Susan Martin and Michael Valdes discuss the financial future of EMU

President Susan Martin presented the latest update of Eastern Michigan University’s Strategic Plan with the help of chief financial officer Michael Valdes in the Student Center Auditorium Tuesday.

“Our core values are excellence, respect, inclusiveness, responsibility and integrity,” Martin said.

The Strategic Plan was drafted in 2012 and approved by the Board of Regents in 2013. Since 2011, Martin has been working with the Institutional Strategic Planning Council to improve the campus environment and plan for the future.

The plan includes four strategic themes:

creating student engagement

high performance academic programs and quality research

promoting institutional effectiveness

service and engagement

Martin also acknowledged a proposal to add “safety” to those goals and community engagement.

“The proposed changes are based on the input we’ve received so far from the campus,” Martin said. “We’re, right now, engaged in again surveying on the Great Colleges to Work For, not just to find out what we’re doing well but also areas in which we can improve to make [Eastern] a great college to work for.”

Valdes updated the crowd of the financial health of the $400 million campus.

“As you know, we have seen a significant decline in our state appropriations compared to historical levels,” Valdes said.

Eastern received $78,662,880 from Lansing in the 2009 financial year, compared to $71,771,100 in 2015.

The university has been deficit spending for several years. In 2009 EMU had $74.5 million in reserves. As of 2014, it had $29.7 million.

According to a 2013 assessment by Moody’s, Eastern has a stable outlook with an overall A1 rating. The New York based firm said that Eastern has a “solid market position as a regional public university.”

But in the same report, Moody’s said that EMU does face economic challenges, high operating and “weak demographic projections given expected decline in high school graduates in the state over the next decade.”

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