President's Report to the Board of Regents
October 7, 2014
Autumn has arrived with beautiful color and energy on Eastern Michigan University's 165-year old campus. Our Fall 2014 class moved in on August 30th with great excitement.
Our 800-plus acres of campus has never looked better and it fills me with great pride as I walk campus and see all of the faces that reflect Eastern's success. For example the banners that showcase 100 faculty discussing their research activities with pride.
The Fall 2014 class is the best prepared academically in recent history. The average ACT score of the new freshmen is 22.15, continuing a trend of increases since 2011 when the average score was 21.1. The average high school GPA also has risen over the last five years, increasing from 3.05 in 2010 to 3.28 for this incoming class. We're also enrolling a higher percentage of students with GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0.
One of our most exciting stories, reflecting the academic strength of Eastern, is the continued growth of the Honors College. The Honors program accepts students with at least a 25 ACT score and a 3.5 high school GPA, while considering other factors such as background, student essays and life experience. The Honors College has nearly doubled in enrollment since 2011. This year, it admitted its largest freshman class ever, 500 students, an increase of 17 percent from the previous year's record total. A total of 1,350 students participate in Eastern's Honors College program. Our 17 Presidential Scholars are here today who competed and won a four-year, full-ride scholarship.
This fall we also are pleased to welcome 38 new faculty members. They continue our strong tradition of faculty excellence, small class size and direct access and involvement in the day-to-day success of our students.
We continue to see tremendous growth in health-related studies at Eastern. The College of Health and Human Services enrolled more than 4,500 students this fall, representing an increase of 117 percent over the last 10 years. Enrollment also grew in the College of Business and the College of Technology in programs that meet the needs of Michigan, as well as national and international demands for a skilled talent pool.
Eastern continues to maintain a strong position of affordability among the Michigan public universities. Eastern has the lowest dollar increase in tuition among the 15 Michigan public universities over the last six years. Eastern has increased institutional financial aid by more than 100 percent over the last seven years. For fall 2015, we are proposing, for Board of Regents approval today, a financial aid budget of $48,023,000 – representing an 8.9 percent increase from the current year's approved budget of $44,089,000.
Ypsilanti Lincoln High School will hold its Homecoming football game at Rynearson Stadium on October 17th. EMU offered the use of our field after Lincoln announced it would relocate its remaining home games following a fatal electrical incident involving a 13 year old boy last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with the boy's family and the community as they mourn this loss.
Please join me in welcoming Michael Valdes, our new CFO, and Kenneth Dobson, our new Executive Director of Government and Community Relations. I also would like to welcome and introduce new head baseball coach Mark Van Ameyde. The search for a new Vice President of Advancement is currently underway. I am honored to serve as Eastern's president and proud of the talented leadership team that works with our faculty, students, staff, alumni and community to shine a bright light on Eastern and improve it every day.
We are pleased to recommend for Board of Regents approval today, Gary C.K. Huang, President of Rotary International, as our December Commencement speaker. Rotary International is a service organization that brings together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It has more than 34,000 clubs and 1.2 million members worldwide. Mr. Huang is a 1972 graduate of Eastern. He will be awarded a Doctor of Business during the ceremony.
Homecoming week is under way and we will welcome alumni, donors and the community to join us in the celebrations. Highlights include the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new McKenny Gallery at 4:30 pm on Thursday with an exhibit entitled "A Tradition of Leadership." There will be a pep rally and block party on Friday night followed by Coach Creighton and his football team playing Buffalo on Saturday at The Factory in Rynearson Stadium. (See www.emich.edu/homecoming for a full list of Homecoming events.)
Many other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this report, which is on the University's website. Thank you, Chair Parker.
- Secondary education senior Brandon Britt has been invited to present his McNair research project, "African American Male Inclusion, Involvement, Perception and Achievement at Predominantly White Institutions" at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education Exhibition. He has also been accepted to present his project at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
- Graduate student Justin Carpenter was honored by the American Holistic Nurses Association with the Charlotte McGuire Education Scholarship for his commitment to holistic nursing practice and philosophy, and for his leadership in advancing holistic nursing.
- A team of EMU students that included Melissa Case, Kosta Kontoyiannakis, Elaine Meinzer and Jamal Mokeddem were runners-up in the first annual MBA Leadership Case Competition. Management professor Kunal Banerji served as the team's faculty advisor.
- Political science student Trevis Harrold has been awarded one of the coveted Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowships. As part of the fellowship, Harrold will receive financial support for tuition his senior year of undergraduate and first year of graduate studies.
- EMU student Timothy Nichols was chosen as the second recipient of the Greg O'Dell Criminal Justice Scholarship.
- Graduate students from the Integrated Marketing Communications program recently won second, third and an honorable mention in a prestigious marketing contest against other college teams from around the world.
- EMU's student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management won the 2013-14 Outstanding Student Chapter award from the organization.
