Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Lang Named Interim Provost
Paul Lang has been appointed interim provost at NMU. His term will begin June 2 and run through June 30, 2012. Lang has worked at Northern since 1997, most recently as dean of the College of Professional Studies.
In making the announcement, President Les Wong added that a committee will be formed this summer to search for a permanent replacement for Susan Koch, who is leaving NMU to serve as chancellor at the University of Illinois-Springfield. Full Story
NSF Grant Supports Active Learning
NMU has received a $160,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to promote active learning in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. The funding covers training for six faculty "catalysts" to redesign at least one of their own courses and serve as models for teaching colleagues within and beyond their departments. It will also enable NMU to create a student-centered, technology-rich classroom to support active learning (a model at the University of Minnesota is pictured). The project will assess the effectiveness of technologies used and the extent to which faculty members embraced the pedagogy in order to develop "best practices" recommendations. Full Story
Summer Facilities Projects Under Way
The Superior Dome roof is being transformed from its original silver color to tan in the most visible of the summer facilities projects under way across campus. Workers from D.C. Taylor Co. of Iowa, which won the bid and has several dome projects to its credit, are scaling the sloped structure to install a new roof membrane over the existing one.
“They have a neat setup where they have a winching system mounted on the ground,” said Jim Thams (Engineering and Planning). “It runs up to a pulley system on the cupola (the house-like structure on top of the dome) and there’s a cart that unrolls the membrane as it goes up the roof. It’s pretty impressive. The contractor has an aggressive schedule with completion set for Aug. 9, but that doesn’t allow for weather or any other unexpected delays, so we anticipate it will be later than that. Most of the work should be completed by the start of the fall semester.” Full Story
Spotlight on Honors Program
The NMU Honors Program was thrust
into the spotlight recently with news that a scholarship created bya $5 million
commitment from John and Shirley Berry would give preference to students who
enroll in the program and pursue a major in the College of
Business. A historical overview on the program's website
indicates an early recommendation for an Honors Program came from the Committee
on Undergraduate Programs and was presented to the Academic Senate back in May
1967. Little was done at that time to develop such a program, but the idea was
discussed over the years by both faculty and administration. The Honors Program
was put into operation in the fall of 1998. Full Story
Business Explores New Directions for MBA
The College of Business is the other major benefactor of the largest private gift in NMU history. While the Berry Scholarship is geared toward incoming freshmen, the college is also exploring new initiatives that will make its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program more flexible, competitive and sustainable.
One idea being discussed is a Momentum MBA available to all NMU students, regardless of major. They could minor in business as a springboard to completing an MBA in three semesters (or four, should they choose to pursue a concentration in their undergraduate areas). For example, an art major could earn an MBA that would emphasize a business strategy for effectively creating, marketing and selling her wares. Full Story
Temaki, Smoothie King Prepare for June 4 Opening
A "VIP Night" is scheduled this week to preview the new Temaki & Tea and Smoothie King, which occupy the former Hardees building on Presque Isle Avenue. The official opening is scheduled for June 4, after on-site training can be completed for employees who will work with Smoothie King products and equipment.
The interior has been transformed to include two separate seating areas on each side of the entryway. At the front of the facility is a see-through stone fireplace that separates traditional tables and chairs from lounge seating. Nearby is a chabudai, or low circular table found in many Japanese restaurants. Full Story
Audio-visual technology has evolved significantly since Max Graves (Audio-Visual Services) began working as an ITV specialist 14 years ago.
“The technology has become more prolific, cheaper, faster and more people are using it. It’s all increased,” Graves said.
“People who would never have considered videoconferencing 10 years ago are now using it in the classroom because of changes and improvements.” Full Story