Forum in Review
focus topic of the university forum held Feb. 18 was an update on
legislative and budget planning. It was based on the strategic planning
discussion from the NMU Board
of Trustees’ annual retreat
in Ann Arbor
the previous week.
President Mike Roy outlined
eight questions addressed by the board. The first was whether Northern
is progressing toward its vision and how that progress is measured.
When asked what it means to be the “public university of choice
in the Midwest ,”
the board considered two possible measurements: that NMU has reached
its desired enrollment level and does not admit all qualified applicants;
and that NMU is identified by 90 percent or more of new freshmen
as their first or second choice.
of the other questions included:
do we compare to peer institutions in acquiring and utilizing resources?
This involved a comparison
of not just NMU and other institutions in Michigan. The board also
reviewed a comparison of NMU and 11 Midwestern universities located
in non-urban areas in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.
The schools have similar programs and Carnegie Classifications.
were the enrollment goals set and what should they be in the future?
The current enrollment goal
of 10,400 by 2007 was set to help bring Northern’s per FYES appropriation
closer to the average of its peer institutions. But Northern has
a physical plant capacity for 12,000 students, based on existing
facilities, the Art and Design addition and the Thomas Fine Arts
and Cohodas renovations. The enrollment figure also assumes no significant
change in the current mix of majors (given limited labs), utilization
on a Monday through Friday schedule, and additional faculty offices
that would be required.
the university approached the 12,000 mark, additional campus housing
may not be necessary beyond current plans to convert Magers back
to a residence hall and build new student apartments. Roy
said the university is studying
how continued enrollment growth might impact the availability of
community housing. He also said it would be necessary to add faculty
to maintain the current student-to-faculty ratio and staffing would
be reviewed and possibly increased to ensure high-touch student
initiatives are under way to move NMU toward its vision and what
new initiatives should be instituted? Initiatives
in progress include a community-wide wireless initiative, a joint
effort with the City of Marquette
; and deferred maintenance for
state building and residence hall renovations. New initiatives include
a passport program, designed to bring more of a global perspective
to the curriculum; a “residence hall of the future,” which is in
the infant stages as Northern is in preliminary discussions with
IBM and Steelcase; multimedia instruction; initiatives related to
our environment; academic service learning; and student internships.
topics covered at the forum, aside from the new university identification
Fall registration : begins March 22 with the new Banner system.
The first priority, according to Felecia
is promoting self-service so that students can complete the process
on their own. Staff training is also being offered for phone operations
and to field questions that may surface.
Development Fund endowed scholarships : Martha Van
Der Kamp (Development Fund) said there are 165 total scholarships:
75 are fully endowed and mature, with sufficient earnings at this
point to support 161 awards totaling $198,000 for fall 2004; 70
are fully endowed and new, which means they do not yet have sufficient
earnings to make awards; and 20 are not fully endowed. She added
that awards are made solely from investment earnings. The actual
gift money from the donor is never tapped. If an account sustains
a loss, the value of the endowment is restored to the original gift
amount through earnings, before any awards are made.