Category Archives: EMU President

“EMU creates chief diversity officer job after racially charged incidents”

I would have posted about this earlier, but I was (as they say) “away” from the Internets. But as reported in mLive (and as the campus saw in an email from President Martin included in the mLive story), “EMU creates chief diversity officer job after racially charged incidents.” Here’s the paragraph where Martin talks about this new position:

This is why I am announcing that we will add a new position to the University’s senior leadership team: Chief Diversity Officer. This individual will serve as the senior executive on the leadership team responsible for efforts related to diversity, inclusion and equity. The individual will advise the president, senior leaders and campus units on policies, processes, and practices intended to foster a most diverse and inclusive campus where all members of the university community can thrive and contribute to the University’s mission and core values.

I guess I have kind of mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it seems to me like this particular incident deserves an actual response from Martin, at least something along the lines of “I think those students behaved badly” or what-have-you. And I’m just not so sure hiring another administrator is a solution to this.

On the other hand, a “Chief Diversity Officer” is a position that apparently does exist on a lot of campuses. As far as I can tell, it’s a position that tends to bring together under one leader things like Title IX issues, equal employment issues, and to address issues like this infamous party. So maybe it’s a good idea.

“Sweets & Selfies with Su-Mar at the Student Center”

From Geoff “Geoff” Larcom comes the following:

EMU President Susan Martin wants to thank students, faculty and staff with sweets and the opportunity for fun selfies as we end the academic year.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to come, say hello and rock your best smile if you want a selfie with President Martin from 1-2 p.m. on either Wednesday, April 22 or Thursday, April 23 in the Student Center. President Martin will be providing sweets on the first floor of the Student Center in the Fireplace Lounge, located across from the EMU Bookstore.

President Martin wants to sincerely thank so many across the campus for the love, support and hard work during her tenure as president the past seven years. As she says, “You helped lift Eastern up and made it shine as a beacon of opportunity for so many people to lead extraordinary lives. Thank you!”

And don’t forget to tag your photos #SueMar or share them with the President on Facebook Susan Martin (be her friend!).

First off, I think this is something more designed for “the kids,” as they say, so while I’m glad they’ve included faculty and staff, I have a feeling most selfie-seekers are going to be students. Second, be on the lookout for some amusing “SueMar” photos and tags on social media.

“Emu House” to be named in honor of outgoing President Susan Martin

From the Ypsilanti Courier comes “EMU to name renovated home for housing special University guests in honor of outgoing President Susan Martin.”

I had actually heard about this before because the EMU PR folks had invited me to an open house event for “emu house” last week– I couldn’t attend because of some other stuff on my schedule, unfortunately. Anyway, “emu house” is at 526 St. John’s Street, which is across the street from the dorms Best Hall and Wise Hall, and (for those of us who have been here a while) it used to be the EMU Credit Union way back in the day.

The place has been refinished into a guest house which (the article says) could be used for “visitors performing at Pease Auditorium for extended periods, new leaders who are unable to locate a residence quickly and others visiting the University for a major event.” Oh, also important to note here: emu house was made possible by the generous support of Ken Fine and his wife, Rebecca Canary, and also to William and Delores Brehm, who donated a lot of the furniture.

I think this is a great idea because we don’t really have a place on campus to house people who are here for an extended stay. For example (and this is also a plug), my friend and former colleague Annette Saddik has been at EMU this semester off and on as the McAndless Distinguished Scholar– she’s giving a talk tomorrow in the student center called “‘Act Naturally': Embracing the Monstrous Woman in Tennessee Williams’ Late Plays”– and I know that it would have been a heck of a lot easier to put her up for a week or so at a time in this space had it been available. My hope is we can house future McAndless Scholars (and other visiting scholars) here.

But what of the name? Here’s a quote from the article:

The house is named “emu house,” which connects it to both the University and the large, flightless bird native to Australia, a few of which Rebecca adopted over 15 years ago and which still live (and infrequently reproduce) on their property.

The house will be renamed the “Susan W. Martin emu house” within 30 days of her final day as president and will retain that name for at least the next 100 years or until it has reached the end of its useful life. The plaque designating the new name of the house and honoring President Martin will be installed by early fall.

Of course, the real tribute would be a change of mascot, but one step at a time.

 

“Board of Regents to Hold Special Meeting”

I don’t usually look at the “EMU Today” page, but I did this morning and I saw this interesting little announcement:

BOARD OF REGENTS TO HOLD SPECIAL BOARD MEETING: The EMU Board of Regents will hold a special board meeting today, Apr. 9, at 3 p.m. in room 201, Welch Hall. The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call Attendance
  • Chairman’s Comments
  • Section 1: Recommendation to appoint an Interim President
  • Section 2: Recommendation to establish a Presidential Search Committee and a Presidential Search Advisory Committee
  • Adjournment

There has been some conversation here and I’ve chatted with others lately about when we’re likely to welcome a new president to EMU. As we discussed earlier, there was a little confusion (at least for me there was) about the BoR’s plans for when they want to get a new president in place because pretty much everyone I’ve talked with agrees that getting a new president by the start of the 2015/16 school year (that is, this fall) would be pretty much impossible. So maybe this meeting is going to clarify that.

This is kind of cute….

