President and Provost announce $3 million fund for innovation at academic senate meeting


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President Bob Davies and Provost Mary Schutten explain the President and Provost’s fund for innovation and excellence to the academic senate Sept. 10 in French Auditorium.

Provost Mary Schutten and President Bob Davies presented their $3 million fund for innovation and excellence at the first Central Michigan University Academic Senate meeting of the 2019-20 school year. 

This fund will finance creative and innovative ideas for academic programs created by students and faculty. Davies first introduced the fund at the June 27 Board of Trustees meeting. 

Academic senate meetings are held every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in French Auditorium, Education and Human Services Building room 118. Anyone, including students, can sit in on an academic senate meeting. 

"This provides the opportunity – the extra funds – to really be creative. (And) to be forward-thinking, to engage our faculty in a meaningful way that will produce activities and programs that will really put CMU on the map," Davies said in June. 

Deadlines for applications are not set in stone yet. Schutten said applications will be collected at the end of November or early December. 

Davies said one of the university’s main priorities is declining enrollment. Davies called for better marketing techniques to draw in more freshman and transfer students and to expand beyond in-state recruitment. 

“One thing we will not do to increase enrollment is lower our standards,” Davies said.  

In response to low enrollment, Senators Vern Kwiatkowski of accounting and Michael Mamp of fashion, interior design and merchandising raised questions about residence hall capacity. 

“I suspect we are at about 85% capacity (for on-campus housing),” Davies said. 

Davies said Carey Hall is closed for the 2019-20 year to compensate for low capacity and to receive renovations.  

Following the president and provost’s report, senators approved a change to graduate admittance requirements. Graduate applications no longer require an official transcript to be admitted into a graduate program.  Applicants can now provide marksheets, consolidated marksheets, diplomas, test records, or certifications instead of an official transcript. The change will also open opportunities for graduate students to receive federal financial aid. 

The senate also welcomed dozens of new members from various colleges. 

Academic senate meetings are held every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in French Auditorium, Education and Human Services Building room 118. Anyone, including students, can sit in on an academic senate meeting, and meetings are livestreamed on the academic senate website

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