Kim Schatzel says farewell with ice cream social

Students enjoy ice cream during a farewell event for Kim Schatzel at the Eastern Michigan Student Center, 7 Jan.

Kim Schatzel, former interim president, provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs at Eastern Michigan University, explained at her farewell ice cream social that her move to Towson University will be the hardest change she has made in her forty years of working

The social, held this past Thursday afternoon in the Student Center, was free and open to the campus. After assembling sundaes at the ice cream bar, the 160 attendees had the opportunity to mingle. At 4:15 p.m. Walter Kraft, vice president of communications, gave a short speech and said his farewells to Schatzel.

He said she has moved the university forward “in so many ways.”

“It was four years ago this week when Kim arrived here at Eastern, stepped into the provost office, and hasn’t missed a beat since,” Kraft said. “She has been a wonderful colleague [and] a wonderful friend.”

Regent Beth Fitzsimmons presented Schatzel with a crystal bowl as a gift from the Board of Regents during the presentation as well.

“Clearly, she has continued on with that philosophy that the students are really what matter,” Fitzsimmons said.

Schatzel also gave a short goodbye speech in which she thanked her friends and colleagues.

“It’s not often you work with colleagues that you can enjoy a beer with and also very much respect – but I’ve had both in my relationship with all of you,” she said.

Anjali Martin, Student Government vice president, said she went to the social because she wanted to thank Schatzel. She said Schatzel has, “put a lot of commitment into this institution.”

“It’s really bittersweet,” Martin said. “I know that this will get her closer to family and it’s a great opportunity for her. But, on a personal level, I’ve enjoyed working with her. I’ve enjoyed seeing her transition from provost to [interim] president.”

Joey Stinson, a senior communications student said he wishes her the best of luck in her new position.

“I felt like she had a really good relationship with a lot of the student organizations and she wasn’t quick to punish,” said Stinson. “She [looked] to understand. I hope the replacement provost follows in her shoes as well.”

Kevin Kucera, the associate vice president for enrollment management, said he’s excited about Schatzel’s new experience.

“I enjoyed the four years that I reported to her,” Kucera said. “She was a great leader, a great visionary, and she made me a better administrator, so I want to thank her for that.”

Schatzel said it was nice to see everyone she’s worked with as well as the students.

“That’s one of the things that I wanted to do – was make sure that I could have students be able to come and enjoy ice cream,” she said.

She said she is looking forward to her new position.

“My family is from the East Coast, so to be able to move closer to my roots is an important thing,” Schatzel said.

Patrick Barry, a professor and president of the alumni association, said Schatzel leaving is EMU’s loss.

“I’m really happy for her – she is an amazing woman,” he said. “She is intelligent, she has an honest integrity, she is kind, she communicates wonderfully, she trusts people [and] she values her staff. She is really everything you would ever want in your boss, your supervisor.”

Steven Cole, student government president, said Schatzel was an asset to students.

“[Schatzel] embraces the diversity of the student body,” he said. “She really means well in everything she does. She is committed to bettering the student experience.”

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