Eastern Michigan University is launching a $1 million marketing campaign -- called "Education First" -- nearly two months after forcing out its president and two other officials over their roles in the cover-up of a student's death.
The yearlong campaign, timed to the start of classes this week, is designed to brand and clarify Eastern Michigan's image and feature its quality teaching, associate vice president Theodore G. Coutilish said Friday.
Licensing revenue and marketing budget funds will pay for the campaign, which includes media advertising, he said.
A Detroit law firm released an independent report in June that found some school officials may have tried to cover up the Dec. 15 rape and murder of student Laura Dickinson. University officials had told Dickinson's parents and the campus that no foul play was suspected despite evidence to the contrary.
The U.S. Department of Education later said the school violated a federal act requiring colleges and universities to disclose campus security information.
Eastern Michigan president John Fallon, the student affairs vice president and the head of campus police were let go in July.
"There is no question that negative media attention had an impact," Coutilish said. "What that impact is we don't know, but this marketing campaign is a start in the right direction."
Enrollment at the 23,000-student school in Ypsilanti, about 30 miles southwest of Detroit, is flat this fall, but projections and applications for next year are up, he said.
Faculty union president Howard Bunsis frequently has been at odds with the school's administration, but says his group supports the campaign.
"We're for anything that increases enrollment and helps get the message to the community about the quality education the faculty deliver," he said.