Master Plan update outlines future vision for CMU’s campus

Trustees reelect board chair, vice chairs to serve another term

| Author: Heather Smith

​In its last meeting of 2021, the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees received an update on the campus master plan, which outlines the future vision of CMU's Mount Pleasant campus.

Nick Long, vice president for finance and administrative services, and Jonathan Webb, associate vice president for facilities management, discussed an update to CMU's campus master plan. The current comprehensive campus master plan was developed in 2013 to support the university's mission, goals and values. With much of that plan complete, the university launched an update in March of this year.

The update includes five major components: an existing condition analysis, space utilization and benchmarking, future improvements, area development plans, and an implementation plan. Long and Webb outlined a recommended future vision for CMU's campus, including improvements to existing campus space, as well as developments and additions to academics, residential and student life, administrative, and athletics facilities.

"Much of this plan focuses on the appearance and walkability of campus," Webb said. "This effort culminated in a 10-year capital plan, so somewhere between now and 2030, we hope to complete these proposed projects."

Presidential assessment

The board also provided an update on the three-year assessment of President Bob Davies' leadership of CMU.

Board Chair Richard K. Studley discussed the process for the assessment, which included a survey based on the Presidential Leadership Profile developed ahead of the 2018 nationwide search for CMU's 15th president. The survey was sent to 385 individuals within the university community and its many stakeholders.

"We encourage, support and stand with the president throughout the year," he said. "Every year we do an annual evaluation, but the focus of the survey was to very intentionally reach out to a large and diverse cross-section of our community. We are genuine and sincere in our effort to listen and to learn, and the input from the entire university community has been very helpful and will be taken seriously."

The board has begun a preliminary review of the results, which Studley noted were favorable, and will continue to work to finalize the assessment over the next few weeks.

Trustees approved authorization for the board chair and members of the Board of Trustees Presidential Assessment Committee — with input from all board members — to finalize Davies' three-year assessment and establish compensation.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • More than 1,300 fall graduates.
  • Deferred maintenance projects of $5.7 million for fiscal year 2023.
  • Emeritus rank for five faculty and staff members.

Election of board officers

Trustees concluded today's meeting by electing board officers for 2022. Studley was once again elected board chair, and Robert F. Wardrop II and Michael A. Sandler will remain in their positions as vice-chairs.

President's report

In his opening remarks, Davies once again acknowledged the university's enrollment challenges and reiterated the steps being taken to address them. Davies also noted current enrollment bright points.

"First-year applications for our main campus are up slightly and admissions are up nearly 12%, and applications and admissions are also up for first-time students interested in Global Campus programs," he said. "Our strategies are working, but it will take time to fully realize our enrollment goals."

Davies also acknowledged CMU's COVID-19 response efforts, which have been successful in keeping positive cases within the campus community low throughout the fall semester. He noted that university leadership is closely monitoring the omicron variant and that health and safety plans for the spring semester will be announced soon.

Davies also recognized several accomplishments and achievements from the fall semester:

  • Members of the Central Voter Coalition and the Central Votes registered student organization significantly increased voter turnout at CMU. More than 68% of eligible CMU students voted in 2020, beating the national average of 66%.
  • CMU was recognized by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program as a "Top 20 institution" for supporting Gilman Scholars.
  • A new five-year agreement with the Saginaw County Health Department will expand public health offerings in our region. The partnership will provide new clinical learning opportunities for College of Medicine students and expand efforts to address obesity, pediatric and maternal health, COVID-19, and emerging issues in the Saginaw area.
  • Rhonda Welsh, CMU's executive director of Detroit Outreach, has been named to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
  • Shellie Haut, executive director of licensure, regulatory services and human capital at CMU, received the Outstanding Service Award from the Midwestern Higher Education Compact.

Davies also acknowledged over 1,000 CMU alumni and donors who, on Giving Tuesday, helped the university set a new record for support on a day of giving. The goal was to raise $300,000 this year but was surpassed by more than $80,000, supporting scholarships and other important student support funds.

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