President's Report to the Board of Regents

June 10, 2014

This budget funds a new Physician Assistant (PA) program in collaboration with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital System, significant increases in public safety, financial aid, capital improvements in living and learning facilities and technology. The capital budget is $12.6 million and includes Rackham, Department of Public Safety, as well as Wise Hall, which is our next residence hall to be renovated. This budget funds and welcomes 36 new faculty that will join us this Fall. The budget also includes several millions in cost reductions including changes in compensation and benefits that are painful.

I recommend to the Board of Regents, for approval, a 2014-2015 General Fund operating budget of $301.9 million. The budget continues our strong support of students and affordability with $43.8 million in University-sponsored financial aid, an increase of $4.6 million over this year’s budget. Our state appropriation increase is likely to fund this financial aid increase while leaving some funds for other needs on our campus. Since 2007-2008, University-sponsored financial aid has doubled from $21.4 million. Our enrollment is strong due to affordability and financial aid support in these trying times in Michigan. Under the recommended budget, Eastern will continue to be the state leader in tuition restraint. The recommended 3.2 percent increase maintains Eastern’s commitment to provide students with a high quality education, with the lowest dollar tuition increase over the past six years of any of Michigan’s 15 public universities.

Safety and security investments include additional surveillance cameras being added to the more than 500 already in place, and renovation of the DPS headquarters. This will accommodate the 10 new officers joining the force by fall to total 43 officers. Expanded patrols, in collaboration with Ypsilanti Police and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, now include neighborhoods surrounding campus on our north, south, east and west where EMU students and employees live. In collaboration with DTE, new LED lighting will be added on the perimeter of campus in the Leforge Road area. In addition, we continue to work with private rental properties surrounding campus to press for further safety measures. Several apartment complexes have committed to adding surveillance cameras, emergency call stations and expanded security efforts.

The budget includes measures that will impact leadership and other non-union employees (AP, AC, CA, AH classifications). A merit salary increase pool of 2 percent is recommended, effective November 1. Yet, pension contributions will be changed from 11% to a university contribution of 9 percent for all employees hired prior to January 1, 2013, effective November 1. For employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, Eastern’s contribution will be 5 percent, and if the employee contributes 4 percent, Eastern will match that 4 percent, for a maximum Eastern contribution of 9 percent (changing from a 5/5/5 match of 10% from Eastern to 5/4/4 match of 9%). This entire group of employees will pay more for health care coverage, effective January 2015.

We recognize that these changes will have a personal impact. Our University Human Resources office will hold campus forums followed by individual meetings with each of these 301 employees. CFO Lumm and I will host a budget forum at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Student Center auditorium to explain the budget in more detail and will answer questions directly from the audience followed by a campus Lunch by the Lake.

I would like to gratefully recognize retirements and contributions of several individuals who are or who have been part of the University’s leadership team. Don Loppnow has proudly served Eastern for 40 years in the roles of Professor, Provost and Interim President, as well as a steadfast supporter of Ypsilanti. John Lumm has served Eastern as Chief Financial Officer since 2008 with great dedication during challenging financial times. Leigh Greden’s role in Government & Community Relations has been exciting to watch. He leaves to become Congressman John Dingell's Chief of Staff in Washington DC. Leigh’s dedication to Eastern has been steadfast and appreciated. We wish them all well.

I want to take a moment to thank our entire faculty and staff for their belief and hard work to maintain momentum during the financially challenging times of the last six years of my Presidency. Eastern is better because of you and together we believe in the importance of this great, historic, and diverse public university to serve ordinary working class families, hungry for education at an affordable price. Our residence halls are full and our Honors College is growing by leaps and bounds. We remain TRUEMU welcoming those with some college, but no degree and ordinary working class families, first generation freshmen, realizing the dream, as I did, of getting off of the farm and obtaining a college degree. Eastern is critical to the future of Southeastern Michigan and this State.

Many other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this report, which is available on the University’s website.

Thank you, Chair Parker.

