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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, April 27

Finals week

Good place to study on campus is Starbucks

Applying my highly-trained police observation techniques this week, I noticed that Zahnow Library and the campus Starbucks have both been especially busy.  Nothing says finals week quite like cramming and caffeine. I know this is a hectic time for many. My thanks to all the faculty diligently grading, the housing and residential life personnel processing students checking out of our residence halls, the facilities staff making repairs, and everyone working with students heading home for the summer. Let’s send them home with positive impressions that they share with friends, family and future students.

Crunch Time for Spring Sports

‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌SVSU varsity athletics spring 2015

Our spring sports seasons also are drawing to a close and our teams have some key contests remaining.  Our softball team has been playing well of late, and they open GLIAC tournament play Friday as the no. 3 seed. Baseball travels to Walsh this weekend to close the regular season. Our track and field squads are competing in the GLIAC outdoor championships this week, and the golf team managed to make a few putts and they qualified for the NCAA super regional that opens next week. My best wishes to all our student-athletes. Go Cards! 

Farewell to Fine Colleagues

Basil Clark and Bob Pratt, retiring professors

The end of the term also brings careers to a close for a few of our colleagues. I would like to bid them a fond farewell.  Basil Clark, professor of English, and Bob Pratt, associate professor of teacher education, each have been here longer than I have, as has Sam Sarkar, professor of economics, who finished teaching last semester. That’s saying something.  (Don’t tell me what it says.)  David Dalgarn, professor of biology, arrived the same year I did. Joining them in retirement are Bob Cheek, professor of educational leadership and services and Judith Hill, professor of philosophy; as well as some long-time staff members, including Marsha Coffey, administrative assistant in human resources; Kristen Gregory, special assistant to the Provost; Judy Izzo, custodian; Kirker Kranz, media services/interlibrary loan assistant in the library; and Cynthia Woiderski, director of disability services. These individuals have served our students and this university well. My best wishes to all and my appreciation for your work on behalf of SVSU.

Leadership for College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences


Deb Huntley and I are pleased to announce that Marc Peretz will assume the role of interim dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences.  He is a professor of music and past chair of the department and currently serving as associate provost for International and Advanced Studies. As you know, Carlos Ramet, professor of English and past department chair, has agreed to serve as associate dean.  We also are pleased that current dean Joni Boye-Beaman has graciously accepted an interim administrative appointment in the office to provide continuity and guidance during this transitional period while also fulfilling her desire to return to the classroom. All three members of this leadership team bring a great deal of administrative and faculty experience. This is a very strong team to lead the College.

Video Winner

Student Cullen James, a medical laboratory science major from Birch Run

Congratulations to Cullen James, a medical laboratory science major from Birch Run, who recently won the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science's (ASCLS) 2015 viral video contest. My thanks to Kay Castillo, assistant professor of medical laboratory science, for encouraging him to enter the contest. I always enjoy seeing SVSU featured in these ways – and I like to win.  The video shows clinical lab science being performed at both SVSU and Covenant HealthCare; watch it now.

Supporting the People of Nepal

‌‌‌SVSU nursing students study abroad trip to Nepal

I know I join many of you in expressing my heartfelt sympathies to the people of Nepal and everyone effected by the weekend’s devastating earthquake.  We have several arriving students from Nepal who managed to depart before the quake and are now here on campus; a number of others are expected and we are working with them to the best of our ability. We also are rallying together to raise funds to support the relief effort. Donations are being accepted today at Marketplace at Doan and at tomorrow’s nursing symposium. There will be more to come, as well. My thanks to all the faculty, staff and students who have stepped forward to lead this cause. (Pictured are SVSU nursing students during a recent study abroad trip to Nepal.)

Climate Survey Findings

Sue Rankin delivers findings from 2014 Climate Survey

My thanks to everyone who attended the Climate Survey presentations last week and to those who have already volunteered to assist in our efforts to make improvements.  We will be working over the summer to identify a few specific action items. Much of the data confirmed that this is a good place to work and to learn, but the findings also identified areas where we can improve. And we will.

Wickes Hall renovations

Living Center Southwest

For those of you who don’t happen by Wickes Hall every day, there is now a large blue tarp covering the north side of the building where windows used to be. Soon those of us who work on the third floor will be relocated to Living Center Southwest for the summer. We will be taking our phones and our computers with us, so you will still be able to contact us and yes, we will be working.

Cinco de Mayo parade

SVSU celebrating Saginaw's Cinco de Mayo festival

If you are looking for me Saturday morning, I’ll be easy to find, as I join a number of others representing SVSU in Saginaw’s annual Cinco de Mayo parade.  The weather forecast is favorable, and for that I am grateful, as I participated last year, too, when sunshine and warmth were absent. There will be many more opportunities, formal and informal, to show your support for SVSU at community events throughout the summer. I encourage you to do so and wear your Cardinal colors with pride.