President's Report to the Board of Regents

October 30, 2012

Today we celebrate another milestone in our ongoing mission to revitalize Eastern Michigan University -- the dedication of Phase II of our $90 million self-funded Science Complex. The new facility is the largest construction project in Eastern’s history, offers new labs, enhanced instructional technology, and a planetarium. It is truly a game-changer in terms of our ability to educate our students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) areas that are critical to the state and to our nation. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, over the past ten years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018 compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations. A recent market analysis tells us that 183 occupations in Southeast Michigan and the State of Michigan will have wages higher than the median wage. Of these 183 occupations, 25 percent are reliant on STEM and these occupations are likely to grow 30 percent faster than non-STEM jobs over the next decade. Eastern’s Science Complex prepares STEM graduates.

The Science Complex is home to our Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Geography and Geology, and Physics and Astronomy departments. Thanks to our faculty, staff and facilities team for their involvement in the creation of a beautiful academic environment for student research and learning, and for their patience working adjacent to construction. I would like to acknowledge our Board of Regents for its leadership on the Science Complex and for approval of $90 million in bonds to fund the project. We continue to seek funding from the state legislature for Strong Hall to complete the last leg of this complex. Please join us at the dedication today at 3 p.m. in Room 158 of the Complex.

Today, we are recommending for Board of Regents’ approval a 2013-14 financial aid budget of more than $38 million. If approved, this will represent a 78 percent increase in aid over the past six years, and an increase of more than $2.6 million (7.5 percent).

We also welcome today the 2012 class of 16 Presidential Scholars who competed on campus to receive our largest academic award, a four-year full scholarship. Our Fall 2012 incoming undergraduate class of 5,076 is our largest in history and they are bright and eager to succeed on campus and in their future careers in Michigan.

Eastern’s future is bright. Our campus community and alumni take pride in Eastern.

Many additional accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this Report, which is available on the University’s website. Thank you, Chairman Wilbanks.

Susan Martin


  • Steven Hurbis, EMU student and a member of the EMU Mock Trial, achieved the rare distinction of a perfect score as an attorney and witness at the Ohio State University Mock Trial Invitational. He also finished as the top-ranked attorney and witness at the tournament. In addition, the EMU Mock Trial team won three top-ten attorney awards and two top-ten witness awards at the invitational.
  • A graduate of the M.S. in Accounting program, Kimberly Kopka was awarded the “Best Masters Student Paper Award” at the 2012 Midwest AAA.
  • Eaton Rapids’ downtown has been named to the National Register of Historic Places thanks to efforts made by EMU graduate students in the historic preservation program. The city’s downtown development authority contracted with the students who wrote the nomination application. The process took more than a year and involved researching the town’s history.
  • Professor Vijaykumar Mannari (polymers and coatings technology) was awarded the Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Award at the 2012 Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference. The award is recognition of success and innovation by the awardee incorporating principles of green chemistry into their work.
  • The NAACP Ypsilanti/Willow Run Branch is honoring the faculty and staff of EMU for our contribution to betterment of the University community in areas such as excellence in teaching, services to the community, diversity enhancement and scholarships throughout a variety of awards programs. Dean Michael Tidwell attended the presentation and accepted the “Award of Distinction in Leadership and Excellence in Education” on behalf of Eastern at the Second Annual Freedom Fund Gala Dinner Celebration, October 27 at the EMU Student Center.
  • The College of Business has been named an “outstanding” business school by the Princeton Review for the ninth consecutive year.
  • The College of Education has expanded its outreach in Asia with a new partnership agreement with Korea National University of Education. The agreements were signed on August 16 during a visit by Korean educators to Eastern.
  • A new partnership with the College of Education and Global Educational Excellence (GEE) will pave the way for student teaching and job opportunities for EMU students and graduates in the Middle East. The agreement was signed October 1. Both institutions pledged to provide collaborative educational opportunities as GEE expands its operations into Jordan and Dubai.
  • Eastern’s mechanical engineering technology program (MET) is now accredited – a distinction that will directly increase job opportunities for its graduates.
  • The nursing program at EMU was awarded accreditation when the Board of Commissioners of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) met in early October and reviewed for accreditation all nursing programs that hosted a spring 2012
    on-site evaluation.
  • Adam Meyer, director of the Disability Resource Center, is becoming recognized as a national authority for disability issues in the educational environment. He was invited to lead a workshop on significant documentation and process changes in the higher education disability field for Nebraska and Iowa disability service providers on October 26.

Gifts & Grants:

  • The EMU McNair Program for Post Baccalaureate Studies has received a renewal award from the U.S. Department of Education. Funding is awarded by the DOE with an initial award of $220,000, and four noncompeting renewals. Full funding for this grant cycle is expected to be $1.1 million over five years.
  • The Institute for Language Information and Technology (ILIT) has received $200,000 from Google, Inc. for the “Endangered Languages Project Technical Lead Succession Agreement.”
  • The Eastern Michigan Writing Project (EMWP) received a total of $60,000 in grants in May and June 2012 from the National Writing Project under a program called “Supporting Effective Educators Development (SEED).” The grants will help implement professional development programs for teachers in schools within the area.
  • The inaugural Greg O’Dell Golf Outing raised more than $40,000 towards its goal of endowing a $100,000 scholarship fund to benefit criminal justice students at EMU.
  • Kristine Ajrouch (Sociology) received a $30,000 grant to investigate the “Muslim Immigrant Experience: Trends and Outcomes.” She is one of only five recipients of the BORDERS Awards in Immigration Research through the University of Arizona. Her aims are to describe Muslim immigrants demographically and in terms of pre-immigrant migration and social capital factors such as religious attendance and social network, and examine the extent to which these factors explain linguistic, political/civic and economic integration.
  • Bradley Wilkerson (Information Assurance in Technology Studies) has received funding of $20,000 from the U.S. National Security Agency under its Cyber Competition Awards. The purpose of this grant is to provide support in the form of scholarship awards to the winners of the Information Assurance High School Cyber-Security Competition.
  • Maria Milletti (Chemistry) has received a grant of $18,500 from the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions program of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The funds will be used to bring a leading chemistry researcher to campus to give two lectures to our faculty, graduate and undergraduate student researchers during the summer of 2013. In addition, this grant will support the summer research of two undergraduate chemistry students working with faculty on projects.
  • The Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities (ISCFC) has received $15,000 from Washtenaw County in support of the project, “Connecting Hamilton Crossing: Developing Family Self-Sufficiency Education Programs for Subsidized Housing Residents.” This funding will support the development and implementation of a financial self-sufficiency education program for the residents of Hamilton Cross, a redeveloped subsidized housing project in Ypsilanti.


