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September 27, 2016

SVSU sees enrollment dip, but encouraging signs in freshman class, retention numbers

Saginaw Valley State University experienced an enrollment decline for the 2016 fall semester, but leaders are encouraged by trends involving the incoming freshman class and student retention.

“We enrolled our most academically well-prepared freshman class in our history this fall, and that is good news,” said Deb Huntley, SVSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Faculty and staff have taken a more active role in student recruitment over the past year, and their work is paying off. The number of domestic freshmen is nearly on par with last year, despite a decline in the number of high school graduates in Michigan.”
The entering freshman class has a cumulative high school GPA of 3.39 and an average score of
22.5 on the ACT, which was still the most common college entrance exam for this student cohort. SVSU welcomed 1,301 first-time students from the U.S. this fall, compared to 1,331 in 2015.

SVSU also saw an increase in the number of students who returned for their second year on campus, as its retention rate improved to 74 percent from 69 percent over the past five years, moving toward SVSU’s institutional goal of 78 percent.

SVSU’s retention rate has been improving slowly and steadily in recent years, but Huntley said this year-to-year progress is very encouraging, because it shows holistic efforts to support students are proving to be effective.

“We still have room to grow,” she said, “but we are on the right track.”

Overall enrollment dropped to 9,165 students taking classes at SVSU for the 2016 fall semester, compared to 9,766 last year.

There are 718 international students at SVSU this fall, which is higher than it was two years ago, but down compared to last year’s record number of 920.

“We saw an unusually large increase in the number of international freshmen last year, prompted by the earthquake in Nepal and other factors,” Huntley said. “Many of these students did not return, primarily due to financial reasons. Despite this, we remain on track toward our target of having international students comprise approximately 10 percent of our student body.”

September 11, 2016

CAMPUS ALERT: Shooting Incident Near SVSU

Latest news and information regarding shooting incident near campus of SVSU in early morning hours of Sunday, Sep. 11, 2016


  • Counseling services are available to students through our Student Affairs office -- (989) 964-7078
  • Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Saginaw Central Dispatch -- (989) 797-4580
  • Hotline number for concerned parents or students -- (989) 964-4348
  • The five individuals injured are not SVSU students

---- Friday, Sep. 16 ----

President Bachand interview with [ link ]

---- Wednesday, Sep. 14 ----

Joint statement from SVSU and Campus Village apartments

Representatives of Saginaw Valley State University and Campus Village apartments met today to discuss how to improve safety and security for SVSU students and residents of Campus Village.  It was a productive meeting and all parties agreed to move forward with developing a memorandum of understanding between SVSU and Campus Village.  Both entities have had a continuing dialogue with the Saginaw County Sherriff’s Department and Michigan State Police.

The Campus Village apartment complex is private property under the primary jurisdictions of the Saginaw Sherriff’s Office and Michigan State Police.  SVSU, Campus Village, the Sherriff’s Office and Michigan State Police recognize their shared and independent responsibilities to ensure the safety and security of students, residents, and visitors.

Both parties agree that it is important and necessary for SVSU and Campus Village to work more closely together.  Both parties are working quickly to finalize details of this new memo of understanding. In addition, Campus Village is enhancing its own security procedures. SVSU, Campus Village, the Sheriff’s Department and others met last year and some enhanced safety measures were implemented as a result, but all parties recognize additional measures should be adopted to ensure a secure environment.
We will continue to update the campus community, residents of Campus Village, and the public as these plans take shape.

---- Monday, Sep. 12 ----

Statement from SVSU President Donald J. Bachand

Like many of you, I experienced a range of emotions this past weekend. I celebrated with many of you when our football team won in dramatic fashion in overtime. A few hours later, I was filled with concern upon learning that a shooting had happened at an apartment complex near campus where many of our students reside. Later, I was relieved to learn that none of the injuries were life-threatening and that none of those who were injured were SVSU students.

I want to make you aware of the university’s response to this unfortunate incident.

The campus community reacted well and immediately to the incident, implementing a campus-wide emergency alert within the first half hour. We have been communicating with and monitoring the media and social media aspects of the issue since the incident occurred. A key objective for us was to quickly confirm that the injured were NOT SVSU students.

We worked seamlessly with the Saginaw County Sheriff's office who had responded at the scene. I personally visited the scene of the incident afterwards with law enforcement offices.

