The Michigan Business & Professional Association has announced that EMU President Susan Martin will be awarded the distinguished leadership award in the area of education at the association’s annual Women and Leadership in Workplace Conference.
According to Jennifer Kluge, President of the MBPA, the goal of the award is, “Basically successful women inspiring other women to be successful.”
Martin is EMU’s first female president. She earned a bachelors degree from Central Michigan University, and an MBA and a doctorate in business and accounting from Michigan State.
Martin will speak briefly at the MBPA. As part of her acceptance speech, Martin said she plans to extend her thanks to the taxpayers of Michigan for helping her afford her education.
“I took a test, and the taxpayers in the state paid for me to get an education,” Martin said. “I only had to earn enough to pay for my room and board, clothes and books. So, I’m very grateful for that. All my education has been at public universities in Michigan. I have an opportunity now to give something back at this stage in my life and try to make sure the public university system is healthy and affordable.”
Prior to working in higher education, Martin held various positions in the Michigan government. She ultimately left her position as commissioner of revenue to become a professor.
“When I started just fresh out of school with my Ph.D., I’d already had 10 years of administrative experience in state government,” Martin said. “So, when I came to the university as an assistant professor with the early morning class schedule…I’d already been commissioner of revenue for the state of Michigan. I had run the state tax system and had about 1,000 employees. That was the job I quit to become a professor and took a big pay cut.”
Martin worked 18 years at Grand Valley State University and served as provost and vice-chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 2006-2008.
Martin said her biggest accomplishment as president of EMU has been stability.
“I think it’s stability that enables us to make students and their families feel confident that the university is reasonably well run,” she said.
Martin said her future goals include hiring new faculty members, continuing to renovate buildings on campus, keeping college costs affordable and increasing fundraising to help support students and increase the endowment.
“There are future economic storms in Michigan,” Martin said. “Eastern will be better positioned to get through those easily with a strong stable endowment base.”
The awards will also include a panel discussion. Discussion panelists will be composed of representatives of, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Detroit Medical Center, Private Practice Psychologist and Oakwood Healthcare.