April 22, 2004

Continuation Budget Proposed

Interim President Mike Roy told the attendees of Wednesday’s (April 21) university forum he will recommend that the NMU Board of Trustees adopt a continuation budget at its next meeting, April 29-30.

“At this time the state budget picture is rather fluid,” said Roy. “My intention is to recommend that we continue to operate under the 2003-04 budget and implement the $3.3 million in reductions previously identified by the Budget Alternatives Committee and President’s Council.”

Roy said the proposal means there would be no recommendation on tuition and fee rates this month, but added that a decision is likely by July 1. Full Story

Future of Public Broadcasting Stations, USOEC Discussed

Also at the forum, Fred Joyal (Academic Affairs) previewed his presentation to the board regarding future funding of WNMU radio and TV. Joyal said input from the campus and general community, the WNMU staff, a community advisory committee and an external consultant resulted in three possibilities: solicit a non-commercial buyer; become a partner in a joint operating agreement; or continue to directly operate the two stations with an annual stipend from the university of no more than $250,000. Full Story

             Wongs Visit Campus


Les and Phyllis Wong were introduced to   faculty and staff attending Wednesday’s forum. They have returned to campus this week for the first time since Les was named Northern’s 13th president. He is meeting with students and employees in an effort to acquaint himself with various aspects of the university in advance of starting his new appointment.


Wong used a baseball metaphor to describe the transition period. Full Story

Contest Produces Name for SSC Dining Area

The dining area in the new Student Service Center will be known as “Fieldhouse Food Bar.” The reference to the former Hedgcock Fieldhouse, which was housed in the facility being converted to the SCC, was adapted from the winning entry among more than 100 submissions in a contest.

Pictured at the construction area are (from left): Michael Adams, ASNMU Dining Services Representative; senior Jared Lawson, 2nd place; Sharon Carey (Dining Services), Judy Hopper (AdIT), 3rd place; senior Casey Allen, 1st place; and Dick Wittman (Dining Services). Full Story

Math Makes Music

John Kiltinen (Mathematics and Computer Science) recently combined his professional expertise in math with his avid personal interest in music. The project began shortly after Kiltinen wrote a book on permutation puzzles – challenges similar to a Rubik’s Cube that involve the scrambling and reordering of several pieces, but in numerical order.

He uses ‘80s-era puzzles such as Top Spin and the Hungarian Rings in his abstract algebra classes “to give students a concrete representation of how group theory provides the mathematical structure to understand and solve the puzzles.”

Kiltinen developed a CD-ROM of puzzle programs as a companion for the book. In the software, each move is accompanied by an audible tone.

“As you reach the final steps of solving a permutation puzzle, you have to repeatedly use moves known as commutators – the process of doing a first thing, then a second thing, then reversing the first and finally reversing the second,” he said. “This combination of moves produces a characteristic sequence of tones. I use the sounds as a feedback device in the software, but I got to thinking that they might also serve as a theme for an interesting musical composition.” Full Story

Summer Flextime Begins May 3

The 2004 summer flextime schedule goes into effect Monday, May 3, and ends Friday, Aug. 20. To see the policy, go to Summer Flextime.



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Updated: April 23, 2004