President's Report to the Board of Regents

February 21, 2012

As we celebrate the past and embrace the future, I urge you to look around you, to walk the campus, tour our buildings and see what we have done together as a team in the past few years to build the future of Eastern Michigan University.

The Board of Regents, the President and leadership team and the campus community – faculty, students, staff and alumni – have worked together to effect CHANGE.  Ypsilanti residents tell me the campus has never looked more beautiful, and I believe it is true. 

Look at the signage, look at the perennial flowers and grounds, look at the beauty and history of Eastern in its 162nd year.  At Eastern, our community worked together to move everyone out of Pray-Harrold into other spaces and back in 16 months to start Fall 2011 in a beautiful, renovated building.  Additionally, a new splash of color on the walls in the Porter building creates an environment where students are energized and poised for learning and growing. 

So I hope you will consider joining us at “EMU Day in Lansing” on March 20 and tell Lansing this story and why lawmakers there should fund Strong Hall to finish the Science Complex.  Come to the women’s basketball game tonight at 7 p.m. – wear pink and get in free – and celebrate the players’ success and support them against Toledo.  If they win, they have a good choice of advancing to the second seed in the upcoming MAC tournament. 

We are an Eastern family, a community that can understand and work with change. Now we need to embrace change in these challenging budget times.  We need to work together to serve our students and continue the momentum to make our campus community and over 140,000 alumni (over 100,000 in Michigan alone) wear the block E with pride.  If you are a Normalite, a Huron, or an Eagle, please join together under the block E and celebrate the past and embrace the bright future at Eastern.  As we approach the successful end of our capital campaign, exceeding the $50 million goal, we certainly will depend on your continued generous support of this fine institution. 

I want to note two internal organizational changes that were announced recently to better align University resources with our future.  First, the Enrollment Management area is now in Academic Affairs.  This will provide single oversight for the continuum of operations focused on student success – from admissions, to financial aid, to academic support, to graduation – all in a single area and reporting to the Provost.

This change creates accountability for the Provost to lead and produce enrollment results; working with the faculty and staff together to help our students navigate through Eastern with the goal of walking across the stage confirming their earned degree, with their friends and family cheering them on in the Convocation Center!  College graduates, on average, earn $1 million more across their lifetime.  We need these graduates to stay in Michigan, buy a home, raise a family, and secure success.  Eastern will lead students into their bright future!

Second, Alumni Relations is joining the Division of Communications, and we are planning a relocation of the alumni relations office into historic McKenny Hall.  This will create an open door for our alumni to revisit campus, celebrate their past and become involved in events sponsored by their college.  The move also enables our staff in Alumni Relations to draw upon the strengths of our Communications Division. 

And some terrific news:  Eastern Michigan University's student-athletes turned in a record-setting performance in the classroom in Fall 2011.  The cumulative GPA for all student-athletes was the highest ever, at 3.162. Twenty student-athletes posted a 4.0 GPA while 323, or 64 percent, of the student-athletes posted 3.0 or better.

So please recognize Erin Burdis, Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Support Services; Ann Pierson, Student-Athlete Support Services Program Specialist; Garrett Hotchkiss, Assistant Academic Program Specialist; and Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Melody Reifel Werner for their roles in these outstanding academic efforts.

I am also pleased to acknowledge Professor Heather Neff, Director of the McNair Scholars Program.  Heather is a faculty member dedicated to helping her students succeed at Eastern. Her latest book is on sale in the bookstore, the title is Leila.   

The full President’s Report, with additional information, is available on the University’s website.

Thank you, Chairman Wilbanks. 

