EMU Board of Regents extends contract of President Susan Martin

Five-year tenure has included growth in facilities, enrollment, academic success and tuition restraint

by Geoff Larcom, Published May 10, 2013

YPSILANTI - Continuing a period of stability and positive momentum at Eastern Michigan University, the EMU Board of Regents has extended the contract of President Susan Martin for an additional two years, from July 8, 2013 through July 7, 2015.  President Martin's contract previously was extended for two years in December 2010.  She assumed office in July 2008.

At the completion of the latest two-year extension, Martin's seven-year tenure would make her the longest serving president at Eastern since William Shelton served 11 years, from 1989-2000.

The extension, approved by the regents at a special meeting May 10, includes an annual salary of $300,000, an increase of 2.7 percent from her current salary of $292,125.  Her original salary at Eastern was $285,000.

Her salary ranks in the middle of presidents at Michigan's 15 public universities, behind the leaders of peer schools such as Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Oakland universities, but ahead of institutions such as Ferris State and Saginaw Valley State.  She remains at the bottom of salary levels of presidents of universities in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). (See the accompanying chart for further details.)

"President Martin has led Eastern during a five-year period of significant growth in enrollment, academic success and major upgrades to campus buildings and the University's infrastructure," said Francine Parker, chair of the Board of Regents.  "As we look ahead we should acknowledge the positive momentum across the University, which can be attributed to not only President Martin, but to Eastern's outstanding faculty, staff and students."

Mike Morris, vice chair of the Board of Regents said, "The Board of Regents is pleased with the leadership President Martin has provided and the stability her leadership has produced.  Eastern Michigan continues day-in and day-out to serve its mission as a place of opportunity, where students from all backgrounds and at various levels of age, academic and professional experience learn to be successful in their chosen careers."

Martin's tenure at Eastern has brought unprecedented five-year growth in facilities and record-setting growth in enrollment.  During this time, Eastern has also led the state in tuition restraint.

"I love Eastern Michigan University and its students. I am honored to serve this great, historic public university in its 164th year and thank the Board of Regents for its support," said President Martin.  "Together, the Eastern family of faculty, staff, students, alumni, community and friends work as a team to lift Eastern up and make it shine."

Major highlights over the past five years include:

Tuition and enrollment

  • A record total of 2,376 students were scheduled to graduate at last month's commencement ceremonies, topping the record of 2,354 set last year. Final graduation totals will be available later this month.
  • Last fall, Eastern had the largest incoming class of undergraduates in the University's history (5,076), the largest freshman class in a decade (2,595), a higher quality and more diverse class, and the largest number of students living on campus (3,761) since 2003. Eastern has successfully reversed a six-year decline in enrollment that started in 2003 and hit its low point in 2008. Since then, Eastern has grown from 21,926 to 23,502 students, an increase of more than 6 percent.
  • Eastern has been a nationally recognized leader in tuition restraint.  Over the past four years, Eastern's average increase of 2.86 percent in tuition has been by far the lowest among the state's 15 public universities.  This includes the "0, 0, 0" tuition, room and board freeze of 2010-2011, in which Eastern was one of a handful of universities around the nation to not increase fees.  Today, students pay only $32 more per credit hour than four years ago.
  • Financial aid at Eastern has grown 78 percent over the last six years, from $21.4 million to $38 million.


  •  Under the leadership of President Martin and Kim Schatzel, provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs, Eastern has restructured its student affairs area to more closely align academic offerings with enrollment, recruitment and retention efforts. Among the new academic offerings is the physician assistant program, approved this year by the Board of Regents and staged to begin admitting students in May 2014, subject to final approval by the accreditation body.
  • A recent Deloitte study concluded that Eastern is training a large percentage of its students for high-demand jobs in today's economy. The study reported that 72 percent of EMU's bachelor's degrees and 70 percent of its master's degrees fall into high-wage high-demand occupational areas.
  • During President Martin's tenure, Eastern has successfully concluded 12 new contracts with labor units across campus - without work interruption or the use of outside counsel.


  • Eastern is completing an unprecedented $210 million, five-year revitalization of the campus. Over the past five years, the University has invested more than $22 million in its residence halls and campus apartments. This includes renovating rooms and common areas; increasing energy efficiency with new windows and heating and cooling systems; and expanding wireless capability.
  • Last fall, Eastern completed Phase II of the Science Complex, a $90 million, self-funded project that provides a crucial element in the University's ability to educate future scientists, researchers and teachers. In February 2011, Eastern opened the new addition to the Science Complex, a dramatic facility that features a suspended, spherical planetarium, state-of-the-art labs and new faculty offices.
  • In the fall of 2011 Eastern reopened its largest and busiest classroom building, Pray-Harrold, after a fast-track, yearlong move-out and complete overhaul that involved significant improvements to classroom facilities, student spaces and faculty offices. The project was a collaboration with the State, which supplied $31.5 million of the $42 million cost.

Safety and security

  •  Eastern has instituted many safety features on campus during President Martin's tenure.  Among these are nearly 500 cameras, an Emergency Mass Notification system, an Emergency Text Messaging system (RAVE), in which everyone on campus is encouraged to enroll; self locking/self closing dorm room doors, foot patrol officers and SEEUS (Student Eyes and Ears for University Safety), which offers night-time escorts on campus for students, faculty and staff.   EMU also hired an additional four dispatchers and created a three-member Crime Response Unit to deal with crimes occurring in a specific area or type of crime.


  • Eastern completed its first comprehensive fundraising campaign a year ahead of schedule. "Invest. Inspire. The Campaign for Eastern Michigan" surpassed its $50 million goal last summer and reached $56 million. The highly successful campaign has set the tone for future efforts to benefit Eastern students.

Public Service

  •  Eastern continues to excel in its community role and as an economic benefactor. A vivid and current example involves Eastern's oversight role in the renovation of Hamilton Crossing, where the University is helping offer life skills training to area residents with the help of a Kresge Foundation grant. The goal is to break the cycle of poverty in that south side Ypsilanti neighborhood.
  • Eastern also instituted the Live Ypsi loan program, which offers forgivable loans of up to $7,500 to faculty and staff who purchase homes in Ypsilanti.

Further details and background about President Martin can be found at http://www.emich.edu/president/




Geoff Larcom



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