EMU: Dismissal email sent to students by mistake caused 'undue alarm'
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from Walter Kraft
Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin issued an apology to students after a mass email was mistakenly sent Friday informing students they were dismissed from the university.
Chris Asadian | AnnArbor.com
It was sent en masse from the email of Associate Director of Academic Advising Molly D. Weir. The university says it is investigating how it happened. It was not immediately clear how many students received the email, although it was widespread and included some recent graduates.
Martin's emailed statement addressed to students, faculty and staff reads:
"I deeply apologize for the incorrect email many of our students received this evening indicating they were dismissed from the University. This message was a terrible mistake and I regret the undue alarm and concern it caused. I care deeply about student success and for Eastern to send an alarming message to you indicating you were dismissed is an inexcusable mistake that I personally regret. We will investigate and determine why this happened and make sure it never happens again. Please disregard the message or any letter you may receive. Again, my heartfelt apology for this error."
Vice President of Communications Walter Kraft said in an email to students, faculty and staff Saturday afternoon that the investigation is under way and has already concluded that the email was not a breach of security or an incident of hacking.
He said EMU has confirmed that this was an operational error in the notification system from Academic Advising to students who are subject to dismissal for academic performance. EMU has confirmed that Academic Advising prepared the message Friday night in order to notify about 100 students of academic performance issues. For some reason, which remains under investigation, the message went out to the entire student body, Kraft said in the email.
"An outside company that we contract with for this notification process, GradesFirst, sent the dismissal message to the entire student body instead of the file of 100 or so students who were supposed to receive it," he said. "GradesFirst has offered an apology for its role in this matter."
Kraft added EMU will continue to investigate to determine exactly what went wrong and take whatever steps are necessary to make sure it never happens again.
Text from email sent to students in error is below:
As a result of your Winter 2012 academic performance, you have been dismissed from Eastern Michigan University. This dismissal action is in accordance with policies described in the University’s undergraduate catalog (available online at EMU’s Homepage, which is www.emich.edu, under the Student link). Any enrollment for upcoming terms will be cancelled and you will be ineligible to register for classes.
Unless action is taken to reverse this dismissal, you will not be eligible to resume coursework at EMU until Summer 2013 at the earliest. To return to school at that time, you will need to apply for readmission by contacting the appropriate office. If this dismissal followed a previous dismissal and readmission, it is final and readmission is not possible.
Your formal written notice will be mailed to your home address that we have on file in the student system. If you want to begin an appeal process prior to receipt of your letter, you can read the instructions at the following link and begin preparing your appeal: http://www.emich.edu/uacdc/forms_library/forms/dismissalappealandcoversheet.pdf
Note that you must provide documentation for your extenuating circumstances. If you wish to appeal, you must follow the directions for the appeal process - note that the deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, May 18, 2012 in 200 McKenny.
Molly D. Weir
EMU noted that students can find their correct academic standing by reviewing their academic transcript at my.emich.edu.