Susan Martin


  • EMU's academic programs have recently been nationally recognized.  US News and World Report publications ranked EMU's Occupational Therapy program #52 in the nation; Social Work, #128; and Clinical Psychology, #131. In the top online business school ranking, EMU is ranked #41 in student engagement and accreditation, and the online BBA program is ranked #90 in student services and technology.
  • EMU graduate student Pamela Christian was selected as a class of 2012 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). The PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. It was created by Executive Order more than three decades ago, and recently revised by President Obama, to develop a cadre of potential government leaders. Last year, more than 9,100 graduate students from across the nation applied for the fellowship and only 850 achieved Finalist status.
  • The EMU Mock Trial Teams placed 3rd and 5th in the Great Lakes Mock Trial Invitational Tournament.  EMU students Emily Gillingham, Christopher Knight, and Daniel Routley of EMU won "Outstanding Attorney" awards; Emily Gillingham and Steven Hurbis won "Outstanding Witness" awards.
  • Ann Blakeslee (English Language and Literature) has been awarded the Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research in Technical Communication, the top international research award in the field of technical writing.  Dr. Blakeslee won the Fellow Award from the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing last year, and is the only person to have ever won both awards.
  • Donald Bennion, Department Chair of Teacher Education, received the Academic Assessment Director Mentorship Award.
  • Dr. Howard Cass completed his recording of two of his musical works, Mother Night and Breakfast of Champions, with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.  The musical works were based on the writings of Kurt Vonnegut and were narrated by him before his death in anticipation of future recording.  The works have been performed several times with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.
  • Last week the College of Business published its first refereed journal in the history of the college. The inaugural issue of "Global Advances in Business Communication" was published online with our partners, the University of Antwerp and the Technological University of Malaysia. David Victor, Professor of Management, is the editor and is responsible for this significant event. The journal will continue to be published on an annual basis.
  • WEMU won three awards in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters broadcast excellence awards program.  The winning entries were for WEMU Local Music Programs; Promoting WEMU News, Jazz, and Blues; and, for last fall's news special, 9/11:  A Community Looks Back.


  • Ethos Week in our College of Business will take place March 12-16.  The week-long event promotes business ethics and is the first of its kind offered by any business school in the nation.
  • This year's Diversity Career Fair, sponsored by the University Advising & Career Development Center, attracted more than 40 employers (including Compuware, Quicken, State of Michigan Civil Service, and Dow Corning) and more than 275 candidates for full-time, permanent positions as well as internship opportunities.
  • The Women's Resource Center (WRC) sponsored four very successful events in January in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Events included a Human Trafficking Awareness Panel and three film screenings:  Very Young Girls, a Showtime expose about prostitution in New York City; Miss Representation, a documentary that discusses how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America; and Sex + Money:  A National Search for Human Worth, a documentary about domestic minor sex trafficking and the modern-day abolitionist movement fighting to stop it. These events were followed by an in-depth discussion engaging 250 students, faculty and staff. The WRC is also in the process of assisting students in starting the first Human Trafficking Awareness student organization at EMU.
  • Jann Joseph, Dean of the COE, hosted a forum at EMU on January 20 with Chancellor John Covington and his staff from the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) and DPS Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts.  All EMU faculty and staff were invited to attend.  Attendees heard about the initial steps that have been taken in the education redesign plan as well as how EMU can support and contribute to this process.
  • On February 1, the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) kicked off its annual Black History Month (BHM) celebration with the "Black Around the World" meet and greet. Over 100 members of the university community enjoyed performances by the Yoruba Cultural African Dancers and Drummers and EMU's Dancers of David. Olubusayo Olojo provided historical information and demonstrations of the Nigerian Gele and Wappa. Lastly, the CMA is featuring a silent display of prominent world figures and their contributions to our global society. This display will travel to each BHM event hosted throughout the month.
  • On February 4 the Consulate General of Japan, Kuninori “Matz” Matsuda, attended the annual Japanese Dinner Show at the Student Center.  Along with a delicious Japanese dinner, everyone enjoyed performances by students and professional entertainers.  The highlight of the evening was the traditional drumming selections performed by the Raion Taiko drummers.
  • Almost 200 students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the local community attended "Men in Black," an event designed to celebrate the accomplishments and resilience of Black males.  The event started with a panel discussion with several individuals who have overcome personal challenges and stereotypes to achieve great things.  Panelists included:  State Rep. David Rutledge (Ypsilanti); Charles Pugh, President, Detroit City Council; Anton Chastang, President, 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit; Arthur Cartright, actor (Gran Torino) and playwright; and, Terrell Johnson, Admissions Counselor, Bowling Green State University.  Following dinner, attendees enjoyed an inspiring keynote by author, motivational speaker and TV Host Eddie Connor, Jr., an EMU alumnus.  This event was co-sponsored by the Black Student Union, Student Government, the Black and Latino Male Initiative (BLMI) and B.L.A.C.K. (Black Leaders Acquiring Critical Knowledge).
  • The first Annual School of Social Work Alumni Event was a great success with 115 people in attendance and raising almost $4,000.


  • The College of Business received a software and technical assistance gift in-kind from Microsoft valued at over $400,000.  The gift of Microsoft DynamicsCRM, Dynamics GP and Dynamics AX and support brought the college into the Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance. The software will be used in a number of undergraduate and graduate information systems courses. This grant was made possible by the work of Dr. Huei Lee, Associate Professor in the Computer Information Systems Department.
  • Tsu-Yin Wu (Nursing) received approximately $170,000 from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for international research in China and Taiwan.
  • Christine Aris (Children’s Institute) received a $166,600 award from the Washtenaw Intermediate School District for the 2011-2012 Great Start Readiness Program.  This program makes child care available to EMU students, making it easier for students who are parents to pursue their educational goals.  Funding is for four-year-olds who would otherwise be at risk for becoming educationally disadvantaged.
  • Yichun Xie (Geography and Geology), Thomas Schmitt (Psychology) and William Welsh (Geography and Geology) have received a $126,000 award from a partnership of NASA with the University of Michigan in support of the project “Grassland Ecosystems and Societal Adaptations under Changing Grazing Intensity and Climate on the Mongolian Plateau.”  EMU will continue to coordinate field work with the Chinese and Mongolian partners in the collection of social and ecological data for the project, including data on climate, the environment, socioeconomics, and the interplay among these and other factors.
  • Vijay Mannari (Engineering Technology) and Philip Rufe (Technology commercialization coordinator), were awarded two grants by Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIIE) totaling $125,000.  Professor Mannari has partnered with two companies to help commercialize “Green” technologies and products developed by his research team at the Coatings Research Institute (CRI).  These awards and partnerships with companies will not only help commercialize new eco-friendly faculty-invented products, but will also help stimulate the Michigan economy and provide great experiences for EMU students.
  • Peggy Wiencek (Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities), David Clifford (Health Sciences) and Sally Burton Hoyle (Special Education) received a $101,631 contract from Community Living Services of Wayne County to evaluate the health and economic benefits of the self-determination model for clients over more restrictive models of serving mental health consumers. The research will consist of case studies of those served by the agency to evaluate the health, self reliance, social contribution, and quality of life outcomes for the participants.
  • Gerald “Skip” Lawver (School of Engineering Technology) is directing a $98,439 award from the Department of Defense Information Assurance and Security Program for Project D2R (Dreams to Reality) to enable underrepresented and minority youth in two Detroit high schools achieve a college education.
  • Joan Abbey and Sarah Soltis (Dean’s Office, College of Health & Human Services) received a $75,500 award from the Guidance Center – Virtual Center for Excellence to support their Connections project in System of Care sustainability.
  • Harriet Lindsay (Chemistry) received a $65,000 award from the American Chemical Society to support laboratory research experiences for several graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Ted Ligibel (Geography and Geology) has been awarded $60,700 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources which provides funding for a two-year internship, during which a selected EMU Historic Preservation student will research proposed Michigan historic markers and submit drafts of texts to the Michigan Historical Commission for review and approval.
  • Ulrich Reinhard-Segawa (Biology) has received a $51,000 award from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in support of the project “Field Comparison of Eel-ladder-style and Traditional Sea Lamprey Traps.”  The purpose of the project is to compare different methods of trapping an invasive species in small rivers.