The 2014 Eastern Michigan University “Holiday Card:”

Two bits of EAA note

First off, I heard via a loyal EMUTalk reader that the EMU Student Senate passed a resolution where “Urge the EMU Regents to Sever Ties with the EAA.” A quote from (I think?) a press release:

This evening the EMU Student Senate voted in favor of a resolution (#101-004) to “strongly urge” the Regents to terminate the contract that created the EAA. The Senators heard from Guest Speaker Steven Camron and deliberated President Desmond Miller’s draft resolution. The focus of the resolution was on the negative impact this affiliation has had on students, the graduates and faculty at the College of Education, and the University at large.

Here’s a link to the PDF of the actual resolution with all of its “whereas”-s and such.

Second, I heard that this afternoon, the Michigan Public Radio show “Stateside” is going to be doing a show about the EAA. I don’t know a whole lot more about it than just that, but it might be interesting. It’s on at 3:00 PM and rebroadcast at 10:00 PM.

Susan Martin and EMU Athletics Folks Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I have to say that I’m personally a bit of a cynic when it comes to this ALS ice bucket challenge thing. I don’t know why; I’m very happy that ALS research is getting the donations and I think that’s all fantastic. I guess I just don’t enjoy watching people dumping ice on themselves. I think Patrick Stewart perfected the challenge here.

Anyway, EMU President Susan Martin, various coaches, and some other EMU folks took the challenge in a big way the other day. Here’s a link to the mLive story about it. And if you want to donate to the ALS foundation (ice or no ice), check out their web site.

“The Wurst Challenge: the magic of giant sausage brings the community together, quality arts programming to kids, and the nation’s attention to Ypsi”

From Mark Maynard comes “The Wurst Challenge: the magic of giant sausage brings the community together, quality arts programming to kids, and the nation’s attention to Ypsi,” which is a recap of the sausage eating contest/fund raiser that featured EMU President Susan Martin. I was out of town this past weekend at a conference, but I have to say I wish I was there and I might try to make it next time– if there is a next time.

In fact, I have a suggestion for Maynard and the folks at the Wurst Bar and the folks who benefited from this fundraiser, FLY Children’s Art Center: make it a “pro-am.” One of my many fascinations is with the weird world of competitive eating, and, believe it or not, there is indeed a professional circuit out there. So what I’m saying is have the fundraiser you just had, but have a truly professional version too. If they did that, I’ll bet you’d get several folks who actually finish that sausage.

Anyway, congrats on raising the money for a good cause and a good PR move for EMU to participate, too.

Maynard challenges Martin to Sausage Eating Contest

Well, sort of at least.

As Mark Maynard noted on his blog, “Consuming 20 feet of meat is apparently newsworthy… Seattle and San Francisco take notice of the Wurst Challenge.”   The “Wurst Challenge” is actually a fundraiser for FLY, which is a “mobile” children’s art center that brings cool art making and DIY projects to kids in Ypsilanti and throughout Southeast Michigan. Here’s a quote from Maynard’s blog:

The Ann Arbor News ran a story about the event today, and it got picked up by the Associated Press. As of right now, it looks as though the story has been reprinted by about 20 different media outlets across the United States, from the CBS affiliate in Grand Rapids and WEMU, to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. One would hope that increased contributions for FLY’s downtown Creativity Lab might follow, but I haven’t seen today’s tally yet. As of last night, though, our nine participants had raised $886, which I think it is a pretty respectable start. (Our Mayor is currently in 5th place, having brought in $76 in pledges, well behind Jason “Knifebeard SausageHawk” Youngs, who leads the pack with $335.)

If you have a few dollars and want to support a worthy cause, just click here, choose your champion, and leave a contribution so that FLY can keep inspiring our kids at their downtown Ypsilanti Creativity Lab. And come to the Wurst Bar on the 20th to see these nine brave, sausage-loving philanthropists wolf down impossible amounts of meat.

In that mLive/Ann Arbor News article Maynard mentions, he specifically calls out EMU President Susan Martin to throw her hat (napkin?) into the ring and enter the contest. He writes about that a bit more on his blog, too:

For what it’s worth, I didn’t mean any disrespect by it. I do think, however, it would be awesome to have a representative from EMU sit alongside our Mayor and the various local luminaries we have joining us for the challenge. And, President Martin, if you’re reading this, you should know that, if you were to join us, you wouldn’t have to consume the entire 20 feet of meat. Even if you could only manage a few inches, we’d appreciate your effort. The important thing, from my perspective, is to help build that bridge between campus and the community, and I can’t imagine a better way than to have your support for FLY’s Creativity Lab. But, if you’re not a sausage fan, I’ve got two other suggestions for you to consider. One, you could appoint someone to eat in your place, like an art professor or regent. Or, two, you could contribute financially. Jesse Kranyak, the owner of the Wurst Bar, will be donating ten cents for every inch of sausage consumed by our nine contestants, and it would be awesome if you could match him. The kids of Ypsilanti would very much appreciate it.

Maybe a regent, but I don’t know any art professors who would have much of a chance in a sausage eating contest. In any event, a good and fun cause, and I hope Martin takes up Maynard on the challenge.

“With Snyder’s EAA going down in flames, the EMU community urges their administration to sever ties”

Local blogging phenomenon Mark Maynard has an interesting interview on his site with EMU professor Steve Cameron about the whole EAA mess, “With Snyder’s EAA going down in flames, the EMU community urges their administration to sever ties.” Check it out, and while you’re there, feel free to share info about the rally that took place today and sign this petition about EMU getting uninvolved with the EAA.