President's Report to the Board of Regents

February 5, 2016

Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Board of Regents:

I would like to extend my deep appreciation to the Board of Regents for the decision today regarding termination of the University’s Interlocal Agreement that formed the Educational Achievement Authority. I also extend my sincere gratitude and respect to our faculty members whose expert and systematic evaluation of the EAA helped lead to this outcome, and to our Student Government and Student Leaders Group who spoke vigorously and passionately on this important matter.

Many positive accomplishments are happening across campus as we have moved into the new semester and the new year. Our focus on students, and their success inside and outside the classroom leading to graduation and rewarding careers, remains a consistent and overarching priority. For that, I thank all of our deeply committed and talented faculty and staff.

Many examples of our positive accomplishments exist, and I am pleased to highlight several:

  • The Carnegie Foundation recently reclassified Eastern from a large master's university to a doctoral university in recognition of Eastern’s academic excellence and the continued growth of doctoral and research programs.
  • Eastern’s doctoral program in clinical psychology was ranked best in Michigan and 30th best in the nation by U of M was the only other program in Michigan recognized, ranking 47th.
  • Eastern’s master’s program in special education was ranked best in Michigan and 32nd in the nation by Top Masters in Education as one of the best values. No other program in Michigan was rated in the top 50.
  • Eastern Michigan students finished in three of the top 10 places in the national Moot Court competition. No other students from Michigan universities finished in the top 30. Teams from more than 360 universities competed in regional qualifying events around the country, with the top 80 competing in the national championship. Students Maya Rich and Steven Cole finished third in the nation in two events: oral advocacy and in the petitioner brief competition; while the teams of Anthony Gonzalez and Jordan Giles, and Paul Taske and Kyle Francis, finished fourth and seventh in the nation respectively in the respondent brief competition. Eastern faculty members Barry Pyle, a professor of political science, and C. Robert Dobronski, a local attorney and part-time lecturer at Eastern, coached the EMU teams.
  • Eastern’s 30th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration included five days of educational and inspirational programs. Eastern's longstanding devotion to this annual campus and community celebration marks yet another point of distinction for our institution. Two EMU students, a faculty member and an Ypsilanti community leader were honored for how they exemplify the values and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  •  Academic success in the classroom continues to be a point of pride for our Athletics department. Our student athletes finished fall semester with an overall cumulative GPA of 3.235, the second highest in University history, with 39 students achieving a 4.0 grade point average.

As we continue to build on the strong relationship between our University and the Ypsilanti community, I am pleased that we will welcome State Representative David Rutledge as our commencement speaker on Sunday, April 24. There is not a more sincere, dedicated servant to our community than Representative Rutledge and we will be honored to present him with an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

Executive Director of Government and Community Relations Kenneth Dobson will be leaving Eastern to join the Wayne County Airport Authority. Ken is highly regarded by our colleagues as well as by our city, county and regional partners. We are sorry to see Ken leave and will be working to ensure our important efforts in these areas continue.

I am proud to be associated with this institution. Thank you for your support as we work together on behalf of our students and the broader community.

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

Donald M. Loppnow
Interim President


  • EMU junior Andrew Mascharka, sports editor of The Eastern Echo, has been selected to receive one of the Michigan Press Association (MPA) Foundation’s community journalism scholarships.
  • Wendy Beattie, clinical and program director of EMU’s graduate program in orthotics and prosthetics, has been named by O&P News as a leading innovator in her field.
  • Margrit Zinggeler, professor of German, won the 2015 American Association of Teachers of German award for excellence in teaching of the language and cultures of Austria, the German speaking areas of Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy’s South Tirol.


