President's Message to Campus - November 16, 2018

Dawg Days

Last Saturday we hosted one of our Dawg Day recruitment events on the Big Rapids campus. This is a wonderful example of cooperation across our University as faculty, staff and students come together to help welcome prospective students and their families to Ferris. I can remember when this event was held in Business 111 with tables in the hallway on the first floor of the building. When the IRC was remodeled, this event was moved into this expanded space. Now hosted in the University Center on both the first and second floors, this presents our University and its academic programs in a wonderful fashion. However, it is our people who spend some of their Saturday mornings talking with these prospective students and their parents that make an important difference.

This fall we have had a record 454 students attend Dawg Days. When family and guests are counted, the total increases to 1,099 people visiting our campus. These totals are significantly higher than previous years. Last Saturday’s Dawg Day had 182 students in attendance, 428 total with their family and guests, which is the largest Dawg Day this fall.

Dawg Days provide an opportunity for prospective students and their guests to get a feel for Ferris, to speak with faculty and staff from colleges and departments throughout the University, to engage with admissions and financial aid staff, and with current students. These recruitment events are just one of the ways we are working hard to increase enrollment at Ferris. I would like to thank all of the staff in admissions, our college and department representatives, students who attend to speak with prospective students and their families, and University Advancement and Marketing for all of the work that goes into planning and marketing our Dawg Days. You are having an important and vital impact on our recruitment and enrollment efforts.

Sexual Misconduct Training Session

On Wednesday more than 500 faculty and staff attended one of the five sexual misconduct trainings either inside the University Center or online. Our guest presenter, Scott Lewis, shared much information on the history and purpose of Title IX, sexual assault and harassment, and how to assist trauma victims on college campuses.

If you have not done so already, I encourage you review the results from the recent comprehensive report released by our Sexual Misconduct Task Force. As Dr. Lewis presented, with very few exceptions, faculty and staff at Ferris are deemed “responsible employees” under Title IX. A significant amount of additional information and assistance is available on the Title IX website.

At Ferris State University, it is our responsibility to provide a safe, welcoming and respectful environment for students, faculty, staff a All forms of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated. I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend this valuable training and for joining the effort to effectively prevent and respond to sexual misconduct on our campus.

Good News

It is always a pleasure to share the achievements of our students, faculty and staff. It is quite remarkable to read about the many good works happening throughout our University. Thank you to all who have shared these accomplishments. When you have time, I encourage you to review the entire Good News list.

  • Dawn Fox’s SCWK 320 class, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, performed a community garden needs assessment, which resulted in obtaining a STEAMCorp volunteer who wrote a successful grant for the garden.
  • Luis Rivera and student Zackary Hren published a paper in Molecular Physics describing a methodology to characterize hydrogen-bonded complexes that has a superior accuracy to the standard available computational chemistry methods.
  • Christian Peterson participated in a panel presentation and discussion about his recently released co-edited anthology The Routledge History of World Peace since 1750 at the Contemporary History Institute of Ohio University.
  • Graphic Media Management students were awarded a combined $61,250 in external scholarships for Fall 2018 from the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation and the Ann Arbor Graphic Arts Memorial Foundation.
  • On Oct. 1, TDMP students produced the 200th Episode of the Ferris Sports Update. This show was relaunched during the 2011 Fall semester, and students have produced 14 shows per semester since then.
  • Mohamed Abusharkh participated in a panel at the Cognitive Networks workshop during the 43rd Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Conference on Local Computer Networks.
  • Digital Animation and Game Design students Brandt Howard, Lloyd Nugyen, Paul Chamberlain and Rachel Hughey led a team of students in creating the video game “RAD,” which was one of five finalists out of over 400 entries at the E3 and Game Developers Conference in Los Angeles.
  • Digital Media Software Engineering fielded two teams of students in the Ieeextreme 12.0 24-hr programming competition, finishing in the 25th percentile, or in the top 1,000 teams of more than 4,000 teams from around the world.
  • Construction Management students Jake Gaberdiel, Sean Houghton, Jordan Kubick, Matt Miller, Jake Schupbach and Clay Slenk, under the direction of Lee Templin, placed 2nd in the Associated Schools of Construction Region 3 Commercial Construction Competition.
  • Fathima Wakeel and student Anthony Picard from the Public Health program presented their poster "Perceptions toward Tobacco-Free Campus among Students, Faculty and Staff at Ferris State University" in the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in San Diego.
  • Kim Hancock was among 30 Faculty Athletic Representatives selected nationally by the NCAA to participate in the 2018 DII FAR Fellows Institute.
  • Amy Greene and Tracy Russo presented their research on Gender Disparities between Online and Face-to-Face Discussions at the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum conference in Dallas.
  • Melinda Isler, Kristy Motz, Melissa Smith and Sarah Rescoe presented “Primary Resources in Teaching and Learning” at the joint Michigan Academic Libraries and Michigan Archival Association’s Pop-up conference at Michigan State University.
  • Deedee Stakley received the Ferris Military Credit Equivalency Grant from the Michigan Department of Education and presented on collaborative opportunities available through FerrisNow at the ITW Speers Academy Campus.
  • ITS staff visited Wayne State to discuss IT best practices and to mutually assist each other in various IT deployments.
  • IT Cyber Security, in association with our Email admin, have enabled the report Phishing button on the Outlook app for Android and IOS mobile devices.
  • The Department of Public Safety celebrating its 60th Anniversary on Oct. 22.
  • Christine Haskill presented her paper "Vera Brittain’s Honourable Estate: Interrogating the Feminist Pacifist Legacies of Olive Schreiner" at the Midwest Conference on British Studies in Lexington, Ky.
  • Adam Schuitema gave a presentation on his short story collection “The Things We Do That Make No Sense” at the Fine Art Gallery as part of the University’s Literature in Person visiting author series.
  • KCAD's Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion collaborated with Van Andel Arena to give 10 Fashion Studies students the chance to envision original costume designs inspired by Elton John. Student Danielle Cavinder’s winning design was displayed at Van Andel Arena during the concert and she received a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Student Emma Riley, guided by Bob Marsh, collaborated with 13 ON YOUR SIDE to transform an area of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum into a space the news station broadcasted from throughout ArtPrize 10 and was an official ArtPrize entry.
  • MFA and Master of Architecture student Huaming Wang won the ArtPrize 10 Asian Artist Award for his piece "Pure Michigan.”
  • Kelly Muschiana was featured in an article by Women's Lifestyle exploring how local clothing manufacturer Public Thread, where Muschiana also works, gives students opportunities to explore new design possibilities within the company's upcycling model.
  • Michael Wade presented “Choices, Challenges and Changes: A Toolkit for Multicultural Student Success,” at the 2018 Game Changers Men of Color Summit at Central Michigan University.
  • Over 200 members of our campus community attended the series of events for the 2018 Latinx Heritage Month Celebration. The 2018 Fall Career and Internship Fair had 290 employers and 1,043 students in attendance.
  • The Student Leadership and Activities Advisory Council approved a new RSO, Optometry-focused Professionals Together Improving the Community of Students.
  • The average federal student loan (Direct Loan) debt for students earning associate and bachelor’s degrees declined from the 2016-17 to the 2017-18 academic year: associate (from $20,115 to $18,524) and ($25,801 to $25,550) respectively.
  • Demand is very strong for high school, career center and community college groups wishing to visit campus with groups scheduled for every day (M-F) through the end of fall semester. This fall 375 new students at Ferris had attended a group visit.
  • “Ferris State Video,” our official YouTube channel, has nearly 2,100 subscribers. Hannah Crouch, News Services, produces a majority of the videos which have been viewed more than 520,000 times for nearly 300,000 minutes.
  • Ferris State University’s main Facebook page, managed by News Services, has more than 50,000 likes. In October, the month’s three most popular page posts reached 143K, 113K and 24.9K people, respectively.


