President's Report to the Board of Regents

December 5, 2014

I want to thank our students, faculty and staff for their commitment to make Eastern an outstanding public university with an open, welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus community. Eastern's vision is to be a premier public university recognized for student-centered learning, high quality academic programs and community impact. Our core values include excellence, respect, inclusiveness, responsibility and integrity. Recent events in Ferguson have sparked protests and dialogue on our campus. I want to thank the University Faculty Senate for its resolution on December 3rd that states "The University Faculty Senate joins the EMU President in welcoming and encouraging a continuing discussion and dialogue on race and inclusion issues on the EMU campus. It further encourages university leadership to elevate EMU's presence in addressing structural inequality in quality of life variables within the greater region."

Two of the four strategic themes in our Strategic Plan are Service and Engagement and Student Engagement and Success. I am pleased to announce that in January, Eastern will become one of 361 institutions to receive the 2015 Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. This recognizes excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement. Congratulations to the team that prepared the detailed application.

Another of our four strategic themes is High Performing Academic Programs and Quality Research. A communications campaign to raise awareness about faculty research at EMU is under way with 100 faculty researchers featured on banners around campus, billboards along major area freeways, and videos on our social media channels.

Recent significant grants include:

  • A five-year U.S. Department of Education grant of nearly $2 million to strengthen efforts in STEM disciplines, with a special emphasis on bringing women and minorities into these fields.
  • A $1.7 million U.S. Department of Education multi-year grant to implement Arts in Education with the River Rouge School District.
  • A $948,000 Health Resource and Service Administration three-year grant to fund "Behavior Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and Paraprofessionals."

Over 200 graduate students presented research at the 2014 Graduate Research Fair.

The fourth strategic theme in our Strategic Plan is Institutional Effectiveness. Eastern continues to enhance safety initiatives and plans to purchase body cameras -- joining our public safety partners in the Eastern Washtenaw Safety Alliance -- the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office and Ypsilanti Police who also plan to purchase body cameras. Eastern is among a handful of Michigan public universities to adopt the use of body cameras. The cameras will be deployed early next year and will be used in conjunction with our existing in-car video system. The cameras document public contacts, enforcement activity, and response to both critical and routine calls for service. Our expanded police force of 43, as of early next year, ensures that Eastern is one of the safest campuses in Michigan and has expanded off-campus patrols.

I am pleased to recommend to the Board of Regents a new policy to create a tobacco-free campus effective July 1, 2015.

I also recommend to the Board of Regents a resolution to withdraw, effective June 30, 2015, from the 2011 Interlocal Agreement between Eastern Michigan University and the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA).

I would like to take a moment to personally acknowledge two dedicated Board of Regents members who are completing their terms of service this month. Board Chair Francine Parker was appointed in 2007 and has served as chair since 2012. Regent Floyd Clack was appointed in 2005. Both Regents invested their time and their passion for education to make tremendous contributions to Eastern and to our students, faculty and staff. Please join us to thank them at a dessert reception across the hall immediately following this meeting.

Other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this report on the University's website. Thank you, Chair Parker.

Susan Martin

Recognition
  • Four ROTC cadets joined nearly 700 other cadets and soldiers at the 13th Annual Norwegian Foot March. Cadets Alexander Bock, Hudson Jalali, Steven Shak and Regan Titus participated in a 18.6-mile march and run while carrying a 25-pound rucksack full of nonperishable food items that will be donated to Lucas Place II, a permanent supportive housing complex for homeless veterans with disabilities, in Evansville, Ind.
  • Sabrena Carpenter has won a competitive minority accounting award through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The $3,000 scholarship award will go towards her education.
  • The EMU Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting honors organization, has been recognized internationally as a superior chapter for the past academic year.
  • Engineering technology professor Jamil Baghdachi has been inducted as one of the 2014 Fellows of the American Chemical Society.
  • English professor Doug Baker was awarded the Michigan Council of Teachers of English Charles Carpenter Fries award, in recognition of a distinguished career.
  • Professor Martin Schichtman received the Michigan Council for Social Studies College Educator of the Year Award.
  • President Susan Martin was honored by the local branch of the NAACP for her dedicated service in education.
Gifts & Grants
  • EMU has received a federal grant of nearly $2 million to strengthen its efforts in educating its students in STEM disciplines, with a special emphasis on bringing women and minorities into these fields. The five-year grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education's Title III Program, involves broadening and institutionalizing the Creative Scientific Inquiry Experience, a program developed by the University and funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • College of Education professors Peggy Daisey and Deborah Harmon were awarded a $1.7 million U.S. Department of Education grant to implement Arts in Education with the River Rouge School District. The multi-year grant begins in 2015.
  • The School of Social Work successfully competed for an award from the Health Resource and Service Administration. The grant will amount to more than $948,000 over a three-year period, and is in support of a project on "Behavior Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and Paraprofessionals."
  • The WEMU Fall Pledge Drive, held Oct. 16-23, gained $165,000 in support from its listening community.
  • The Greg O'Dell Golf Outing has reached its three-year $100,000 goal to endow a scholarship for criminal justice students.
Events
  • The Graduate Research Conference, a celebration of graduate student research and creative activity through oral, art and poster sessions, was held on Friday, Nov. 14.
  • The Michigan Collegiate Job Fair, one of the largest and longest-running job fair events in the state, was held Friday, Nov. 14.
Of Note
  • The College of Business launched the Center for Digital Engagement on Nov. 7 at the annual Search Marketing Workshop. It will offer hands-on training in cutting edge strategies in the rapidly evolving digital business environment.
Athletic Highlights
  • Basketball (Men): Karrington Ward's dunk on Nov. 17 against Oakland University was named ESPN's Sportscenter Play of the Night.
  • Cross Country (Men): The Eagles won their fifth consecutive Mid-American Conference Championship title, 23 points ahead of the second place finisher. Overall, it was their 19th MAC Championship in program history.
  • Cross Country (Women): Two Eagles, Sofie Gallein and Victoria Voronko, qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championship. This is the first time in program history that two individual qualifiers have made it to the national event.
  • Football: Punter Owen Dubiel was named a candidate for the 2014 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate punters.
  • Soccer: Seniors Emily Dzik, Molly Krick, Bianca Rossi and Angela Vultaggio were all named to the All-MAC teams. Dzik, Krick and Vultaggio earned first team honors while Rossi collected second team honors.
  • Soccer: Emily Dzik and Julia Lombardi have been recognized as Capital One Academic All-District honorees.
  • Volleyball: Senior Jill Briner was named to the All-MAC First Team, while Megan Crawshaw and Corynne Smith were named to the All-MAC Second Team.