The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents voted unanimously to withdraw from the Education Achievement Authority effective June 30, 2017.
This vote comes after a postponement to vote on the EAA at the previous Dec. 8 meeting.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Regents with the overdue decision to withdrawal from the EAA,” Student Government President Steven Cole said.
For some this vote was anticipated and for others it seemed like a complete surprise.
“I'm surprised the university finally listened to its students,” William Daniels, EMU alum said. “[But] you can't take back the three-year experiment of cooperate educational reform.”
Recently both Student Government and the Faculty Senate voted “no confidence” in the Board of Regents, this was partially stemmed from the continued partnership with the EAA.
“The vote was long overdue; each day Eastern remained involved was another day of damage done,” Cole said. “I am pleased with the decision to withdraw, although this was not the end of the conversation - our student teachers need help securing quality teaching placements. I call upon the University to redouble efforts to help our current and future College of Education students.”
Steve Wellinski was a scheduled speaker at the meeting and touched on a number of things including faculty senate.
“The faculty had their voice magnified with the vote of no confidence,” Wellinski said. “From this point forward we reject you...we need change in the Regents.”
He also voiced an opinion on Regent James Stapleton, who was absent from this meeting as well as the previous Dec. 8 meeting, only reachable by conference call, which he ended in the middle of the meeting.
Wellinski called for the removal of Regent Stapleton.
“Silence will not be rewarded for instances of injustice,” he said.
The meeting was heavily guarded with EMU officers closing off one stairwell to control traffic to the meeting. Maximum occupancy of 135 people was enforced and an overflow room was available. This was the first meeting where maximum occupancy was enforced with signs at every entrance in Welch Hall.
“I think it is a little excessive, I feel like they are trying to shut us up by not allowing the room to be open,” said senior English major Sarah Jacobs.
While the vote to withdraw from the EAA was the main event of the meeting, the Regents also passed several other motions including a new Fermentation Science major.
During the open communications two part-time lecturers talked about the pay struggle part-time lecturers are facing, a consistent topic at regent meetings since fall of 2014.
State Representative David Rutledge was also chosen to be the next commencement speaker at EMU.
While most everyone in the audience was happy about the decision to withdraw from the EAA, some do not think it was out of caring for EMU and Detroit student.
“It was a political decision from Lansing, they are just following orders,” Preston Johnson said.
“I don't think this is a display of caring for the students in Detroit, just a political decision,” said Samir Webster, a senior engineering physics major. “This does not show they care.”
The next scheduled Board of Regents meeting is Friday, April 22.