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EAA Battle is a Fight for the Soul of EMU

December 8, 2014

Regular readers of Eagle Totem know that I am prone to the occasional rant, and it is true that I can get a little salty with my analysis at times. But I always try to remember that we are talking about a game, large men crashing into each other at high speeds while playing with an oblong ball. My main interest has always been the overall image and success of Eastern Michigan University.

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Dayton Flyers 73, EMU Eagles 64 postgame analysis

December 7, 2014

24 hours later, I’ve had some time to think about yesterday’s loss for EMU to the Dayton Flyers. This was a hard-fought game for the team and they have nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by in their performance. I wanted to take some time to put together a detailed analysis, complete with statistics, graphs, and what-have-you. Read more…

Dayton Flyers preview

December 6, 2014

The EMU men’s basketball game at Dayton this afternoon is a big game. Not a Big Game, against a Major Opponent that will get National Attention if the Scrappy Underdogs win the upset, but a big game in the sense that it is meaningful for the teams involved, and especially for EMU.

Game details

  • EMU at Dayton
  • Saturday, December 6, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Ohio
  • Online: Fox Sports Go (just like WatchESPN, this requires a participating cable/satellite provider)
  • Radio: EMU broadcast on 89.1 WEMU-FM (online); Dayton broadcast on 1290 WHIO-AM (online)
  • Live stats

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EMU Regents Defy Will of Students, Faculty over EAA

December 5, 2014

Today, by a vote of 6-2, the EMU Board of Regents has decided to openly defy the will of President Susan Martin, the EMU student body, and the overwhelming majority of faculty by renewing the poisonous relationship between EMU and the EAA.

The Metro Times did some outstanding reporting on this topic a few years ago. Take some time and read their report. The EMU Education program, one of the true crown jewels of our beloved University, is being used as an experimental pawn in a game by Governor Snyder and his cadre of lackeys on the Board of Regents.

Note: (Five of the six who voted to keep the alignment with the EAA are Snyder appointees. The sixth is Jim Stapleton, who thought Ron English shouldn’t have been fired and was close to turning the program around. Nothing more needs to be said about Stapleton’s judgment).

EMU, unlike the University of Michigan and Michigan State, does not have directly elected regents. This being the case, what happened shouldn’t be a surprise, as political hacks and water-carriers quite often end up securing appointment.

I want to say this unequivocally: I don’t care what party occupies the governor’s office, EMU should not be a playground for politically motivated, on-the-fly education reform. As was said in the Metro Times article regarding the EAA, “We’re building this plane as we fly it.” Brilliant. Let’s bet the reputation of one of the most respected education programs in the country on a bottle of snake oil and some magic beans.

How’s this for a deal: We’ll keep EAA affiliated with EMU, if, and only if, Regents Mike Morris, Beth Fitzsimmons, Michael Hawks, Jim Stapleton, Mary Treder Lang, and James Webb agree to send their children or grandchildren to EAA schools. I’m sure that will happen right away.

I hope protests continue over this. You can find links to email addresses for the Regents here. Be respectful but firm. Also, if you want, throw in a word of encouragement to Regents Francine Parker and Floyd Clack for their support of the EMU students and faculty.

I’ll close with a letter submitted by Steve Wellinski, an EMU educator — the kind of person we should be listening to on this issue.


Dear Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents, Dr. Susan Martin, President, and Dr. Kim Schatzel, Provost and Executive Vice President

On October 23, 2013, The COE council sent a letter to the Board of Regents requesting the university’s participation in the inter-local agreement that created the Education Achievement Authority be severed immediately.   The undersign support the following version of that request.  Attached is a list of 2,189 individuals who have added their names to this petition, as well as additional comments written by the petition signers themselves.

The leadership of Eastern Michigan University (EMU) entered into an inter-local agreement that created the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). They did so in a manner that fostered assumptions that members of the education faculty at Eastern were actively engaged in the EAA — misleading the citizens of the state; the professional educators of the state; AND the students of the University. The fact is EMU faculty were not invited to give input into such an arrangement or asked for our expertise as researchers and professionals in the complex and varied aspects of education (school administration, teacher development, and student achievement) as the EAA was established. To date, the faculty have been excluded from any direct participation in the creation or implementation of its policies, operating procedures, professional development, curricula or pedagogical practices, many of which the faculty find questionable at best.

