President Smith statement regarding student housing

Statement from Eastern Michigan University President James Smith

The University has never considered privatizing student housing. Specifically, EMU is exploring working with an experienced partner who would provide the financing for new and renovated housing facilities on campus that would be owned and managed by EMU.

We are aware that some members of the Faculty Senate are concerned about our plans that will result in a transformative modernization of University housing. Discussions about improving student housing have been underway with our campus community for three years, and we plan to continue to work with the faculty members who are concerned about these efforts to clear up misinformation and to share the benefits of our housing plans. The planned transformation of University housing is consistent with the revitalization of academic facilities and technology on campus in recent years, including the complete modernization and expansion of our science complex and our engineering and technology center.

This three-year planning process has been methodical and engaged students, staff, and faculty. Our goal is to consider whether a partnership could meet the University's goals of ensuring quality housing that is affordable to our students and provides modern technology to allow them to prosper. Any partnership is subject to the final approval of the Board of Regents, but under any model:

o EMU would retain ownership over all of our student housing facilities 

o EMU would set housing rate increases 

o Residence life staff, such as RAs, would remain employed by EMU

o EMU would continue to manage many key aspects of the student housing experience

We are seeking a win-win for our students and our campus community that would provide significant upgrades to on campus housing that students have been seeking.

Our student housing planning website has additional information that has been shared with our campus community, including the May 2021 housing report that details the University's extensive process in considering such a partnership.

We will provide additional information about next steps as they are finalized.

December 07, 2021

Written by:
Official Statements

Melissa Thrasher