President's Report to the Board of Regents

June 19, 2012

Michigan and Eastern Michigan University have weathered difficult and challenging economic times. Last year we absorbed a 15% state appropriation cut of $11.6 million which resulted in layoffs on campus; a painful, emotional time. Last year the Board adopted a budget based upon a growth estimate of 1.7% and we did not achieve that resulting in $5.9 million less in revenue than projected on top of the state cut. The budget recommendation for 2012-13 is based upon these principles:

  • Keeping Eastern as affordable as possible for students;
  • Supporting the financial aid needs of students;
  • Continuing to invest in academics and the modernization of campus, with the primary focus on upgrades to academic buildings, renovations of residence halls, investment in new classroom technology and expansion of campus wireless capability;
  • Identifying operational efficiencies and growth opportunities and strategically planning for both; Deloitte is conducting a benchmarking and market analysis;
  • Taking care of our employees who are vital to our success with competitive compensation and benefits including health care coverage with a variety of cost options and choices. This budget will not recommend any layoffs to balance.

Michigan's public universities are an asset generations invested in to ensure their children and grandchildren could go to college. Yet in the past 10 years, $1 billion – $216 million last year alone – has been cut from public university funding. This has resulted in a massive shift in the funding model for every university in Michigan from being primarily state funded to relying on tuition and fees for 75 percent of our revenue.

We recommend the Board of Regents approve a 2012-2013 General Fund operating budget of $290.6 million. The budget reflects a 1 percent increase in student credit hour growth, and a recommended tuition and fees increase of 3.95 percent.

For the past three years, Eastern Michigan has been a leader in keeping higher education affordable for Michigan students and their families, with low increases of 3.8, 0 and 3.65 percent. Including this year's 3.95 percent, Eastern's four-year increase is only 2.86 percent or just $32 more per credit hour than four years ago. Eastern remains Michigan's leader in tuition restraint, with the smallest increase over this four-year period, than any of the 15 public universities.

The budget includes funding for a new Physician Assistants program, additional student advising resources and a $2 million increase in University-sponsored financial aid. Over the last five years, Eastern's financial aid has increased more than 65 percent, from $21.4 million in 2007-2008 to $35.7 million recommended in 2012-2013.

A capital expenditure budget of $21.7 million is recommended, including $8.5 million for the Science Complex; Mark Jefferson is scheduled to reopen this fall. In five years capital spending will exceed $210 million, with 67 percent targeted for academic facility enhancements, 8 percent for housing improvements, 5 percent for IT infrastructure, 4 percent for athletics facilities, and the rest for safety and security, energy savings and high priority asset preservation and infrastructure projects.

A new enrollment innovation and growth plan to welcome students and make it easy to come to Eastern is being recommended for Board approval which includes "Come Home to Eastern – Come Home to Michigan," a new award for out-of-state alumni and their children to receive in-state tuition rates. This program is similar to Eastern's VET Connect program, established in 2009, to provide an out-of-state tuition differential to non-resident veterans of the U.S. military. We welcome our alumni and children home to Michigan and Eastern.

We are in negotiations with three bargaining units (CS, POAM and AAUP). We value and appreciate all of our employees who serve our students, and we are committed to a mutually successful conclusion of these negotiations.

Now, we have some key introductions:

  • Please welcome the new Dean of our College of Business, Michael Tidwell.
  • Please welcome the new Director of our new Physician Assistant program, Jay Peterson.
  • Please welcome our new student Government leaders, President R. Matthew Norfleet and Vice President Desmond Miller.
  • And, please welcome our new Women's Basketball Coach, Tory Verdi.

The full President's Report, with additional information, is available on the University's website. Thank you, Chairman Wilbanks.

Susan Martin

  • A team consisting of one EMU student and several from the University of Michigan recently designed a warming blanket that can help premature babies retain or increase their body heat in order to improve their survival rate. The blanket, called Warmilu, was designed to bridge the gap between the hospital and homecare in low-resource settings. EMU student Ana Maria Barge, a senior in the Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising program, worked on the project with her faculty coordinator Cathryn Amidei.
  • Several EMU students will be on their way to Japan thanks to the Japan Business Society of Detroit Foundation scholarships. Jessica Bryne, Elyzabeth Lynn and Olivia Ward will study at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities for eight months. While at the Center, the students will take intensive Japanese language and participate in outside cultural electives.
  • EMU student Joshua DeVriendt, an undergraduate studying international affairs, has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, during the 2012-2013 academic year. The award provides U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the U.S.
  • A New Zealand documentary filmmaker traveled to EMU in April to film Terefe Ejigu, who graduated in April with a degree in international relations. He is one of the top middle-distance runners in the Mid-American Conference. Ejigu was originally from Ethiopia before moving to New Zealand. He is somewhat of a hero in New Zealand. The documentary, entitled “Running for His Life,” has followed Ejigu since he was 16 years old.
  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship was awarded to Elyzabeth Lynn and Martin Tomaj. Lynn, a junior, will study at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities. Tomaj, a junior, will study at Kansai Gaidai University. Lynn is majoring in international business with a concentration in entrepreneurship and marketing. Tomaj is pursuing a double major in Japanese Language & Culture and Art.
  • Eastern Michigan freshman Sean Moua was one of only eight volunteers from the Youth Initiative Project to be honored with a “50 Promising Youth Legacy Award” for outstanding involvement in the Detroit community. Each awardee received a $10,000 scholarship towards college expenses.
  • Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed the Autism bill on April 18. EMU student Caitlyn Sorensen and EMU psychology professor Jim Todd played a key role in drafting language for the bill.
  • Ryan Todd, a student at the Eagle Flight Center in EMU’s Aviation Program, has been chosen for a paid internship at JetBlue Airlines’ new world headquarters. The 10-week program is designed to develop a pipeline of future crew members for roles within the company. Todd will work on an emergency response and care team that focuses on effective communication between pilots and staff.
  • Benjamin White, a student in EMU’s special education program, recently received a surprise congratulatory phone call from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. White was one of four students or teachers to receive a call from Duncan, who was calling to thank White for his service and commitment to the profession.
  • Jessica Wildes, an EMU graduate student, won a $1,000 prize for her rebranding proposal in a competition sponsored by the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at the College of Business. The goal was to help students understand the need for a clear identity and a unified and recognized brand in any successful business. Her winning design will be used as part of the branding of the IMC program.
  • Elyssa Winzeler, a graduate student at EMU, has been awarded one of the coveted Fulbright grants for the 2012-2013 year to teach English in Poland. Winzeler is completing her master’s in linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Geotourism students studied Michigan’s grandeur and distinct appeal recently as part of a unique field course taught by Eastern Michigan University faculty. The course uses the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's award-winning promotional campaign to examine geotourism in the picturesque northwestern portion of our state. The instructor was Kelly Victor-Burke, co-coordinator of the EMU geotourism program.
  • Eleven students from AMPlifying the Arts, an organization of EMU arts management students, traveled to Washington, D.C. in April to advocate on behalf of the arts.  
  • Jamil Baghdachi, professor of polymers and coatings at Eastern Michigan’s Coatings Research Institute, was recently honored with the American Coatings Association’s 2012 Industry Excellence Award. He is an internationally known expert in polymers and coatings and holds 44 patents.
  • EMU associate professor Sarah Ginsberg (special education) was named the vice president of research and academic development at the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  • EMU history professor Mark Higbee managed one of the historical reenactment games he designed at the annual National Institute of the Reacting to the Past Consortium in New York, June 7-10. “Reacting to the Past” is a distinct and engaging method of teaching, involves elaborately designed role-playing games in which students assume historical roles from a famous moment in history, and then pursue the goals of their assigned character. Higbee ran a game that he created at EMU called “Frederick Douglass, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Constitution: 1845.”
  • Amy Lamb, an assistant professor in the occupational therapy program, was elected vice president for the American Occupational Therapy Association.
  • David Marold, a fulltime lecturer in the College of Business’ marketing department, has won the Direct Marketing Association of Detroit’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes an individual who has made their mark in the Detroit direct marketing industry throughout their career. Marold teaches direct and interactive marketing, digital marketing, sales and e-commerce at EMU.
