EMU

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It's not every EMU Regents meeting that ends with students and community members staging "die-ins" and screaming "Black lives matter! The EAA is killing me!" as the college president leans over them, asking them to calm down and get up off the floor. 

But that's what happened Friday. 

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Updated:

Black men have some of the lowest graduation rates among college students.

Nationally, just 33% of them finish their degrees within six years.

At Eastern Michigan University, it's even lower: around 18%, according to their numbers from 2004-2006.

“We have [about 1500] black males. We can’t connect with all of them, but we can cast a wide net.”

EMU likes to boast about their diverse student body – one of the “most diverse in the Midwest,” according to the school’s website.

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Hundreds of girls from across Michigan will have the chance to try out some hot technology this week in the hopes they see a fit for themselves in a high-tech career. Eastern Michigan University will host the fourth annual "Digital Divas" conference on Friday.

EMU Program Manager Bia Hamed says the free one-day event for middle and high school girls aims to help close the gender gap when it comes to careers in science, math, engineering and technology-related fields, often referred to as "STEM."

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The College of Education at Eastern Michigan University is laying off the majority of its full-time lecturers because of falling enrollment. 

That's according to the Ann Arbor News:

The school has issued layoff notices to 10 of its 11 full-time lecturers, effective in August, according to members of lecturers union. (EMU officials say they issued notices to eight lecturers.) Lecturers, many of whom have held their jobs for several years, are upset by the changes and say the layoffs are unnecessary.

Jann Joseph, EMU's dean of education, says the opposite is true.

"We looked at the data. We looked at the enrollment patterns, and we were not convinced that we would have enough teaching loads and classes for all the people who were currently lecturers," she said. "We are just managing at a time of decline."

Eastern Michigan University

EMU's Board of Regents unanimously approved a two-year contract extension for the university's president, Susan Martin, at a special meeting on Friday.

Last fall, the Board reprimanded Martin for problem drinking, and told her to seek counseling or lose her job.

There was no mention of the issue during the Board meeting, in which Martin was praised for leading Eastern "during a five-year period of significant growth in enrollment, academic success, and major upgrades to campus buildings and the University's infrasture," said Board chair Francine Parker.

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A program at Eastern Michigan University is helping students with autism navigate college life. It's part of the university's Autism Collaboration Center. The center helps people with autism of all ages. As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Christina Shockley talked with the center's Lisa Johnstone about the program.

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Eastern Michigan University will offer a program to single parents ages 18-24 to help them earn a college degree.

EMU says the "Keys to Degrees" program is open to low-income men and women each with only one child age 18 months or older when the program begins.  

The program will start with availability for ten students who will live in University apartments on campus. While parents are in classes, children will be cared for on campus at EMU's Children Institute.

Because classes are conducted year-round, students could earn a college degree in three years.

In a press release, EMU's assistant vice president of retention and student success, Lynette Findley, said:

"Single parents have been historically marginalized and shut out of higher education, due, in large measure, to the expense of high quality, licensed childcare. This program is an outstanding opportunity to serve the large number of single parents in the greater metro Detroit area in order to improve quality of life for them and for their children."

There are few programs like it around the country.

The Detroit Free Press writes that EMU's program is one of seven colleges offering such benefits:

The Higher Education Alliance for Residential Single Parent Programs lists just seven colleges nationwide that have programs that house single parents and their children on campus through a targeted program. One of the seven is Endicott College, located in Beverly, a Boston suburb.

Endicott College established its program in 1992 and, with a $400,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will partner with EMU to recreate the initiative in Michigan.

EMU and Endicott College hope to replicate the program at two more Michigan colleges.

Interior of EMU Science Complex
EMU

EMU calls it the largest single construction project in the history of the University.

Today the school put the interior of the Science Complex on display.

AnnArbor.com has put together a slide show of the complex.

The AP reports the $90 million Science Complex was paid for through the sale of bonds and through a 4% tuition increase that was approved in 2005.

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) President, Susan Martin
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

(by Rina Miller)

The union representing Eastern Michigan University faculty may ask for a strike authorization if its contract demands are not met by midnight Tuesday.

EMU classes are scheduled to begin September 8, but union representatives say teachers may not be there if no contract agreement is reached.

EMU faculty are no strangers to walkouts: They went on strike in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

Howard Bunsis is with the union.