Tomorrow’s BoR and the EAA show-down

Well, it’s all come down to this: Friday the EMU Board of Regents is meeting (I assume the last meeting of the term?) and clearly one of the top agenda items for this meeting is undoubtedly going to be EMU’s ongoing relationship with the Education Assistance Authority.

It’s certain this is going to be on the agenda, and all the signals so far have been that EMU is going to find a way out of the EAA. Steve Wellinski, an EMUTalk fan and faculty member who has been working hard to get EMU out of the EAA, sent me this link from Detroit’s metrotimes, “EMU considers ending its association with the EAA.” Here’s a quote from later in the article:

If EMU’s Board of Regents decides to withdraw from the inter-local agreement at its upcoming meeting, the school’s relationship with the EAA will remain intact until June 2015. That allows time for a new entity – another state university, for example, or some other unit of government – to step into the void and allow the EAA to stay in business.

According to Steve Wellinski, an associate professor in EMU’s Education Department and the person who launched the petition drive, the Board of Regents could also attempt to immediately withdraw from the agreement if it determines the EAA has, in essence, voided the contract. Failure on the part of the EAA to follow the law regarding treatment of special education students, for example, would be grounds for EMU to pull out immediately, Wellinski contended. He said he plans to raise that issue with the regents during this week’s meeting.

This is the approach I’d favor, personally. It sounds like EMU was kind of forced into this, that there was a hint at favors from the state that never came, and I think the wise move (as James Stapleton implied in the recording featured in this post) would be for EMU to get out while the “gettin'” is good. But according to this article, another possibility is for EMU to get even more involved with the EAA:

“One of the many changes that Chancellor Conforme envisions is in the EAA’s relationship with the Eastern Michigan University community,” noted [EAA spokesperson Mario] Morrow. “Over the past few months, she has been listening to parents, principals, teachers, students, and community leaders about what improvements the EAA needs to make. She firmly believes that dialogue must extend to EMU’s educators, administrators, and students, and she intends to make that happen in the months to come.

“The EAA’s goal is to provide our children with the best education possible, regardless of their economic circumstances. We know that is the goal of Eastern Michigan University as well. It is critical that we reach that goal together for the sake of our students.”

Oh, hell no. The first rule is if when you find yourself deep in a hole is to stop digging.

There’s more about all of this at electablog, “ACTION/EVENT: Join EMU faculty, students, & alumni in their continued fight against EAA partnership.” And if there is info to share from or about tomorrow’s BoR meeting, be sure to pass it along.