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EMU Regents Vote To End EAA Partnership

Feb 5, 2016

Regents at Eastern Michigan University voted to end a partnership with the Education Achievement Authority today.

 

EMU will officially withdraw from the agreement with the EAA and the state of Michigan on June 30, 2017.

 

Regents voted at a public meeting Friday afternoon. Some audience members cheered the decision, which EMU Faculty Senate President Judith Kullberg says took Regents too long to make.   

 

She says,

 

“We’re pleased, but we of course would have preferred that they made this decision two months ago. That would have prohibited a lot of the conflict that’s emerged since that time.”

 

EMU’s ties to the failed Detroit district will continue until next year due to contractual obligations. Interim President Donald Loppnow says he expects the state to dissolve the EAA before the official withdrawal date. 

 

Loppnow believes the controversial partnership with the failed Detroit district won't affect EMU's reputation as a respected university for educators.

He says,

“I believe that the historic emphasis that our university has had on education and the positive impact that our alumni have had throughout the state and nation would far outweigh this particular point in our history.”

 

The university’s partnership with the EAA has been opposed by faculty and students for years. On Wednesday, members of EMU’s Faculty Senate passed a no confidence resolution in the Board of Regents. Faculty President Judith Kullberg says it will take time to repair the relationship between faculty and school leaders.

Here's the full press release from the university:

EMU Board of Regents votes to withdraw from Education Achievement Authority

YPSILANTI

– Eastern Michigan University is withdrawing from the interlocal agreement between the EMU Board of Regents and the School District For the City of Detroit that led to the creation of the Education Achievement Authority. 

 

The Board of Regents voted unanimously at its regular meeting Friday, Feb. 5 to give notice of the University’s intent to withdraw under terms of the agreement and thus terminate its involvement in the EAA.

“From the beginning, Eastern’s objective in this effort has been focused on helping the students of Detroit and trying to improve educational outcomes,” said Mike Morris, chair of the EMU Board of Regents. “We are taking this action today because it is the right thing to do for our University. It is increasingly clear that the anticipated legislation in Lansing to formally address this matter, and end the EAA, is now moving forward.”   

The Board of Regents first approved the local agreement on June 21, 2011. Under its terms, the University is able to withdraw from the agreement on June 30 of any given year, but must give at least 180 days notice to do so. Thus, June 30, 2017 will mark the University’s official withdrawal.

“Given the legislative efforts under way, we fully expect the EAA to cease to exist well before that time,” Morris said.

 

Morris emphasized that Friday’s vote does note mean the University is ceasing its work with the students of Detroit.

 

“Eastern Michigan University has a long-standing history of supporting teachers and students in Detroit, across the state and nation,” he said. “As a nationally recognized leader in developing teachers and school administrators, this has been and will continue to be an important mission of the University.”

 

*This post has been edited to include new information.

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— Amanda LeClaire is an assignment reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News.  Contact her at 734.487.3363 or email her aleclair@emich.edu