  • The Fifth Annual “Lights Before Christmas” at the Toledo Zoo is on Saturday, Nov. 17.
  • Industry experts will share strategies in a search-marketing workshop, to be held on Friday, Nov. 16.
  • EMU’s open house for new and returning graduate students is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10. An academic fair with faculty advisors and a financial aid presentation will be available.
  • In an effort to educate the public about the pros and cons about the new Affordable Care Act, Eastern hosted the seminar, “Everything You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act: A Community Teach-In,” on Thursday, Oct. 25.
  • Parents and Family Weekend was held October 19-21. The weekend offered a way for families to experience the excitement of Eastern’s campus. Activities included a Friday Frenzy Spirit Rally, several concerts, the EMU Alumni, Parents and Friends Tailgate and the EMU v. Army football game.
  • More than 200 EMU and community participants attended the October 16 Association for Jewish Studies Distinguished Lectureship Program, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: Out of Tragedy Comes Social Justice . The program was presented by Dr. Pamela Nadell, Patrick Clendenen Chair, Women’s and Gender History, American University.
  • The Arrive Alive Tour was held on campus October 15. The program uses high-tech driving simulators, an impact video and a number of other resources to allow those behind the wheel to experience the potential consequences of texting while driving.
  • Explore Eastern took place on October 13. 670 students attended this year, compared to 509 last year (a 33% increase). With parents and guests, more than 1,900 people attended the program, and 945 participated in campus tours.
  • The Fifth Annual Fashionality Fashion Week was held October 8-11. This year’s theme, “V,” celebrated the hard work and dedication it takes to make fashion week a success. Fashionality members are students interested in pursuing careers in fashion design, marketing, public relations and communications.
  • Fall Major Fest, held October 8, is an event where students undecided on a major have the opportunity to meet with faculty and staff in various academic departments in a festive atmosphere which includes prizes and Learning Beyond the Classroom credit. 225 students and 59 departments attended.
  • The annual “College Begins at Head Start” program was held October 2-11. More than 300 pre-school children and 150 parents and teachers from Ypsilanti and Whitmore Lake Head Start programs toured campus, visited Rynearson stadium, explored the Mark Jefferson rock garden and had lunch at the Student Center. The program, run by Government Relations, is part of a nationwide effort to encourage Head Start families to finish school and pursue a college education.
  • The Department of World Languages hosted its Eighth Annual German-American Day on October 1. This year’s theme was “The Grimms are In: Celebrating 200 Years of the Brothers’ Grimm Fairy Tales and their American Adaption.”

Of Note:

  • Veteran student enrollment at EMU has increased by 32% over the past four years, from 366 in fall 2009 to 483 in fall 2012.
  • The reverse transfer agreement with Washtenaw Community College was signed Friday, Sept. 21. The agreement will help students obtain their associate degree through credits accumulated at EMU.

Athletics Highlights:

  • Men’s Cross Country: Terefe Ejigu finished third at NCAA Pre-Nationals. He also was named MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week (Sept. 20), claimed the Bubble Buster title at the University of Toledo and won his second consecutive Spartan Invitational.
  • Women’s Cross Country: The team took fourth place at the Notre Dame Invitational. Victoria Voronko turned in a third place finish.
  • Football: EMU beat Army 48-38 at Rynearson Stadium for their first win of the season. It was also Band Day at EMU with 12 local high school bands from all over the state of Michigan performing with the EMU Band at half-time. Nearly 800 high school students participated.
  • Football: Alex Gillett was named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. He was among six MAC semifinalists.
  • Football: Bronson Hill was selected as the National Running Back of the week (October 13) by the College Football Performance Awards. In addition, Hill was named the MAC Conference male Scholar Athlete of the Week (October 14).
  • Football: Garrett Hoskins was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week (October 24). It is the first time since 2010 that an EMU student-athlete has been selected for the honor.
  • Men’s Golf: Brian Churchill-Smith shot a career-low 54-hole tally to finish as the runner-up at the 28th Annual Georgetown Intercollegiate with a four-under par 209.
  • Women’s Golf: Meredith Fairbairn finished second at the MAC Preview Invitational, October 15-16, and the team finished third.
  • Softball: For the ninth straight year, the EMU softball team has been ranked among the
    top-20 in all Division I schools in team GPA. The Eagles earned the ninth spot with a GPA of 3.552 last year.
  • Women’s Volleyball: Rachel Iaquaniello was named one of ten NCAA women’s volleyball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court who were selected as finalists for the 2012 Senior Class Award Championship.
  • Wrestling: Aaron Sulzer, Jared Germaine and Nick Whitenburg are ranked in the MAC Preseason Poll. Sulzer is tied for first at 157 lbs., Germaine is third at 125 lbs., and Whitenburg is third at 197 lbs. The Eastern team is ranked fifth in the MAC Preseason Poll.