President's Report to the Board of Regents

October 19, 2010

Today we are recommending for Board of Regents approval a request for a 5-percent increase in our appropriation from the State of Michigan for fiscal year 2011–2012.

The request highlights Eastern’s leadership among Michigan’s 15 public universities in tuition restraint. In each of the last two years, Eastern’s tuition and fees increases – 3.8 percent and 0 percent – were the lowest of any Michigan university. For the two-year period, the average tuition increase for the other 14 public universities was 10.8 percent, compared to our 3.8 percent. We are hopeful that our leadership role in containing costs will be recognized in the appropriations process, particularly since 90 percent of our students are from Michigan, and 80 percent of our graduates stay in Michigan. An investment in Eastern is an investment in Michigan. FTIAC applications for Fall 2011 are up significantly (3,193 as compared to 1,807 last year) in response to our “0 0 0%” tuition, room and board increase.

We are proposing for Board of Regents approval a significant increase in our financial aid budget for 2011– 2012. This will allow us to continue our efforts to keep higher education affordable to students and families. We are proposing a budget of $33.7 million for financial aid, representing an 11-percent increase. Since the 2007-2008 academic year, Eastern has increased financial aid by more than $12 million, a rise of about 57 percent.

We are recommending for Board of Regents approval a Capital Outlay request to the State of Michigan for fiscal year 2011-2012 that requests funding for the $38 million renovation of Strong Hall, the second piece of the science complex. The renovations would include classrooms, lecture halls, student commons areas and faculty offices – all designed to meet LEED Silver Criteria. This project is currently included in the Senate capital outlay bill.

Approval of this project by the state would add to our unprecedented $195 million, four-year investment in capital spending from fiscal year 2009-2010 to fiscal year 2012-2013. Funding from tuition earmarks in 2005-06 and 2008-09 launched the science complex groundbreaking in November 2008. Eastern borrowed $100 million in May 2009 to fund a capital plan developed in February 2009. The $195 million capital budget has more than 70 percent targeted at academic facilities; 15 percent for building, parking and IT infrastructure; 7 percent for housing facility enhancements; and 8 percent for all other campus facilities including about 3 percent for athletic facilities and enhancements.

September and October have provided many positive highlights at Eastern, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our students, faculty and staff. Among the highlights:

  • Agreement was reached with our second largest labor group, representing 398 Professional/Technical employees. Thanks to the hard work and creative approach
    of the bargaining teams, a three-year contract was approved that includes a 2 percent “shared reward” salary increase for this year, contingent on a formula based on a combination of increased student credit hours and the level of Eastern's annual state appropriation. Because this year's credit hours and level of state funding meet the formula's threshold, the increase will take effect retroactive to July 1, 2010.

    The agreement also includes increases in union members' contributions to health care coverage to address rapidly increasing costs. In year two, employees will receive a 1.5 percent salary increase, plus a possible “shared reward” increase of an additional 1.5percent. In year three, employees will receive a 2 percent salary increase, with a possible “shared reward” increase of an additional 1 percent. In addition, employees will receive a $1,250 increase to their base salary on January 1, 2011 to help offset the additional costs associated with changes in health care plans. This “shared reward” formula will be used in planning non-bargained for employee salary increases as well.

Shared Reward Pay Increase Formula
State appropriation revenue and student credit hours must increase by a weighted average of 1 percent or greater than the prior year. Weighting is 70 percent for student credit hours, 30 percent for state appropriations.
Example if in effect for FY11
(70%/30% weighting based on FY10 revenue mix)




Percent Change


Weighted Percent Change

Student Credit Hours






State Appropriation (thousands)







Under this scenario, a contingent pay increase would be awarded (2.867%>1.0%)
For FY12, the formula would apply to FY11 growth rates vs. FY10; for FY13, FY12 rates vs. FY11