  • Nutrition professor Alice Jo Rainville will be presenting research on in-classroom breakfasts at the School Nutrition Association’s national conference in July. Her research has found that schools that offer in-classroom breakfasts have experienced dramatic increases in student participation, which leads to increased revenue from the breakfasts.
  • Ten faculty members were awarded faculty research and creative activity fellowships for Summer 2012, Fall 2012 and the first round of Winter 2013. The fellowships are designed to encourage and support research, creative, artistic and scholarly endeavors of full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty. Recipients are:
    • Leslie Atzmon (Art), “The Graphic Design Reader Anthology.”
    • David Chou (Computer Information Systems), “Developing Cloud Computing for a Model for Information Technology Sustainability.”
    • Elizabeth Currans (Women’s & Gender Studies), “Engendering Publics: Women’s Demonstrations in the 21st Century U.S.”
    • Suzanne Dugger (Leadership & Counseling), “Foundations of Career Counseling: Completion of a Textbook Manuscript for Publication by Pearson Education.”
    • Paul Leighton (Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology), “Proposal to Write Chapters for Oxford’s Handbook on White Collar Crime,” and the “Routledge Handbook of International Crime and Justice Studies.”
    • Raymond Rosenfeld (Political Science), “Comparative Civic Culture: Ukraine and Latvia.”
    • Jamie Scaglione (Chemistry), “Understanding the Antifungal Mycosubtilin.”
    • Joel Schoenhals (Music & Dance), “Beethoven’s 32: Exploring the ‘New Testament.’”
    • Sylvia Sims Gray (Social Work), “At Risk Students and University Stakeholders: On Crossing the Finish Line.”
    • Tsu-Yin We (Nursing), “Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening: Developing and Testing a Culturally-Tailored Intervention in Asian Americans.”
  • Eastern’s marketing department launched the second phase of its popular TRUEMU integrated marketing campaign, which focuses on faculty excellence and showcases 20 faculty members from all five colleges on 80 light-post banners along major streets in Ypsilanti and on EMU’s main campus.
  • In U.S. News & World Report rankings of the Best Graduate Schools for 2012, the EMU School of Social Work was ranked #89, a significant improvement from the previous ranking in 2008 of #128.
  • EMU was named one of the nation’s most eco-friendly campuses according to Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges. Only 322 schools with eco-friendly campuses made the list out of 768 schools rated.
  • Eastern’s Autism Collaborative Center’s program to help prepare autistic students for the future was featured in the Detroit News. The program is unlike any other in Michigan and only one of a handful nationally that helps students during college so they can graduate, get a degree and land a job. named EMU’s program among the “Ten Impressive Special College Programs for Students With Autism.”
  • Ted Coutilish, associate vice president for marketing, has been named 2012 Communicator of the Year by IABC Detroit, an association for professional business communicators. The award is given to a veteran communications professional who exemplifies excellence in such areas as professional achievement and civic and/or charitable contribution of communications expertise.
  • The “Invest.Inspire” Campaign reached $55 million as of March 28. The Campaign celebration was held April 29 in the Student Center Ballroom. Awards that night included:
    • Mike and Karen Paciorek - Presidential Award for Faculty and Staff Leadership Advancement
    • Dan and Florentina McClory, Steve and Jackie Tracy, and American Electric Power Foundation - Presidential Award for Advancing Philanthropy
    • The City of Ypsilanti – Oakwood Project, Mayor Paul Schreiber, Ward 2 Council Member Michael Bodary, Ward 2 Council Member Daniel Vogt, Teresa Gilotti and Stan Kirton - Presidential Award for Community Partnership
  • The 51st Annual Alumni Awards program recognized outstanding alumni for their achievements and support for the University. Honored were:
    • Beth Doane and James Satterfield Jr. - Outstanding Alumni Award
    • Jeffrey Kleinsmith, Carol Mull and Rob Powers - Alumni Achievement Award
    • Mark Sadzikowski - Distinguished Alumni Award
    • Dan Arbour - Dr. John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award
  • The State of Michigan awarded a $500,000 grant to Eastern Michigan’s Autism Collaborative Center. The money will support the Center’s operations and expand its ability to serve families, which is particularly important as the new autism insurance mandate takes effect.
  • EMU’s Upward Bound, a college readiness program, has been awarded $398,293 by the U.S. Department of Education to select eligible students from the Ypsilanti and Willow Run High Schools. Students are provided with academic skills and motivation for their secondary and post-secondary education. EMU’s program was one of the first in the nation.
  • EMU has secured funding of $398,293 from the U.S. Department of Education under the Upward Bound Program for the 2012-2013 program year. Providing that federal appropriations continue at the same level as this year, EMU expects to receive an additional $398,293 in non-competing renewal funding for the next four years for a total of almost $2 million.
  • Tsu-Yin Wu of the College of Nursing has won a $134,552 grant from the Susan B. Komen Foundation for breast health programs and cancer screening in China and Taiwan. The grant will be used to recruit and train medical professionals who will work in underserved areas.
  • David Pawlowski, physics and astronomy, has been awarded $21,960 from the University of Michigan for a project that uses sophisticated computer simulations to support the upcoming MAVEN mission to Mars. MAVEN is the 2013 Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, which will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Pawlowski will incorporate the data into a computer model to develop more accurate simulations.