- Biology professor Anne Casper has been recognized by the Council for Undergraduate Research with an honorable mention in their 2014 Outstanding Biology Mentor Awards.
- Tsu-Yin Wu has been selected as one of 168 new Nurse Leaders to join the American Academy of Nursing Fellowship program. The 2,200 total nurse leaders in the program were selected "because of their leadership in education, management, and policy and work to improve the health of the nation."
- Social work professor Marjorie Ziefert was recognized for her efforts as a social justice advocate and educator by the National Association of Social Workers–Michigan Chapter when they awarded her with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Linda Yohn, music director at WEMU, has been named Jazz Programmer of the Year in a major market by JazzWeek. She has won the award previously in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
- The EMU Department of Athletics was awarded the 2013-14 Cartwright Award – the highest honor in the MAC Conference – which is awarded for program excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship during the academic year.
Gifts & Grants
- Nina Contis and colleagues in the Natural Sciences have been awarded a $2 million, five-year renewal of a DOE Title III SIP grant, for the Creative Scientific Inquiry Experience: Developing Integrated Science Curriculum to Increase STEM Graduates. The project will implement interventions that support high academic standards, promote faculty collaboration across disciplines, and increase student performance and persistence in demanding STEM fields. Provost Kim Schatzel will act as primary investigator for the grant.
- Geography and geology professor Yichun Xie has been awarded a National Science Foundation Grant, EMU's portion of which will be in excess of $1.5 million. This project is awarded under the NSF ITEST program, a program designed to build best practice factors, contexts and processes contributing to K-12 students' motivation and participation in STEM and STEM careers.
- Professors Zenia Bahorski and Bill Sverdlik have been awarded a minimum two-year $310,000 grant from the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC). The grant calls for running a summer cyber camp for high school students and teachers, focusing on STEM and robotics but also connection to the humanities and social sciences.
- Professor Samir Tout received a grant for more than $222,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop, in collaboration with Merit Network and the University of Michigan, a multi-view capability advanced metering that will provide and propose an integrated smart grid analytic framework that identifies grid anomalies using correlative monitoring.
- The Construction Management Alumni Chapter's Dr. John Weeks Scholarship Golf Outing was sold out and raised $44,500 for the program.
- Emmy Award winning producer and EMU alumnus ('72) Sally Young was on campus September 23 to share her experience in television with students.
- More than 500 EMU supporters attended TRUEMU night at Comerica Park on July 30. EMU music therapy major Renae Murphy sang the national anthem, new baseball coach Mark Van Ameyde threw the first pitch which was caught by VP for Communications Walter Kraft, and a check for $2,600 was presented to SOS Community Services.
- Pease Auditorium marked its 100th anniversary this year with a celebration that included a performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on June 27.
- For the 12th consecutive year, EMU has been rated as one of the best colleges in the Midwest by The Princeton Review.
- Baseball: Four student-athletes were named to the Academic All-Mid-American Conference team. The athletes were: Lee Longo, Sam Ott, Adam Sonabend and John Rubino. Senior first baseman Lee Longo was named to the All-MAC Second Team.
- Cross Country (Men): Harry Dixon was named a member of the Capital One Academic All-America Division I Track and Field/Cross Country Third Team.
- Golf (Men): Michael Blair was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
- Golf (Women): The Eagles were ranked 11th nationally in the Women's Golf Coaches Association's 2013-14 All-Scholar Team GPA Awards.
- Gymnastics: Six Eagles were named Academic All-Americans by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women. The students are Shawna Ciaramella, Natalie Gervais, Chantelle Loehner, Sydney McEachern, Paulina Miller and Nikki Patterson.
- Softball: Six student athletes were named to the Academic All-Mid-America Conference honorable mention list. The students are Myranda Barnes, Abby Davidson, Aoife Duffy, Lindsay Rich, Amanda Stanton and Lauren Wells.
- Swimming & Diving: Four Eagles, Lauren Dark, Monica Dorszewski, Andrew Henry and Danielle Hulvey, were awarded the College Swimming Coaches Association of American' Division I Scholar Athlete All-America Teams Honorable Mention.
- Swimming & Diving: Both men's and women's teams were named to the College Swimming Coaches Association of American NCAA Division I Scholar All-American Teams for the Spring 2014 semester.
- Tennis: Daphne Friedrichs and Nino Mebuke each were named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association scholar-athlete list.
- Track & Field (Men): Donald Scott garnered First Team All-American honors in the triple jump after taking sixth in the nation.
- Track & Field (Men): Assistant coach Sterling Roberts was honored by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross County Coaches Association as he was named the Great Lakes Regional Men's Assistant Coach of the Year.
- Track & Field (Women): Four Eagles, Asliyah McKinney, Marina Manjon-Rivadulla, Kate Wolanin and Victoria Voronko, were named to the Academic All-Mid-American Conference team.
- Volleyball: The Eagles have won a 10th consecutive American Volleyball Coaches Association AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2013-14 school year.