The 2014 Eastern Michigan University “Holiday Card:”
The 2014 Eastern Michigan University “Holiday Card:”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
EMU President Susan Martin sent around an email yesterday about the lecturer layoff situation in the College of Education:
To Students, Faculty and Staff:
Much discussion has taken place over the last 24 hours about the University’s decision to layoff eight full-time lecturers in the College of Education. The notices were provided to the eight employees on December 10, 2013, and are effective at the end of their appointments, August 31, 2014.
Over the past nine years, enrollment in the College of Education has declined by more than 1,400 students, from 4,697 in 2005 to 3,214 in 2013 – as students transition from pursuing teaching degrees to degrees in other fields, such as the sciences, health, business, arts and technology. This trend is being echoed at education programs throughout the state and nation.
As evidence of the university’s responsiveness to enrollment trends, we are adding full-time lecturers where there has been growth. We hired 12 new full-time lecturers in fall 2013 to teach in programs across the university and plan to hire another 10 full-time lecturers in fall 2014. The eight full-time lecturers in the College of Education are eligible to be recalled and can apply for the new positions if they meet qualifications.
We are being responsive to our enrollment trends in order to continue to maintain the high quality of EMU’s nationally recognized teaching program while exercising responsible budget management and cost containment.
We have great respect for all of our full-time lecturers and it is always a difficult decision to inform quality, valued personnel that their appointments are ending. However, we must consider the enrollment trends that are affecting education programs at universities throughout the state and nation.
From mLive comes news that the football team in Ann Arbor with the liberal arts college has named a new president: “State, local leaders react to selection of Mark Schlissel as University of Michigan president.” Here are the opening paragraphs of the article:
When Susan Martin took the job as president at Eastern Michigan University in 2008, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman gave her a word of advice: “Nothing prepares you for it….”
Less than six years later, Martin can offer that same advice to Coleman’s successor, Mark Schlissel, the man chosen to replace Coleman as U-M president once she retires in July.
“I look forward to working with Mark Schlissel, and welcome him to Washtenaw County and this great state of Michigan,” Martin said.
She added that both universities share the goal of growing and retaining talent for local businesses.
“Eastern Michigan and the University of Michigan enroll 67,000 students in Washtenaw County, and are very complementary institutions in providing top talent for Michigan employers,” the EMU president said.
As far as I can tell, the U of M Board of Regents hired Schlissel with essentially zero input from the rest of the university community. I realize that that’s how that’s done at fancier places like U of M, but it just strikes me as so different than what goes on here.
I tried to look at annarbor.com with my morning coffee just now, but of course that’s history. Instead, I’ve been taken to mlive, and while poking around at that, I just now came across “A final welcome: University of Michigan president greets students during open house.” It’ just a little fluff piece about U of M’s Sue Coleman holding an open house for students at the U of M President’s House, a tradition that dates back to the 1930s.
Anyway, that got me to wondering: do we do anything like that at EMU? Wouldn’t that be a good homecoming kind of event? Just saying….
From Inside Higher Ed a couple days ago, “Limited Confidence in Boards” reports on a survey of college presidents about the effectiveness of boards– or really, the lack of confidence. There are lots of statistics and interesting quotes worth reading; here’s a quote I found interesting:
A surprising number of all presidents would change things if they could and are dubious of some board members: 40 percent of college presidents — including 68 percent of public four-year college presidents — said they would replace board members if they could, and 11 percent of college presidents clearly disagree that their institutions are well-governed at the board level.
Presidents’ view of other institutions’ boards is quite dim: only 3 percent of college presidents are strongly confident American colleges are well-governed by boards.