November 12, 2003

Gov. to Move Quickly on EO


During the Marquette stop on her statewide tour addressing the budget crisis, Gov. Jennifer Granholm stressed two words for entities that rely on state funding: “Cut now! Cut now!” She told a studio audience at Public TV-13 last week that everything is going to be impacted; it’s just a matter of how much.

Granholm is pictured with NMU pre-law students from the political science department who fielded call-in questions during the broadcast.


“We have to move quickly to negotiate an executive order with the legislature,” Granholm said. “The cuts have to come right away, which means there has to be an agreement before the holiday break …. My inclination is to preserve the safety net programs for the disadvantaged and eliminate scholarships that are not based on need, even though I fully recognize that universities are the economic engines of the state.”


Before the forum was televised, Granholm showed a series of slides to members of the studio audience. She asked them to use instant polling devices to vote for which areas they would cut first at various spending thresholds. In the $30 million to $70 million category, 76 percent of the audience targeted private college scholarships, for a savings of $65 million.

In the over-$100 million category, 62 percent favored eliminating the Merit/MEAP scholarships, worth about $130 million; 19 percent of the audience favored a sample across-the-board cut of 6.5 percent in public university funding, which would save $114 million; 14 percent indicated they would reduce local revenue sharing; and only 5 percent voted to touch Medicare. Full Story

President's Council Works on Reduction Plan


Even before the governor issued advice to “cut now” during her televised forum, the NMU President’s Council had embarked on a $4.6 million budget-reduction plan to offset an impending executive order. The goal is to complete a recommendation by the end of November and present it to the university community before taking it to the NMU Board of Trustees for consideration at its Dec. 11-12 meeting.


The President’s Council is composed of deans, vice presidents, associate vice presidents, Distinguished Faculty Award recipients, and representatives from the Academic Senate, ASNMU, and areas that fall under the president’s division. The group previously held two meetings per month, but given its recent charge, is meeting weekly for two to four hours.


Forum to Address Budget, Other Topics


The next university forum will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in the Michigan Room of the University Center . Topics include an update on the state budget situation; the projected timeline for campus cost-saving measures; enrollment; facilities; and a response to the inaugural State of the Public Universities Address (see below left).

'State of the Publics' to be Broadcast at NMU


The first-ever State of the Public Universities Address will be broadcast live at 5 p.m. today (Nov. 12), in Mead Auditorium in the West Science Building. It will be delivered in Lansing by Irvin D. Reid, president of Wayne State University and chairman of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.


Students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to watch the speech. It comes in a year when state funding for higher education decreased by 10 percent, resulting in program cuts, job reductions and tuition increases. The fiscal challenge is likely to increase with another executive order on thehorizon.


NMU President Mike Roy will attend the event in Lansing.

MPSERS Change on Tap


Effective Jan. 1, there will be a change in the cost of purchasing years of service retirement credit with the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS). Northern faculty and staff who are MPSERS members may find it beneficial to purchase the service credit before the end of the year. Information is available at Service Retirement Credit.


On a related note, three pre-retirement information meetings are scheduled on the following dates: Nov. 18 in Escanaba; Nov. 19 in Marquette ; and Nov. 20 in Sault Ste. Marie. To attend a meeting, individuals must register online in advance at PRIM Registration.

For more information on these topics, please contact MPSERS at 1-800-381-5111 or NMU human resources at 2470.

Conversion Rates Rise


Orientation conversion rates for the past summer support the message that when prospective students spend time on the NMU campus, they usually enroll. The orientation-to-enrolled student conversion was 97.4 percent – the highest rate since the university started compiling this statistic five years ago, according to Kim Rotundo (Academic and Career Advisement Center ). This summer’s rate for freshmen only was 98 percent.

Highlights of Orientation Survey


Northern’s natural environment, cost, and proximity to home are the three most important factors that led new students to choose NMU, according to the 2003 orientation survey. While these factors have consistently topped the list for five years, there have been two noticeable shifts in how much influence they exert. For example, 11 percent of new students surveyed this year cited “close to home” as an important factor. But back in 1998, that figure exceeded 30 percent. Full Story

cornucopiaHoliday Open House Nov. 13

Conference and catering services will host its second annual Holiday Open House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in the Charcoal Room of the University Center. The event will feature samples of holiday helper selections and flavored coffees.

The holiday helpers include several cakes – walnut layer and Rocky Road, to name a couple – cinnababies, meat and cheese trays, and Sayklly’s Candies Collections such as the NMU medallion in chocolate. Items can be ordered in person at the open house or on the Web at

Music Offers Body-Mapping Course


Robert Engelhart (Music) is applying what he learned on professional development leave to a new course on body mapping – the study of how internal perceptions of structure, function and size govern the way we move.

While designed primarily to help musicians achieve their full potential and limit the risk of injury, the course will have practical applications for anyone interested in exploring the quality and efficiency of movement. Full Story



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Updated: April 23, 2004