President's Report to the Board of Regents

June 16, 2015

I am pleased to welcome the new Dean of our College of Technology, Dr. Mohamad Qatu (KAH-too). Dr. Qatu joins us from Central Michigan University, where he was director of the School of Engineering and Technology.

Eastern Michigan University has achieved considerable success over the last several years at increasing the academic profile of the institution and recruiting high-ability students who are better prepared academically to meet the rigors of college and succeed in obtaining a degree and pursuing a career:

  • Eastern’s Honors College has doubled in size since 2011 and last fall enrolled 1,400 students.
  • 500 new freshmen students were part of last fall’s Honors College – the largest incoming class ever.
  • Average ACT scores of incoming freshmen increased to 22.25 last fall, up from 21.1 in 2011.
  • Average GPAs of incoming freshmen increased to 3.27 last fall, up from 3.11 in 2011.

The significant growth of the Honors College led to today’s action regarding the acquisition of the former Holy Trinity Chapel at 511 West Forest Avenue, immediately contiguous with the east side of Eastern’s main campus. The 21,000 square foot building is well suited to be the new home of the Honors College and also offers performance space for music, dance and other arts.

With over 13,000 freshman applications for fall, we are 11.9 percent ahead of last year at this time. This could be another large record incoming class of first-time freshmen; the previous record of 2,872 was set in fall 2013. The financial aid budget is $48.5 million, an increase of $4.7 million or 10.7 percent over last year’s budget to build and support the fall 2015 class.

As a 166 year old historic institution, we must continue to invest in our students, faculty and staff, buildings and infrastructure. Today’s action on tuition rates for next year is significant. As many of you know, Eastern has been the state leader in tuition restraint over the last several years. Given our recent history of the lowest increases in the state, our tuition costs for 2015-2016 will remain among the lowest of all Michigan universities. Freshman students will pay approximately $25 more per credit hour for tuition and mandatory fees - - and a full year of 30 credits will be $754 more than last year. 

Over the last seven years Eastern has operated in a fiscally sound, responsible and sustainable manner, with a strong emphasis on effective budget stewardship. We have held overall costs relatively flat and will continue to do so, while accommodating contractual and other modest increases to salary. As an example of our cost-savings efforts, 167 non-faculty positions have been eliminated over the last four years, with a base salary cost savings of $8.9 million.

In closing, I would like to thank the Board, my colleagues on the leadership team, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of Eastern for the opportunity to serve as your President for seven years, ending July 7. I invite the campus community to tomorrow’s university update and budget forum at 11 a.m. in the Student Center Auditorium, which will be followed by Lunch by the Lake at noon.

