Strategic plan and organizational changes

July 11, 2013

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Pure Michigan summer!

July 7th marked my five-year anniversary as President of Eastern Michigan University. I couldn’t be more proud and humbled by what we have accomplished together. With last fall’s record enrollment of new undergraduate students, it is clear that our efforts to invest in campus, faculty and financial aid are paying off. Projections for this fall indicate another record-setting incoming class of students is coming to Eastern -- academically prepared, with higher GPAs and ACT scores, and also bringing diversity to our campus.

This continues a trend of growth that began in 2008, following five years of declining enrollment. Simply put, Eastern is becoming a destination for more and more Michigan, national and international students seeking a rigorous and relevant university education. At a time when enrollment did not grow overall in Michigan public universities in fall 2012, Eastern is vibrant and thriving.

While we should all celebrate these successes, it is important we remain focused on ensuring our momentum and success continues into the future to benefit new generations of students, employees and families. We need to support student success with improvements in advising like the new Francine Parker Advising Center near the Student Center food court – check it out!

One of the most important priorities is the institutional strategic planning process, and I am pleased to share our latest updates.

The Strategic Plan will be completed later this fall. It is the culmination of a process that began in April 2011 with the revitalization of the University’s Institutional Strategic Planning Council (ISPC). A cross section of the campus community makes up the roster of the Council, including student government, faculty, deans and department heads, and non-academic University leadership.

A broad survey of stakeholders took place in late 2011 to provide the foundation for the planning process -- students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of our Board of Regents and community leaders participated. More than 3,000 responses were received and helped create a 366-page binder of rich data.

As part of this important process, in October 2012, we commissioned a market analysis by Deloitte, a nationally recognized consulting firm with expertise and experience in higher education. The analysis assisted in guiding our on-going efforts and strategic planning to produce graduates who meet the needs of Michigan and enable our alumni to live and thrive in Michigan. This analysis revealed that 72 percent of Eastern’s bachelor of science graduates are completing degrees in fields that will feed into the top 183 high-wage occupations projected to have high demand in the next 10 years for Southeast Michigan and Michigan as a whole.

Campus forums have provided the opportunity for updates and input and have been an important factor during the Strategic Planning process. Input from all of our stakeholders will continue in early fall with additional forums. The plan will then be finalized and presented to the entire EMU community. A complete set of goals, objectives, and performance measures will be part of the plan.

A significant element of the strategic planning process has been completed by the ISPC and adopted by the Board of Regents -- the creation of a new Eastern Michigan University mission and vision statement, as well as our institutional core values.

Mission :

EMU enriches lives in a supportive, intellectually dynamic and diverse community. Our dedicated faculty balance teaching and research to prepare students with relevant skills and real world awareness. We are an institution of opportunity where students learn in and beyond the classroom to benefit the local and global communities.

Vision :

Eastern Michigan University will be a premier public university recognized for student-centered learning, high quality academic programs and community impact.

Core values :

Excellence – We provide an exceptional environment to our faculty, staff, and students. We improve our performance continuously and strive to be the best in everything we do.

Respect – We care for our people, communities and the environment and show respect for the dignity of the individual.

Inclusiveness – We create an environment that supports, represents, embraces and engages members of diverse groups and identities.

Responsibility – We are accountable – individually and in teams – for our behaviors, actions and results. We keep commitments.

Integrity – Integrity and transparency are critical to our institutional effectiveness. We pursue the highest level of personal, intellectual, academic, financial and operational integrity within the University community.

Please visit for additional information on the strategic planning process. Work is currently underway on four strategic themes: Student Engagement and Success, High Performing Academic Programs and Quality Research, Institutional Effectiveness, and Service and Engagement. Goals, objectives, initiatives and measurements are being developed.

Today I am announcing several important organizational changes effective on Monday, July 15.

  • Residence Life and Housing is transitioning to Academic and Student Affairs from the Division of Business and Finance. This continues the important efforts introduced in June 2012 when we integrated Student Affairs with Academic Affairs, all aimed at providing an outstanding overall educational experience, inside and outside of the classroom, to our students. Marney Buss will be the Director of Housing and Residence Life, which will include Residential Services. This position will enhance service to our students on campus.
  • Dining Services, Rec/IM, Student Center, McKenny, Convocation Center, Pease, Indoor Practice Facility, and Parking are coming together to ensure our special facilities and food on campus support our student success and campus life, our faculty and staff, our community and thoughtfully generate revenue through appropriate rental opportunities. Brian Kulpa, Mark Monahan and Dionne Hammes and their teams will now work together under the leadership of John Donegan. We look forward to this great team making it simpler to book events and ensuring they provide exceptional service.
  • The Office of the Ombudsman is being reinvigorated. The Ombudsman position, which focuses solely on issues involving students (unlike some universities in which the Ombudsman handles faculty, staff and student issues), will now be a 50-percent appointment supported by a newly created full-time administrative support position. This change is intended to add depth in support of the office’s important responsibilities. In keeping with its focus on our students, the Office of the Ombudsman will now report to the Provost. A review of best practices at other universities helped guide this transition. The Ombudsman position has been posted at and a search committee will be named shortly to support the hiring of a new Ombudsman for the fall semester. Currently, Professor Perry Francis has been named interim Ombudsman until the position is filled this fall.
  • John Donegan and Leigh Greden, members of the University’s Executive Council, have had vice president added to their titles. John Donegan is now the vice president for operations and facilities and Leigh Greden is now the vice president for government and community relations. These title changes do not involve a change in salary.
  • Professor Robert Orrange is serving as the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) until August 28, 2013 when Chris Hoppe will assume the FAR role.

In closing, I want to thank all of you for your continued efforts on behalf of Eastern Michigan University as we work together to lift this wonderful, historic 164-year old public university. Please join me at our second Lunch by the Lake of the summer on Tuesday, August 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Student Center. Additional details will follow as we get closer to the date, but you can count on good food and a great time with your colleagues and friends across campus! I look forward to seeing you in the fall at our opening football game against Howard on August 31 at 6 p.m. and at Homecoming against Ball State on September 21.

Susan W. Martin