An emergency hot line was set up before 5am to provide an option for students and parents to call for more information. It was staffed by Jim Muladore’s team and was efficiently utilized to respond to over 100 calls, providing information and calming concerned parents.

We understand the trauma that accompanies such an event, and we want to remind you of the counseling services available to students through our Student Affairs office. Please call (989) 964-7078 for more information.

Our key objective is to keep our campus and students safe. During the past academic year, Jim Muladore and I met with the owners of Campus Village and the sheriff's office to express our concerns with past safety issues. We continue to be disappointed with the lack of attention to this issue in close proximity to our campus and home to many of our students. We will continue to reach out to these individuals to re-prioritize safety issues.

As President of this institution, few things take priority over the security of our campus and the safety of our students. I am committed to the resolution of this incident and prevention of others like it. I welcome an open dialogue with you and the greater Saginaw community in the near future to ensure that SVSU remains a safe and secure home for all of us.

Please contact me should you have further questions or concerns.


Donald J. Bachand

---- Sunday, Sep. 11, 9:42 a.m. ----

Third Campus Alert

SVSU Alert:  SVSU has resumed normal operations this Sunday after a shooting incident that occurred off campus earlier this morning when five individuals were injured who were NOT SVSU students.

---- Sunday, Sep. 11, 5:12 a.m. ----

Second Campus Alert

SVSU Alert: This is an update to the former alert regarding a shooting incident near the SVSU campus around 2:00am today.  We have confirmed that no SVSU students were injured in the incident.  Law Enforcement officials are continuing their investigation.  It is our understanding that five people are confirmed injured, none fatal at this time.  No suspects have been apprehended yet.  The main suspect is described as a black male, early twenties, with dread locks and frosted blonde tips.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Saginaw Central Dispatch at 989-797-4580.  SVSU has arranged a special hotline number for concerned parents or students to call at 989-964-4348.  We will share further information when it becomes available.

---- Sunday, Sep. 11, 2:26 a.m. ----

First Campus Alert

SVSU Alert: At around 2:00am a shooting occurred near SVSU in the Cardinal Townhomes.  The shooters are still outstanding.  Students should stay in their residences until further notice.  The suspects are two black males, one wearing a red shirt with straight brim hat and the second is a black male with dread hair with frosted tips.  More information will be provided as it come to University police.  Anyone that sees the two suspects should call University police immediately.

counseling services available to students through our Student Affairs office. Please call (989) 964-7078 for more information.

September 8, 2016

SVSU earns top certification from Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency

Saginaw Valley State University recently earned certification as a Veteran-Friendly School from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.

The “gold”-level Veteran-Friendly School status demonstrates SVSU’s commitment to offer supportive services to those affiliated with the military, said Denise Berry, director of the university’s Military Student Affairs office.

“This is the top certification you can earn in the state,” said Berry, a retired U.S. Army officer. “This says that we’re obviously doing things right.”

SVSU received the same status last year, when the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency first offered certification to higher education institutions.

Berry said SVSU’s Military Student Affairs has grown since that initial certification. Much of that growth is physical. The office’s suite tripled in size, and the number of visits increased from 1,525 during the 2014-15 academic year to 2,640 in 2015-16.

“There’s just so much more space to meet and do group work,” she said. “This location truly achieves our goal of having a one-stop shop for veterans on campus.”

SVSU’s Military Student Affairs benefits military service members, veterans and the dependents of service members and veterans. The office offers space where military-affiliated students can go for admissions, advising and orientation, to name just a few of the services.

“We help with just about everything they need,” Berry said. “If my team can’t provide a solution, we find the person on campus that can.”

For more information about SVSU’s Military Student Affairs, visit

September 1, 2016

SVSU professor set to swim Straits of Mackinac, run 64-mile race in 4-day span

If Adam Coughlin has a limit, he may meet it within the next week.

The Saginaw Valley State University associate professor of kinesiology and exercise aficionado in September is determined to take on two of the longest and most grueling competitions of his life.

The first test of his limits arrives Monday, Sept. 5, when the Flint native participates in a nearly 5-mile swimming race on the Straits of Mackinac that coincides with the 59th Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. The second test happens four days later, on Friday, Sept. 9, when he begins a 100K (64-mile) run as part of the Run Woodstock celebration in Pinckney.

