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As the university celebrates its 120th anniversary, the students, faculty and staff of Central Michigan University should be both proud of, and grateful for, the decisions made by previous generations of Chippewas.
We should be grateful to those with the courage and vision to transform our institution from Central Michigan Normal School and Business College (1892) to (sequentially): Central State Teachers College (1927); Central Michigan College of Education (1941); Central Michigan College (1955) and Central Michigan University (1959), which today is considered a national doctoral institution.
Today, the university is in the process of another major transformation as it prepares to become a major player in the most dynamic, fastest growing, and arguably most important industry in the world: health care.
This has been, as one might expect, a challenging and contentious transformation.
Thirty teams of potential entrepreneurs will face off at Central Michigan University’s College of Business and the Isabella County Bank’s second New Venture Competition Friday.
The all-day competition offers the chance for the best student entrepreneurial business ideas to win up to $55,000 in start-up funds.
Central Michigan University's economics department has become the 19th unit on campus to endorse the Academic Senate's Dec.
Samuel A. Spralls III has reached more than just a milestone in his career.
The PhD Project announced March 5 that Spralls has been promoted to associate professor with tenure at Central Michigan University.
“He has demonstrated dedication, hard work and intelligence in joining the rapidly growing ranks of minorities choosing to influence the next generation of business leaders as college professors,” said Bernard Milano, PhD Project president.
Editor's note: This story has been updated.
The Academic Senate, with 73-percent support, enacted the fifth shared governance committee in Central Michigan University history on Feb.
Alberto Albanelli, Michael Birach and Jordan Woodcock had only 72 hours to come up with a real estate developmental plan.
The three students are a part of Central Michigan University’s Real Estate Development and Finance program within the finance and law departments in the College of Business Administration.
Editor’s note: This is the second story in a series about Academic Prioritization.
The College of Business Administration ranked as an overall favorable program in preliminary Academic Prioritization released Thursday.
Karl Smart, business information systems chairman, said the data was collected by forms filled out by the faculty and deans.
Dow Chemical Company increased the amount of the Dow/SAP Award of Excellence to $4,500 annually, an increase of $1,500.
This means more opportunities for students studying business.
Three students have received the scholarship this year, each awarded $750, instead of the $500 last year.
Midland graduate student Matt Hock, one of the recipients, said Dow's presence can certainly be seen within courses.
"Their guidance can be seen from the guest speakers who visit the classroom to how classes are taught," Hock said.
Central Michigan University's College of Business Administration is one of the top 294 business schools in the world according to the Princeton Review.
The rankings, published in “The Best 294 Business Schools, 2012 Edition,” were based on more than 19,000 student interviews conducted by the Princeton Review.
Charles Crespy, CBA dean, said the students’ positive ratings had to do with how much they enjoyed the college experience and how much they gained from it.
“What separates us (from other schools) is faculty attention to students,” Crespy said.
Rick Barz swung the first hammer in construction of the new Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship Friday afternoon.
Isabella Bank recently made a $500,000 donation to the College of Business Administration.
George Ross, I live in my own apartment and cook myself dinner every night.
Central Michigan University gained $47.8 million in unrestricted funds from last year, up to about $276 million on June 30.
The increases are composed mainly from capital projects in various stages of planning.
The reserve balances include funds from operational activities that have not been restricted by donors, grant agencies or other parties external to the university.
Faculty Association members voiced their concerns to the board of trustees Wednesday and Thursday in the Bovee University Center.
Sarah Opperman, board of trustees chairwoman, read a statement which said the board has received many heartfelt letters about the issue, and a contract agreement would require compromise on both sides.
"We are in regular communication with President Ross and know the administration team has and is more than ready to move toward a compromise and a resolution in the best interest of the entire university," Opperman said.
Central Michigan University President George Ross said the administration remains eager to reach a fair and equitable contract.
About 150 FA members picketed outside of the UC prior to the meeting.
The Supervisory-Technical Association has agreed to a tentative agreement with Central Michigan University after 14 months without a contract.
Friday, 73 out of 118 STA members voted on the contract issue.
Central Michigan University and its Supervisory-Technical professionals union reached a tentative bargaining agreement on a new three-year deal Thursday.
Details on the Supervisory-Technical Association/MEA-NEA, which represents the 118 supervisory-technical employees, will be released once the tentative agreement has been ratified.
A meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m.
Students upset about the closing of Grawn's computer lab should be pleased to know that a state of the art classroom is on schedule to be completed.
The new area will include subsections of breakout rooms for smaller teamwork sessions and should be completed by the start of second semester.
"There's never enough state money to do exactly what you want, but we've received a very generous $500,000 gift from the Isabella Bank, which launched the whole thing," said Charles Crespy, College of Business Administration dean.
He said the new technology will bring a level of sophistication currently unavailable elsewhere in the college.
