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President's Message to Campus/Negotiations Update (Sept. 17, 2018)

We are nearing the three-week mark since the last contract negotiation session between the University and the Ferris Faculty Association. To reach agreement on a contract, negotiations need to continue, and the University is prepared and ready to do so.

As a campus community, this is a time when we face important challenges and opportunities. Now is when we need to be working together to build on our current efforts to increase enrollment and retention. Many people across the University have worked very hard on this, and we are yielding positive results. Increased numbers of new freshmen and a significant slowing in the decline of new transfer students this fall prove we are succeeding.

Nevertheless, we did experience a University-wide 4% decline this fall, resulting in $1.8 million less in tuition revenue than projected in May. Without seeing continued success in our enrollment and retention efforts, future financial constraints will be worse. Together we need to reverse this trend for the future. It is imperative we continue to focus our efforts and energy into building upon the successes we have seen, which will allow us to see better overall results in the years ahead.

We can all agree on the fact that we are fortunate to have excellent faculty who love teaching and being in the classroom. They are dedicated individuals who create opportunities for success for our students. There is much important work to be done here, and we need the support from every faculty and staff member. As employees and ambassadors of Ferris State University, we all make a positive difference and an impact on enrollment and retention.

Late this past week, I learned of union officials’ plans to conduct a vote of no confidence in me during Homecoming week. While disappointing, it is not the first time they have used this tactic toward me. This is unfortunate because it is a distraction for our campus, and it will create negative public impressions for our University.

It is my sincere hope that negotiations will continue and a contract is negotiated that is in the best interests of our faculty, our students and the entire University community.

David L. Eisler, president