“I’m a bit of an adventure nut,” Coughlin said of his decision to enter both challenges within a 1-week span. “I like to know where my limits are. I could find out here.”

He is no stranger to competition. He signed up for his first triathlon in 2001. Enjoying the challenge and discipline involved, Coughlin over the years has demonstrated his tireless commitment to challenging his physical and mental boundaries by entering in swimming and running competitions.

Still, his longest competitive run was 50 miles and his longest swimming event was about half the length of Monday’s contest.

“I have a feeling this 64-mile race might be my limit,” Coughlin said. “I’m 6-foot, 3-inches and 200 pounds, so the running can take its toll on my body. The swimming doesn’t have that kind of effect, so I can see myself reaching further distances with that.”

His date with the Straits of Mackinac is part of a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser. About 50 people competing in the event are donating their entry fees — totaling $5,500 — to the nonprofit organization.

“It’s one of the largest swimming-based fundraisers in the world,” Coughlin said, “so it’s for a good cause.”

Water temperatures could reach low 60-degree levels, which would mark his coldest swimming event environment. Participants are required to wear wetsuits, so Coughlin doesn’t expect too much discomfort.

“I prefer a little chill,” he said. “It feels good to have some of that to cool the body heat you generate.”

Coughlin, who is both an Adrian College graduate and former member of the faculty there, said the summer has involved “the most amount of training I’ve ever done.”

Coughlin expects to finish the swim in under four hours and the run in about 15 hours.

“I feel pretty good about both races,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

August 25, 2016

SVSU students earn accolades from Enterprise internship initiative

A pair of Saginaw Valley State University students showed their commitment to excellence when they were recognized for their outstanding performance at a summer-long internship program with Enterprise Holdings, the corporation largely known for vehicle rental services.

Leslie Smith, an SVSU junior from Roseville with a double major in marketing and management, earned a $750 scholarship from Enterprise Thursday, Aug. 18, during the culmination of the internship program involving 46 college students from Michigan and northern Ohio.

“I was beyond happy to get that scholarship,” said Smith, who participated in the 2015 summer internship program, as well. “I worked really hard all summer and it really paid off. This was a great opportunity for me.”

The program is a full-time, paid internship that places participants in Enterprise Holdings locations across the region from May to August, tasking interns with business and marketing-related jobs.

George Copeland, a management major from Southfield, excelled on a team of five students recognized for Best Presentation from Enterprise during the Aug. 18 event at Ann Arbor City Club.

The team was one of 10 groups that presented on various aspects of Enterprise Holdings’ business. The Southfield native’s team presented on the company’s growth and marketing.

Both Smith and Copeland originally connected with Enterprise Holdings when representatives visited SVSU during campus employment fairs.

Thomas Barnikow, assistant director of SVSU Career Services, which organizes the employment fairs, attended the Enterprise Holdings event in Ann Arbor.

“There were students in that internship program from all over the place,” Barnikow said. “It was definitely nice to see that, not only did SVSU have representation, but that our students there did so well.”

August 15, 2016

Old meters turned into artwork for SVSU art gallery exhibition

A Saginaw Valley State University professor will display his paintings, drawings and artwork made from old meters during an exhibition Monday, Aug. 22 to Wednesday, Sept. 14 in the campus’ University Art Gallery.

Michael Mosher, professor of art/communication and multimedia, will discuss his exhibition –  titled “Meter-Reader: Voltage, Amperage, Knowledge” – Thursday, Sept. 8, at 3 p.m. in the gallery.

Mosher’s artworks were completed during a 2014 sabbatical. The material makes use of the artist’s inherited collection of mid-20th century, pre-digital voltmeters and ammeters in the exhibition’s paintings, drawings, sculptural installations, photographs and copy-machine prints.

Mosher moved back to Michigan from California's Silicon Valley in 2000 because his father, Raymond F. Mosher, needed attention. The elder Mosher died that same November, having lived out his days in the Ann Arbor house he purchased in 1957 when he was appointed as a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan. In Raymond Mosher’s basement and storage shed were old meters, which his university discarded when the equipment was replaced with digital meters in the 1970s, his son said. The elder Mosher offered a loading dock manager $5 each trip to fill the trunk of his Buick with the meters.

