Regents Scold the President of Eastern Michigan University

In documents written this past May but just released to the public, Susan W. Martin, president of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, received a letter from the chair of the board of regents regarding her behavior at a fundraising event in Washington, D.C.  The letter alleged that President Martin conducted herself “in a way that was inappropriate for your position and reflected poorly on the university and you as its president.”

At the event, President Martin admitted that she had alcohol and had not eaten and then had an argument with an alumnus of the university during which she lost her temper. The letter from the regents stated “you must conduct yourself at all times at the highest professional and social levels. You must deal with this issue immediately.” The regents urged President Martin to seek counseling from professionals and then warned her that “if there are any other incidents, you will leave us no alternative but to recommend to the board that your employment be terminated.”

In a response, President Martin wrote, “I lead a very intense and highly visible life. I could not perform these duties and handles the rigors of my position if I had a serious health issue of any type as suggested” in the letter from the board of regents.

Dr. Martin has been president of Eastern Michigan University since 2008. She is the first woman to hold the post in the university’s 160-year history. Prior to becoming president, she was provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan at Dearborn. Earlier, she served for 18 years on the faculty at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

President Martin is a graduate of Central Michigan University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Filed Under: Leadership


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