"Right now, for example, say you're in a negotiating class.
Central Michigan University has a strong financial foundation.
That’s the truth.
If it didn’t, the government would step in, figuring $68 million of tax money goes toward the university each year.
During University President George Ross’ State of the University speech he even said, “And the state of Central Michigan University is indeed strong.”
Central Michigan Life’s Friday editorial stated, “University President George Ross said Central Michigan University was in strong financial shape in his State of the University Address Wednesday.”
I received a call from Steve Smith, director of public relations, early Friday morning saying we had misquoted Ross and asked if we could fix the situation by printing a correction.
He said the context was in an academic sense, as Ross had spoken about academia prior to saying the quote.
I refused, citing my major issue — when any president, especially of a university, tells you their company is “indeed strong,” that encompasses finances, academics, students and faculty.
Smith explained to me the rhetoric, saying governors and presidents say similar things all the time during their state of the state, or nation, but that doesn’t mean they are financially in good shape.
When did CMU become a place so concerned about the politics of giving a speech?
I asked Smith whether CMU was financially struggling and he declined comment, saying that was not the issue.
An editor’s note was added to the online version of the editorial and I added Ross’ direct quote to give more clarity to readers.
As Ross was giving his State of the University, several buildings over in Powers Hall, Vice Provost of Academic Administration Ray Christie said under oath that CMU never had an issue with giving the Faculty Association what they had originally asked for in contract talks between the two.
“We’ve never stated we could not afford it,” Christie said.
But would a university admit it can afford pay increases if it is financially struggling?
CMU has acted like the victim in all of the FA contract talks, claiming it lost $12 million in Michigan funding this year, which is true.
What CMU isn’t saying is the added 3.47 percent tuition increase will more than make up for the $12 million loss from the state.
For the 2010-11 fiscal year CMU made $189,691,837 from on-campus tuition dollars.
For the 2011-12 fiscal year CMU is anticipating $204,496,263.
That’s nearly $15 million, which makes up for any loss in appropriations they received.
Some students in the College of Business Administration are not pleased with the closing of the Grawn computer lab and the relocation to Ronan Hall.
The outside of the closed Grawn computer lab directs students to a new lab, located in the basement of Ronan Hall.
University President George Ross says Central Michigan University is in a strong position.
Ross delivered the State of the University Address to a crowd of about 500 people Wednesday afternoon in Warriner Hall's Plachta Auditorium.
"We will set aggressive goals and work together in the spirit of civility to continue the legacy of our great university as we light that torch and blaze a trail toward our future," Ross said.
Central Michigan University and the CMU Faculty Association are still at odds as to who should be considered a member of the FA.
The two sides met with fact finder Barry Goldman in Powers Hall Wednesday to discuss the remaining issues that separate both sides from reaching a new contract.
Among the issues was deciding what relation between members of the College of Medicine and coaches for CMU should have with the FA.
College of Medicine Dean Ernest Yoder was under oath as lawyers from both sides asked him how people interviewed for positions for the college reacted about the possibility of being a part of the FA.
"They were uniformly negative about being members of a bargaining unit," he said.
Lawyers for the FA brought up a discussion Yoder had with bargaining units about potential hires for CMED being a part of the group.
Yoder told lawyers, "If it becomes necessary, we will work with the FA," during the meeting with the bargaining group.
Derek van der Merwe, senior associate athletic director, said right now only three coaches are not a part of the FA: Dan Enos, football head coach; Ernie Ziegler, men's basketball coach; and Sue Guevarra, women's basketball coach.
While the FA has reported other coaches want to stay with the bargaining group, van der Merwe said that is not accurate.
"Twenty of 34 (coaches) were in support of moving outside the union," he said.
Issues come up when coaches leave because they are a part of the bargaining group, van der Merwe said.
Ray Christie, vice provost of Academic Administration, answered questions from lawyers about the current economic state of CMU, and said 94 percent of the current budget is from appropriations and tuition.
He was questioned about the financial feasibility of the current FA proposal and he said there was discussions about it between the bargaining teams.
"We've never stated we could not afford it," Christie said.
Christie later said he still thinks what CMU is offering is a "competitive raise."
Reappointment, tenure and promotion policies were also discussed; CMU proposes to extend the time in rank from four to five years for promoted professors to receive their salary increase.
Martin said this change would match the timeline for other promotion salaries, and be consistent with other comparable universities.
Also discussed was the FA's proposal to reduce the number of required meetings between college assistant or associate deans and FA members from twice a year.
Jennifer Green, history associate professor and FA bargaining team member, said the meetings were redundant because college deans already have the authority to speak to faculty members who are not meeting their requirements.
Robert Martin, associate vice provost of faculty and personnel services, said the meetings were a valuable practice, because they provide the opportunity to make sure the FA member is successful.
The next fact-finding hearing will take place Friday at 10 a.m.