  • For the seventh consecutive year, our College of Business was named among the nation’s “Best 300 Business Schools” in 2011, by the Princeton Review based upon student surveys.
  • Seven of our outstanding faculty will be honored at the 20th Annual Teaching Excellence Awards on Saturday, Oct.30. They include:
    • Ted Ligibel, professor of historic preservation and director of the Historic Preservation Program;
    • Sheila Most, professor of English;
    • Ray Quiel, associate professor of communication, media and theatre arts, and director of EMU's award-winning forensics program;
    • Raymond Rosenfeld, professor of political science and director of internships;
    • Angela L. J. Hwang, professor of accounting;
    • Mary Brake, professor and program coordinator, mechanical engineering technology; and,
    • Denise Pilato, associate professor of technology studies.
  • Best wishes to Bob Neely, associate provost for academic affairs, who was named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Texas Women's University. Bob spent the last 25 years at Eastern and made numerous contributions to our success. He begins his new post in January. Provost and Executive Vice President Jack Kay will announce an internal search process for identifying an interim associate provost, which will be followed by a national search.
  • The campus community has been engaged in several important and challenging discussions in recent weeks related to social issues. On October 7, Provost Jack Kay moderated a forum on hate symbols in the media, which drew the campus together in a robust and spirited discussion of issues relating to race, respect and communication. The panel discussion featured professors Ronald Woods, Marty Shichtman and Mary Ann Watson, along with Kevin Devine, director of student media. The offices of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs and Enrollment Management are planning ongoing discussions. The next forum, titled "Continuing the Dialog: Civility and Respect,” is scheduled tomorrow from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom, and will be moderated by Professor Woods.
  • In light of recent national attention on suicides by LGBT youth, including two college students, the Eastern community banded together to focus on the damaging impact of harassment and bullying. Awareness and inclusion events are underway, including an Anti-Bullying and Harassment SPEAK OUT tonight at the Student Center, followed by a vigil, and campus participation in “Spirit Day” tomorrow, in memory of those bullied and harassed for their sexual orientation. Supporters of this effort are urged to wear purple.
  • The Department of Public Safety recently released its annual crime report for the previous three years. The numbers show that Eastern Michigan is a safe campus. Burglaries have dropped significantly in the past three years from 154 in 2007 to 42
    in 2009. Crimes that occur are swiftly solved with arrests. We have 11,000 subscribers to the RAVE emergency alert text messaging system. And SEEUS, the student group that provides escorts on campus, made more than 16,000 calls in 2009. We all are working to make this the safest campus it can be.
  • Carol Goss, president and chief executive officer of the Skillman Foundation will be our commencement speaker for the December graduation ceremony and is recommended for an honorary doctorate. Carol Goss is an outstanding community leader in southeast Michigan, making an important contribution to the education
    and lives of thousands of young people in Detroit.
  • Gary Olsen, Director of the Senate Fiscal Agency recently spoke on campus about the challenges state revenues and budget forecasts foretell for fiscal year 2011-2012.
  • The University Budget Council will begin meeting one week from today on Tuesday,
    Oct. 26. Budget Council participants have been provided with a work plan/timeline that will result in UBC budget input being developed earlier to be considered in the overall University budget planning process.

In Athletics, our student athletes continue to show great success in the classroom
and on the court or field:

  • Our volleyball team continues to roll with 19 victories against six losses, and is 5 – 2 in the MAC. The team hosted its annual “Dig Pink” match on Saturday, Oct. 16, to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Over the past three seasons, EMU Volleyball
    has raised more than $12,000 for breast cancer research.
  • The women’s soccer team remains undefeated in Mid-American Conference play with only three regular-season games to go before the MAC tournament.
  • Our football team won a thrilling overtime road game on Saturday at Ball State, coming from behind to dominate the second half with a dramatic 41-38 victory. Join us at the next home game against University of Toledo at 4 p.m., October 30.
  • The men’s cross-country team finished first in a field of 16 teams at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 1.
  • The smiling runner crossing the finish line first at the annual Detroit Free Press Marathon on Sunday was Eastern alumnus Jordan Desilets. The 29-year old from Pinckney was a track star at Eastern who graduated in 2004. He finished ahead of more than 19,000 other runners wearing an Eastern jersey.

Iam pleased to announce a major gift to “Invest. Inspire. A campaign for Eastern Michigan University.” Alumnus and former Regent Timothy Dyer is pledging a $1.5 million planned gift for the establishment of the Dr. Timothy J. Dyer Distinguished Interdisciplinary Chair in Forensics/Debate and Human Rights. The Chair would lead in the creation of the Center for the Study and Research of Equality and Human Rights in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Timothy Dyer received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Eastern, before working as a teacher, debate/forensic coach, and school principal. He also was mayor of Ypsilanti from 1968 to 1970, and simultaneously held positions as the superintendent of the Wayne-Westland school district and on the EMU Board of Regents (1973-1983), before he left the state to become superintendent of the nation's largest high school district in Phoenix, Ariz. In1990, Dyer accepted the position of executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, serving in that capacity until 1998.

With today’s announcement, we now have raised more than $36.5 million of our $50 million campaign goal. At this time, I would like to invite Tim to come forward and speak.

Chairman Wilbanks, this concludes my report.

Thank you.

Susan Martin