Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Wong Delivers Convocation
In his annual convocation address, President Les Wong said NMU enters the fall semester with “favorable conditions.” Enrollment is up for the ninth consecutive year, state funding has rebounded, and the innovative Superior Edge program will be officially implemented.
But he said the university continues to face challenges related to the legislative process and FYES funding, demographic trends for the traditional college-age population, and critical staffing needs fueled by enrollment growth.
Personnel Changes Announced
Recent or upcoming personnel changes were announced at Wednesday’s convocation. Mike Roy (Finance and Administration) plans to retire on Feb. 1, 2008 – the same year he will mark three decades of service to NMU.
AAUP Ratifies Contract
Northern's largest faculty union, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), voted Monday to ratify a new three-year contract.
It includes compensation increases, along with varying market and "time in rank" adjustments; a new promotion formula; and procedures for addressing changes in the ratio of tenured/tenure-track to non-tenured faculty.
AAUP President Krista Clumpner (AIS) said the final vote tally was 144-13 in favor of the proposal. AAUP represents 283 faculty members. Full Story
State Funding, Budget Finalized
NMU will receive its anticipated 3 percent – or $1.5 million – boost in state funding under a higher education budget bill signed Aug. 15 by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Five days earlier, the NMU Board of Trustees had approved the university's $96 million general fund operating budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. The figure is $1.5 million higher than the previous year. For an overview of this and other action taken at the August board meeting, go to Full Story.
UNITED Speakers Set
Nationally recognized speakers and performers will participate in the “Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity" (UNITED) Conference Sept. 17-19 in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center. The NMU community is encouraged to attend. There is no admission fee and advance registration is not required.
Angela Davis (pictured), a social activist formerly associated with the Black Panther Party in the ‘60s and ‘70s and currently a philosopher and professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, is among the confirmed keynote speakers on the program schedule. Full Story
Students Manage Fund
Students enrolled in the senior-level investments course will now have the opportunity to develop their money management skills through a new student-managed investment fund at NMU. The fund was established by the College of Business to provide students with a hands-on, real world experience in actively managing the investment of actual monies in equities, bonds and other financial instruments.
The fund will start with $200,000. The bulk of that amount, $150,000, will come from the university's endowment fund. The remaining balance will be contributed by alumni and friends of the College of Business. Full Story
Simulators Enhance Safety
Nursing education has become increasingly high-tech. One example is the growing use of human simulators. They resemble mannequins, but are computerized, making them much more complex and life-like. The School of Nursing has acquired a complete set of these teaching tools: SimMan (pictured), SimBaby and a pregnant female called Noelle.
“The driving force behind the simulators is safety,” said Kerri Schuiling (Nursing). “It used to be that patients were too often the first real test of a student’s skills. Simulators provide students with the opportunity of making errors without putting patients at risk, and of receiving immediate feedback." Full Story
New Apartments Ready for Occupancy
Northern students have an additional on-campus housing option this year. The new Woodland Park Apartments are comprised of efficiencies, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and four-bedroom units. There is also a centrally located commons area with a lounge/community room, kitchen, study space and fitness center.
The Meyland Hall renovation was also on the list of major construction projects this summer. It has upgraded resident rooms, bathroom facilities and lounges; new plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems; an elevator; three-story sunroom additions; and a new pitched roof and windows. Wireless capability was installed in all remaining residence halls this summer, making virtually all of Northern’s campus wireless.
Culinary Institute of America Trains Staff
Northern’s entire culinary staff participated in a rare opportunity designed to enhance the university’s dining services and catering operations. A representative from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, based in the Napa Valley region of California, delivered an intense one-week training program on campus early this month.
Classes addressed the following topics: food and dining trends; Southeast Asian menus and Asian noodle cookery; nutritional cooking principles, vegetarian cuisine and special dietary concerns; Mediterranean comfort food and convenience pizza products; cold kitchen action stations, buffets, sandwich preparation and take-away packaging techniques. Each day included a demonstration lunch preceded by a critique (pictured). Two students and a faculty member from Northern’s hospitality management program also participated.
Program, Name Changes Implemented
NMU has implemented several academic program changes and a few departmental name changes in advance of the fall semester.
The university has added three new majors since last year: accounting/financial planning; forensic biochemistry; and secondary education integrated science. Full Story
ASNMU Offers Childcare Scholarships
Northern students who are also single parents and have to contend with childcare expenses on top of tuition might be eligible for a scholarship through ASNMU, the student government organization.
In 1995, ASNMU established the Anna Marie Cream Childcare Scholarship to support a non-traditional student who was having trouble making ends meet. The scholarship has continued in her name. It is awarded once a semester to any single parent in need of childcare support, and the money is paid directly to a licensed childcare provider. There might be multiple recipients, depending on the funding available each semester. Full Story
As a small child growing up in New Gloucester, Maine, Jill Leonard (Biology) loved to go to the ocean and play in tide pools.
“Every summer I’d chase crabs and explore what was underneath the seaweed,” she said.
Little did she know that her childhood passion would someday become her career path. Leonard is a biology professor, but her job includes more than just teaching. Full Story