  • Lynette Findley (Asst. VP for Retention and Student Success) received a $49,000 award in support of her proposal to create a single parent residential support program, Keys to Degrees.  EMU will be a pilot institution that will include academic support and tutoring, career counseling, mentoring programs, internships, child care assistance, personal counseling, and financial support assistance.
  • Jessica Alexander and Jack Bidlack (Academic Service-Learning) have been awarded a $48,000 grant by the Washtenaw County Children’s Services Department.  This award supports a workforce investment act to stimulate business and professional skills, encourage creative and intelligent risk taking, and instill financial independence and community responsibility in youth ages 14-21 through the “B (Business) Side of Youth” program.
  • Benjamin Keller (Computer Science) has received a $32,000 award from a partnership of the National Institutes of Health with the University of Michigan.  This award will allow Dr. Keller to supervise a biostatistician who will work on kidney disease data from diabetic nephropathy patients in conjunction with the George M. O’Brien Renal Core Center.
  • Ted Ligibel (Geography and Geology) received an $18,400 award which will support one internship for a graduate student to work with staff historians in the Project Planning Division, Environmental Section of the Michigan Department of Transportation.  The activities of the student will include administrative support for the historians, project review, research and writing, including the National Register, and site visits.
  • Vijaykumar Mannari received a $16,600 award from the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIIE) for prototype development and testing related to Professor Mannari’s project, Polyurethane Dispersion Based on Soybean Oil (Soy-Puds) for High Bio-based Content Coatings. This proposal was developed in response to market segments identified by the commercial partner, Sherwin Williams. MIIE grants are particularly significant due to the opportunities they provide for commercializing technologies invented by faculty.
  • Kathryn Walz (University Health Services) and The Wellness Center was awarded a $15,000 state grant through the Prevention Network that focuses on reducing high-risk drinking by freshman students including underage use and binge drinking behaviors. The program is unique in that the Wellness Center will collaborate with the College of Health and Human Services to design and conduct a social norms marketing campaign to correct exaggerated estimates of the overall level of drinking among freshman students.
  • Lynn Malinoff and Russell Olwell (Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities) received an $8,000 award from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, to support Japanese cultural exploration at different levels in K-12 schools in the Willow Run Community School District.
  • Motoko Tabuse (World Languages) received a $4,600 award from the Detroit Business Society of Detroit Foundation in support of the Japanese Dinner Show 2012, which will include multiple presentations, performances from martial arts organizations, dance, fashion shows, and musical performances.
  • Alissa Huth-Bocks and Sarah Ahlfs Dunn (Psychology) received a $4,000 award from the International Psychoanalytic Association to support work on their project, Disrupted Maternal Representations: Prenatal to Postnatal Stability in Relation to Maternal Interpersonal Trauma.
  • Allegiance Health (formerly W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital) in Jackson (MI) County has engaged EMU faculty, working with a team of graduate students, to conduct a process evaluation of the functioning of the county’s Health Improvement Organization’s Coordinating Council with the support of a $1,000 grant.  The project evaluation team includes director Colleen Croxall and co-director David Clifford, both of Health Sciences.  The graduate students are part of the health administration MHA program and are working on the project as part of their capstone experience.

