Today's Central Michigan University Board of Trustees meeting was the first official meeting for trustees Todd Anson and Ed Plawecki, whom then-Gov. Rick Snyder appointed in October. Anson and Plawecki both will serve eight-year terms on CMU's board.
In addition, Tricia Keith presided over her first formal meeting as the chair of CMU's Board of Trustees. Keith is executive vice president, chief of staff and corporate secretary for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
In President Davies' report to the board, he welcomed the new trustees and addressed their important role at the university.
"Each trustee serves a high-level role in guiding the future of Central Michigan University and in upholding our academic rigor, relevance and excellence," Davies said. "The questions you ask, the expectations you set and measure, and the counsel you provide will advance the careers and lives not only of today's students, but of those for generations to come."
During today's formal session, Bob Martin, vice president for advancement, and Michael O'Donnell, chair of CMU's Fire Up for Excellence Capital Campaign, announced the campaign goal of $100 million has been reached three years early. Nearly $102 million has been raised.
"We've been able to create a culture of philanthropy that will serve CMU and its students far into the future," O'Donnell said.
Trustees also heard presentations from Michael Alford, Zyzelewski family associate vice president and director of athletics, and Erin Strang, CEO and president of Central Michigan University Research Corp.
Also at the formal session, trustees approved or accepted:
- A motion authorizing the president to ratify and sign collective bargaining agreements for 2019-2020 and beyond with three faculty and staff unions: the Faculty Association (MEA); the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians/Communication Workers of America (AFL-CIO), Local 412 for public broadcast employees; and United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW Local 6888 (AFL-CIO) for office professional employees.
- Sabbatical leave for three faculty members and tenure and promotion for 31 others.
- Appointment of Carla J. Hills to the Clarke Historical Library Board of Governors.
- Nearly $2.8 million in external grant funding of faculty and student research. This brings total grant and award dollars after six months this fiscal year to $12.4 million.
A new ad hoc Enterprise Risk Committee met for the first time during committee meetings Wednesday. The committee, chaired by Trustee Bill Weideman and presided over this time by Trustee Robb Wardrop, discussed its charter and charge, set a calendar, and outlined next steps and priorities. The new committee will work with CMU's existing Enterprise Risk Committee to identify, assess and reduce risks with potential to negatively impact the university.
Also at Wednesday's committee meetings, the board received an update on declining university enrollment and its impact on CMU from Provost Michael Gealt and Steven Johnson, vice president of enrollment and student services. In addition, Jonathan Webb, associate vice president for facilities management, updated the board on residence life projects.
President's report to the board
In his opening report, Davies addressed the university's recovery from a decade of declining enrollment.
"Much energy is being devoted across the university to issues related to recruitment and retention of students, as we begin a journey back to traditional enrollment levels between 22,000 and 25,000 students," he said. "We will continue to accelerate quality throughout our academic programs, investing in those of high demand and that showcase Central Michigan's excellence, leadership and positive impact on students' careers and lives."
He also praised remarks given during Wednesday's Trustees-Student Liaison Committee meeting by three of the university's inclusion assistants and by Australyah Coleman, president of the CMU Student Chapter of the NAACP. The inclusion assistants, Ambrean Ford, DaeSean Ashby and Callie Hutcheson, spoke of supporting, educating and connecting students in the residence halls — and the challenges related to that.
Davies said the university has made strides in diversity and inclusion, yet still has hard work to do on this front. He pledged his commitment to that work.
Davies also updated trustees on three senior officer searches — provost, dean of the College of Business Administration and the chief of police — noting that all three should be complete this semester or summer.
He spoke of CMU's annual ERPsim competition happening on campus today, with 200 students on 80 teams having mentors on site from more than 30 corporations such as 3M, Accenture, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Caterpillar, Collins Aerospace, Consumers Energy, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, EY, Ford, Harley Davidson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Steelcase, Stryker and Textron.
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. The competition mimics real-life, real-time business challenges using SAP software to integrate accounting, purchasing, production, human resources and other business functions.
Many students receive job and internship offers before day's end.
In addition, Davies recognized:
- Carl Lee, math faculty member, for receiving the 2019 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching from the Mathematical Association of America.
- Eight CMU University Theatre students and two faculty mentor/chaperones who competed and participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region III Festival in Madison, Wisconsin.