Susan Martin

  • Five EMU students have been accepted into a prestigious Google volunteer program where students will help equip small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits to compete in the digital age. The students selected are: Mahdi Alkadib, Patrick Cotter, Robert Larson and Sean Tseng and Joseph Wendl.
  • Two MSN students, Janice Cecil and Kelly Miller, have won first and second place, respectively, in the MSN Thesis Category at the Midwest Nursing Research Society’s 2014 Annual Research Conference.
  • Student Trevis Harrold has been selected for the Woodrow Wilson Thomas A. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program. The program provides funding for participants in preparation for a career in the United States Department of State Foreign Service.
  • EMU senior Patrick Seick won national championship honors in after-dinner speaking and impromptu speaking at the National Forensic Association Tournament held April 18-21 on EMU’s campus. The EMU team placed fifth overall.
  • EMU senior Christopher Zavac, a 21-year-old baritone, took third place and a $150 award during the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Society’s Young Vocalist Competition in March.
  • The inaugural class of future physician assistants started classes on May 5. The new 24-month physician assistant program has 20 master’s-level students enrolled and is one of only six accredited PA programs in Michigan.
  • Eastern Michigan professor Howard Cass, along with a dance video featuring EMU students performing in the Detroit Institute of Arts, were included in a May 20 performance by the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. As a member and composer for the ensemble, Cass performed three of his own pieces on the piano, including “Jazz Suite,” which was chosen to accompany EMU professor Joanna McNamara’s recent dance video, “For Diego.”
  • Eastern’s Office of Academic Service-Learning, Institute for the Study of Children, Families, and Communities, and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance recognized the community organizations and members along with outstanding representatives of EMU’s faculty, staff and students who create bridges of opportunity between the community and the University. Faculty honored on April 11 were Susan Badger Booth, arts management; Claudette Braxton, social work; Ethan Lowenstein, teacher education; Heather Neff, director of the McNair Scholars program; Janet Okagbue-Reaves, social work and Marilyn Wedenoja, social work.
  • The Early College Alliance (ECA) at Eastern Michigan is ranked sixth in the state for Michigan Merit Exam reading and mathematics scores. That ranking represents a substantial increase over the previous year, when the ECA was ranked a respectable 41st out of more than 800 Michigan high schools ranked.
  • EMU Registrar Christina Shell was recently named a recipient of the 2014 National Society of Collegiate Scholars Registrar Award.
Gifts & Grants
  • EMU’s Children’s Institute has received a $53,940 grant from the Michigan Department of Education for a summer Great Start Readiness program starting June 16.
  • An EMU student will study elements, such as the lifestyle, landscape and design, within two of the country’s most important historic estates under a new research fellowship announced in May. The fellowship, a partnership between EMU and Historic Ford Estates, is open to students who are pursuing a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation at EMU, and offers a stipend of $6,000 supplied by the Estates and tuition support of $6,000 from EMU per academic year. The Fellowship will begin this fall.
  • The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform at Pease Auditorium on Friday, June 27 as part of the Pease Auditorium Centennial celebration, which began on May 1.
  • A summer Graduate Open House was held on June 7.
  • The Department of Special Education is celebrating a Century of Excellence and began its celebration on Friday, May 16 with a weekend of events including a historical archives display, campus tours, lectures, a Hall of Fame induction ceremony, research symposium and a celebration dinner.
  • The American Heart Association’s Washtenaw County Heart Walk and Heart 5K Run was held on EMU’s campus on Saturday, May 10. More than 3,000 runners and walkers put their heart and sole into the walk and 5K run. EMU was the top institution in terms of donations and two EMU employees ranked among the top individual donors.
  • The third annual Cyber Security in the 21st Century: Digital Divas Conference was held on Friday, April 25 at the EMU Student Center. More than 500 girls from area middle and high schools participated in the event to learn more about careers in cyber security.
