dining operations across campus. It will bring significant and much needed new capital investment to our dining facilities that will allow us to renovate and remodel dining facilities, introduce new vendors and increase the number of dining spaces on campus.

Importantly, the agreement meets our institutional priorities of retaining all of our valued dining services employees as Eastern Michigan University employees; providing for an equal to greater number of student employment opportunities; and, providing metrics and measures to ensure the continued deliverance of high quality food services. 

We also have great news from the EMU Foundation. It exceeded its fundraising target of $10 million in the beginning of May and we are poised to exceed our highest one-year fundraising ever, $11.5 million, by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Congratulations to all involved, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, deans, faculty and our Foundation staff. We will certainly let everyone know if we do indeed break our all-time record.

We continue to invest in our academic mission -- 30 faculty searches have been authorized for next year with the possibility of considering authorizing an additional five-to-eight searches depending on a review of summer separations. Nine full-time lecturer searches have also been authorized. 

I would like to acknowledge the distinguished service of Dean Tom Venner of the College of Arts and Sciences, who will be stepping down following an eight-year tenure as Dean. He served as head of the Art Department for 10 years prior to his appointment as Dean and received his Master of Fine Arts from Eastern in 1978. Dean Venner will return to the faculty to further pursue his passions for teaching and art.

On a somber note, the former Dean of our EMU College of Business, Dr. Earl H. Potter III, died in an automobile accident last week.  Dr. Potter has been serving as President of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota for the past nine years. Earl was a valued leader and member of the EMU Community during his time as Dean and we regret his untimely death. 

One of our faculty members, Margaret Crouch, professor of philosophy and history, received the Michigan ACE Network’s 2016 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award. Professor Crouch is an outstanding Professor of Philosophy who has continuously promoted women faculty, students and staff in their academic, professional and leadership efforts. She has served as Chair of the Women’s Commission, Chair of the Philosophy Section, Director of the Women’s Studies Program, Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council, Co-Director of General Education Implementation, and Co-Director of the Global Learning Seminar.

Professors Marty Shichtman and Jeff Bernstein recently led “Becoming American: The Jewish Experience” travel program to New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., that was attended by a group of alumni and friends. The successful program mirrors one they conduct with students.

We are pleased to announce two new academic programs, approved earlier at today’s meeting. The Master of Athletics Training degree is consistent with national efforts requiring a more advanced degree in the field. The second is the Special Education Major K-12 Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement. In recent years, there has been an increased need for K-12 educators with this background and preparation.

Outstanding alumni were honored in the 55th annual Alumni Awards in May. All of the award winners are outstanding representatives of Eastern. This year’s recipients include:

  • Drew Minock -- an expert in developing developmentally-appropriate technology in an educational setting;
  • David Behen -- who serves in dual roles for the State of Michigan as director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and Chief Information Officer, where he is responsible for setting the strategic direction and timely delivery of state services in technology and administrative functions of government;
  • Kathy Walsh -- founder and president of Extreme Teaching for Extreme Times, providing research-based professional development aimed at ensuring children meet and exceed proficiencies on state standards and assessments;
  • John Weber – associate professor and associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Newfoundland. For 20 years Dr. Weber has conducted renowned research in the area of neurotrauma.
  • Ingrid Sheldon – Mayor of Ann Arbor from 1993-2000. She remains an active community leader who supports a number of non-profit organizations.

I have been in regular and close contact over the past many weeks with incoming President James Smith. He is very much looking forward to joining Eastern and getting to know all of you – he will begin officially on July 1.

In conclusion, my return to campus over the past six months has been a challenging, rewarding and positive experience. Working with faculty and staff to serve our students is an enjoyable privilege. Together we have accomplished a great deal and I want to thank everyone for your hard work and support. I enthusiastically anticipate my involvement in fundraising as a member of the Board of Trustees of the EMU Foundation and look forward to interacting with you in the future.

Other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this report on the University website.

Thank you, Chairman Morris. 

Donald M. Loppnow
Interim President

Recognition

  • Haley Moraniec, a social work major, won the Outstanding Community Impact award from the Michigan Campus Compact for her work in developing the Swoop’s Student Food Pantry.
  • Junior Rebecca Myers placed first in the annual Bach Festival Young Vocalists Competition in Kalamazoo.
  • Students from EMU competed in the annual Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) elevator pitch competition on April 15 at the SPARK East Small Business Incubator. Student Eugene Pulice placed first in the competition.
  • Glori Avneet Singh, a marketing major and president of the American Marketing Association at Eastern, received a scholarship from the Adcraft Foundation.
  • EMU student Brett Zeuner won a $50,000 federal environmental fellowship to research perception of risk from pollution in public water supplies.
  • Students in the Business Professionals of America Club excelled at a national business skills and leadership competition held in Boston. The 10 students representing Eastern competed against 1,800 students, representing schools from 14 different states at the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference. Matt Leddy took two second places, in Human Resource Management, and Interview Skills.  Kaitlyn Boroniec, Brian Gardner, Tyler Johnson, Monica Jurczyk, Matt Leddy, and Tayler Rodgers all earned top eight finishes in various events.
  • Eastern’s Forensics Team earned a fifth place finish at the National Forensics Association’s championship. Senior Sami White won the national championship in After-Dinner Speaking and reached the quarterfinals in three other competitions. Senior Casey Sabella took sixth place in Extemporaneous Speaking and reached the quarterfinals in one other competition. Juniors Tommy Barker and Jake Dailey, and seniors JuWan Grahamsenior, Rachel Schmidt, and Tristin Taylor also made it to the quarterfinals.
  • Margaret Crouch, professor of philosophy and history, received the Michigan ACE Network’s 2016 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award.
  • Eastern was named one of the Top 50 Best Schools for its extended online master’s degree program in Engineering Management.
  • Students in the Historic Preservation program traveled to Wheeling, West Virginia April 28-May 2 to survey and research properties in the North Wheeling Historic District. Students also participated in fieldwork at the Gov. Charles Croswell House in Adrian from May 23-28. 
  • Eastern’s online master’s program in Human Nutrition was ranked as one of the best programs in the country and one of only two programs in Michigan to be recognized by Affordable Colleges Online.
  • The American Bar Association granted re-approval to the Paralegal Studies program for a period of seven years (2015-2022).
  • Students enrolled in EMU’s Early College Alliance program have a significantly higher four-year graduation rate than other students in Michigan, Washtenaw County and across the state, according to data from the Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Improvement.
  • Five faculty members and one student from Eastern participated in the Regional I-Corps entrepreneurial training program from March 10-April 7, aimed at fast tracking technologies to market and boosting the impact of their research.
  • The 55th Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony was held on Saturday, May 21. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipient was Drew Minock. The Alumni Achievement Award Recipients were David Behen, Kathy Walsh, and John Weber. The Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient was Ingrid Sheldon. The Dr. John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award Recipient was Donald Loppnow.

Events

  • EMU opened its doors for the Graduate Open House June 18 for undergraduate students and working professionals who are interested in exploring graduate degree options.
  • The 2016 Math Facts Challenge was held on May 23. More than 500 southeastern Michigan students from 19 different chart schools in four counties (Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland and Genesee) participated in head-to-head competitions.
  • Local high school students participated in the School of Art Design’s annual “All Day Studio” event with workshops taught by EMU faculty.
  • The department of Physics and Astronomy held an event at the Sherzer Hall Observatory on May 9 to allow viewing of the Mercury Transit, a rare event that typically appears once every decade.
  • Students, faculty, and staff participated in the 2016 Washtenaw County Heart Walk on May 7.
  • Students from EMU’s Arts Management Program attended the Arts Advocacy Day’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. from March 8-15 and met with federal legislators to explain the importance of arts.

