YPSILANTI — Citing accomplishments in academic and student support initiatives, facility enhancements, and budget stabilization, the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents today (Dec. 8, 2022) voted unanimously to extend the contract of President James Smith, Ph.D., for two years, through June 30, 2026.
At the conclusion of the contract, President Smith will reach the 10-year mark as president and will be the University’s longest-serving president since 2000. Smith began his tenure at Eastern Michigan in July 2016 and is the University’s 23rd president in its 174-year history.
Board of Regents Chair Eunice Jeffries said, “President Smith has provided strong leadership through the many headwinds facing higher education institutions. He has been measured, focused and respectful in making important decisions to move the University forward. His dedication to supporting the success and well-being of our students and campus community reflects a deep commitment to fostering a positive environment that engenders excellence. President Smith has supported University initiatives that equip our students with the competitive edge to be successful in today’s society.”
Key accomplishments cited in support of the contract extension include:
Jeffries also highlighted the $16 million renovation of the Rec/IM, enhancements to campus dining, and the University’s adoption of block tuition as key successes under President Smith’s leadership.
Additional accomplishments can be found here.
Under the terms of the contract extension, President’s Smith’s current contract will be extended until June 30, 2026, and his salary will increase by 3% to $468,650 annually. The increase is retroactive to July 1, 2022. Smith is the second lowest-paid university president among Mid-American Conference and other peer Michigan universities.
“I am grateful to the members of the Board of Regents for their confidence and their appreciation of the efforts of the University’s leadership team,” said Smith. “I am proud of the positive strides we have taken, together with students, faculty, staff and alumni. And, I know much work, and ongoing collaboration, is critical to continuing our progress.”
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.