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Provost's Update

Sept. 2014

Provost's Message

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing and productive summer. We are looking forward to a very busy and rewarding fall. As we welcome our students back to campus, here are some enrollment highlights:

  • With an enrollment of approximately 2600, we are welcoming the third largest freshman class in the past decade of the university.
  • Approximately 500 freshmen are enrolled in the Honors College this fall. This is a new record, representing a 17% gain over last year’s historic high.
  • Currently our ACT composite is tracking at 22.25, making this freshman class the most academically prepared freshman class in EMU history.

As we look forward to this upcoming academic year, some key initiatives include:

  • continuing to emphasize advancing The Degree Completion and Retention Plan adopted last year. This comprehensive plan emphasizes areas of practice, process and policy that will improve our retention and graduation rates, including targeted programmatic efforts in support of two demographic segments of our student population: Single Parents and Men of Color;
  • rolling out the university's Quality Initiative (QI) – a continuous improvement project – as part of the requirements for Higher Learning Commission (HLC) re-accreditation. The QI focuses on advising quality. Nationally, 40% of college students are not satisfied with the quality of advising on their campus. Recent surveys of our students indicate similar results. However, there is little extant research studying why students are not satisfied with advising quality. The QI will examine this phenomenon and attempt to develop measures of advising quality. The ultimate goal of the QI is to develop metrics to guide improvement in advising processes and practices. This will be seminal work in the area of advising and student success;
  • working to implement the newly funded, faculty-led Global Engagement Center that will be a source of support and resources for the faculty's international activities;
  • implementing the newly configured Office of Research Development and Administration (see later in this communication for more detail);
  • working with University Librarian Tara Fulton on a plan to establish a 24/7 zone within the Halle Library in support of a Student Government priority;
  • completing searches for deans of the Colleges of Education and Technology.

This list is just a sample of our division's priorities for this upcoming year. Additionally, we will be supporting the completion of the university's strategic plan and its implementation.

This year I also have the personal goal to communicate more effectively on division-wide initiatives. This update, issued five times per year, is just one way I hope to do that.

Stay Safe Eagles Finally, safety education remains a priority for everyone on campus. I would like to draw your attention to the “Stay Safe, Eagles!” video that can be linked to from this update. As part of our continuing efforts to increase our students’ safety awareness and education, this video has been created as an important resource. It is short – just 2 ½ minutes long. I would be very grateful if all our instructors, both faculty and lecturers, would please show this video to their students during the first three weeks of the semester. As we all know students often don't check email, so showing this video during class is our best means to make sure they hear these important messages about safety. Many thanks for all your help on behalf of our students and their safety.

Again, thanks for all your support and my best wishes for a very successful semester.

There is much to be proud of at Eastern Michigan University…and great things ahead!

Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.

Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs