Eastern Michigan University EMU HOME
About EMUFuture StudentsCurrent StudentsAcademics & ResearchFaculty & StaffAlumni & FriendsAthletics & RecreationNews & Events

June 16, 2004
CONTACT: Ward Mullens 734.487.4400

President Kirkpatrick Resigns

YPSILANTI – EMU President Samuel A. Kirkpatrick announced today his decision to resign from the presidency effective July 31, 2004. Kirkpatrick, who joined Eastern Michigan May 15, 2000 as the University’s 19th president, said he had accepted a position with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in Washington DC.

Related: President's Report to the Board of Regents, June 15, 2004
Citing a personal and professional commitment he made on arriving to enhance the University’s quality, design and implement a strategic plan, and develop its national visibility as a model for the “new metropolitan university,” Kirkpatrick noted that much had been accomplished over four years.

“All of the elements of institutional success have materialized with great collegial energy,” Kirkpatrick said. “And we have achieved our successes at a rate uncommon for public universities, especially during a time of severely constrained state resources.”

Several key areas of institutional development since 2000 include major transformations in information and communications technology, human resource development, fundraising and alumni affairs, and continuous quality improvement.

Two new doctoral programs, four master’s degree programs and growth in the University’s research profile bolstered its academic areas. New transfer and commuter centers, the design of a new student center, and the expansion of student housing and leadership programs were cited as significant events.

“The area where we have made the most rapid progress is public engagement and outreach. Our academic service learning programs, student volunteerism, and new applied research and service centers have strengthened student learning and improved our communities,” Kirkpatrick said.

In accepting Kirkpatrick’s resignation, Philip A. Incarnati, chair of the Board of Regents, said, “One of the many things that attracted us to Dr. Kirkpatrick during his candidacy for the presidency was his passion and vision for metropolitan universities. It’s not surprising that he would find this opportunity to influence thinking and policy regarding metropolitan universities at the national level very attractive professionally. The University is most appreciative of the many contributions made by the president and his spouse, and we wish them well.”

Under Kirkpatrick’s leadership EMU assumed responsibility for administering the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, an association of 73 higher education institutions committed to civic engagement. He was one of the founders of the Coalition nearly 15 years ago, and currently serves as Chair of the Commission on the Urban Agenda for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). From 1998 to 2000 he chaired an Action Agenda Taskforce for AASCU, which included an emphasis on public engagement. A subsequent taskforce has developed a related project of the “stewardship of place.”

“My commitment to this national movement is deep and abiding,” Kirkpatrick said. “I was pleased to be invited to join the Association as a Senior Fellow in the nation’s capital to continue work on this important area and to pursue related topics on changes in higher education.”

Kirkpatrick was previously President of the University of Texas at San Antonio, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State, and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Texas A and M University. Prior to that he directed a public policy research center and a statewide honors program at the University of Oklahoma.

Kirkpatrick has a PhD and master’s degree in political science from The Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor’s degree and honorary doctorate from Shippensburg University. He has held tenured full professorships at all the universities where he has served.

Kirkpatrick is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, American Humanics, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan and the Washtenaw Development Council, as well as on the Commission on Women of the American Council on Education. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and a variety of civic, research, educational, charitable and cultural organizations.

Incarnati said that the Board will use the next 45 days to identify an interim president who will serve until a new president is selected.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

EMU Home | University Communications Home