  • TRUEMU Day at Eastern Market on April 12 attracted more than 100 alumni and friends for the second annual event. The event celebrated the rich history of both institutions. EMU was founded in 1849 and the Eastern Market was established in 1841. The EMU Marching Band also brought its more than 120-years of musical history to the streets of Eastern Market.
  • Automotive veteran and best selling author, Bob Lutz, was the guest speaker at a dinner at Eastern Michigan on June 4. Lutz, who retired from General Motors in 2010, shared stories about leaders who left the strongest impressions on him. Proceeds from the event are earmarked for scholarships for the EMU College of Technology and the Detroit-Windsor Chapter of the American Foundry Society.
  • Eastern Michigan’s Convocation Center again served as the site for the Robotics State Championship on April 10-12. Fifty-six Michigan high school teams battled it out in the qualifying state championships. The three-day event is facilitated by an organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and brought thousands of fans from across the state.
  • Eastern’s 27th annual Teacher Job Fair on April 9 brought more than 130 employers from Michigan, Florida, Arizona, Montana and Colorado.
Of Note
  • The #HighFiveChallenge, launched by the EMU Foundation and Alumni Relations, kicked off in May. EMU alumni, faculty, staff and supporters are encouraged to make donations of $5 (or more) to support any area on campus that is the most meaningful to them.
Athletic Highlights
  • Baseball: Lee Longo has been named All-MAC Second Team.
  • Baseball: The baseball team received the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their exceptional work in the classroom as part of the NCAA’s Academic Performance program.
  • Basketball (Men): Forward Daylen Harrison was named to the Academic All-MAC team. Harrison has a 3.66 GPA as chemistry major.
  • Basketball (Men): The men’s basketball team earned this season’s NCAA Statistical Championship for field goal percentage defense. The Eagles held teams to just a 36.9 field goal percentage.
  • Cross Country (Men): Harry Dixon was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Cross Country/Track and Field Team in District Five by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
  • Football: Cy Maughner was presented with the Medal of Excellence Award as part of the Mid-American Conference Spring Meeting.
  • Gymnastics: Anna Willette has been named to the Academic All-MAC Team. Willette earns the distinction with her success in the gym as well as her 3.58 GPA as a speech/language pathology major.
  • Rowing: Krista Burdick, Emily Burks, Taylor Cyr, Sidney Doss, Ashley Gilmore, Cady Griffin, Kaitie Keys, Tijana Milovanovic, Steph Schlosser and Lyndsey Tollas were named CRCA National Scholar Athletes. To be considered for the honor, a student athlete must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher, be at least a sophomore and have rowed in one of their institution’s NCAA or IRA eligible boats for 75 percent of the spring races or the regional conference event.
  • Soccer: Stephanie Clarke was presented with the Medal of Excellence Award as part of the Mid-American Conference Spring Meetings.
  • Softball: Michelle Kriegshauser was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.
  • Swim & Dive (Men): Krzysztof Gilski, Erik Gissen, Andrew Henry and Dakoda Johnson have been named to the Academic All-MAC team. Dylan Crompton, Gus Everson, Chris Hodges, Oded Ivry, Aaron Lawson, Brian Moore and Sage Stephens earned honorable mention.
  • Swim & Dive (Women): Monica Dorszewski, Danielle Hulvey and Jackie Swartz were all named to the Academic All-MAC team. Audra Burtch, Lauren Dark, Becca Detri, Sara Ghaffari, Melynee Saya and Karly Taylor earned honorable mention.
  • Tennis: Nino Mebuke and Klara Supejova each earned the Academic All-MAC team distinction for the first time in their careers. Mariya Toncheva was named to the Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention List.
  • Tennis: Diana Davitaia and Klara Supejova each earned All-MAC First Team honors while Nino Mebuke was named to the second team.
  • Track & Field (Men): The EMU men’s track and field team won its 22 nd MAC Championship title in program history.
  • Volleyball: The EMU volleyball team has received the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their exceptional work in the classroom as part of the NCAA’s Academic Performance program.
  • Wrestling: Vincent Pizzuto has been selected to the Academic All-MAC Team while Nicholas Barber and Michael Shaw were named to the honorable mention list.
  • Wrestling: Vincent Pizzutio was named to the 2014 National Wrestling Coaches All-Academic Team, while the EMU wrestling squad was named to the annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams.