President's Report to the Board of Regents

September 18, 2012

We are pleased to announce that we have the largest incoming class of new undergraduates in the University’s 163-year history and the largest freshman class in a decade!  New undergraduate enrollment for the fall opening term (includes freshmen, transfers, and others) totals 5,076 this fall -- an increase of about 6 percent from the previous high of 4,751 in 2001.  The freshman class of 2,595 increased by 21 percent from 2,130 last fall.  This is the largest incoming class of new freshmen since 2003.  At a time when Michigan’s population is declining and the projection of Michigan high school graduates is expected to fall from 100,009 in 2012 to 91,972 in 2022, Eastern grew!

The incoming freshman class also shows distinctly higher grades than last year, and is more diverse as well. Final figures indicate that 725 freshmen had a high school GPA of 3.50 or higher, compared to 532 last fall, an increase of 36 percent.  In addition, 877 freshmen earned a high school GPA of 3.0 to 3.49, compared to 663 last year -- a 32 percent increase.  Further evidence of the improved academic standing of students is enrollment in Eastern’s respected Honors College -- up from 165 last fall to more than 370 this fall.  Minority students, defined as African American, Hispanic or Native American, total 892 compared to 632 last year, a rise of 24 percent.

As a result of the enrollment gains and the reinvestment in upgrades to campus housing, more students are living on campus.  This fall, 1,840 first-time students are living in EMU residence halls and apartments, about a 19 percent increase from last fall’s total of 1,549.  Overall, 3,343 students are living in EMU housing this fall, an increase of 11 percent from last year’s total of 3,013.  I would like to thank everyone who helped with move-in and orientation to help new students feel at home at Eastern.

I would like to congratulate the work of the faculty contract bargaining teams, led by Susan Moeller, EMU-AAUP president and professor of accounting and finance, and James Carroll, associate provost and associate vice president for research and administration, and interim dean of the Graduate School.  A tentative agreement was reached two weeks before the expiration of the current contract in a positive spirit of cooperation and mutual respect.  I also would like to acknowledge our clerical secretarial bargaining teams for their hard work on difficult issues, led by Michael Shumaker, chief negotiator for UAW CS local 1975 and library assistant, and David Trakul, director of employment relations and policy.  All contracts in the past four years have been accomplished internally without outside counsel and without any interruption of work.

As I begin my fifth fall at Eastern, I thank the Board of Regents and all of our students, faculty and staff, alumni, friends and supporters for what we have accomplished together in the past four years.  Fall enrollment has grown from 228,520 student credit hours to 246,059.  Total student headcount has grown from 21,926 to 23,502.  After capital improvements of over $200 million, the campus looks beautiful and the $90 million science complex and renovation of Pray-Harrold and residence halls create a vibrant campus atmosphere to live and learn in.  The endowment is at a record $51,413,003 with completion of the “Invest, Inspire.” campaign which raised $56 million.  In the past four years, University House has hosted 241 events and 10,798 guests.  We have hired over 100 new faculty and authorized 37 searches for next fall.  At the same time, we have kept college affordable by keeping tuition low with an average increase of 2.86 percent and increased financial aid to a high of $35.7 million.  In the past two fiscal years we have eliminated 111 administrative staff positions totaling $5,890,807 and increased spending on Academic Affairs by $4.7 million, from 52.7 percent of our budget in FY 11 to 54 percent in FY 12.  We are embarked on strategic planning for the future and will utilize a market analysis and benchmarking studies to inform the strategic plan process this fall.   Campus safety is paramount and investment in a crime response team, dispatchers, cameras and technology have resulted in a decline in burglaries from 47 in 2008 to 13 last year.  Crimes that do occur are swiftly solved.  We have a stable and strong leadership team that loves Eastern.  Our future is bright and strong. 

This is a time of exceptional momentum, growth, pride and excitement on campus. Many other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix.  The full President’s Report is available on the University’s website.  Thank you, Chairman Wilbanks. 

Susan Martin