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Aug. 16 , 2004
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

Interim President Willis takes office at EMU

YPSILANTI — A new era of leadership begins today at Eastern Michigan University as Dr. Craig Willis officially begins his first day as Interim President.  Dr. Willis was appointed to lead the University during the 2004-2005 academic year.

Dr. Willis plans to spend his first day on the job touring the campus, visiting with students and faculty and contacting EMU constituents.

“I look forward to meeting head-on the challenges that are in front of me, and the opportunity to work closely with our students, faculty and community,” said Willis.  “Now is an excellent time to pull together and begin building a strong and promising future that brings hope, change and pride back into the EMU community. I am committed to restoring confidence and accountability at the University, and I am convinced that with the support of this entire community, we keep to our foremost mission of providing a quality educational experience for our students.”

As part of the new leadership transition at EMU, Dr. Donald Loppnow will continue his leadership role on the executive team, in addition to heading up strategic planning and continuous improvement processes. Loppnow has been working on identifying and recommending approaches to key University issues and will work closely with Interim President Willis to implement strategies for change.

Key tasks Willis will handle include advancing the University’s position in Lansing, defining better internal controls, resolving relationship issues, ensuring high quality educational experiences for all students and successfully completing all collective bargaining agreements.

Prior to his retirement in May 2004, Willis served as president of Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania since 1982.  Previously, he held academic leadership posts at Concord College in West Virginia, Ohio’s Wright State University, Dayton Public Schools and Ohio Wesleyan University.  He earned a Ph.D. in higher education and comparative education from Ohio State University.  As Interim President at EMU, he will serve for a period not to exceed July 31, 2005.

Guidelines for the search process for a permanent president are currently being developed. The process is expected to get fully under way this fall, and will be designed to garner maximum input from across the university community.


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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