Wong Outlines Budget Challenges, Reduction Proposals
Northern’s $4.6 million projected shortfall for fiscal year 2010 would be a softer blow than the $10 million worst-case scenario that surfaced early in the state budget process. But NMU President Les Wong made it clear that cost-saving measures, perhaps including a university-wide salary freeze, will be required to counter the double-barreled impact of state appropriation decreases and NMU operational increases.
Wong stressed that stimulus dollars will provide only a temporary boost. They will arrive in waves rather than a lump-sum payment and cannot fund long-term structural cost increases. In the wake of stimulus support, Michigan universities in 2012 will be left with base budgets that are equal to their 2008 levels. Full Story
Reaccreditation Visit Gets Positive Reviews
The March 25-27 quality checkup visit by Sandra Singer and Jim Morrison of the Higher Learning Commission went well, according to NMU administrators. The HLC representatives participated in 18 meetings with university and community members. The goals were to affirm the accuracy of Northern's AQIP Systems Portfolio, review the campus AQIP Action Projects, validate Northern's commitment to continuous quality improvement, confirm its compliance with accreditation expectations, and review and update its relationship with the HLC. Video from the open campus forum and other materials can be viewed at AQIP.
"Based on the very positive comments that we received from Dr. Singer and Mr. Morrison, we fully expect that our record of continuous institutional accreditation since 1916 will be retained for the next seven years," said Cindy Prosen (Academic Affairs).
Stupak Named Commencement Speaker
U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak will be the keynote speaker at Northern’s May 2 commencement. Stupak will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Since 1992, Stupak has represented Michigan’s first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is one of the largest such districts in the nation, encompassing 31 counties from the entire Upper Peninsula and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula. Full Story
NMU and Power Industry Collaborate on New Program
A new associate degree program will help regional utilities address a critical shortage of electrical power technicians needed to build and maintain the energy infrastructure. It will also enable graduates to work in a high-demand, profitable career that is largely unaffected by shifts in the economy. NMU offers the degree in collaboration with the Lake Superior Community Partnership Foundation and Upper Peninsula power companies. Full Story
Historical Snapshot: Franklin Visits NMU
John Hope Franklin, the renowned historian, author and pioneer of African-American studies, died March 25. He was 94. Franklin received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from NMU in August 1978. “He was the foundation of modern African-American history," said Russ Magnaghi (History), pictured right shaking Franklin's hand. "I remember when he came to campus for the degree presentation. He was a very pleasant gentleman.”
Franklin was well-known for his book, From Slavery to Freedom, which integrated black history into American history and still remains relevant 60 years later. His research also helped Thurgood Marshall and a team at the NAACP to win the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954.