Understanding the Michigan Dream At Risk Campaign

Gary Russi, who recently retired as president of Oakland University, has fulfilled a range of influential roles within the university and throughout the local community. As a former member of the Investor-Leadership Council of the Michigan Economic Center, Gary Russi has played an active role in supporting the organization’s efforts to reinvent the state as an economic and technological hub.

The Michigan Dream At Risk Project is part of the MEC’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about foundational elements of the state’s economy—and how underfunding is having profound effects on community utilities and the everyday lives of Michigan citizens. In an effort to advance advocacy efforts on a local and statewide level, the campaign draws attention to the continued degradation of key educational and municipal assets, as well as vital public services.

In examining the long-term effects of fiscal neglect, the study reveals that from 2004 to 2012, the state has reduced transportation investments by 15 percent, reduced K-12 investments by 16 percent, and reduced real investment in higher education by 29 percent. Additionally, the average Michigan household income has dropped more than that of any other state over the past dozen years, dragging Michigan from 19th to 37th in the nation in personal income. Citizens are invited to examine the facts and play an active role in rebuilding the local economy and cultivating future opportunities for success.


Sigma Xi Brings Together Leading Minds in Science and Engineering

Gary Russi served as president of Oakland University for nearly 20 years. During this time, he not only increased the student population by 8,000 but also added more than 60 new academic programs. Over the course of his presidency, Gary Russi was also an active member of the Oakland University chapter of the Sigma Xi Research Society.

One of the world’s oldest and most expansive scientific organizations, Sigma Xi is an international honor society for scholars of science and engineering. The organization was established in 1886 with the mission of recognizing achievements in scientific research while also encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration among scientists and engineers. Over nearly 130 years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have won the Noble Prize. These members are commemorated in the Hall of Honor at the Sigma Xi Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the society’s headquarters. In addition to serving as a place to honor distinguished members, the center also contains the organization’s administrative offices, a conference facility, and the editorial offices of American Scientist magazine. A bimonthly, award-winning publication dating back to 1913, American Scientist is Sigma Xi’s premier academic journal, offering insight into innovation across all facets of science and engineering.

Oakland University’s Writing Center Aids Student Compositions

When he headed Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, former president Gary Russi spearheaded changes in the institution for the benefit of some 20,000 students. Gary Russi increased the number of the university’s degree programs by 64 and brought in resources for a new medical school. To enhance undergraduate learning, he set up a center for teaching and learning.

One aid to student and teachers is the Oakland University Writing Center. Founded in 2006, the Center’s mission is to enhance the quality of undergraduate and graduate students’ writing. It is open to all staff, faculty, and students, regardless of their current capabilities or needs. Trained consultants, who are also students, offer peer support to those in the program who may be struggling with brainstorming ideas, writing successive drafts, and polishing the final paper. The Writing Center currently has 17 student consultants who are knowledgeable about rhetoric, grammar, and creative writing. Several of the consultants have published their own academic works.

Oakland County’s Quality People, Quality County Award

As the former president of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, Gary Russi oversaw a $300 million annual budget and more than 3,000 staff and faculty members. He came to the position after acting as interim president for a year. In 2010, Gary Russi’s achievements in giving back to the Oakland County community earned him a Quality People, Quality County Award.

Otherwise known as the Q2 Award, the Quality People, Quality County Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals who enhance the quality of life in Oakland County by making a concerted effort to help its residents. Since its inception in 1993, this award has been given to such local luminaries as baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell, radio personality Dick Purtan, and Free Press sports writer Joe Falls.

The 21st annual Q2 Awards were bestowed during a breakfast ceremony in September of 2013. Led by Oakland County executive L. Brooks Patterson, the proceedings honored three American heroes who have shown exceptional dedication to their nation: Tuskegee airman Lt. Col. Harry Stewart, Jr.; Franklin-Bingham Farms Fire Chief Tony Averbuch; and Vietnam veteran Vito Pampalona.

AmeriCare Medical, Inc. and Oakland University’s Nursing Awards

AmeriCare Medical, Inc. (ACMI) recently sponsored the Oakland University Nightingale Nursing Awards, held Thursday, May 8, 2014, in Clinton Township, Michigan. For three decades, the event has honored the region’s best nurses; it remains the state’s sole event of its kind. Greg Jamian, ACMI’s chief executive officer and president, also serves on the board of the Oakland University School of Nursing. He lauded the program’s success in training nurses of the highest caliber. ACMI meets the integrated health needs within Michigan, providing a wide range of services, including pharmacies and medical equipment. Its AmeriStaff Nursing Services employs more than 250 nurses at various hospitals, governments, businesses, and facilities for assisted care. One such employee, Michelle Ferris, was honored with the distinction of “Nightingale Nurse.” More than 500 doctors, administrators, nurses, and supporters were in attendance.

Gary Russi served as the president of Oakland University in Rochester, Maryland, for 18 years. Gary Russi holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from Kansas University.

Oakland University’s Human Health Building Shapes Health Care

Retired president of Oakland University, Dr. Gary Russi served almost two decades at the school. While leading the university’s educational and growth initiatives, Dr. Gary Russi added 64 new academic degree programs and opened the Human Health Building in 2012.

Made of eco-friendly materials, the Human Health Building serves as a collaborative environment for educating future healthcare professionals and houses the university’s School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. The 172,000-square-foot building features nine classrooms, teaching labs, administrative offices, and a large auditorium to carry out medical forums.

Incorporating the latest technologies such as simulated patient models, students gain hands-on experience in their fields of study. Simulation labs ranging from surgical to neonatal intensive care prepare students to react to and solve medical scenarios. Furthermore, the labs offer realistic learning experiences through the use of robotics and visual recreations of occupational hazards. Research facilities, physical therapy suites, and an on-site health clinic also provide students access to learning opportunities.