  • Katherine Greenwald, biology, has won a $10,250 grant from Ohio State University for field and lab-based research on the distribution of salamanders in Ohio and Michigan, in order to generate a predictive habitat model for the Blue-spotted salamander.
  • On May 21-22, EMU hosted the 2012 Michigan ACE Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education Annual Conference at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. The theme was “Build Inclusion: Bold Ideas. Creative Solutions.”  
  • On May 23, EMU hosted “Cyber Security in the 21st Century:  Digital Divas.” 300 area junior high school girls attended the workshop designed to help middle and high school girls understand the appeal and relevance of careers in information technology and information assurance/cyber security.
  • Halle Library honors African-American medical personnel in its new exhibit, “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine,” which runs through June 23. Developed by the National Library of Medicine, the exhibit explores the roles of African-American men and women, both free and formerly enslaved, who provided medical care to black soldiers and civilians.
Of Note:
  • EMU recently signed several new agreements with China’s Wuhan University International School of Software to provide students and faculty with new academic programs and an international center. The dual-degree programs will be offered in economics. One new opportunity for EMU students includes conducting research at the Chinese government-funded Joint International Center of EMU and Wuhan.
  • The University’s 9/11 Memorial now has a simple but powerful message that was recently sand blasted onto its cement steps. Proposed by Mark Higbee, professor of American history, the new lettering honors lives lost and the courage shown in the attacks.
  • The University has announced a new program, called LiveYpsi, that encourages EMU employees to purchase a home in Ypsilanti. Employees who purchase a home will be able to receive forgivable loans of $7,500. The program currently is funded by EMU, Washtenaw County and the DTE Foundation.
Athletics highlights:
  • Baseball:  Brent Ohrman and Bo Kinder have been named to the 2012 Capital One Baseball Academic All-District V first team. They will now go on the national ballot for Academic All-American Recognition.
  • Baseball:  EMU senior Brent Ohrman and redshirt sophomore Sam Ott were named to the All-Mid-American Conference first team while Ben Magsig made second team All-MAC. It is only the second time since 2007 that EMU has put multiple players on the All-MAC first team.
  • Baseball:  The Miami Marlins drafted EMU pitcher Steve Weber. He becomes the 67th player in EMU history to be drafted into the majors.
  • Women's Basketball:  Natachia Watkins was named Academic All-MAC.
  • Men’s Golf:  Eagle golfers Brian Burt, Tommy Conway and Casey Olsen were among the 168 amateur players competing in the 101st Michigan Amateur, the major amateur golf tournament in the region and also one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting competitions in the state.
  • Women’s Golf:  Sarah Johnson and Shannon Warner were named first-team All-MAC.  Meredith Fairbairn and Sarah Johnson were named Academic All-MAC.
  • Gymnastics:  Nine members of the EMU gymnastics teams received honorable Academic All-MAC honors for the 2012 season:  Brittany Cassar, Shawna Ciaramella, Camille Cicchini, Amanda Fuller, Kristina Kurkmillis, Ashley Quinton, Tracie Tamashiro, Stacie Wood and Kristen Yourick.
  • Men’s Swimming & Diving:  Two former standouts and seven current members of the EMU swimming and diving teams will compete at the 2012 Olympic Swimming and Diving Trials in hopes of representing their respective countries at the London Olympic Games, July 27-August 12. Current Eagles Briana Emig, Jacob Hanson, Mike Fisher, Troy Esentan, Mike Swain and Brian More, as well as alumnus Kevin Doak and Derick Roe have all qualified for the Trials. Andrew Saunders recently participated in the Canadian Olympic Trials in Montreal, May 25-27.
  • Women’s Tennis:  Nino Meburke and Miriam Westernik were named second-team All-MAC.
  • Men’s Track:  Terefe Ejigu was named the Most Valuable performer at the 2012 MAC Outdoor Championships. He received the same honor at the 2012 MAC Indoor Championships earlier this year and this is his second straight year being named the outdoor MVP.
  • Men’s Track:  Terefe Ejigu and Donald Scott turned in strong efforts at the NCAA East Regional, May 24-26 at the University of North Florida to qualify for the NCAA Championships, June 6-9, at Drake University. At the regional, Ejigu was third in the 5,000 meters and Scott was sixth in the triple jump.
  • Women’s Track:  Asis Rawls turned in a strong effort at the NCAA East Regional, May 24-26, at the University of North Florida to qualify for the NCAA Championships. At the regional, Rawls was twelfth in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles.
  • Women’s Track:  Meghan Powers and Kate Wolanin were named Academic All-MAC.
  • Wrestling:  Wes Schroeder and Aaron Sulzer have been named to the 2012 National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic Team. In addition, the Eagles ranked 17th for a second straight season among all Division 1 schools with a cumulative GPA of 3.1059.
  • Eric Alejandron, a 2008 EMU alumnus, recently ran in the heats in Puerto Rico to qualify for the London Olympics to represent Puerto Rico. This keeps EMU’s amazing string of 14 straight Olympic Games appearances alive, going back to 1960 when Hayes Jones made the U.S. team and won a bronze medal in Rome in the 110mHH.
  • EMU athletics gave back to the community when student-athletes and coaches from the football and women’s basketball teams participated in community outreach events. The football team joined forces with more than 500 volunteers during the 18th annual Ypsilanti P.R.I.D.E. Day. The women assisted in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, which helps raise awareness and funds for heart disease and stroke.