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CMU President Gives 'State Of University' Address

MOUNT PLEASANT (WWJ/AP) - Central Michigan University remains strong despite student challenges and financial troubles, the school's president said Wednesday.

George Ross delivered a "State of the University" address to about 800 people on the school's Mount Pleasant campus.

The school lost $12 million due to state higher education cuts and further cuts are expected. Central Michigan also has to compete with other universities for the fewer number of students graduating from high schools, he added.

"We no longer can rely on higher tuition to sustain us," Ross said.

Prior to the afternoon speech, about 75 members of the school's faculty union marched and chanted through the campus to Warriner Hall's Plachta Auditorium where Ross' address was given, The Saginaw News reported.

As the address was given, a fact-finding meeting also was being held elsewhere on campus between the union and administration.

The Faculty Association staged a walkout that interrupted some classes Aug. 22. A judge ordered faculty members back to work but they are still allowed to demonstrate on campus.

"Civility and compromise are not dirty words," Ross said.

The university is in the midst of a leadership deficit crisis, Faculty Association President Laura Frey later told a group of faculty and students.

"I am looking for President Ross and his administrative team to walk the walk as well as talk the talk with regard to the mission statement and core values they adopted," Frey said.

Central Michigan has about 28,000 students, including roughly 21,000 enrolled at the Mount Pleasant campus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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