YPSILANTI (CBS DETROIT) – She took the job during what she called a “troubled time” and now Eastern Michigan University’s president is stepping down.

EMU president Sue Martin is taking a year sabbatical before becoming a professor of accounting and finance after seven years as president reports WWJ’s Zahra Huber.

Martin says when she took the position, there were a lot of challenges:

“Initially … we had a lot of challenges, we had that horrible state appropriations cut of 15 percent – when we had done tuition restraint in zero, zero, zero, (referring to the freeze of tuition, rent and fees soon after her arrival) and so we actually had to lay people off on this campus. I mean that was very painful.”

Martin took the helm a year after the firing of John Fallon in the wake of a cover-up about a student’s slaying on campus. She was seen as a stabilizing factor for the university and student safety despite having periods of controversy herself.

“There have been two interims and two presidents so really four presidents in five years before I came and we were declining in enrollment and we had financial challenges – it was definitely a daunting challenge when I came,” Martin said.

Martin says she put considerable time into her decision to make the move.

” … (I) really wanted to have a next chapter in my career, not ready to retire but it is a very intense 24/7 position – a tremendous amount of responsibility. I have loved it and I love Eastern but I am ready to step in to a new world,” she said.

During Martin’s tenure she worked on improving the integrity of the office – specifically referring to the mishandling of information connected to the murder of an EMU student.

“I changed that reporting relationship to have and the police chief report directly to me – and call me first 24/7 – we just put some simple things in place – so that type of cover-up could never happen again.”

Martin’s last day is July 7. Her contract expires in July 2016 – which includes a provision for a one year sabbatical.

 

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