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Monday, October 08, 2012
August 29, 2012
“Details were revealed about Eastern
Michigan University president's 2005 arrest”
Details were revealed about Eastern Michigan
University’s president, Dr. Susan Martin, 2005 arrest on suspicion of
drinking and driving. The 2005 incident occurred at Grand Valley State University,
where Dr. Martin was the vice provost.
According to the Detroit News’ Kim Kozlowski article,
“Police: EMU President
Martin expected ride home,” then vice provost Martin was driving slowly
and her slow driving caught the attention of Officer Adam Schaller.
Kozlowski said that Schaller quoted Martin, within his police
report, as saying, “I
thought if I was driving slow I’d be safe.”
The officer noted that Martin was not able to maintain her balance
as she walked to the trunk of her car to get proof of her insurance.
According to Kozlowski, Martin told the officer,
“I don’t see how you taking me to jail is benefiting the
university. You should just
take me home. Call (GVSU
Police Chief) Barb Bergers and tell her you are going to arrest me.”
Martin also stated that she needed to be in to work the next
morning so she could make sure her check was “cut.”
The officer gave Martin the ticket for suspicion of DUI.
Martin informed the provost about the ticket and offered to resign. According to Kozlowski, Grand Valley State University
Spokeswoman Mary Eilleen Lyon said that an incident like that had not
occurred before, it was the first-time, and was not related to Martin’s
job performance. Also, Martin
assured the provost it wouldn’t happen again and it didn’t.
The details about Martin’s 2005 arrest came after EMU’s Board
of Trustees placed her on probation.
The board cited two alcohol related incidents, which were less than
two months apart, as the reason for their decision.
The first incident occurred in Washington D.C. during April of
2012, and it involved Martin using profanity laced words during an
argument with an alumnus. During
the second incident, Martin received a ticket for drinking and driving.
According to the Board of Regent’s May 17, 2012, letter, Martin
stated that her behavior, during the first incident, was a result of a
lack of food combine with the consumption of alcohol.
Within her July 6, 2012, response letter to the board, Martin noted
that the incident was unfortunate. She
also noted that she lost her temper in D.C., and that she has apologized
to the alumnus for her outburst. As
for the second incident, Martin explained it as her making a bad decision
and stated that it won’t happen again.
However, the board was not pleased with either explanation.
From their perspective, alcohol was becoming a common denominator
in Martin’s life. After
all, there was less than two months between both alcohol related
incidents. And as a result,
the board told Martin that her explanations about the incidents would not
board reminded Martin that being the president of a major university
automatically made her the primary face of the institution.
Therefore, she is expected to behave professionally and conduct
herself in a civilize manner at all times.
And whenever she engages in behavior similar to that of April and
May of 2012, she creates a situation in which the university could be held
liable for her actions. Specifically,
the university provides a vehicle to Martin and the university will be
liability if she is intoxicated and causes a crash or worse.
The board went on to say that they cared about Martin’s health
and encouraged her to seek counseling for her issues. The board decided that it would be best to limit Martin’s
travel to work and her counseling sessions.
They ended their letter by telling Martin that if any other
incidents occurred, then they will be force to end her employment, with
EMU, based on Paragraph 16.1 of her employment agreement.
board’s suggestion that Martin may be suffering from alcoholism and
their threat of firing her did not sit too well with Martin.
Martin quickly responded and reminded the board that an unhealthy
person would not have been able to place the substantial amount of time
that she has placed in her role as the university’s president. Martin also noted the high stress and pressures of the job,
and how she has been exemplarily, up until April and May of 2012, in her
role as EMU’s president. In
her July 6, 2012, letter to the board, Martin noted that she has a highly
visible public job, and she lives in a public house in which people are
coming and going on a regular basis.
She mentioned that she is on call 24/7 with the Department of
Public Safety, and she has informed them to notify her of every serious
incident occurring on campus. According
to Martin, she accepts the high stress of her job and she “thoroughly
enjoys it.” Martin stated that the fact she is able to handle such a high
profile job is evidence that she is not suffering from any health issues,
as suggested by the Board of Regents’ letter.
to the Office of the President page on EMU’s website, Dr. Martin is the
university’s 22nd president and the first female to hold the
position of president. In
2008, she began her tenure as EMU’s president.
Before joining the university, Martin was the provost and
vice-chancellor of academic affairs at University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Martin held this post from 2006-2008.
Martin has also worked under Michigan’s former governor, Jennifer
Granholm. According to the
Office of the President page on EMU’s website, Martin worked as the
ex-officio representative on the Detroit Medical Center Financial
Emergency Task force from 2003-2004.
Also, during that time frame, Martin worked for the federal
government on the IRS Commissioners Advisory council.
In addition to her former work, Martin serves on the boards of
directors for Michigan Educational Trust and Ann-Arbor SPARK.
Ann-Arbor SPARK is a non-profit organization with the goal of
bringing more businesses to the Ann Arbor area.
Dr. Martin received her Ph.D in business/accounting and her MBA
from Michigan State University. She
received her baccalaureate from Central Michigan University.
According to Crain’s Detroit Business article,
“Eastern Michigan University President Martin to get counseling, donate
raise after alcohol-related incident,” Martin will donate her raise,
$8,764, to an alcohol education fund located on EMU’s campus.