by Geoff Larcom, Published March 02, 2010
Ypsilanti - Eastern Michigan University understands the state’s financial struggles and is doing its part in holding down costs while remaining a diverse and welcoming place for students, President Susan Martin said this week in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education.
Martin highlighted a variety of actions that illustrate Eastern’s recent efforts on behalf of its students. Those include:
* A tuition increase of 3.8 percent, lowest among the state’s 15 public universities.
* Forty two faculty searches are under way.
* Continuing work on Eastern’s self-funded, $90-million Science Complex, the largest construction project in the University’s history. Renovations also will begin this spring on the Pray-Harrold classroom building, which services about 10,000 students daily. A complete, temporary move-out will save $3 million in construction costs and a year in construction time in the $42-million project.
Martin said she appreciated Governor Jennifer Granholm’s recent recommendation to keep higher education funding at present levels in next year’s state budget.
“Exciting as it is, this activity at Eastern occurs against a backdrop of financial responsibility and accountability,” Martin told the senators. “We will continue to strive to keep costs down for students and to set an example for the rest of the state. I urge you to preserve this year’s levels of higher education funding, and I hope we’ve made it clear we’re doing our part to reach out to Michigan citizens with an affordable, accessible education. Access, affordability and diversity matter.”
Martin noted that Eastern is uniquely positioned to reach out and serve the 321,000 young adults in the Detroit metropolitan area between the ages of 25-34 who have some college experience but no degree.
“Eastern considers itself a school of opportunity, where students who did not think they could complete college realize their potential and achieve a degree,” Martin said.
A text of the testimony submitted to the subcommittee can be found at http://www.emich.edu/president/communications/030110senate.html