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

Susan Martin


  • Graduate student Yonadov Diamond was awarded the Chester Haddan national scholarship from the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists for exceptional promise and leadership potential. Diamond is the first EMU student to receive this honor.
  • Graduate student Rita Thomas won a National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program-Youth award. The scholarship will allow Thomas to fulfill her goals of becoming a counselor and giving back to her community. This award was made possible through a grant awarded to the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Serviced Administration.
  • A new exhibit, “In Her Shoes: Forging Paths at EMU,” opened at McKenny Gallery on April 16. Graduate students in the Museum Experience Development class designed and curated the exhibit, which pays homage to women from Eastern’s historic past.
  • EMU students placed fourth at the National Forensics Championship, which was held in Athens, Ohio on April 16-20.  Senior Karen Bagoumian won the National Championship in Prose Interpretation. Spencer Belko, Durrell Jamerson-Barnes, Casey Sabella, Jackson Spencer, Tristin Taylor, Tim Ward and Sami White placed high in various categories.
  • EMU students placed third nationally in the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, which was held at Virginia Commonwealth University on March 25-28.  The team of Scout Bostley, Tiran Burell, Gabriel Green, and Darius Simpson performed four poetry performances and received high marks at the event.  EMU was the only Michigan school to compete.
  • The EMU American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter competed in the AMA International Collegiate Conference on March 19-21 in New Orleans. The team progressed to the semi-finalist round for Marketing Strategy and was recognized for exemplary performance in three categories—Outstanding Membership, Communications, and Professional Development.
  • Eastern Michigan University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been named the Small Business Development Center of the Year for Excellence in Innovation. Richard King, southeast Michigan regional director at EMU, and associate director Wendy Thomas were honored for the regional offices’ record-breaking performance on May 7 in Lansing.
  • Wallace Bridges, a professor in communications, media and theatre arts, won a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach theatre courses and produce a play at the University of Ghana-Accra.
  • Governor Rick Snyder appointed Ted Ligibel, historic preservationist and professor of geography and geology, as chair of the State Historic Preservation Review Board.
  • Steve Pernecky, department head, Chemistry, is preparing a submission for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring Program (PAESMEM), which recognizes outstanding efforts of mentors in encouraging the next generation of innovators and developing a science and engineering workforce that reflects the diverse talent of America.
  • Valerie Polakow, a professor in the College of Education, received the Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education Distinguished Career Contribution Award for 2015 from the American Educational Research Association.
  • Joel Schoenhals, professor of piano, was named China’s first Foreign Expert in music, a program sponsored by the Chinese government. He will be based at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, China. While there, Schoenhals will perform, and give private lessons and master classes for piano majors and perform.
  • Based on the 2012-2013 academic year, the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine ranked Eastern fifth nationally in master’s degrees awarded to African American students in the area of engineering technologies and engineering related fields in its annual rankings of the nation’s Top 100 Degree Producers.


  • TRUEMU Night at Comerica Park will be held on July 22. TRUEMU Day at the DIA was held on June 11 and TRUEMU Day at Eastern Market on April 25.
  • The 2015 Math Facts Challenge took place in the Student Center on May 29 with more than 400 students, grades 1-8, in attendance. The challenge was sponsored by the EMU Charter Schools office.
  • The grand opening of the new boathouse was on May 14. At the event, one of boats was christened and named after President Susan Martin.  Funding was provided by EMU, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation, the Saline High Rowing Program and a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The boathouse will be the new home for the EMU rowing team and the Saline High School Rowing Club.
  • The Washtenaw Heart Walk was held at the EMU Convocation Center on May 9. More than 2,200 participants walked or ran the three-mile course. EMU was the top fundraising organization, with a total of $37,064.25.
  • More than 100 future EMU students declared their plans of attending Eastern at Detroit’s first College Signing Day held at Wayne State University on May 1. Michelle Obama, as well as other important guests, spoke at the event.
  • Chiara Hensley, the University Ombuds, hosted the inaugural Michigan Ombuds Caucus on our campus in May.
  • A four-day sustainable water filter implementation workshop for participants from the U.S. and Canada was held April 30 – May 3. EMU collaborated with A Vision For Clean Water and the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology to train participants on how to turn contaminated water into safe drinking water.
  • The fourth annual Digital Divas Conference was held on April 24 at the Student Center. More than 500 girls from area middle and high schools participated in the event to learn about technological careers.
  • The College of Business 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner was held on April 10. The keynote speaker was Joyce Jenereaux, EMU alumnus and president of Detroit Free Press/
  • The College of Business held its Michigan Business of the Year event on April 10 in the McKenny Ballroom. Talmer Bank and Trust, SPARK, BlueWater Technologies and other businesses were honored.
  • Excellence Week was held the week of March 24. There were numerous events including the Employee Service Recognition Luncheon, Student Gold Medallion Awards, Distinguished Faculty Awards, COE Celebration of Excellence, and Undergraduate Symposium.

Of Note

  • Mohamad Qatu, new Dean of the College of Technology, will join Eastern on July 1.
  • Micheal Sayler, new Dean of the College of Education, was welcomed by the campus community at a reception on June 3.
  • Melody Werner will join Eastern on June 19 in the newly established position of Title IX Coordinator.
  • Eastern Michigan University’s campus will become tobacco-free on July 1.