Women in Philanthropy at EMU 2011 Grand Award Winners:

Student Winners

  • Lois Vasquez, Go Green: A Year of Sustainability at Eastern Michigan University, $4,640: Grow community interest in a campus sustainability program by sponsoring a theme year, including a monthly seminar series, a Green Fair, a Community Service Project, a World Sustainable Development Teach-in Day, and a program for Earth Day in April.
  • Sarah Schrader, Social Behavior in Two Species of African Tarantula, $2,400: Explore social behavior in tarantulas, specifically, comparing social interactions during feeding.  The study will provide much needed empirical data that will contribute both to evolutionary models as well as to general understanding.
  • Lorinda Rausch, The Travels and Teaching of Ms. Clara Janet Allison: Professor of Classics at Michigan State Normal College 1918-1940, $5,000: This project will explore the fascinating career of Ms. Clara Janet Allison who taught in the Classics Department at Michigan State Normal School from 1928-1940.  Research at local archives and a trip abroad to recreate her travels and explore Ms. Allison’s fellowship experience in Rome will be used to support a study examining the roles and opportunities available to a woman in higher education.

Faculty Winners

  • Robin Lucy (English Language and Literature), EMU Inside Out – Women's and Gender Studies and Language and Literature, $3,360:  Inside Out brings incarcerated (inside) and campus-based (outside) students together in a class taught behind prison walls. The Inside Out program trains faculty to teach their disciplines with an experiential focus that is designed to deliver content within the context of issues related to crime, prisons, and social justice, and with a focus on dialogue and peer-to-peer learning.
  • Kay Woodiel (Health Promotion and Human Performance), Project E Power, $1,470: Project E Power will train students and student groups on campus to become “active” bystanders. Training will be piloted, revised and delivered to help students at EMU realize the benefit of “stepping up” in potentially dangerous and unhealthy situations they encounter.
  • Julia R. Myers (Art), Detroit’s African American Artists 1926-1986: From the Pen and Palette Club to Gallery 7 and the National Conference of Artists, $3,673: Photographs of 60 works of art by Detroit’s African American artists will be photographed and catalogued.  The collection will be shared with multiple publics through an exhibition, catalogue and related programs.
  • Suzanne Gray (Halle Library), Supporting Communication Across the Curriculum through the Academic Projects Center, $4,500: Since many final projects involve oral presentations, the Academic Projects Center provides students with help and feedback on this method of dissemination.  Funding from this grant will provide a pilot program to offer help from graduate assistants in communications to provide point-of-need support, and will also allow the consultants to draft a training manual for future communications consultants.
  • Robert Duke (History and Philosophy), Women in Michigan Agricultural History Exhibit at Tillers International, $4,700: EMU graduate students will work on site under the direction of Dr. Duke researching and designing an exhibit highlighting the daily routines of women on farms in southern Michigan. The exhibit will contribute to increased awareness of the roles of women in 19th and early 20th century agriculture in Michigan.
  • Elisabeth Däumer (English Language and Literature), Muriel Rukeyser Website, $4,000: The goal of this project is to design an interdisciplinary and interactive website for the American Poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) to be developed and maintained by EMU faculty and students.  The website will realize Rukeyser’s vision of poetry as “meeting place” and provide a forum for cross-disciplinary research and discussion of Rukeyser’s wide range of interests.
  • Marilyn Wedenoja (Social Work), Gaining a Global Worldview through Service Learning in Jamaica, $2,400: A team of EMU social work faculty, students, staff and alumni will travel to the fishing village of Bluefields, Jamaica during Winter break 2012 to participate in service learning, seminars on Jamaican culture and customs, and to explore links between Jamaican and U.S. slavery.  Social workers often work with immigrants and this trip will provide a perspective on the living conditions they are leaving behind.
  • Betty Brown-Chappell (Social Work), Memorabilia: A Teaching Module, $1,500:  The project is focused on the development of a teaching/learning module that will be drawn from a collection currently being prepared by Dr. Brown-Chappell for donation to the African American Museum in 2012.  The methods of preservation will be taught in the module as well as using the collection as an illustration of both preservation and education.

Staff Winners

  • Amanda Lefeld (University Health Services), Addressing the Need for Women's Healthcare, $5,000: University Health Services will provide free preventive annual exams to approximately 50 uninsured, financially struggling female students.

Athletics highlights:

  • Women's Basketball:  Senior guard Tavelyn James made 10 three pointers in the win over Kent State, Feb. 11, setting an EMU record and tying a MAC single-game record.
  • Women's Basketball:  Tavelyn James named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week twice - Jan. 30 and Feb. 14.
  • Wrestling:  Andrew Novak named Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week - Feb. 14.
  • Wrestling:  Wes Schroeder named tri-Mid-American Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week - Feb. 14.
  • Men's Swimming:  Michael Kinross named Mid-American Conference Male Swimmer of the Week - Feb. 8.
  • Men's Swimming wins its 60th consecutive Mid-American Conference dual meet, beating Miami, Feb. 4.  EMU's unbeaten streak goes all the way back to the 1997-98 season.
  • Women's Indoor Track:  Shantavia Williams named Mid-American Conference Women's Track Athlete of the Week - Feb. 8.
  • Women's Tennis:  Nino Mebuke named Mid-American Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Week - Feb. 1.
  • Men's Golf:  EMU finishes second at the Mid-American Conference Match-Play Tournament in Florida - Feb. 13-14.