President's Report to the Board of Regents

April 17, 2012

As graduation approaches where nearly 2,500 Eastern students cross the stage, we hear so many wonderful stories at award ceremonies of our faculty mentoring and student accomplishments. It is a time of pride.  And, it is a time to thank the students; our faculty who lead, nurture, coach and instruct; and, our staff who provide unwavering support for our students.

For students, the future is reflected by a young man who recently emceed our Undergraduate Symposium, Ian Pendleton.  Ian is a four-time Symposium participant, a Biochemistry major who was one of 74 students selected out of more than 850 across the country to present his research one week from today on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  Ian has conducted his work under the outstanding direction of Professor Harriet Lindsay who mentors many students in her laboratory.

Among our faculty, the future is evident in the work of Frank Fedel, assistant professor and research director for the Prosthetic and Orthotics Program.  Professor Fedel’s invention, designed in partnership with a Michigan firm, recently won top honors in a NASA design competition. Their invention of a wireless device that measures stress on artificial limbs is now being sold internationally and shipped to labs around the world.

Eastern’s role in the community has never been more vital. An example is Hamilton Crossing, a new apartment community under renovation in Ypsilanti.  Formerly known as the Parkview Apartments, the HUD subsidized complex was a center for crime, drug trafficking and high student dropout rates. Eastern received a $250,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to develop innovative self-sufficiency programs for residents and to help children break the cycle of poverty.  Our involvement will include computer and financial literacy training, as well as volunteer opportunities for students. History professor Russ Olwell is leading the effort.

I recently testified before the Michigan House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee and emphasized the importance of increased state funding of higher education.  A decade of disinvestment of $1 billion taken from the 15 public universities, including last year’s 15 percent cut of $216 million, has led the state to the bottom 10 in the nation for funding of higher education. The proposed modest one-time increase this year is a small help, but does nothing to permanently reinvest in higher education.  Eastern leads the state over the last three years in tuition restraint and deserves to be rewarded for that in future funding models.

We also continue improvements to residence halls and dining facilities.  Today we recommend for Board of Regents approval an increase of 4.95 percent for room-and-board rates for 2012-13. The rate increase will enable Housing and Dining Services to meet the increased costs of energy, food and supplies while addressing critical, deferred maintenance and modernization expenses. We must reinvest to revitalize the campus.

Even with this increase for 2012-2013, our housing and dining rates are among the lower room and board rates at Michigan’s 15 public universities. Eastern was the only university in the state to freeze tuition and room and board rates in 2010, and its aggregate room and board rate increase of $543 over the past three years is the second lowest in the state.

From fiscal 2009 through this year, we have spent approximately $19.5 million on needed, energy efficient residence hall renovations to create a better environment for our students.  Projects under consideration for the next five years include renovations to Best, Wise, Buell and Downing residence halls, to the Dining Commons that connects those four halls, to Westview Apartments and to the Eastern Eateries.

Invest. Inspire, the Campaign for Eastern Michigan University has hit another milestone. Gifts from generous donors have pushed us past the $55 million mark in our $50 million campaign. The full President’s Report, with additional information, is available on the University’s website.

Thank you, Chairman Wilbanks.

Susan Martin

  • Kentaro Roy, a junior at EMU, and Alex Milshteyn, an EMU graduate, were among the region’s young professionals named to Crain’s Detroit Business’ “20 in their 20s” for 2012. Crain’s selected 20 honorees from among more than 300 nominations.  Roy, 21, founded Kentaro Web Design + SEO and established an annual scholarship at Eastern.  Milshteyn, 28, began his career in real estate, answering phones at 15. He now is an associate broker and a top salesperson at the Ann Arbor firm of Edward Surovell Realtors, with sales of $26.5 million in 2011.
  • Student leaders in the Residence Hall Association won top honors during the Michigan Organization of Residence Associations conference. The students won the RHA of the Year award, the highest honor a school can receive from the Association.  This is the second consecutive year Eastern has won the award. The group also won Program of the Year and RHA vice president Marisa Zanotti won the Executive Board Member of the Year award.
  • Members of Eastern’s Best Buddies student chapter were featured on WDIV-TV 4 in March.  The students talked about their upcoming prom hosted for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Eastern’s chapter has 81 members – 51 college students and 30 buddies.
  • Six Exercise Science students recently presented at the Michigan American College of Sports Medicine conference in Gaylord, Michigan.
    • Zachary Maino (UG) "Differences in Running Acceleration and Economy between Intercollegiate Runners and Trained Cyclists"
    • Andrea Workman (Grad) "Comparisons in Running Economy and Accelerations between Male and Female Intercollege Runners"
    • Lukas Wall (Grad) "HRA in Addition to Laboratory Measures Strongly Predicts 10k Running Performance"
    • Kerstn Grafe (UG) "Influence of Anticipated and Unanticipated Jump Landings on Knee and Ankle Joint Kinematics"
    • Heather Zappala (UG) "Ground Reaction Force Measures During Anticipated and Unanticipated Jump Landings"
    • Tyler Klenow (UG) "Reverse Rocker Bottom Shoe Design:  Effects on Stability"   
  • Students, under the direction of John DeHoog, a furniture design instructor in EMU’s art department, developed a new work environment for Ann Arbor’s Ecology Center using sustainable materials.  The designs called for using reclaimed materials to help the Center apply for LEED Gold status and provided students with the challenges of a real-world project, complete with deadlines, budgets and client needs.
  • Dan Bricker (Accounting and Finance) received the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award from the Presidents’ Council of State Universities of Michigan.  The award recognizes outstanding contributions made to the education of undergraduate students.
  • Sally Burton-Hoyle (Special Education) has been named to a federal advisory committee that deals with efforts concerning autism spectrum disorder.  She is the only Michigan representative on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee that will advise Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
  • Stephanie Casey (Mathematics) has been selected as a 2012 Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) fellow.  The goal of this National Science Foundation grant-supported program is to bring together a cadre of future leaders of mathematics education to advance scholarship, expand networking, and further the research agenda in the field for recent graduates or advanced students. 
  • James Perren (World Languages) was named the 2011 recipient of the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty Community Service Award.  He was honored for his efforts and innovations in academic service-learning and community service at Eastern.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Schuster (Social Work) has been named the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) – Michigan Chapter's 2012 Public Citizen of the Year. This award is given to people in the field of social work who make a significant contribution to an area or population of concern to the social work profession, act with courage, demonstrate outstanding leadership, and exemplify social work values and ethics.
  • Norm Tyler (Geography and Geology) was named a Fellow in the American Institute of Certified Planners.  This honor is reserved for only a select number of urban planners around the country.  He was recognized for his more than 50 years of community redevelopment, dedication to planning education and professional practice.
  • The Early College Alliance at EMU has been named the UMS DTE Energy Foundation School of the Year for 2011/12, noted for its creative and collaborative work with arts integration and participation in UMS programs.  ECA will receive tickets and transportation to one UMS Youth Performance for up to four classrooms; one in-school artist interaction; and public recognition through local media outlets.  The award will be presented at the UMS Ford Honors Gala on Sunday, April 22.
  • Marjorie Ziefert was elected to be President of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.  
25th Annual Academic Affairs Awards

Seven faculty members were honored for academic contributions to the University during the 25th annual Academic Affairs awards ceremony on March 28.  Recipients were:

  • William John Koolage, History and Philosophy, Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Teaching I;
  • Anthony Kurek, Accounting and Finance, Full-time Lecturers Outstanding Teaching Award;
  • Paul Ramsey, Teacher Education, Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Research I;
  • Amy Sackseder, Art, Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Creative Activity;
  • Melanie Schuessler, Communication, Media and Theatre Arts, Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Creative Activity;
  • Weidan Shen, Physics and Astronomy, Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Research II;
  • Kay Woodiel, Health Promotion and Human Performance, Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Service to the University;
Assessment Leadership Awards

EMU has awarded its first Assessment Leadership Award to 10 faculty members.  The award recognizes those who have dedicated more than three years to studying how to improve programs within their department, school or college.  Honored were:

  • William (Doug) Baker, English Language and Literature
  • Colin Blakley, Art
  • Mary Brake, Engineering Technology
  • Christopher Herman, Health Promotion and Human Performance
  • F. LaVerne Higgins, College of Business
  • Christine Karshin, Health Promotion and Human Performance
  • Jean McEnery, Management
  • Steven Pernecky, Chemistry
  • Shawn Quilter, College of Education
  • Michael Tew, Communication, Media and Theatre Arts
Student Gold Medallion Awards
  • Outstanding Leadership by a Student:  Caiden Droscha
  • Outstanding Performance by a Graduate Assistant:  Diane Zavadovics
  • Outstanding Performance by a Graduate Student Employee:  Carly Miller
  • Outstanding Performance by a Student Employee:  Katherine Moser
  • Outstanding Service Delivery by a Student:  Erika Oehlers
  • Outstanding Student Advocate:  Chelsea Lonsdale
  • Outstanding Volunteerism by a Student:  William Holman
  • Student Organization Adviser:  Michelle Owens (Men's Hockey)
  • Student Organization:  Best Buddies
Staff Gold Medallion Awards
  • Person/group external to the University:  Irene Felicetti, U of M
  • Person/group external to the Division:  Communication, Media & Theatre Arts
  • Divisional Ambassador:  Gregg Costanzo
  • Clerical:  Michele Rich
  • Professional/Technical:  Maryann Shichtman
  • New Employee:  Jill Finney
  • Food/Service/Maintenance/Custodial:  Margaret Kreyling
  • Innovation:  Student Center Dining Services
  • Administrative/Professional:  Lewis Savage
  • Outstanding Service Delivery by a Group or Team:  Commons Culinary Staff
  • Outstanding Service Delivery by an Individual:  Sharon Carney
  • Faculty:  Dr. Perry Francis
  • Richard King (Office of COB Dean) has received a $1,430,000 award from the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), sponsored by Grand Valley State University.  The SBTDC regional offices supply training and individual guidance to current and prospective small business owners.  EMU is the Region 9 Host; this region covers Wayne, Monroe and Oakland counties, with the addition this year of Macomb County.
  • Mansoor Moaddel (Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology) received a $617,000 award from the Office of Naval Research in support of the project “Cross-National Analysis of Islamic Fundamentalism.”  This project will identify the social, cultural and perceptual factors that influence the layer of the population that is susceptible to Islamic fundamentalism, the layer that is oriented toward moderate and secular politics, and the layer that falls in between.  It will expand the focus to Syria (beyond Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), the major areas of concern for U.S. national security.
  • Joan Abbey (Social Work) and Sarah Soltis (Dean’s Office, CHHS) have received an $87,000 award from the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan for a one-year service contract.
  • Vijaykumar Mannari (Engineering Technology) has received a $62,000 award from Dow Corporation through sponsorship by the University of Michigan for a collaborative project which seeks to develop “greener” biobased polyurethane coatings for specific market segments such as biomedical, electronics, and automotive interiors.
  • Jianhua Wang, Bob Lahidji, and Walter Tucker (Engineering Technology) have received a $20,000 award from Daimay North America Inc. to address issues of quality in European automotive supply chain production.
  • Yichun Xie (Geography & Geology) has received a $3,000 award from the Archdiocese of Detroit.  This award is related to publishing a list and maps of the Archdiocese‐affiliated community service providers as part of a project entitled “Community Services Web Mapping Project for Archdiocese of Detroit.” 
  • Theodore Ligibel (Geography & Geology) has received a $2,000 award from the Monroe County Historical Society.  This award will support a graduate student intern who will work on a Cultural Landscape Inventory and Cultural Landscape Report about the River Raisin National Battlefield Park and the battles of 1813 near Monroe, Michigan.
  • EMU’s Office of Nutrition Services celebrated National Nutrition Month (March) with a grant from the South East Michigan Dietetic Association (SEMDA).  Funds helped stage a two-day exhibition at the EMU Student Center in March, led by EMU grad and Registered Dietitian Heather Anderson and featuring current students in the EMU Dietetics program.
Of Note:
  • Eastern is testing its green thumb on the roof of the new Science Complex. At least 16 plant species are growing on the building’s west side from a special peat/soil mix.  Aside from the visual aspect, green roofs offer a number of benefits, including better storm water runoff management and acting as an insulator, helping the building stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. EMU will save about $3,600 per year in energy costs.  Professors have integrated the garden into their lessons.
  • Bob Lutz, the legendary “car guy,” will be the guest speaker at a fundraiser on May 10 at EMU.  Lutz has had a remarkable 47-year career in the auto industry, ending with nine years as vice chairman of General Motors.  All proceeds from the event will help support scholarships in metal casting or materials science curriculum for area students.  The event is sponsored by the College of Technology, The Detroit-Windsor Chapter of the American Foundry Society, and The Detroit Chapter of the American Society for Metals.
  • Eastern Michigan University will hold its winter commencement ceremonies Sunday, April 29, at the Convocation Center.  The morning ceremony will feature nationally syndicated cartoonist and alumnus Dave Coverly as the commencement speaker.  Michigan’s Lt. Gov. Brian Calley will speak at the afternoon ceremony.  Nearly 2,500 students will be graduating.
  • The Women’s Resource Center hosted its 12th annual “Take Back the Night” rally, April 9, to raise awareness about sexual assault and violence.