Last weekend was a busy, successful and record-setting weekend for Ferris athletics. The women’s soccer team continued their best season ever, notching their second NCAA tournament victory on a very cold afternoon, defeating Ohio Valley University 1-0. With this victory the team is in the NCAA sweet sixteen for the first time and competing for the Midwest championship today at 2 p.m. on the road against Grand Valley. To add to this success, three members of the team received All-Midwest Region recognition as announced by the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association. Junior defender Tia VanSuilichem received First-team Selection, along with a pair of second-team honorees in sophomore midfielder Bri Rogers and freshman forward Pia Nage.

The women’s volleyball team continued their record-setting season. They defeated Saginaw Valley and Davenport Friday and Saturday without dropping a set, winning the GLIAC post-season tournament for the 5th year in a row. They are the only team in conference history to win both the regular season and postseason for five consecutive years. Yesterday the women defeated Ashland 3-2 in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Quarterfinals in Springfield, Mo., and move on to the semifinals today with a 6 p.m. game against Rockhurst (Mo.). In addition, they captured the majority of GLIAC honors announced this week, including coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm being named GLIAC Coach of the Year for the sixth year in a row, senior Katie Placek named Libero of the Year, with this being her first season playing this position for the team, and junior Allyson Cappel named Player of the Year for the second straight year. Cappel also earned All-Region First-team recognition while Placek was a second-team recipient.

Saturday afternoon our football team completed an undefeated regular season with a 47-6 victory over William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. This is the 3rd time in the past five years our team has gone through the regular season undefeated. Nineteen members of our squad were selected for the GLIAC all-conference team, head coach Tony Annese was selected as the conference Coach of the Year, junior quarterback Jayru Campbell was selected the conference Player of the Year and senior tackle Devon Johnson was selected Offensive Lineman of the Year. The second-seeded Bulldogs host seventh-seeded Harding (Ark.) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.

This past weekend the men’s basketball team defeated Davis & Elkins and Alderson Broaddus on the road. Last evening they defeated Hillsdale on the road, to push their record to 4-1 under sixth-year head coach Andy Bronkema. The team hosts Fanshawe (Ontario) at 6 p.m. Saturday in their first regular-season home game. The Bulldogs will officially unveil the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship banner at Wink Arena prior to the game.

It is an exciting season for our student-athletes and coaches. Congratulations to them on this extraordinary level of athletic achievement, and best wishes for continued success for our fall teams as they continue into NCAA post-season tournament play.


As the Thanksgiving recess approaches next week, I am hopeful this provides time when you can relax, share time with friends or relatives, and prepare for the final days of the fall semester. Please travel safely if you take to the roads over the holiday break. The days following Thanksgiving go quickly, with much excitement and activity occurring before the end of the semester and commencement. I want to thank you for the work you do and for the difference you make in the lives of our students.

David L. Eisler, president