Category Archives: College Fun

We’re #126! We’re #126!

My father actually alerted me to this little piece in The USA Today: “Ranking every college football FBS for 2014.” This must be one of these things that they do in installments or something because as I’m looking at this on Sunday night, they’re only up to number 57, which is Ball State.  But no worries; coming in at number 126 out of 128 FBS teams– just ahead of UMass and Florida International– are the EMU Emus Eagles. To quote:

No. 126 Eastern Michigan: Chris Creighton steps into Ypsilanti and assumes one of the toughest coaching jobs in the country. The Eagles’ new coach will have a promising young quarterback to work with but not much else. It’s going to be another down season for EMU.

A long season at the factory….

A new EMU video….

I was looking for something on the EMU web site and I came across this new video. I think it’s pretty well-done, but we don’t have a real eagle around here on campus someplace, do we? I hope that was borrowed for this….

Watch your step traveling Ypsilanti Saturday morning or someone will throw colored corn starch at you

As mLive reminded me, the annual “Color Run” is coming to downtown Ypsilanti Saturday morning. Here’s a link to the Color Run Inc. page for the event in Ypsi.  The race/event starts at 8 am, snakes around Depot Town, along the river, and the east side of campus. Apparently there are 14,000 people registered for it, so unless you are planning on running yourself, tomorrow is probably not a good day to come to Ypsilanti.

If this is the kind of event that makes people feel like they are one with the universe and celebrating their YOLO spirit or whatever, that’s fine, I guess. I assume it’s good for local Ypsi businesses, especially those that serve breakfast and lunch, I’m guessing. But just to be clear: it’s as much of a charity as Chevrolet or Nike (which also donates money to food banks and the like) and that colored starch “mostly” comes out in the wash.

A Gray Field? Seriously. Seriously?!

I heard some rumors about this, but now it’s apparently going to happen. Check out the story from the emueagles.com web site and the video:

As this all makes clear, the branding for Chris Creighton’s first season as coach is all about “The Factory.” They want to nickname Rynearson Stadium as “The Factory” to show how tough, proud, hard-working, and blue-collar the team is. The goal is not to highlight the fact that watching a football game at Rynearson stadium is about as comfortable as sitting in a factory.

So to make it even more factory and concrete-like, EMU is going with a newly installed gray turf field. Gray, as in concrete/parking lot gray. Get it?

An interesting quote from  one of the press releases on the emueagles site:

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to invest in our football program and the new gray Field Turf this summer,” added EMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Heather Lyke. “With the gray field being installed, we will be the only ones in the country with such a design.”

You know, being the only one who does something– like color their field gray, for example– doesn’t make it a good thing. Oy.

And just to make this all the more silly: we’re spending God only knows how much money on an artificial turf field we probably don’t need (the current field isn’t ten years old) and during a contract negotiation year (the EMU-AAUP better have ready some calculations on how many yards of field would equal an across the board percentage raise– Education first and ten indeed!) Oh, and did I mention the field is going to be freakin’ concrete factory gray?!? I mean, at least the other universities where they have an oddly colored field– Boise State immediately comes to mind– it’s tied to school colors. Gray. Gray?!

Look for a lot squished on sidewalk puns as the Emus hit the field this fall.

“Clubhouse at Eagle Crest Golf Club to be named in honor of former EMU regent and longtime administrator Roy Wilbanks”

Geoff Larcom sent me this news, “Clubhouse at Eagle Crest Golf Club to be named in honor of former EMU regent and longtime administrator Roy Wilbanks.” To quote from the press release:

Roy Wilbanks can look back on a wide variety of accomplishments during his time on the Eastern Michigan University campus.

One of those successes sits gracefully on the shores of Ford Lake, and on bluffs that rise to the west of the lake in Ypsilanti Township. Eagle Crest Golf Course and Resort, a project Wilbanks oversaw from its beginnings in 1989, has matured into a top-flight facility, one of the most picturesque golf settings in southeastern Michigan.

So the next time I get a beer and a hot dog at the turn at Eagle Crest, I guess I’ll have to see some kind of picture of Wilbanks.

“Is a 400k salary too much for a university president? Four academics apply to share one lucrative U of Alberta position”

Via Facebook, I came across this piece on the CBC web site, “Is a 400k salary too much for a university president? Four academics apply to share one lucrative U of Alberta position.” Here’s a quote:

There’s a job opening at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Indira Samarasekera, the current president and vice-chancellor, is stepping down at the end of the month and the search is on for her replacement. We know of at least 56 university professors and academics who are vying for the job, which starts at $400,000 a year, and they’re all applying for it in groups of four.

The group is protesting the high salaries of university administrators across the country, especially as many institutions are cutting back on services and staff.

“There seems to be increasingly a disconnect between the administration and the faculty and the students,” Kathy Cawsey, an associate professor at Dalhousie University who is part of the campaign, tells Carol. “There’s a disparity between these administrators’ large salaries and the rhetoric of austerity that they espouse.”

Besides being a useful moment of protest, it raises an interesting point: what if an institution actually did this, had a sort of “distributed collective” as the leader?

Maybe we need some “completion coaches” at EMU

Via the Inside Higher Ed blog Confessions of a Community College Dean comes “Walla Walla Wows World” from Matt “Dean Dad” Reed. It’s a story about some of the things that Walla Walla Community College have done to increase graduation rates and the catchy idea of “completion coaches.” Here’s a quote:

The completion coach idea, for instance, seems ripe for the picking.  Completion coaches, of which the aforementioned Mr. Weber was one, spend their time tracking down students who left the college just a few credits shy of graduation.  They encourage/cajole/recruit the students to come back and finish.  (As the article puts it, “they divide up the names and then go on the hunt.”)  When it works, the student benefits by replacing a collection of various credits with an actual degree and some sort of plan to move forward, and the college benefits by both higher enrollment and a higher graduation rate.

The methods of the completion coach sound more like something you’d see in the for-profit sector, but in this case, the coach is using her powers for good.

This seems like a pretty good idea to me. I realize the logistics of something like this would be tough, especially at a large institution like EMU, but it makes a heck of a lot of sense to try to reach out to students who have left or struggling and try to talk them back into school.

“University of Michigan’s undergraduate library adds a ‘napping station’”

I saw this on the Michigan Radio site this morning:  “University of Michigan’s undergraduate library adds a ‘napping station.’” The picture accompanying the story shows some kind of library alcove with cots and some of the “rules” for napping– 30 minutes or less, a place for fresh pillow cases, etc.

An interesting idea. I’m a big fan of EMU’s Halle Library, but there really aren’t very good places to nap; I can’t think of any place in that building that has couches or benches. I recall as an undergraduate at the University of Iowa 30 years ago that there were these padded benches on one of the quietest floors– the place where they kept rare books or something like that– that were filled with sleeping students.

“Eastern Michigan University graduates celebrate during commencement Sunday”

Also from mLive: “Eastern Michigan University graduates celebrate during commencement Sunday,” which has all of the pictures of people in the dresses and funny hats you could possibly want.

“Eastern Michigan University student leverages 14.5-inch beard for charity”

From mLive comes “Eastern Michigan University student leverages 14.5-inch beard for charity.” We’ve talked about Ryan Huntington’s beard before: the senior (now recent graduate and soon to be grad student) is raising money (I guess through the American Heart Association Heart Walk that’s coming up?) in part by taking a poll as to “save it or shave it,” the “it” being his Yosemite Sam cartoon-like 14.5 inch beard. Remarkably, “save it” is apparently in the lead.