  • Members of the community joined EMU students, faculty and staff for a special ceremony that lit up Ypsilanti’s water tower on April 2.  The tower was draped in blue from dusk to midnight as part of “Light It Up Blue,” a worldwide autism awareness campaign that runs through the month of April.  EMU’s overall campaign included wearing blue on April 2; displaying a special blue message on the external digital boards; and passing out blue key chains and flashlights.  The event also spotlighted EMU’s own special facility, the Autism Collaborative Center.
  • The 32nd Annual Undergraduate Symposium featured 366 student researchers who presented their findings on March 30.  Nearly 200 faculty members worked closely with students to prepare for this year’s event.  Topics ranged from theatre and music to poetry and the sciences.
  • Dale Heydlauff, vice-president of corporate communications and president of the American Electric Power Foundation, was the keynote speaker at the Symposium’s luncheon.  An EMU alumnus, Heydlauff currently is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Eastern Michigan University Foundation, and was co-chair of the Foundation’s “Invest. Inspire” comprehensive campaign.
  • The Crossing Lines Design Expo was a new addition to the Undergraduate Symposium.  Designed to showcase undergraduate work in an exhibit format, the expo featured 32 student exhibits from four departments and schools:  art; communication, media & theatre arts; engineering technology and; technology studies.
  • The Graduate Research Fair, which kicked off EMU’s Salute to Excellence Week, featured 245 students and more than 90 faculty mentors.  There were 214 presentations – 147 oral and 67 poster presentations.  The event concluded with the 2012 George Liepa Sigma Xi lecture.  Alumna Jeanette Hasse, a renowned researcher and clinician specializing in transplant nutrition, was the guest speaker.
  • On March 29 we had 153 student volunteers attend FireUp! – the New Student Orientation Assistant (NSOA) event that kicks off their volunteer experience with Fusion:  First Four, our freshmen orientation program.
  • The EMU Eagle Battalion (ROTC) held their annual Military Ball on March 23. A 1-star General, Brigadier General Jonathan A. Maddux, who graduated from EMU and the ROTC program, was the guest speaker.
  • The College of Business held the sixth annual Ethos Week, March 12-16.  WJR Host Paul W. Smith broadcast his entire early morning show from the COB.  Over 500 students, faculty, and community members attended the Ethos Week speaker sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The speakers were:  Paul Nick, Ethics and Government, Executive Director of the Ohio Ethics Commission; Jack LaRue, Ethics in Technology, Sr. VP of Thomson Reuters; Andrew Malec, Ethics in Advisory Services, Director of Valuation and Litigation at Gordon Advisors; Tony Dearing, Ethics in the Press, Content Director at Ann Arbor.Com; Jonathan Citrin, Ethics in Finance, CEO and founder of Citrin Group and; Rodney Rusk, Ethics in International Business, Automotive Industry Manager at Bosch Rexroth. Tony Valukas, Chairman of Jenner and Block, one of the largest law firms in Chicago, was the keynote speaker at the capstone luncheon on Friday. He was the lead attorney in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case; his talk included insights about this case. Almost 400 students, faculty, staff, sponsors and community members attended.
  • Government Relations hosted the annual EMU Day in Lansing on March 20. Nearly 40 EMU alumni, faculty, staff, and students attended along with several Executive Council members and Regent Fitzsimmons.  Meetings were held with several dozen legislators.  EMU graduate Kirk Profit spoke to the group during breakfast and he received the first EMU Advocacy Award presented jointly by Government Relations and Alumni Relations.  Over 200 legislators and staff attended an EMU luncheon outside Majority Leader Randy Richardville's office.
  • The 2012 Porter Lecture Series, sponsored by the John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education, featured the theme, “Counternarratives:  Hear the Voices of Civic Activism in Urban Education.”  Guest speakers were Michelle Fine, professor for the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, who explored critical science in rebelling times; Derrick Jensen, award winning author and a deep green activist; and Suzanne Lacy, an internationally known artist, writer and educator, whose work focuses on social themes and urban issues.
Athletics highlights:
  • Men’s Basketball:  Rob Murphy, head coach, was named Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year for the 2011-12 season.
  • Women’s Basketball:  Senior guard, Tavelyn James, was named the 2012 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s outstanding female collegian 5-feet, 8 inches and under who has excelled both athletically and academically.  She joins Earl Boykins as the only student-athlete in school history to capture the prestigious award.  James, Eastern’s all-time leading scorer, is one of only 11 student-athletes in MAC history to reach 2,000 points. An eight-time MAC West Divisional Player of the Week honoree, James also was a member of USA Basketball’s women’s team that competed in the 2011 Pan American Games.
  • Football:  The annual spring game for the Eastern Michigan University football team was Sunday, April 15, at Rynearson Stadium.  The traditional Green and White teams faced off against each other in the final scrimmage of the spring season.  The Mid-American Conference announced its football schedule and the Eagles will have an August 30 season-opener at Ball State.
  • Men’s Swimming and Diving:  The men's swimming and diving team captured its 30th Mid-American Conference title after outscoring all opponents at the 2012 MAC Championships in Oxford, Ohio with 693.5 points.  The Eagles' 30 MAC titles is a conference record and the accomplishment represents the 22nd title under Head Coach Peter Linn.  EMU has also taken 11 of the last 13 championships.