 Athletic Highlights

  • Eastern Michigan University was awarded the Jacoby Trophy as the top women’s athletic program in the MAC for the first time in the 33-year history of the award.
  • The Winter 2015 semester saw EMU student-athletes combine for a 3.259 grade point average, the best GPA in school history. More than 70 percent of student-athletes completed their coursework with a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or better. 16 teams finished the semester with a GPA better than a 3.0.
  • Baseball (Men): Second baseman John Rubino has been named to the All-MAC Second Team.
  • Basketball (Men): Olalekan Ajayi and Trent Perry were honored as student-athletes who excel both on the court and in the classroom and were named to the Academic All-MAC Team.
  • Basketball (Women): Phillis Webb was named to the Academic All-MAC Team.
  • Basketball (Women): Eastern advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Women's National Invitational (WNIT) but ended the season by falling to the University of Southern Mississippi. 
  • Golf (Women): The women's golf team posted a runner-up showing at the MAC Women's Golf Championship on April 26.
  • Golf (Women): Sophomore Kelsey Murphy garnered First Team All-MAC accolades along with All-Tournament team honors. Karyn Lee Ping received Second Team All-MAC accolades while Thelma Beck was named the MAC's Freshman of the Year.
  • Gymnastics (Women): Kimberly Ebeyer, Natalie Gervais, Carrina Lo Bello, Chantelle Loehner, Sydney McEachern, Paulina Miller, Nikki Paterson and Anna Willette were named to the Academic All-MAC team.
  • Gymnastics (Women): Senior Anna Willette was named to the All-Mid-American Conference First Team, while redshirt-senior Chantelle Loehner and freshman Kendall Valentin received second team honors.
  • Gymnastics (Women): Senior all-around competitors Carrina Lo Bello and Anna Willette competed in the 2015 NCAA Regionals on April 4, with Lo Bello finishing tied for ninth overall in the all-around and Willette placing 14th overall.
  • Rowing (Women): The rowing team won its third Harvey Cup on April 18.
  • Rowing (Women): The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) announced that junior Krista Burdick was named to the 2015 Division I All-Central Region Second Team on May 29.
  • Rowing (Women): Samantha Allen, Krista Burdick, Emily Burks, Sidney Doss, Ashley Gilmore, Tijana Milovanovic, Steph Schlosser, and Lyndsey Tollas were named CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.
  • Rowing (Women): The rowing team placed fourth at the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Championships. The Varsity Four squad became the first-ever EMU boat to place in the top three at the CAA Championships with a third-place finish. 
  • Softball (Women): Eight student-athletes were named to the Academic All-MAC team. The athletes were: Myranda Barnes, Abi Clark, Abby Davidson, Aoife Duffy, Michelle Kriegshauser, Lindsay Rich, Taylor Wagner, and Elaine Whitbeck. 
  • Softball (Women): Abi Clark, Michelle Kriegshauser and Taylor Wagner earned second team All-MAC accolades.
  • Swimming & Diving (Men): Erik Brinkhoff, Dylan Crompton, Krzysztof Gilski, Erik Gissen, Andrew Henry, Chris Hodges, Dakoda Johnson, Brian Moore, Kevin Moore, and Sage Stephens were named to the Academic All-MAC team.
  • Swimming & Diving (Men):  Alex Chan, the first ever Eagle diver to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships, placed 28th overall in the 3-meter dive, and closed out the 2014-15 campaign as the MAC champion in the 3-meter dive.
  • Swimming & Diving (Men):  Mike Fisher competed at the NCAA Championships and ends his Eastern career as a two-time 100 breast champion and a three-time 200 breast champion, is the EMU record holder, and is the 200 breast MAC record holder. 
  • Swimming & Diving (Women): Abby Aumiller, Audra Burtch, Clarice Daniel, Lauren Dark, Becca Detro, Monica Dorszewski, Makenzie Garringer, Sara Ghaffari, Carly Jackson, Alexis Mitcheltree, Melynee Saya, Haley Shaw, Karly Taylor, Grace Van Allen, and Sierra Wagner were named to the Academic All-MAC team.
  • Tennis (Women): Klara Supejova earned All-MAC First Team honors, while Ani Gogvadze was named to the second team.
  • Tennis (Women): Daphne Friedrichs and Klara Supejova were named to the Academic All-MAC Team for excelling in both academics and athletics.
