The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents unanimously approved a three-year contract extension for President James Smith at their October meeting.
“I’m delighted to be here,” Smith said. “I love what I do. I love who our campus is; I love our students.”
Smith was appointed as president in July of 2016 and will now serve a full eight year term through 2024.
Board of Regents Chair James Webb echoed Smith’s excitement of the extension.
“We had some disappointments over the years of some of his predecessors and as we observed what he’s done at the university: the way he carries himself, his ideas, his ability to communicate. We were just delighted with him.
“Some of the things we’ve done here are things are things that every university is looking at doing.”
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Smith’s salary will increase to $455,000, a $55,000 increase from his original $400,000 salary. He intends to donate this year’s salary increase to the EMU Foundation.
“I heard all the comments today about our students struggling,” Smith said. “That’s why we keep doing what we do every day.”
The Board of Regents noted numerous accomplishments of Smith’s in his time at EMU under student support and success with academic programs, stabilizing the budget and operations and facility enhancements.
Smith is excited to serve and is looking forward to tackling the current concerns of faculty, staff and students.
“We’re going to find an answer for expanding Swoop’s. We’re going to find an answer for how to provide housing for people who have housing insecurity.”
I don’t have that answer today but we’re going to have to keep working at it.”