Emu Academic Calendar 2023

Emu Academic Calendar 2023 – David Fair: This is 89 One, and I’m David Fair. Well, you may have noticed that the roads are busy today. There is a flurry of activity around the K-through-12 public schools and institutions of higher education in Washtenaw County. They will be busy today. The school year 2022 has started. Much work has been done on Eastern Michigan University’s campus over the summer, and there is great excitement and anticipation for what the academic year will bring. There is a small cloud of strike potential among union, tenure-track and tenure-track professors. EMU President Dr. James Smith joins us in studio today. And thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

Dr. James Smith: I would love to, David. And it’s a joy to be back in the studio, not on the phone with you.

Emu Academic Calendar 2023

Emu Academic Calendar 2023

David Fair: Well, for those of you who don’t know, it’s located in King Hall on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. And so, if you walk in today and start seeing all those backpacks and those smiling faces of those students, will you still get that first day of class after all these years?

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Dr. James Smith: I do. In fact, I would help on moving day. Like I said, in one of my little social media feeds I didn’t pick up a cooler. And as the students and the parents, I think we will talk a little about what we think are our strategic priority agendas for the university to show the new things that we have been working on. And it’s always a fun day.

Emu Academic Calendar 2023

David Fair: The last two years we’ve been dealing with some unusual conditions as the epidemic has been ongoing, and it continues today, with high levels of transmission throughout Washtenaw County. How are the protocols different this year?

Dr. James Smith: Well, we have some good security measures, and we have explained them. Perhaps most important is the ability of teachers to decide whether or not to wear masks in the classroom. Provost Longworth worked hard with faculty leadership to find the right curricular language to explain to students like you and I teach classes, and you say, “I don’t have the attendance.” And I say you do. That is the priority or prerogative of the professor. So, we work with that. And outside there are no coverage requirements – inside the corridor there are no coverage requirements. But we will still have telehealth, and we will still have our diagnostic clinic. And we hope to simplify that to the point where we don’t want to do that. But, as you said, our region is not much today.

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Emu Academic Calendar 2023

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David Fair: With all it takes to deal with life with an epidemic, there is now the possibility of another outbreak – of course, monkey pox. How closely does the university administration and telehealth monitor this situation?

Dr. James Smith: We see it every day. We understand that the availability of vaccine for monkeypox is very low. We’re talking to our representatives in Washington, you know, we have to be here. We need to know. At the moment I am not aware of any problems here on campus, but that could change within 24 hours. And we know that. As you said, we have come a long way with the pandemic.

Emu Academic Calendar 2023

David Fair: This is the first day of class 89 in the area, including Eastern Michigan University. And we talk to EMU president Dr. James Smith. Now I have been to the summer garden, like you, and I have seen a lot of construction and maintenance. What was done over the summer that improved the student experience?

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Dr. James Smith: Well, as I mentioned earlier, you know, our focus is on the top priorities, and I think that’s the work that you’ve seen where we’re promoting student success and engagement. Are we making our campus a place where students can be more productive? So, you know, Welcome Home 2025, we’ve already fenced off the Westview townhouses, which is where the teardowns are going in the apartments. And above the area we call the Boathouse will be our new lakeside apartments. Then we have several other residential buildings offline, because we will not tear them down, we will modernize them. You have seen the basketball and volleyball courts being moved from where we will have a new set of apartments next to Risi IM, which we would like to have in a few years. Again, it is very important for us that students engage with students, play basketball, sand volleyball, do things that are fun.

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Emu Academic Calendar 2023

David Fair: So prospective students will have some new housing options as EMU tries to keep up with the facilities and facilities arms race taking place on college campuses across the country. Why does the administration believe that privatization of houses in EMU is the right way?

Dr. James Smith: It’s not really about privatization, and I understand that’s kind of a buzzword. It is a 501c3 that we entered into with an agreement with a builder, together with an architectural firm where we almost all share our money in that 501c3 together and redistribute. We still own each of our homes. You will notice other places in the country that have literally sold their houses to David. We didn’t do that. We are now in a mutual dollar pooling relationship. We still work all our residents, all parties. For example, we hire all our RAs. But I think the most important part is in your question, why do we do that? It’s a $200 million-plus project, and most institutions in the Midwest wouldn’t be able to borrow, say, $208 million. So we found a way to work as a unique entity to make this work for the benefit of our students.

Emu Academic Calendar 2023

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David Fair: That brings us to the budget. This fiscal year, EMU received more from the state, but education, demographics and trends, especially in high schools, have everyone fighting to keep enrollment numbers up. Rising housing costs are one of the reasons for rising tuition fees. How is the registration and how will it affect the EMU budget?

Dr. James Smith: Well, as I told you before we came on the air, our first term at every college is the same word as last year. Last year we were at 2,255, and we are at 2,196. When I read the statistics –

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Emu Academic Calendar 2023

Dr. James Smith: For the upcoming first episode. We saw a slight loss in middle and high school students. I think some of it is due to the employment in the area, but we will continue to do what we have been doing. You are all welcome here. We hire all over the world. Of course, we will continue to recruit throughout the country, and we want our facilities to be as staff as possible.

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David Fair: There was a time when the student population at Eastern Michigan University was over 20,000. But now there are less than 5 to 7,000. How does it benefit the future of Eastern Michigan University?

Emu Academic Calendar 2023

Dr. James Smith: It’s challenging. I think they see a lot less high schools than five or six years ago. So we have to look a little further from the campus. Our big, sweet spot has always been five districts around our campus. And we have to look at a slightly wider range. We also need to ensure that we bring in students who stay with us until graduation. The best day in a president’s life is the beginning. I always say. We have many students who drop out. And I don’t care who they are. When I was 20, they told me, “I’m going to start a job in six months.” When we see them again, we often don’t see them for three, four or five years. So that is also very important.

David Fair: With the new school year, our guest this morning is Dr. James Smith. He is the president of Eastern Michigan University. Now the college experience is enough, but the focus is on what happens in the classroom. A student body is only as good as you choose to teach them. And now there are about 500 working professors who feel undervalued. EMU’s membership of the American Association of University Professors voted this weekend to convene its bargaining team.

Emu Academic Calendar 2023

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