Athletic Highlights

  • Baseball (Men): Augie Gallardo and Michael Mioduszewski were named to the MAC All-Tournament Team, and were the first Eagles making the list since 2011.  Brennan Williams was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Baseball Team in District Five by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
  • Baseball (Men): The Eagles made it to the semi-finals of the MAC Conference Tournament for the first time since 2011, before ending their season.
  • Baseball (Men):  The EMU baseball team held an “Honor Our Heroes” game on Saturday, April 30 to recognize and honor all veterans and military personnel.   The team also held a “Star Wars Day” game versus the University of Michigan on Wednesday, May 4.
  • Football (Men): The EMU football team hosted its third annual “Victory Day” on May 26.  At the event, more than 70 cognitively and physically impaired children participated in football-related activities.
  • Golf (Women): The women’s golf team finished fourth at the 2016 MAC Championship. Klara Supejova was named to the All-MAC Conference Second Team. 
  • Golf (Women): Thelma Beck, Karyn Lee Ping, Kelsey Murphy and Lauren Stephens were named to the Academic All-MAC Team.
  • Golf (Men): The men’s golf team finished second at the 2016 MAC Championship. Kyle Rodes garnered a second place finish, the best by an Eagle since 2008, and was named to the All-MAC Tournament Team.  Brett White received the Earl Yestingmeier Sportsman of the Year award, as voted by the players at the tournament.
  • Golf (Men): Kyle Rodes, Nic Ross and Brett White were named to the Academic All-MAC Team.
  • Rowing (Women): The women’s rowing team placed third at the 2016 Colonial Athletic Association Championships on May 15. The top-three finish was the highest in program history.
  • Rowing (Women): The women’s rowing team captured the Chris Swartz Cup on May 1, and won two of three races at the event.
  • Rowing (Women): The women’s rowing team captured its second consecutive Harvey Cup on April 17, and won four of six races at the event.
  • Softball (Women): Myranda Barnes, Abi Clark, Abby Davidson, Aoife Duffy, Haley Hostetler, Mady Hostetler, Michelle Kriegshauser, Abbie Minsker, Brandice Olmos, Angel Schilke, Trisha Trujillo, and Elaine Whitbeck earned Academic All MAC honors. 
  • Softball (Women): Michelle Kriegshauser was named to the All-MAC First Team, Aoife Duffy to the All-MAC Second Team, and Amanda Akles was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.  Kriegshauser was garnered National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region honors.
  • Tennis (Women): Andrea Martinovska, Renu Sharma, Klara Supejova, and Anna Veleva were named to the Academic All-MAC Team. 
  • Track and Field (Women): The women’s track and field team captured its 12th MAC title on May 14. Winning the indoor, outdoor and cross country titles in the same year completes the Triple CrownAlsu Bogdanova, Sofie Gallein, and Jordann McDermitt qualified for the NCAA Championships.
  • Track and Field (Women): Rebekah Branham, Natalie Cizmas, Jessica Harris, Jordann McDermitt, Jasmine Jones, and Morgan Yeadon earned First-Team All MAC honors.
  • Track and Field (Women): Danielle Bentzley, Ellie Braidic, Rebekah Branham, Maya Carter, Natalie Cizmas, Dace Dreimane, Sofie Gallein, Amy Frauhammer, Claire Mesa, Aaliyah McKinney, Megan Pendleton, Janina Pollatz, Rebecca Quaintance, and Natalie Uhy earned Academic All-MAC honors.
  • Track and Field (Women): The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America named Head Coach Sue Parks Great Lakes Region Women’s Coach of the Year, for the second time in her career.
  • Track and Field (Men): Solomon Simmons finished sixth in the decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and set a program record.
  • Track and Field (Men): The men’s track and field team finished second at the 2016 MAC ChampionshipSolomon Simmons and Willy Fink qualified for the NCAA Championships.
  • Track and Field (Men): Tyler Brown, Willy Fink, Nick Raymond, Solomon Simons, and Derek Ziegenfuss earned First-Team All MAC honors. Mason Waynes, Matthew Williams, and Keither Williams earned Second-Team All MAC honors.
  • Track and Field (Men): Kevin Bouchard, Scott Bradley, Jeff Elam, Willy Fink, John Knox, Mitch Lenneman, Quinn Levering, Zach Purcilly, Nick Raymond, Solomon Simmons, Mason Waynes, Keith Williams and Matthew Williams earned Academic All-MAC honors.
  • Track and Field (Men): Willy Fink was named to the Academic All-District First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America, for the second consecutive season.
  • Wrestling (Men): The men’s wrestling team finished with the 10th highest GPA in the nation, according to the National Wrestling Coaches AssociationNicholas Barber earned All-Academic honors and qualified for the NCAA tournament.
  • Andrew Henry and Julia Lombardi received the Medal of Excellence award on June 1 for exhibiting excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and service.
  • All 21 sports teams posted multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR) of 940 or above for 2014-15.  The women’s golf and volleyball teams posted a perfect 1000 single-year rate.  The women’s golf, women’s swimming & diving, and volleyball programs posted the highest scores in the MAC.
  • The women’s athletic program turned in a runner-up showing in the race for the Jacoby Trophy, and the men’s athletic program finished fourth in the battle for the Reese Trophy.
  • The men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs have received a $5,000 challenge gift from The Arm of Honor Alumni Association to support participation by six men and two women athletes at the Olympic Trials in late June.
  • Former EMU running back Darius Jackson was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on April 30.