Friday, February 13, 2004

Gov. Releases FY05 Budget Proposal

The FY05 budget proposal released by Gov. Jennifer Granholm Thursday recommends $1.6 billion in total support for universities and financial aid programs, of which $1.54 billion would come from the general fund. It also includes a promise of no additional reductions for universities that exercise tuition restraint and a decrease in state support for those that don’t.

Universities that keep tuition increases for 2004-05 at or below the rate of inflation – about 2.4 percent – would see no further state appropriation reductions. Universities that raise 2004-05 tuition above inflation would have their base funding reduced by 3 percent. Northern's current state appropriation is $44.5 million.

Northern’s board has been meeting at its annual retreat yesterday and today in Ann Arbor. The executive budget is a discussion item on today’s agenda, but because no official university business is conducted at retreats, it is likely the board will convene a special meeting at a later date to gather public input and formally act on the proposal. Full Story

University Forum Wednesday


The first university forum of the winter semester will be held from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Brule Room of the University Center.


The focus topic will be a review of the eight-question strategic planning discussion held this week at the NMU Board of Trustees Retreat in Ann Arbor.

Also on the agenda are discussions about Governor Granholm’s executive budget and how NMU Development Fund scholarships are managed, and a Banner update on Northern’s move from the use of social security numbers to computer-generated numbers for student identification.


Tentative dates for the remaining forums are Wednesdays, March 24 and April 21, both from 3-5 p.m. Sites and topics have not yet been finalized.

Also on Wednesday, Interim President Mike Roy and ASNMU will hold a Let’s Chat student session from 5-6 p.m. in the Payne/Halverson Lobby of Quad I. Focus topics are the legislative process and its impact on university budget planning, dining services, smoking rooms and advising.


Tentative dates for future Let’s Chat sessions are Tuesdays, March 16 and April 6, both from 5-6 p.m.


Student Drinking: Perception Worse than Reality

The perception of student alcohol use is more exaggerated than actual consumption, according to a social norms research project on campus. Since 1999, NMU and 35 other colleges have participated in a national five-year study funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the U.S. Department of Education. The project looks at the effectiveness of the social norms approach to addressing alcohol consumption among college students.


“The social norms approach collects data about individual alcohol use patterns and individual perceptions of alcohol use among student peers,” said Lenny Shible (Health Promotions). “What you often find is that students assume there is more drinking going on – and more of the high-risk variety – than the actual data reflects. They tend to exaggerate, in their own minds, how prevalent alcohol use is among students as a whole.”


NMU has received about $20,000 in grant support from NIAAA and the U.S. Department of Education, including $4,000 to implement a marketing campaign in an effort to narrow the gap between perception and reality. Full Story

Employee Transition Workshop Feb. 23

NMU employees dealing with job loss, retirement or a career change are invited to attend a transition workshop sponsored by the Joint Adjustment Committee (JAC). It is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Monday, Feb. 23, in the Charcoal Room of the University Center .


The workshop will cover the following topics: the role of the JAC; unemployment benefits; health insurance options; job search tools; and the Emergency Relief Fund.

It will also feature a presentation by Susan Morgan, former NMU employee and current full-time student. Morgan’s position in the international affairs office was eliminated June 30. She will share her personal experience of dealing with the transition in the hope of helping others.


“I guess my main piece of advice would be to look for the most positive outcome you can,” she said. “I spent a few weeks feeling really bad, but then I chose to look at it as an opportunity to do something new with my life. When you turn disappointment into a positive opportunity, it helps your outlook and your motivation.” Full Story

New Service Matches Students, Alumni with Michigan Employers


The NMU JOBSearch Center has joined an effort to help students and alumni from the state’s 15 universities find employment with Michigan companies.


An online career resource center,, allows individuals to create a profile identifying their skills, experiences and interests.

In turn, Michigan employers post job openings and use a software program to search for qualified candidates whose profiles match available positions. Full Story

‘After Hours’ Event at Starbucks March 1


Starbucks, located in the commons area of the Learning Resources Center , invites faculty and staff to a “Business After Hours” from 5-7 p.m. Monday, March 1. The event will feature coffee tasting, hors d’oeuvres and door prizes. Samples of various Starbucks drinks – including non-coffee beverages – will be provided. For more information on the NMU location, go to Starbucks.


Winterfest Under Way

The annual Winterfest celebration at NMU will continue through Feb. 22. The theme of this year's event is “Meltdown to Mardi Gras.” For a full schedule of activities, visit Winterfest.



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Updated: April 23, 2004