After Michael Mosher inherited his father’s belongings — including the meters — he resolved to make art and use the equipment as a subject matter for a variety of media. To view some of these works, visit or

August 2, 2016

SVSU leaders heading to Atlanta hoping for national awards

Saginaw Valley State University student leaders hope a big presence translates into big awards at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Network Convention in Atlanta this week.

In March, then-senior Kimberly Salwey won the Outstanding Student Leader award and SVSU’s Forever Red student organization won the Outstanding Student Organization award from CASE District V, which encompasses Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Both Salwey and Forever Red are eligible for the same awards, respectively, at the national level for CASE, which features eight districts. The recipients will be announced at the annual convention during an awards ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6.

Salwey, who graduated from SVSU in May; 11 Forever Red students; and Bryan Crainer, Forever Red’s advisor, will attend the event.

“Everyone is very excited,” said Crainer, SVSU’s associate dean of student life and leadership program. “This is going to be a great experience.”

Crainer and as many as four members of Forever Red each year have attended previous CASE conventions. This year, 13 SVSU representatives are traveling to Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, departing Wednesday, Aug. 3.

“We’re going big this year,” he said. “Our delegation is going to be comparable to larger universities there.”

Forever Red was created in 2011 to promote SVSU school spirit, support student scholarships through fundraising and connect students with alumni. During the previous academic year, about 130 students were members of the organization.

Salwey served as president of Forever Red before graduating in May. The East Tawas native recently began working as a travel expert with the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau.

July 21, 2016

Cardinal on the high seas:

SVSU student blogs as she sails in Viking ship from Bay City to Chicago

‌Saginaw Valley State University junior Carly Peil this week is sailing the high seas  — or at least the Great Lakes.‌
The Auburn native who works in Bay City befriended the crew of the Draken Harald Hårfagre when the Viking vessel arrived last week as part of the Bay City Tall Ships Celebration. Before the ship set sail early Wednesday morning, July 20, her new friends invited Peil to join them as they travel the Great Lakes toward Chicago’s Navy Pier, a destination along the Tall Ships Challenge route. She accepted the invitation, stowing an SVSU flag along with her gear for the trip.
Peil, who is new to sailing, plans to detail her Viking adventure in a blog provided below. Check back here regularly to follow the Storify stream provided below as she posts regular updates before the ship docks in Chicago this weekend.
The graphic design major is an SVSU President’s Scholarship recipient who studied abroad in Prague in 2014 and is planning to study abroad in Italy during the Winter 2017 semester.

July 20, 2016

SVSU receives grants in support of new cross country fitness trail

Saginaw Valley State University has received multiple grants and donations to support the construction of the SVSU Cross Country Fitness Trail, which will serve SVSU students and runners throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The trail will feature an NCAA sanctioned 5-kilometer grass course with interval loops for 6-kilometer, 8-kilometer and 10-kilometer runs that will be constructed on the north side of SVSU's campus. Its proximity to the existing asphalt trail that circles campus will make the SVSU Cross Country Fitness Trail one of the most spectator-friendly courses in the Midwest.

“The trail will be a great addition and will allow us to host meets on campus, which will be terrific for our runners and those who support them,” said Rod Cowan, SVSU head track & field and cross country coach. “We train hard, often early in the morning, and now we will have a top-notch course for our student-athletes, too.  It’s just a great asset for our program. I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to making this concept a reality.”
SVSU has received more than 40 grants, gifts and pledges to support the project, including:
•    $25,000 from the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy via funds provided by the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network
•    $15,000 from the Kantzler Foundation
•    $12,500 from the Russell H. & Maxine E. Smith Charitable Foundation
•    $5,000 from the Bay Area Runners Club
•    $5,000 from Catholic Federal Credit Union
•    $5,000 from the Midland Area Community Foundation
•    $5,000 from Raymond Bartels, an SVSU alumnus (1991, M.B.A.)
•    $5,000 from Ken Roznowski, an SVSU alumnus (1990, B.B.A.)

SVSU estimates the trail will benefit more the 30,000 people per year including SVSU students, faculty and staff, as well as residents of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region. Preliminary construction is underway and the project is scheduled to be completed by spring 2017. It is expected to cost around $100,000.

