Used Textbook Program Excels
Northern has one of the most successful used textbook programs in the United States, which saved students an estimated $1.7 million last year. For the fall semester, 62 percent of the sales at the NMU Bookstore were used editions—more than double the nationwide average of 30 percent.
“I don’t know of any other full-service college bookstore as high as we are,” said Paul Wright (Bookstore, pictured), who directs the textbook program. Full Story
Faculty Sabbaticals Announced
Eight NMU faculty members will be granted sabbatical leave for 2010-11 to conduct research and engage in activities to enhance their areas of expertise. Full Story
Smolens’ Historical Novel Filled with Modern Relevance
The back cover of The Anarchist by John Smolens (English) features the following at the top in bold print: “Terrorism and unrest in a world on the verge of madness: This is America, 1901.” Some might argue that it could also describe America, 2010. While Smolens’ sixth novel weaves a suspenseful, character-driven account of historical facts surrounding the assassination of President William McKinley, he sees parallels between the populist discontent that fueled the anarchist movement at the turn of the 20th century and the modern brand of terrorism responsible for 9/11 and other attacks. Full Story
Co-Generation Plant Permit Process Completed
The Michigan Department of Environnmental Quality has completed the permit process for Northern's proposed co-generation heating and steam plant, which would burn wood and wood byproducts. Now that the public comment period has ended and the DEQ granted its approval, NMU has 18 months to start construction on the facility. This work is dependent on available funding.
Archives Receives Grant to Digitize CCI Records
The NMU and Central Upper Peninsula Archives has received a $69,000 grant to digitize three series of Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company records. The material documents iron mining, land use, lumbering and labor activity in the upper Great Lakes region during the major industrialization period of 1890-1960.
“For archivists, this funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission is the equivalent of a National Science Foundation grant,” said Marcus Robyns (Archives, pictured at the digitization station). “It’s a very competitive process and the NHPRC receives hundreds of applications.” Full Story
Labs Pass Inspection
Public Safety officials conducted an internal MIOSHA inspection of chemistry and biology labs over the holiday break. They were looking for potential violations that needed to be addressed such as blocked emergency eyewash stations/showers and fire extinguishers, unlabeled containers and machine-guarding issues on equipment. They also made sure fume hood sashes were in place, checked electrical connections and monitored the general cleanliness of the labs.
"We've done this formally since 2006 and they did an exceptional job this year," said Mike Bath (Public Safety). "There were just some very minor things that we had to deal with. We're looking into putting markings on the floor so people don't, for example, set a trash can in front of a fire extinguisher or eyewash station. There's been more awareness and departments are working hard to make sure the labs are kept in an orderly and safe fashion."
Bath said Public Safety student employees take it a step further by checking power-assist handicap doors and flushing eyewash stations on a weekly basis. They also conduct monthly checks of fire extinguishers and emergency lighting in relevant buildings.