Furthermore, the faculty find the undermining of democratic processes represented in the creation of a district outside the purview of public decision-making and oversight to be in direct conflict with this university’s mission and our legacy as a champion of public education. This violation of our principles is now beginning to affect our historically strong relationship with local schools.

Thus, the faculty find Eastern Michigan University’s participation in the Education Achievement Authority unacceptable. These negative impacts on our reputation, our local relationships, our students and programs, the clear effect on enrollments and thus revenue to the university are a repudiation of Eastern Michigan University’s legacy as a champion of public education and a leader in the preparation of educational professionals. The faculty implores you to remedy this situation as quickly as possible by unanimously voting to withdraw from the contract creating the Education Achievement Authority.

Respectfully submitted

Steve Wellinski


MAC Blogger Roundtable, championship edition

December 5, 2014

Eagle Totem rules the roundtable with an iron claw!

It’s time for the championship week edition of the MAC Blogger Roundtable, and since I’m hosting, I think that makes me the champion! BOW DOWN BEFORE ME! MWAHAHA!!!

This week, I asked some special season-end questions, and the following blogs participated:

As always, I’ve selected a…um…a selection of the best answers to each question. To peruse all the brilliance that is MAC bloggery, click the links above.

1. Who should have gotten the awards: Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Coach of the Year? Read more…

No Football at Eastern Michigan?

December 3, 2014
A shot of the stadium shortly after halftime at the BG game last year

A shot of the stadium shortly after halftime at the BG game last year

I would assume you read the other big news from yesterday by now. I am of course referring to the announcement that the University of Alabama at Birmingham would shutter it’s football program after 23 years. The official reason being cited is that this would relieve the University of a large financial burden over the next few years. And if you look at the numbers cited for the program, they tend to support that conclusion. Last year their average attendance was around 10,000 fans (and if they are like EMU for last year, that’s probably a real number). Their athletic budget is subsidized by the University to the tune of 20 million dollars (roughly). When you look at the possibility of Universities having to give a stipend to the players in addition to all the other associated costs, you could see why the financial argument would make sense.
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Irrational exuberance

December 3, 2014

EMU men’s basketball is 7-0 for the first time in nearly 20 years. Let me be clear up front that I do think that’s a significant accomplishment.

More than that, I think this team has a very real potential to contend for a MAC title. I told a few people that during the off-season and they laughed at me, but I don’t think they’re laughing now. Rob Murphy’s teams have shown a consistent performance jump around the new year, as they gel defensively. As this year’s team continues to improve and develop, I think they’ll be very good.

I just wanted to make sure I was clear about that up front.

Because, for all that, this team has yet to prove much of anything. They have yet to prove much of anything, because they have yet to play much of anyone. Read more…

Wallpaper Wednesday – The Eagle Again

December 3, 2014

And I present one more wallpaper. This week is a picture of the eagle from the Leslie Science Center as she flies to the field. I was fairly pleased with this shot.

Eight Pictures to Show A Season

December 2, 2014

I wanted to do a photo summary of the season at least from the point of view of the games that I went to. I ended up going to all of the home games and three of the away games. Each of these pictures sum up the game in my opinion.

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Sadly, there aren’t too many ways to sugarcoat a 2 and 10 season. There were a few bright spots in the season and I think next season will be better. But once again, enjoy the pictures.

Post-football Eagle Totem roundtable

December 2, 2014

Eagle Totem roundtable imageI figured we’d wrap up a mostly forgettable football season with one more roundtable. We’ve had a lot of (well-deserved) negativity about the 2014 football season. I figured we should wrap things up with a look at the player positives.

Who is EMU’s Offensive Player of the Year?

Jeremy: Reggie Bell

Ken: In the efforts of spreading the wealth around, I’ll go with Tyreese Russell for this one.  It seems like of all the players on the offense, he was the most consistent. Read more…