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June 17, 2008
CONTACT: Krystin Jarrell
kjarrell@emich.edu 734.487.4400

EMU Board of Regents grants emeritus status to five faculty and one staff member

YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents granted emeritus status to five former faculty and one staff member at its regular meeting June 17.

To be awarded emeritus status, faculty must have served EMU for at least 15 years and be nominated for emeritus faculty status upon retirement. Staff members also must have served for 15 years.

The faculty members granted emeritus status are:

John Sanford Dugan, professor of foreign language and bilingual studies, retired after 33 years of service. Stanford received his doctorate from Washington State University, his master’s degree from John Hopkins University and his bachelor’s degree from Yale University.

Dugan, of Ann Arbor, was among the first members of the faculty to adopt technology as it was introduced into the University and supported the efforts of his colleagues to adopt it, according to one of his nominators. He consistently provided a steady, reasoned voice on departmental issues and was tireless in his efforts to help the department and the French section. He worked for the Canadian Studies Program and the Honors College, as well as other university committees. Stanford has continued to publish and present at professional conferences. He recently served on the Planning Committee of the State Professional Organization and the Michigan World Languages Association.

Hugh McSurely, professor of marketing, retired after 27 years of service. McSurely received both his doctorate and MBA from Syracuse University; and bachelor’s degrees from Columbia University and Columbia College.

McSurely, of Canton, is most recognized for his teaching and reaching out to students, according to his nominators. He was the program coordinator for the College of Business’s supply chain management program at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He was instrumental in launching the supply chain management graduate certificate program in the College of Business. For the past three years, he has served as the director of the program. McSurely received the College of Business’s Distinguished Service Award in 2007. He is known by his colleagues as a “voice of reason,” said one of his nominators.

Gary B. McCombs, associate professor of accounting and finance, provided 26 years of service to EMU. McCombs, of Canton, received his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. He also completed 18 hours of post-master work at the University of Michigan.

McCombs died unexpectedly in his sleep from a heart attack April 20. Donations of more than $4,000 came in to the “Great Teachers in Accounting Endowed Scholarship Fund” at the EMU Foundation, in memory of McCombs. During his time at EMU, McCombs designed the BBA-Accounting Information Systems program with Mo Sharifi, now an EMU emeritus faculty member. The first student graduated from the program in 1986. Since then, almost 300 students have earned this degree. With Sharifi and Tom Cianciolo, another emeritus faculty member, McCombs also created the 150-hour combined BBA/MSA program, with the first graduates in 2001. To date, 150 students have graduated from the program, earning both a BBA and MSA.

Janet Kauffman, professor of English language and literature, retired after 20 years of service. Kauffman, of Hudson, received her doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and her bachelor’s degree from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.

Kauffman has significantly contributed to shaping the undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing, helping to establish a national reputation for both, said one of her nominators. She has maintained an impressive publication record with 10 books of fiction and multiple works of mixed media and short stories. She has made Eastern more visible through her many awards, including a national Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, Yaddo residency and more. Kauffman has received two Pushcart Prizes for short story and poetry, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

James Adolph Robinson, professor of communication and theatre arts, retired after 20 years of service. Robinson, of Farmington Hills, received his doctorate from the University of Michigan, his master’s degree from Wayne State University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit.

Robinson devoted his professional career to the study of communication, specifically the impact or influence of race in the communication exchange. He designed and implemented “CTAC 275: Interracial/Interethnic Communication.” The course has been very successful and a critical addition to the communication program, said one of his nominators. He also developed the graduate course, “CTAC 511: Reading in Interracial/Interethnic Communication.” Robinson is a strong advocate for race relations, communityrelations and intercultural awareness.

The staff member granted emeritus status is:

J. Michael Erwin, interim associate vice president of the Division of Student Affairs, retired after 23 years of service. Erwin, of Chelsea, received his doctorate from the University of Michigan, and his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

During his time at EMU, Erwin also was a corporate relations specialist, assistant director of corporate relations and director of career services. Erwin’s willingness to help in any area he was needed resulted in his serving on many university committees, said one of his nominators. These included the University Strategic Planning Committee, North Central Accreditation Steering Committee, Faculty/Staff Campaign, Institutional Research Advisory Committee, University Technology Advisory Committee, the Banner Implementation Steering Committee, and more. In 1997, he received the Gold Medallion Award for administrative/professional employee. Erwin also made time for community involvement with United Way, HelpSource in Ann Arbor, Options Center, Inc., and the American Cancer Society. Erwin has always had a true sense of EMU’s academic mission and how staff offices need to operate to support that mission, according to his nomination.


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.

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