  • Beta Alpha Psi, Eastern’s honorary accounting society, and the Accounting Club will offer free tax preparation services to students and members of the community on Saturday, February 6 at the College of Business.
  • The Department of Africology and African American Studies hosted a non-partisan expert panel, “Assessing Barack Obama’s 2-Term Presidency: How Would History Judge It? – Part II,” on February 3.
  • Campus Life presented, “The Political Scene According to Michael Steele,” with guest speaker Michael Steele, Maryland’s lieutenant governor on February 2.
  • The Division of Academic and Student Affairs invited all students, faculty and staff to join world-renowned diversity educator, Dr. Jamie Washington, for an interactive discussion on privilege on January 28-29. Washington is founder and President of the Social Justice Training Institute and Washington Consulting Group, and has served as an educator, administrator and consultant in higher education for more than 30 years.
  • Guest speaker Fatima Sadiqi presented “Jihadism and the Escalation of Violence Against Women and Girls: Policies Combating Gender-Based Violence in the Middle East and North Africa” on February 3 as part of the Women and Gender Studies Lecture Series.
  • Career Services hosted the 2016 Internship Fair on February 3 for students seeking internships.
  • Liz Coston, a doctoral student at Stony Brook University, spoke on January 26 on her research about “LGBT Rights and their Impact on Anti-LGB Violence”, which focused on the issues against the LGBT community. The event is part of the 2016 Equality Knowledge Speaker Series.
  • WinterFest, an opportunity to join student organizations, was held on January 12.
  • Eastern’s Autism Collaborative Center is holding a new 12-week, evidence-based PEERS® program called Children’s Friendship Training, which will run from January – April 2016.

Of Note

  • The College of Education recently announced Phillip J. Bowman as the recipient of the Michael G. Morris Endowed Chair for 2015-16. Bowman, professor and director of the Diversity Research and Policy Program at the University of Michigan, will focus his efforts on "Building Sustainable Communities: Fostering Student Success at EMU." Bowman's focus will be on men of color through a series of targeted meetings, seminars and a speaker series.
  • A special nursing program that began in Fall 2015, offered through Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College, seeks to increase the number of area students earning their bachelor of science degree in nursing. After earning an associate degree in applied science from WCC, students will be to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing exam to become a registered nurse. One semester later, students will then complete their final courses at Eastern Michigan and earn a bachelors of science degree in nursing (BSN).

Athletic Highlights

  • The MAC Conference named 14 Distinguished Scholar Athletes for the fall sports: Anna Aldrich, Hlynur Andersson, Willy Fink, Amy Frauhammer, Sofie Gallein, Jake Hurcombe, Mitch Lenneman, Julia Lombardi, Jordann McDermitt, Dylan Mulder, Kristin Nason, Nick Raymond, Corynne Smith, and Megan Trapp.
  • Basketball: Freshman James Thompson IV tied the NCAA record for consecutive made field goals during the January 9 game against Northern Illinois.
  • Football: Linebacker Great Ibe participated in the 2016 Tropic Bowl on January 17. Running back Darius Jackson participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl all-star game on January 23.
  • Football: Blake Banham, Jason Beck, Dan Buschman, Ian Eriksen, Cole Gardner, Jake Hurcombe, Dylan Mulder, Tyler Onda, Chris O’Risky, Brendan Renius, and Lavonte Robinson have been named to the 2015 Mid-American Conference Football Academic All-MAC Team.
  • Former Eastern Michigan University women's soccer standout, Ashley Rodrigues, has earned a spot on the Guyana National Team for the upcoming CONCACAF Olympic Qualifier, which will be held February 10-21.
  • The EMU baseball team held a Winter Pro Scout Development Clinic for local and regional high school baseball players on February 7.
  • The EMU cheer team will hold clinics on February 7 and 21.
  • On January 23, EMU Athletics sponsored a food drive for Swoop’s Food Pantry at the basketball doubleheader.
  • Deputy Athletics Director Christian Spears has been selected to participate in the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Pathway Program. Spears is one of 23 individuals named nationally to the initiative which serves to assist minority and/or women administrators to prepare through education, training and mentorship to be athletic directors
  • EMU football play-by-play voice Matt Shepard has been named Michigan Sportscaster of the Year for the first time in his career, as announced by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association on January 11.