In addition to serving SVSU’s men’s and women’s cross country teams, the trail is expected to serve as a regional location for many area competitions, as several high schools have contacted SVSU to express interest in such a trail. SVSU intends for its new trail to provide a safe cross country fitness trail for all students to train and compete.

In addition to the benefits for cross country runners, the trail also will serve as a community resource to provide access for recreation in natural areas of the SVSU campus, something that appealed to the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy and Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network.

“WIN is thrilled to make this investment at SVSU,” said Michael Kelly, director of The Conservation Fund, which administers the Saginaw Bay WIN program. “We, SVSU and the land conservancy are longtime partners in our shared efforts to build a more sustainable region. This new multi-use trail will provide yet another unique amenity that balances our incredible environmental assets with opportunities for public access and athletics.”

Zachary Branigan, executive director of the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, agreed.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to help bring this multi-purpose trail to the community,” he said. “The planned trail opens access to hundreds of acres of high-quality natural area. From the trail, we expect birders, hikers, naturalists, and visitors of all types to gain new appreciation for a truly unique natural setting at the heart of our region.”

One example of a natural area on the SVSU campus is the wetlands preserve. You can learn more about it here:

July 18, 2016

SVSU named 2016 ‘Great College to Work For’

Saginaw Valley State University has been recognized as among the nation’s best college workplaces, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities.

“We receive this honor with great enthusiasm, because it speaks to our commitment to support students and one another” said Donald Bachand, SVSU president. “Our faculty and staff work incredibly hard; they are determined to challenge students but also are so willing to share their time and resources to help students succeed.”

SVSU is one of only 93 institutions to achieve the “Great College to Work For” recognition. The results, released today in The Chronicle’s ninth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 281 colleges and universities that applied for the program. This is the first time SVSU has participated in the survey.

SVSU was honored in the medium university category, which includes schools with 3,000 to 10,000 students.    

SVSU joins the University of Michigan as the state’s only institutions to earn the distinction.

“Today’s announcement is recent, but this has been a great place to work throughout my 30-plus years as a professor, a dean, a provost, and now as a president,” Bachand said. “I am extremely proud of my colleagues at every level of this university. They respect one another and they take their jobs seriously.”

SVSU was honored in three categories: compensation and benefits; facilities, workspace and security; and teaching environment.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

“Nine years in, The Chronicle’s Great Colleges to Work For program is well known as a mark of a college or university that puts thought and effort into serving the needs of its faculty and staff,” said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle. “The colleges and universities that make the list are highly rated by their employees for creating great working environments, an important achievement that helps them recruit top academic and administrative talent.”

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

“It’s easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it’s when times are tough that the commitment to workplace quality really gets tested,” said Richard K. Boyer, principal and managing partner, ModernThink LLC. “And those institutions that measure up during times of economic hardship reinforce their already strong cultures and put even more distance between them and their peer institutions for whom they compete for talent.”

Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle’s Web site at

About Saginaw Valley State University:  Saginaw Valley State University is a comprehensive university with more than 90 programs of study for its nearly 10,000 students. Located on a suburban campus in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region, SVSU is committed to quality teaching in the classroom, field-based learning outside, NCAA Division II athletics and a broad range of academic and extracurricular opportunities for students to excel.

In 2015, SVSU received the Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a distinction achieved by only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. By their senior year, 84 percent of students have engaged with community employers and agencies in internships, field placements or some other component of their academic preparation. National research has shown that students who are engaged in the community and on campus are more likely to be successful academically, and to have the critical thinking, problem-solving skills, self-efficacy, and adaptability desired by employers.

About The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Chronicle of Higher Education is the top professional source for news, jobs, and information for college and university administrators and faculty. The Chronicle provides institutions with multiple paths to effectively communicate and engage with the largest audience and most influential decision makers in higher education in print and online. Visit to learn more.

About ModernThink LLC: As a research and consulting leader in workplace issues, ModernThink has supported a wide variety of “Best Place to Work” initiatives. Through these programs, the firm has gained substantial survey and industry expertise, including specific insight into higher education. ModernThink knows what it takes to build a great place to work and shares that know-how with its clients. The ModernThink team of organizational development experts is dedicated to helping colleges follow through and capitalize on feedback from employees and benchmark data from peers to drive meaningful change at their institutions. Learn more at

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