Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012

Court Orders May Impact MPSERS Reform

Despite temporary restraining orders that may impact recent reform legislation, NMU staff and faculty members who participate in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) are being advised to proceed online to miAccount, as originally scheduled, and select pension and healthcare contribution options.


The Michigan Court of Appeals has issued two restraining orders regarding the length of time of the election period—a Sept. 4-Oct. 26 window—and the constitutionality of the law’s changes to pension and retiree health benefits. The practical effect is that the window for making elections remains open until the courts take action. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1. If the order is lifted, the deadline could fall soon after. If the new provisions are found to be unconstitutional, employees will be allowed to rescind or change their elections. Full Story


Open Access Week Oct. 22-28


International Open Access Week is under way. Now in its sixth year, the global event promotes the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research and the right to use/reuse those results. The goal is to make open access the new norm in scholarship and research. The annual awareness campaign is organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

At NMU, Krista Clumpner and Mollie Freier (AIS) prepared a statement for today’s Academic Senate meeting on the status of open access at NMU. They discussed implementing software that will allow NMU to store, publicize and make available the intellectual endeavors of faculty, staff and students. Olson Library already has in place a network of liaison librarians ready to work with their assigned departments’ faculty to assist in getting information on endeavors into the institutional repository, called The Commons. Read the full statement here.  


TRIO Programs Funded

Northern has received more than $1 million in grants each year to support its three federal TRIO programs: McNair Scholars, Upward Bound-Math Science and Student Support Services. The programs are designed to assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. All three were recently notified that their federal funding has been continued or renewed. Full Story


Challenge: One-Week Indigenous Foods Diet

Martin Reinhardt (Center for Native American Studies, pictured) is leading a diverse group of volunteers on a one-year journey eating foods indigenous to the Great Lakes region. He wanted to see if it was feasible to closely replicate his Native American ancestors’ way of life prior to colonization, but in a contemporary context. Participants are more than halfway through the Decolonizing Diet Project (DDP). Recognizing that others might be curious to try it, but unable to commit for an extended period, Reinhardt invites the general public to follow the list of DDP-eligible foods for one week, Nov. 2-9. The mini challenge will culminate on the final day with traditional fare offered at the 12th annual First Nations Food Taster at the Jacobetti Center. Full Story


New Health/Wellness Initiatives Launched

NMU recently took two cyber-steps toward the Road Map goal of promoting a healthier and safer campus. The university has subscribed to a monthly electronic magazine filled with health and wellness information, along with interactive features such as videos and reader-submitted stories and recipes. NMU is also one of a handful of schools nationwide participating in a free pilot program for Health Guru, an expansive online resource library of relatively brief (2-3 minute) videos on health and wellness topics. Full Story


'U.P. Power!' Exhibit at Beaumier

High school sports are a staple of life in communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. They give young people an opportunity to compete and also serve as a source of pride, camaraderie and entertainment for local residents. Some of the stories and legends from the past 130 years of U.P. high school athletics are on display in a new exhibit titled “U.P. Power! High School Sports in Upper Michigan."

The exhibit features stories and artifacts related to the greatest teams, players and coaches in U.P. high school sports history. Photographs, trophies, uniforms and other memorabilia are on loan from high schools, historical societies and individuals. An interactive computer station at the exhibit provides statistics for each team sport for boys and girls. Full Story


Verizon Donates to NMU

Verizon Wireless donated $7,000 worth of technology to NMU's Center for Instructional Technology in Education (CITE) at an Oct. 18 event celebrating Marquette becoming the 400th market to receive 4G LTE service.

Dale Kapla (Academic Affairs) is pictured left accepting one of the tablets from T.J. Fox, president of the Illinois/Wisconsin region for Verizon Wireless. The company presented financial or device donations to a number of local agencies in honor of the 400th market milestone. The tablets given to NMU will be used by faculty, staff and students doing field work and also by staff who travel extensively.



When Julie Djupe (joop) wants to exercise, she doesn’t have to brave the outdoor elements or drive to a gym. She simply walks to the end of the hallway. Proximity is one of the perks of her job as principal secretary in the PEIF Recreational Sports office. The prime location could backfire for some. After all, being so close to top-notch facilities makes it harder to come up with a feasible excuse not to work out. But that isn’t a factor for Djupe—at least most of the time. Full Story