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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, August 7, 2017

Congratulations is in order

With the retirement of longtime ombudsman Dick Thompson this summer, I am pleased to announce Sidney Childs will be taking on the duties of ombudsman. Sidney’s new title will be associate provost for student affairs and dean of students. Please join me in congratulating Sidney on his new role. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Childs at or by calling (989) 964-4410.

Construction update

New construction of Panda Express

It’s been a busy summer in so many ways. No doubt, if you have been on campus, you have taken a few detours to avoid construction projects outdoors and found different paths to your indoor destinations because of shifting renovation work. As the fall semester approaches, I wanted to provide an update on some of the larger efforts and projected finish dates. Of course, Mother Nature could upend some estimates, but we will cross our fingers for her mercy.

  • We are anticipating a safe building inspection in the next few weeks for the Dow Doan Science Building’s east wing. Pending that approval, you will see the hallway from Starbucks to the food court reopen to the public. I’m told we are expecting that reopening to happen in time for the fall semester. And, for those of you who have expressed such excitement regarding our latest food court addition, that means Panda Express would be open in time for the fall semester.
  • Both the J3 (residential lot by University Village and Curtiss Hall) and K parking lots (lot by Science West and the greenhouse) should reopen by the weekend.
  • Already, we are moving some RAs and RDs into the Merry Jo Brandimore House after spending the summer replacing doorways, carpets, countertops and some other miscellaneous work in there. A good chunk of the concrete restoration projects underway in the First Year Suites are complete, but we are hopeful all of the work will be finished by the end of next week.
  • In Wickes Hall, crews finished work on the south elevator earlier this month. Now work is underway on the north elevator. We estimate that project will be completed by the beginning of the semester.
  • Workers are replacing the skyroof above the University Art Gallery. That project should be finished within two weeks.
  • The City of Saginaw water main project currently underway on Pierce is entering its latter stages. The water lines are installed and the restoration work now is underway. While this is not a university project, construction crews have been keeping us up to speed on progress, and they are expecting work to be finished by Friday, Aug. 25. That means the popular roundabout on Pierce will reopen at that time. 
  • Consumers Energy has completed the new gas main infrastructure underground and now are finishing restoring the grass and cement at those dig sites.

As always, we appreciate your patience as these projects near a conclusion.

Be prepared

‌‌‌Representatives from SVSU and Saginaw County emergency responders sit around a large table.

Colleagues from several departments collaborated with emergency responders from across Saginaw County in a table top training exercise Wednesday. The scenario simulated an explosion and chemical release on campus. We hope such an event never happens, of course, but we have an obligation to prepare ourselves to work together quickly and effectively in the event something like this were to occur. My thanks to everyone who participated in this drill and who works every day to keep our campus safe.

Engineering symposium showcased student talents

Fall 2015 SVSU Engineering Symposium

I hope you attended the 2017 Summer Engineering Symposium, featuring 33 of our mechanical engineering students presenting nine engineering-based projects designed for professional clients. Those clients include Duro-Last Roofing, Huhtamaki Plastic, Nexteer Automotive, and The Fab Shop. Students presented the projects in the first floor Pioneer Hall hallways and then gave classroom presentations. Our engineering students are so talented.

African Cultural Festival scheduled

49th Annual Saginaw African Cultural Festival logo

There are a number of exciting community-enriching events scheduled for this weekend, including two sponsored by our institution. Among those is the 49th Annual Saginaw African Cultural Festival. The weekend-long event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to Sunday at the former Morley Elementary School grounds, 2601 Lapeer near Veterans Memorial Parkway. The theme this year will be “Kawaida — An Exploration of the African Diasporic Identity, Purpose and Direction.” As always, you can expect a lot of culture, food, entertainment and fun at the festival.

SVSU-sponsored Friday Night Live tonight

Once again, SVSU will serve as a co-sponsor to one of the six Friday Night Live concerts planned this year.

A few blocks away, you can also enjoy Saginaw’s Friday Night Live classic rock-themed concert Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Saginaw’s Morley Plaza. SVSU will serve as a co-sponsor for this concert. Randy Brock and Hipakritz are the evening’s musical lineup.


Seeking Suggestions

Campus Calendar‌‌

This is a wonderful place, with so many impressive things happening each and every week. I talk to many of you, and receive emails about some of this good stuff. I need your help to make sure the Weekly Update captures the best of the best! If you have an item that should be considered, please email

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