  • Track & Field (Men): The men's track and field team won its 23rd MAC outdoor track and field title.
  • Track & Field (Men):  Scott Bradley, Tyler Brown, Harry Dixon, Jeff Elam, Willy Fink, Chris Fischre, Solomon Ijah, John Knox, Mitch Lenneman, Quinn Levering, Levi Selvig, Dylan Stites, Cameron Trinh, Mason Waynes, Andrew Wentz, Keith Williams, and Matthew Williams were named to the Academic All-MAC team.
  • Track & Field (Men): The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA) announced on June 8 that Head Coach John Goodridge has been named the Great Lakes Region Men's Coach of the Year.
  • Track & Field (Women): Anna Aldrich, Ellie Braidic, Maya Carter, Sarah Chauchard, Amy Frauhammer, Agata Klimovich, Taylor Knoll, Aaliyah McKinney, Janina Pollatz, Rebecca Quaintance, Natalie Uy, Victoria Voronko, and Adrienne Waisner were named to the Academic All-MAC team.
  • Track & Field (Women): Sarah Chauchard earned the MAC Championship in the heptathlon. Victoria Voronko became a MAC Champion in steeplechase. The women’s track and field team took second overall at the MAC outdoor championships.
  • Volleyball (Women): The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team received a special recognition from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for excellence in its multi-year Academic Progress Report (APR), including perfect scores the past three years. 
  • Wrestling (Men): Redshirt-junior Anthony Abro finished in the top 16 at the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
  • Wrestling (Men): Nicholas Barber, Blake Caudill, Mike Curby, Austin Geerlings, Vincent Pizzuto, Michael Shaw, and Brandon Zeerip earned Academic All-MAC honors.
  • Wrestling (Men): The Eagles garnered the top spot in the nation on the National Wrestling Coaches Association's All-Academic teams.
  • Willy Fink (track & field), Jill Briner (volleyball), Emily Dzik and Julia Lombardi (soccer), and John Rubino (baseball) have been named to the Capital One Academic All-District team for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.  
  • John Rubino (baseball) and Victoria Voronko (track & field) were presented MAC Medal of Excellence Awards for academic and athletic excellence.
  • Anthony Abro (wrestling) and Julia Lombardi (soccer) were named to the Hammer Strength All-American Athlete Award list. The award is distributed by Hammer Strength, in partnership with the College Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.
  • The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and EAS Sports Nutrition announced that a trio of Eastern Michigan University student-athletes earned the distinction of being a 2015 All-American Athlete Award recipient. The award recognized Anthony Abro (wrestling), Anthony Jones (track & field), and Pat O'Connor (football) for their athletic accomplishments as well as their dedication to strength and conditioning. 
  • The inaugural Ypsi Awards were held at the Convocation Center on April 20 to honor the top athletic, citizenship, and academic achievements by EMU student-athletes during the 2014-15 academic year.
  • The men’s basketball team, the Rob Murphy Foundation and the Huron Valley Boys and Girls Club have partnered to address both recreational and technological needs of the club.  Foundation volunteers spent time playing basketball and interacting with children in the learning center on April 13 and 17.
  • Members of the football team took part in an event on April 8 to raise awareness about domestic violence. Sponsored by the Women's Resource Center and Tau Kappa Epsilon, five student-athletes took part by having their legs waxed as part of the nationwide Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign.
  • The golf, soccer, tennis and wrestling teams as well as coaches volunteered their time at the 10th annual Victors Day event held at the University of Michigan on March 27.  The event brought the UM and EMU student-athletes and coaches together with 700 disabled children from all over Washtenaw County for fun athletic games and events.
  • The men's basketball team and the Rob Murphy Foundation volunteered at Bagley Elementary School, working with students in the classroom, delivering art supplies, books and stuffed animals and teaching soccer skills to the students.